Review: Ambassador Transit Lounge Changi Terminal 3 (Post-COVID)

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Poor quality food, no free booze, and an uncomfortable work setup are reasons enough to avoid the Ambassador Transit Lounge.

The Ambassador Transit Lounge and SATS Premier Lounge are currently the only two options at Changi Terminal 3 for those travelling in Economy or Premium Economy Class without elite status. 

I visited both before my flight to Frankfurt. Here’s my take on the Ambassador Transit Lounge. 

🏰 The Romantic Road
🍸tl;dr: Ambassador Transit Lounge
Poor quality food, no free booze, and an uncomfortable work setup are reasons enough to avoid the Ambassador Transit Lounge
The Good The Bad
  • Numerous shower rooms
  • Poor quality food
  • No free alcohol for lounge pass members
  • No productivity pods
  • Mostly lounge-style seating with no dining tables

Access and Operating Hours

The Ambassador Transit Lounge in Terminal 3 is open daily from 1000 to 2200 hrs (the photo below shows 1500 to 2300 hrs, but the operating hours have since been updated). Access can be purchased at the door for S$58.85 for a 5-hour stay, and S$15 per additional hour. Separate packages for nap rooms and shower use are also available.

Ambassador Transit Lounge price list

Alternatively, you can access the lounge with one of the following memberships:

  • Diners Club
  • DragonPass
  • LoungeKey
  • Priority Pass

Transit passengers with a 14-day travel history featuring Category I or II countries exclusively may visit the lounge during their layover.

Getting to the Lounge

The Ambassador Transit Lounge is on the opposite end of Level 3 as the SilverKris/SATS Premier Lounge, so after you pass through immigration, make a right at the giant Louis Vuitton store and head towards the B gates. 

Giant Louis Vuitton store

Take the escalator up to Level 3 and keep walking through the deserted food court until you see the entrance to the Ambassador Transit Lounge.

Ambassador Transit Lounge entrance

I presented my Priority Pass card, and after a little paperwork, was granted admission. 

Ambassador Transit Lounge reception
Ambassador Transit Lounge reception

Seating

Unlike the open-air design of the SilverKris and SATS Premier lounges, the Ambassador Transit Lounge is more of an enclosed room. If you’re charitable, you’d call it cozy; if you’re coming from one of the other lounges, you’d call it claustrophobic. 

Ambassador Transit Lounge seating
Ambassador Transit Lounge seating
Ambassador Transit Lounge seating
Ambassador Transit Lounge seating
Ambassador Transit Lounge seating
Ambassador Transit Lounge seating

The furniture is in relatively good condition, although there isn’t a lot of variety in terms of seating configurations. For example, there’s no dining tables, which means all your eating will be at an uncomfortable knee height unless you manage to get one of the seven individual chairs with a cocktail table. 

Individual seating area

A single Osim massage chair is available for use, although it lacks a headrest cover. Think of all the oil accumulation…

Osim massage chair

I can’t say that the Ambassador Transit Lounge has very good work credentials either. While the Wi-Fi is fast and there’s a good number of power outlets (see below), it lacks productivity pods, and apart from the seven individual chairs with cocktail tables, there’s no area to comfortably use a laptop. Even the communal computer area isn’t a great option, since the chairs are bar stool height and unsuitable for prolonged periods of work. 

Computer area

Power & Productivity

Complimentary Wi-Fi is provided throughout the Ambassador Transit Lounge, with speeds clocking in at 23 Mbps up and 14 Mbps down. For perspective, that’s even faster than the speeds at the SilverKris & SATS Premier lounges, although the low occupancy probably had something to do with it.

There’s an abundance of universal power sockets and USB ports, located between seats and under tables. 

Ambassador Transit Lounge power points
Ambassador Transit Lounge power points
Ambassador Transit Lounge power points

Food & Beverage

Ambassador Transit Lounge buffet area
Ambassador Transit Lounge buffet area

The Ambassador Transit Lounge’s buffet area is cordoned off due to COVID, with all F&B served by staff members. Unlike other lounges at Changi, you can’t even help yourself to a can of Coke- everything needs to be requested. 

Guests enjoy a free flow of soft drinks, coffee/tea and water. Those who access the lounge through a membership programme like Priority Pass will need to pay a la carte pricing for alcohol: S$6 per glass of wine, shot of liquor or can of beer. If you pay the walk-up rate of S$58.85, a free flow of alcohol is included (as well it should!).

Ambassador Transit Lounge drinks menu
Ambassador Transit Lounge drinks menu

All guests, regardless of how they access the lounge, will receive one bento set from the menu below. Additional bento sets cost S$10 each.

Ambassador Transit Lounge food menu
Ambassador Transit Lounge food menu

But there’s no reason to pay for seconds, because the food isn’t great. It’s not even average. After the orders had been placed, I heard the telltale beeping of a microwave, and soon enough two clear plastic boxes were brought to our table. The food was slightly cool on the outside and molten hot on the inside.

The first option we tried was pan-fried fish with cream sauce, served with buttered rice and steamed vegetables. It was absolutely devoid of any flavor or seasoning ,and the vegetables were so soft I wondered if we’d been served the infant meal. 

Pan-fried fish with cream sauce

The “Hainanese chicken rice” was diabolical, so much so I can’t even type it without the quotes. I mean, how can you even call this chicken rice when it’s served with fried rice and without chili? 

Hainanese chicken rice

The chicken was barely edible with a rubbery texture, probably due to the microwave nuking it to oblivion. I certainly hope no tourist ever ordered this and went away wondering why Singaporeans are crazy about chicken rice. 

Showers & Toilets

If there’s one thing the Ambassador Transit Lounge has in its favor, it’s showers. I counted at least 12 cubicles, versus just two at the SATS Premier Lounge. Those with unlimited-visit lounge passes may want to come here for a shower first, then head to the SATS Premier Lounge for a more pleasant experience.

Showers are located at the rear of the lounge, in what looks like a locker room setup. 

Ambassador Transit Lounge shower area
Ambassador Transit Lounge shower area
Ambassador Transit Lounge shower area
Ambassador Transit Lounge shower area

There was no attendant to be found; but since the cubicles didn’t have a towel you’d still need to visit the front desk (showers are included for guests accessing via lounge passes, and for those paying the S$58.85 walk-up rate; otherwise it’s S$20 per head). 

Ambassador Transit Lounge shower area
Ambassador Transit Lounge shower area

All the cubicles were very dimly lit, which made them feel even more gloomy. Soap and shampoo came from wall-mounted pump dispensers, with both a hand and rain shower option.  

Ambassador Transit Lounge shower cubicle
Ambassador Transit Lounge shower cubicle

Shower cubicles do not have toilets, so you’ll need to do your business elsewhere. 

How does this compare to the SATS Premier Lounge?

SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3 seating areas
SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3

It’s no contest, in my opinion. The SATS Premier Lounge comfortably beats the Ambassador Transit Lounge hands down.

Its bright and airy design is in stark contrast to the doctor’s waiting room vibe of the Ambassador, and there’s more variation in seating types, making it suitable for relaxing, dining or working. If you’re working, the six productivity pods (with two universal power outlets and three USB ports) are a godsend. 

SATS Premier Lounge Terminal 3

Granted, the food at the SATS Premier Lounge isn’t great either, but it did offer a sparkling wine option when I visited- a rare sight in a contract lounge. And unlike the Ambassador Transit Lounge, all alcohol is included regardless of how you accessed the lounge.

The main Achilles’ heel of the SATS Premier Lounge is that it only has two showers, which may pose a problem once Changi traffic picks up again.

Conclusion

After visiting the SilverKris and SATS Premier lounges, the Ambassador Transit Lounge felt downright depressing. The claustrophobic architecture does it no favors, and the poor F&B offerings (plus absence of free booze) means there’s little to look forward to. 

This is best used as a place for a quick shower, before spending your time elsewhere in the airport. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Dave

Just for completeness: Grab Platinum users can get the 5-hour pass for $25 but that likely doesn’t change a thing.

Edit: Grab saying “valued $59” isn’t even true. 2 hours only, no alcohol, lol.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
Tim Leon

In Priority Pass website, they mention Alcohol is subject to payment. So guess currently it’s free only in Sats Premier Lounge.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tim Leon
David

Pre-Covid, if you are accessing the lounge with membership cards, they’d give you two vouchers redeemable for alcholic drink.

JW19

Is Aerotel in T1 open for transit passengers now? If yes then there is totally no reason to spend anytime at the Ambassador Lounge. Anyway I used to do the Aerotel for early morning SQ departures in F or Suites, gives you time for dinner and breakfast at the private room plus you can avoid needing to wake early to head to the airport. Joys of pre-Covid days, longing for its return.

Sander

Thanks for the review. We are flying SQ Business Class in two weeks with a 3 hours layover. Think we will head directly to this lounge for a shower and then head to the Silverkris lounge to relax. Guess the 3 showers in the SK lounge will be busy in the morning now.

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