CNBC Travel

Long layover in Singapore? 'Jewel' makes the world's greatest airport even better

Jewel is home to what's now the world's tallest indoor waterfall — called the HSBC Rain Vortex.
Suhaimi Abdullah | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The world's best ranked airport isn't resting on its laurels.

Named "world's best airport" for seven consecutive years by Skytrax, Changi Airport opened its new hub, "Jewel" to the public this year, and the nearly $1.3 billion dollar project — which connects three of the four terminals at Changi Airport — aims to increase the number of passengers coming to Singapore for visits and stopovers.

The $1.3B Jewel connects three of the four terminals at the Singapore Changi Airport.
Changi Airport Group

Jewel Changi is home to what's now the world's tallest indoor waterfall — called the HSBC Rain Vortex, and is surrounded by tens of thousands of trees, plants, and shrubs. It's being marketed as its own destination for locals as well, with a grocery store and movie theater inside.

As for passengers planning to visit during a stopover, they will need to plan ahead of time, as the food and shopping hub is only accessible to visitors after passing through immigration and baggage claim. Jewel Changi said passengers with at least five hours or more should consider visiting.

"Overall, we wanted to create a multi-faceted project that would capture tourism mindshare and just attract more people," Jean Hung, CEO of Jewel Changi Airport told CNBC, referring to consumer awareness of the brand.

The world's best airport just got even better
The world's best airport just got even better

"What's good for our travelers is, if you're kicked out of your hotel in the morning, but your flight is at night, you can come to Jewel, check in your bag, enjoy the facilities that you see around you before you go on to your flight," Hung said.

Hung said the team drew inspiration from around the world, including New York's High Line linear park for some of its design elements centered around Singapore's theme of being a city in a garden.

Jewel has more than 280 restaurants and stores, including New York burger giant, Shake Shack, which made its Southeast Asia debut.

A portion of Jewel's Canopy Park.
Changi Airport Group

U.K.-based restaurant chain, Burger & Lobster, also opened its flagship store in Jewel after debating between opening in Singapore or Hong Kong.

"Singaporeans in our London restaurants are actually our third biggest customer," Ben Hedley head of marketing for Burger & Lobster said. "So it made obvious sense to come to Singapore once the Jewel opportunity was given."