Words by James Gregory Wilkinson
It’s doubtful anyone has ever opted to stay at an airport hotel for the pleasure of it – apart from the odd plane spotter or two. When we book in to sleep near a runway, it’s generally because we’re in between flights, or stopping in a city we don’t necessarily feel entirely comfortable exploring. Knowing all that, though, there’s no reason to deprive yourself of a nice stay just because you’re near the airport – on the contrary, you could be in for a treat!
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, Singapore
Stopping over in Singa and flying out early in the morning? If you’re not ready to tackle one of Changi Airport’s sleep pods just yet, hop onto the air-conditioned linkbridge and check in at this architecturally impressive, clean, modern hotel. Billing itself as “a business hotel with a resort ambience”, it has an excellent gym and pool, and extremely comfy beds. Just make sure you schedule a wake-up call.
Sofitel London Heathrow Terminal 5
Experience the impeccable Sofitel service standards, even if you’re just passing through. Connected to Terminal 5 via a handy walkway, this airport hotel is immaculately furnished and beautifully quiet for business travellers trying to ward off jet lag. Stylish, if not terribly personality-driven rooms are calming and comfortable. Recharge in the fitness centre and refresh in the vitality pool or aromatherapy steam room, or there’s an in-house hair salon if you need to be work-ready the moment you step off the plane.
Rydges Sydney Airport
Located within the International terminal, it doesn’t get much more convenient than this. Exceptionally comfortable beds and pleasant decor elevate a night here from the purely functional to something closer to being actually enjoyable. Insider tip: if you’re booking directly through Rydges, join their rewards programme for an instant discount on room rates as well as food and beverages.
Parkroyal Melbourne Airport
Obviously, the biggest draw here is the hotel’s proximity to your next flight. But if you’re so inclined, it’s also just a 25-minute drive from the charming Sunbury wine country. Double glazing and blackout blinds let you fight off the effects of jet lag, while a KIng-sized bed means you can properly stretch out. Aeronautics buffs will enjoy the views over the runway which are available from many of the rooms.
InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport Hotel
Flying into Jo’burg en route to a safari adventure? Stop in here for some city-slicker treatment before you hit the lion trails. Even if you’re not planning to head out amongst the animals, a spot of fine dining downstairs at Quills African Restaurant will give you a taste for game meats! A short walk across the road from the international arrivals gate, this 140-room property doesn’t have the anonymous quality that often characterises airport hotels.
Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel
Ok, the carpet choices here are questionable, but you’re probably not at a Hong Kong airport hotel for the ambience – you’re here to get some shut-eye before your red-eye. The in-room dining is great, the service is excellent, and after you’ve washed up with the Bulgari bathroom amenities you’ll be ready to take on the world. Or even just the next leg of your journey.
Novotel Auckland International Airport
Auckland’s airport is a good half an hour out of town, so if you’re stopping overnight before an early flight out, it makes a lot of sense to stay here and maximise your potential sleeping time. A sense of peace is signalled by the ‘living wall’ of greenery in the foyer and that tranquility extends to the rest of the hotel, too. Clean, comfortable and unpretentiously stylish.
citizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle hotel
This is probably the only hotel in the list that we’d actively choose to stay at purely for its own sake, regardless of location. A total knockout, it blows other airport hotels out of the water with its delightful, aeronautics-themed decor, its gigantic beds, high-pressure rain showers, intelligent ambient lighting, and free wifi. Good hairdryers, nice toiletries, great food and coffee… you won’t want to go home.
Grand Hyatt Dallas Fort Worth
Completely soundproofed rooms are just the ticket when you’re trying desperately to squeeze in a few hours’ sleep before the alarm goes off, so we’re big fans of Grand Hyatt’s DFW airport offering. Considering it’s located right in the airport itself, the lack of jet noise is remarkable. Stylish, modern rooms, a truly world-class spa and top-notch service make this one a big yes.
Langham Place Beijing Capital Airport
After a long-haul flight, the last thing we feel like doing is bundling up into a cramped hotel room for the night. Happily, Langham Place at Beijing Airport has spacious rooms just perfect for doing a few pre-bed stretches. High ceilings, freestanding baths and enormous beds let you know you can relax into your new surrounds. Zero airport noise and a big, varied breakfast buffet section are also big pluses.