Have you ever experienced a product or service so good that you want to come back for more? About one and half years back, I stayed in The Haven prior to my flight, and I was very impressed with their service. Even though I wanted to return for a second round, The Haven is after all a niche service that’s hard to justify spending moolahs for. Therefore, when I found the chance to stay in it one and a half years later, I jumped at the chance to go through the experience again.
What Is The Haven?
The Haven, managed by Jet Quay, functions very much like the paid airline lounges travellers go to rest when they are in the transit area of the airports, except that The Haven is in the public area, situated at the Arrival Hall of Terminal 3, Changi Airport.
The purpose of The Haven is for passengers to tidy themselves up, after a red-eye flight, before rushing for their meetings in town (which explained why it is situated at the Arrival Hall). However, there are also people like me who use it before going on their flights, especially when the flight is in the early morning and they wanted to catch more sleep. The Haven even provides a wake-up call, which ensures that you will be able to catch the flight no matter the time of the day.
The Haven segregates its services into Lounge, Shower, Meeting Rooms and Nap Rooms, targeting at travellers with different needs. The Nap Room package (which I’ve always used) includes usage of the lounge and shower facilities, with a minimum block usage of 3 hours that can be extended hourly.
Small and functional, the room has TV, storage space for luggage (that goes up to a standard 75″ size), lockable drawer, study desk, telephone and WiFi – basically everything you can find in a budget hotel room minus the space (plus a pair of bedroom slippers). Some might call it claustrophobic, but if you can stay in a hotel room in Tokyo, you can stay in The Haven.
The single bed is reasonably comfortable and the room is well insulated from the noise outside. The rest of the amenities, like WiFi and TV, are decent/standard, though I believe most travellers using this space will only be interested in catching those precious 40 winks. The only thing to pick on would be the inability to control the room’s air-conditioning.
p/s: There is no ensuite bathrooms, but as I mentioned, this is most likely not of top concern for users.
Much like the shower rooms you find in lounge, the shower rooms in The Haven is pretty much self-sufficient (perhaps the only thing you need to bring is your very personal toiletries like facial cleanser). If you take the Nap Room package, you will have to retrieve the key to a shower room separately (it’s included in the package, but made available on a need-to basis). The plus of the shower rooms here as compared to those you find in the transit area, like the Dnata or SATS lounge is that the floor is dry (it’s hard to elaborate, but frequent flyers should understand how wet floors in and around the shower facilities can be a hassle).
The restroom is in a separate area from the shower facilities, but it is unlike the public toilets or the toilets in the transit lounges. Here, the restroom is a standalone room, complete with WC, sink and plenty of space to change your clothes etc. In other words, you can choose to take the lounge package for an hour, and still use the restroom to change into your business attire for the upcoming meeting; there is no need to book a 3-hour Nap Room that costs at least $75!
Interestingly, the lounge is quiet; perhaps The Haven is really providing a niche service. The “refreshment” they provide is bread, some pastry and biscuits, instant noodles, soft drinks, juices and coffee and making facilities.
There’s a “Cash Bar” which provides alcoholic beverages, but I never saw anyone man the bar before.
For those who took the Nap Room package, you can also order a hot meal, to be served at a time you choose (usually at the start or the end of your stay).
For many businesses, it is easy to invest in high quality infrastructure, and the defining feature of the business will be in its services. When I first visited The Haven, I was impressed by the concierge (for the lack of better word, since I don’t really know their designation!). Not only was the concierge at the reception polite, he took care of everything without needing me to ask for more!
My most recent stay was very unlike my first experience, though.
First, there was no record of my booking, so I checked in half an hour later than planned, and the concierge spoke to me like it was my fault that the booking was not found.
When I went to have my hot meal, I realised it was spicy – I admit I just saw the first line stating the dish was “Wanton Noodles”, but overlooked the 2nd line that said it was in Tom Yum soup – however, there was zero attempt at service recovery to turn that experience into a positive one. Yes, the server just said “Orh” and left the noodles on the table. I ended up making my own instant noodles and left the Wanton Noodles to whichever hungry ghost who was desperate enough to eat it.
The most appalling aspect was when I found out, while making coffee, that the coffee cups were all stained with coffee. By then, I was so disappointed with the service (I had feedback my Wanton Noodles experience to the concierge, only to be met with a curt “you can have the light refreshment in the lounge”) that I did not even bother to tell them about my latest observation.
In both my visits, the infrastructure remained largely the same (except for some signs of wear and tear), so I had nothing much to complain about. The most defining aspect was the drop in service; by inference, if the staff had not bothered to clean their cups properly, I wonder if the sheets were changed or cleaned to the same standards?
Like I mentioned, The Haven provides a niche service that only a few selected travellers will really need. However, considering that this lounge is spearheaded by Changi Airport to differentiate itself from other airports, the experience provided by The Haven in my most recent visit did not add value to the branding of the airport.
In other words? Skip this unless you really need to find a place to wash up.
The Haven By JetQuay
65 Airport Boulevard
Changi Airport Terminal 3