Over the past decade there has been a transformation with airport hotels. In contrast to the sterile airport hotels of old, these newer properties blend luxury with convenience, taking weary travellers from the hustle of the airport to a welcoming sanctuary in a matter of steps. Time poor business travellers find they can be both productive and relaxed, and leisure travellers enjoy the convenience of connecting to their flight seamlessly as well as enjoying the many facilities offered by the hotel. In some cases these hotels are not only located near airports – but they’re situated inside the terminal.
Airport hotels offer excellent facilities for travellers who need to work, including in-room Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, business and conference facilities, and ambient lobbies. Travellers working for multinational companies can meet face-to-face with peers or clients based in the city where they are transiting, away from the hustle of the airport terminal. Rooms are of a high quality with an emphasis on comfort, and noise levels associated with the airport are minimised through effective sound proofing.
Leisure facilities also abound, allowing travellers to dine in relaxed settings, work out at the gym, enjoy a massage or soak up a rehydrating skin treatment.
Top Airport Hotels
In Singapore, the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport is accessed from Terminal 3 via a cutting-edge bridge, while Terminals 1 and 2 are accessible by Skytrain. A distinguishing feature is the tropical resort hidden inside this hotel, with courtyard gardens and a landscaped pool area. Guests can host a tropical garden conference in any of the seven meeting rooms and ballroom, while peaceful garden views can be enjoyed from the lobby lounge or al fresco courtyard.
The Hilton at Frankfurt Airport is situated directly above the InterCity Express (ICE) railway station with direct pedestrian access via skywalk to Terminal 1. Located in the iconic 'The Squaire' building, the hotel features 10 meeting rooms and a grand ballroom, a 24-hour business centre, 24-hour fitness centre, sauna, lounge and bar, and a restaurant. All guest rooms and suites feature sound-proof windows, a LCD TV and dedicated work space.
The Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok has packages such as '24 hours occupancy from the time you arrive', recognising that guests can arrive at any hour of the day or night. This is a virtual resort right next to the airport that is often used by people to re-set their body clocks after an extended stay in Europe. It offers 24 hour breakfast, a resort-style pool, large spa centre and extensive restaurant facilities.
The Fairmont at Vancouver Airport was designed to redefine airport accommodation when it opened in 1999. Situated exactly 99 steps from the US departures terminal this highly awarded hotel is a haven for harried travellers. Features include total soundproofing of guest rooms, a noise-free zone and ‘quiet rooms’ where there are no bellmen, housekeeping or room services to keep guests awake. The hotel also offers unique activities including Learn to Fly packages in a motion simulator. Other packages allow guests to leave their bulky winter woollies in storage before their departure to a warmer part of the world - a feature that is becoming popular due to increased luggage restrictions now enforced by the airlines. There are even BMW bicycles for the energised traveller.
Accor's Sofitel property at London Heathrow is a design-led hotel that is a destination in its own right. The hotel has direct access to Terminal 5 via a covered walkway and to Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4 via the courtesy Heathrow Express/ Connect rail. It offers the largest meeting capacity in the Heathrow area, as well as spa and relaxation facilities, a hair salon, and an on-site car park with 'Park & Fly' packages. The Sofitel also features a range of quality dining options, including the exclusive French restaurant, Vivre.
Key Reasons To Stay At An Airport Hotel
All the meeting, dining, leisure and accommodation facilities are just steps away from the terminal. You can use the airport hotel almost like it is an airport lounge, by checking in online then simply walking to their gate an hour before departure. This is particularly beneficial for travellers who have come from a regional area and want the convenience of fast and easy access to the terminal for their next flight.
Unwind in between flights
The traveller can simply relax more easily and travel with far less stress. These can also be great places to lose the jet lag and to re-set the body clock to the local time. Some hotels offer a 24 hour occupancy from the time guests arrive.
With no need for on-the-ground travel, you have more time to arrive for your next flight, with your boarding passes printed and baggage checked. Some of the newer airport hotels will do this for their guests while also displaying departure/arrival boards. This can save guests additional time, by advising them of their gate numbers and any flight delays or cancellations, before you leave the hotel.
The traveller can get on with work in close proximity to the airport but away from all the distractions.
Perfect meeting place
With their ideal location and first-class facilities, travellers can host formal or informal meetings and conferences with colleagues and clients from the local city or region.
Fast access to transport
By being connected to the terminals, these hotels provide direct access to public transport services. Travellers also benefit from less congested taxi ranks and options for chauffeur pickups, should they wish to visit the local office or simply take in some sights.
This article was written by Catherine Rankin, Flight Centre's Product Development Manager.