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Check In To The World's Best Airport Hotels

March 21, 2013 at 3:57 PM | by | Comments (4)

The view from Hong Kong's Regal Airport Hotel

There may come a time when you'll need to stay at a hotel near an airport--usually because you have an unreasonably early flight, or because you're landing unreasonably late and will be too exhausted to travel to your intended destination. Airport hotels have traditionally received a bad rap as uncomfortable, dark dank dens filled with bleary-eyed business travelers. Not so, we say.

In fact, HotelChatter's editors and contributors have come up with an extensive list of their favorite airport hotels, so the next time you find yourself in need of lodging, give them a try.

When a mayor tweets about how good an airport hotel is, you tend to pay attention. That's how we felt when Newark's Mayor Cory Booker mentioned the new Courtyard Newark Downtown. At first we (and many folks online) were skeptical. The city and especially the hotel's location doesn't exactly have a stellar rep. But we gave it a shot and found it a top-class operation and only a 4-mile and free shuttle ride away from EWR. Not only did we love the in-house Bistro's impressive menu (tomato mozzarella flatbread and cheddar French dip!), but dining while working (free WiFi!) in the living room-like lounge felt like we were in an upscale hotel. And the rooms were more deluxe Marriott than mid-range Courtyard. With rates in the $119 per night range, it's a definite deal.-Chanize, Editor

We had a late arriving international flight and an early departing domestic flight the next morning, so we hunkered down at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport. Our room was on the MCO side, perfect for plane spotting, complete with a tiny balcony. The rooms on the opposite side open directly to the airport concourse -- atrium style, which is a Hyatt design tradition. The hotel is basic, but comfortable. If you are looking for food or drinks, you're best off hitting the terminal food court, as the bar and hotel restaurant seemed a bit over priced. Above all, it's very convenient being able to take the elevator down to TSA the next morning instead of relying on an airport shuttle.-Mark Johnson, Founder

Staying with your family or a business colleague and want some space? The Embassy Suites Los Angeles Intl Airport South at Los Angeles International Airport would be our highest recommendation, since all guestrooms here are two-room suites (one large bedroom and one large living room with desk), they're completing a massive renovation to refresh the whole place, breakfast is free, and an evening "manager's reception" means free wine. Just be sure to hop the correct free shuttle from LAX; you want Embassy Suites SOUTH (there is a North one, too, though not as cool).-Cynthia Drescher, Contributing Editor

If you’re on a British Airways flight from London’s Heathrow Airport that departs from Terminal 5 (beware that not all BA flights do), there is no better choice than the Sofitel London Heathrow T5. Quiet and stylish rooms a 90-second walk away from the check-in desk, what more do you want? -JasonD, Contributor

Aside from all the practical stuff, like being conveniently attached to the airport’s main terminal and offering comfortable rooms, the Radisson Blu Zurich Airport sports a 16-meter tall wine tower inside the main atrium, where wine angels on wires will pick your selection of the 4000 bottles on display. -JasonD, Contributor

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport isn't lacking in hotel options, but we're most partial to the Aloft O'Hare. Within walking distance of most of the other major airport hotels (bonus for dining options), the Aloft has the others beat with an excellent indoor pool, outdoor lawn (with cornhole games!), outdoor fireplace, and of course Aloft's trademark massive, playful lobby with pool table and more. It's usually cheaper than the other hotels, the WiFi is free, it's far more modern, and your shuttle and the hotel bar won't be full of tired salesman heading to an insurance conference. -Cynthia Drescher, Contributing Editor

Dallas Fort Worth is one of the busiest airports in the world and big enough to have its own zip code. For a good night sleep, head over to the Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport, where you’ll find all the usual Westin amenities you love, including the Heavenly Bed, Shower, and Bath.-JasonD, Contributor

We stayed at the new ALT Hotel Toronto Pearson in September and were pleasantly surprised with this mid-priced airport hotel option. Good design, a gourmet grab-and-go food stand open 24/7, and a flight departures/arrivals kiosk in the lobby make this a welcome addition to Toronto Pearson. And at a steady-as-she-goes rate of $149/night -- no matter what time of year or whether single or double -- it can't be beat.-Janice Tober, Contributor

Bangkok is hardly an expensive town; heck, we've stayed at The Metropolitan (sister to The Metropolitan London) for only $80 a night, but the Novotel Bangkok Airport at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport is one splurge we'd do over and over again, from $160 per night. Not only is it attached to the terminal via walkway, but it operates one of those new-fangled "24 hour room" policies, meaning you check in whenever, and can check out anytime up to 24 hours later. We did a 9pm-9pm stay before a flight, and slept for about 14 hours of it while getting over jetlag. Oh, and there's totally a resort-style pool, too! -Cynthia Drescher, Contributing Editor

Nowhere have we had such excellent plane-spotting from a hotel room window as at the Regal Airport Hotelat Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok International Airport. Ask for a runway-facing room in this D-shaped hotel, and that's exactly what you get—one of the active runways of one of the world's busiest airports right outside. The windows are noise-proof (don't worry), but with 747s, A380s, and smaller planes of exotic airlines jetting in, you'll have your face pressed to the glass anyway. Bonus: the Regal is the only hotel attached to the airport terminal. -Cynthia Drescher, Contributing Editor

The antithesis of dreary airport hotels, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport has luxurious rooms and killer runway views. As much as we take TripAdvisor with a grain of salt, if 595 out of 619 reviews rate a hotel as either excellent or very good, they must be doing something right.-JasonD, Contributor

Everyone seems to get stuck at Frankfurt International Airport sometime. It's an inevitability that comes with international travel, but luckily the airport has a very new hotel that tops our list: the Hilton Garden Inn at The Squaire. Yes, we spelled "Squaire" correctly, as that's the name for the space-age-cool building connected to Frankfurt Airport. It houses offices, restaurants, a grocery store, an international high-speed train station, and two Hilton hotels. Having experienced both, we loved the Garden Inn over the regular Hilton because the prices are great, the WiFi is free, the rooms on the top floor are more likely to have airport views, and the overall feel of the place was much less "business-formal." -Cynthia Drescher, Contributing Editor

The original citizenM, now thankfully expanding to bring high style at affordable prices to a city near you, is at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Rooms aren’t big, but beds are – and between high thread-count sheets, a rain shower, food on the go 24/7, and a quick stroll to the terminal, this airport hotel hits all the right notes for us.-JasonD, Contributor

Speaking of European airports, Munich's Josef Strauss International Airport also has an airport hotel that makes us pleased as punch. It's the Novotel München Airport and though it's not as convenient as the on-airport Kempinski, we keep running into a fully booked Kempinski at $230+ per night, while the Novotel barely ever breaks 110 Euro and is only one stop away on the airport train. Bonus points for their offering a "business package" for 19 Euro that includes WiFi access and their sprawling breakfast buffet. Tip: take a long walk from the Novotel to the "Besucherpark" (visitor park), which sits between the hotel and the airport. It's an outdoor museum to aviation, with old aircraft like a Junkers Ju-52, a Lockheed Constellation, and a DC-3 parked right there. There's even an excellent restaurant (Tante Ju) and a hill to climb for views of the runways.-Cynthia Drescher, Contributing Editor

Have an airport hotel you love? Let us know where we should lay our jet-lagged heads in the comments below!

Comments (4)

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SFO

You should definately add the Inn at Oyster Point in South San Francisco (SFO) to your list.  It's an amazing small boutique hotel located just north of SFO in a bayfront park overlooking a marina.  It was completely renovated by a young interior designer that previously designed several Kimpton (Triton) and Joie de Vivre (Hotel Lincoln) hotels.  It's a great mix of Dorothy Draper inspired interiors with one-of-a-kind art; every room has a bay view, fireplace, and bay window.  The service levels are terrific; the Inn is one of the highest rated hotels on TripAdvisor in the entire Bay Area.  Highly recommended!

Couple of thoughts...

I'll agree to the convenience of the Novotel at BKK, although your writer neglects to mention that the wifi at this property (on repeated visits) is virtually nonexistent, and the hotel doesn't seem to care.

The Marriott Sky City at HKG is a quick shuttle ride, and has proper rooms with proper ceilings, a welcome upgrade over the Regal.

The Renaissance LAX is possibly the nicest airport hotel I've found, and is cheaper than it's sister Marriott.

In Detroit, the Westin is attached to the main terminal and brings blessed relief for overnight connections.


Sofitel surprise in Athens..

Have often stayed at the Sofitel, Athens Airport and am always most impressed with the restaurant on the top floor - KARAVI - amazingly good food and a great view of all the activity on the runways close by but without the noise, it has a surprisingly glamorous feel, even a sweet bar area for an apéritif. The rest of the hotel is pretty standard Sofitel and very comfortable too. To me the standard here is surprising for an airport hotel, so next time you're transiting through Athens, check out the restaurant.

Avni Kensington Hotel

Its a amazing resort soak in luxury and enjoy your dream romantic stay. Avni Kensington Hotel is the only airport hotel with direct access in Airport terminal. http://www.avnikensingtonhotel.co.uk/contactus.php

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