Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll review my experience at the Marhaba Lounge in Terminal 1.

Marhaba Lounge is one of three Priority Pass lounges in Changi Airport Terminal 1. I visited it before my recent trip to Bangkok and decided to document my experience. Let’s see if it’s any good.

Marhaba Lounge – Video

If you’re interested in seeing some hands-on footage of my experience at Marhaba Lounge, do watch the Youtube video below:

Marhaba Lounge – Review

Marhaba Lounge is located directly above the Departure Immigration Area of the Departure Transit Hall, opposite the ‘Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao’ Restaurant. For watch lovers, it’s located right above the terminal’s Rolex AD.

The ambience of the lounge is best described as a tale of two cities. On one hand, there’s the dining area, which reminds me of the average hotel restaurant. Although nothing fancy, it does at least have a modern aesthetic.

Then there’s the lounge area, which is comprised of dozens of sofa seats, with conveniently located power ports within arm’s reach. There’s nothing wrong with the decor per se, but the overwhelming earth tones do make the lounge look a tad dated.

To make matters worse, I spotted a conspicuous amount of mould on the walls, which was offputting, to say the least.

As for reading materials, there are a few magazines, but frankly nothing notable. However, there is free lounge wifi – a basic necessity in today’s age.

Now let’s take a look at the food and drinks. Frankly, it’s quite unremarkable. There’s a salad bar, but my advice would be to skip it – there were quite a lot of flies around the salad section, which almost made me lose my appetite before I even started.

The cooked food is served in buffet-style trays. The variety was limited (chicken curry, sweet and sour fish, aglio olio, etc), and tasted like the average catered food. The only saving grace was the beef noodles, which happened to be the special of the day. It was made piping hot and was decent.

To compensate for the overall lack of flavour, there was also a variety of condiments available (ketchup, chili, pepper, salt, etc).

Luckily, the drinks fared better. Firstly, there was a coffee machine that was capable of dispensing a variety of caffeinated beverages.

If you can’t take caffeine, there was also a selection of Dilmah tea, and even chocolate powder for one to make hot chocolate.

There’s also a variety of juices, soft drinks, and canned Tiger/Asahi beer. I noticed that the available soft drinks – coke, sprite, tonic – are all common mixers, which I’m sure was a deliberate touch.

Like most people, my main motivation for visiting an airport lounge is the alcoholic drinks. It always feels better to board the plane a tad inebriated – a stiff drink never fails to calm my pre-flight nerves. My choice of poison is white wine, with Marhaba Lounge serving Somerton Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. With a Vinio rating of 2.9/5, it’s not going to set a sommelier’s tongue wagging, but it was serviceable (better than what Saizeriya serves anyway).

If white wine isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll be pleased to know that Marhaba Lounge also offers red wine (Shiraz and Cab Sav), as well as hard liquor offerings such as Beefeater gin, Bacardi rum, Chivas whiskey, and Absolute vodka. Remember the soft drink options I mentioned earlier? I had a whale of a time making myself a gin & tonic, whiskey coke, and a vodka sprite. And for those (like me) who prefer their drinks on the rocks, Marhaba Lounge does provide an ice bucket (right bucket in the above photo), with lemon slices to complement your drinks.

Overall, my experience at Marhaba Lounge was middling. The decor is in desperate need of a refresh (I hope they get rid of that mould), while the food tastes like SATs catering. Its only saving grace is its relatively generous alcohol offerings, all of which are free for lounge guests. That’s in stark contrast to other lounges, some of whom limit their “free” alcoholic beverages to just canned beer. Still, there’s not enough here that warrants a return – I’ll be trying out another lounge when I’m next in Terminal 1.

Marhaba Lounge Opening Hours: 06:00 – 01:00 daily

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