The World's Fanciest Airport Just Added a Crown Jewel
The world's best airport is getting even fancier. The 10-story Jewel Changi Airport complex finally opened at Singapore's namesake airport (SIN) Wednesday. The 1.46-million-sq.-ft. retail development directly connects to the arrivals hall of Terminal 1, and is just a five-to-10-minute walk from Terminals 2 and 3 via air-conditioned moving walkways. And although the space is intended primarily for airport visitors, anyone can access the Jewel, as it's located outside of immigration and security regions.
The glass-and-steel Jewel was born out of the airport's need to expand Terminal 1 and parking capacity, and reflects the lavish opulence for which Singapore is renowned. Multiple "park" areas boast lush tropical greenery to refresh travel-weary passersby, including more than 100,000 shrubs and over 2,000 trees and palms surrounding the development's 280 shops and restaurants. The 131-foot indoor waterfall, called the Rain Vortex, is the world's tallest indoor waterfall, although the structure will be eclipsed by the 164-foot Qingdao Eden waterfall in China which debuts in 2020. The top floors of the Jewel feature a skylight ceiling for abundant natural light, while some walkways feature glass floors. The Mesh Nets, opening June 10, offer adventurous travelers the chance to experience the "indescribable sensation of lightness" by walking across sturdy netting suspended 82 feet above the air.
Dining options range from Singapore's famed street food to world-class international cuisine, while stores offer a variety of shopping experiences, from local brands to global designers.
Travelers will be able to free up their hands for exploring by taking advantage of early check-in privileges currently offered by 26 airlines, including flagship carrier Singapore Airlines, with more participating partners anticipated in weeks to come. (Even if your particular airline doesn't offer early check-in, you can still go hands-free by dropping off your bags at the designated Left Baggage counters on Level 1, which operates 24 hours a day.)
The Jewel Changi Airport is also home to a brand-new YotelAIR, the brand's first hotel in Asia. The rooms, or "cabins", are inspired by first-class aircraft design, and include rainfall showerheads and adjustable SmartBeds, which fold from couch to double bed.
Reflecting its location and the Singapore airport's 24/7 reputation, the hotel's 130 cabins will be available at both a standard day rate and an hourly rate, starting at ~$59 USD for up to four hours — perfect for a nap during a layover. Hourly reservations can be made directly through the hotel by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The largest cabins are the Family size, which can accommodate up to four guests in one room.
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