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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
The other day we singled out what might be our most favorite airport hotel yet. Having stayed in a few of them ourselves, we know a good airport hotel—straightforward, modern, clean, a place where we can lay low until our plane whisks us away—isn't always easy to find.
As it happens, Gatwick South Terminal in the UK is due for an exciting addition this fall with the opening of Bloc Hotel Gatwick. Last we heard from Bloc, they'd just opened their first-ever property in Birmingham, and the Japanese pod-inspired rooms have so far been a hit, with TripAdvisor reviewers praising the hotel's affordability, style, and helpful staff.
Just like before, the new 245-room Gatwick hotel will be tech-savvy (free WiFi, 32" HD TVs, Artemide ambient lighting) with chic Missoni-designed carpets, monsoon showers in Italian-tiled "wet rooms," and, of course, super affordable rates.
Oh, airport hotels… where to begin. For the majority, they're soulless, uninspiring and, well, next to airports. You'll get better views on the plane. Obviously, there's a number of awesome airport hotels out there but people rarely vacation there, so we never expect too much.
We have to admit, however, our views are changing lately! Recently, a HotelChatter pal had a layover at Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles International Airport. We went to meet him for a quick drink during his overnight stay and we were—dare we say it?—pleased with the hotel.
The coolest thing about Four Points by Sheraton LAX is its Brewster's Bar & Grill, which has a beer menu with more than 100 beers, many that are craft and microbrew. There is even a "beer-ologist" on site. I mean, really?? We're hard pressed to find that in Hollywood alone.
Airport Hotels / Aloft Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Photo Galleries / Free WiFi / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
Yeah, we know: airport hotels are little more than a necessary evil.
Whether it's a delayed flight, a layover, a late arrival or a god-awful early departure the next day, our reasons for staying in one rarely involve the word fun. Or even "nice."
Imagine our relief then, when we arrived at the Aloft Phoenix Airport recently—after midnight, tired and cranky—and were rewarded with something closer to a city boutique hotel experience.
Check-in was fast and simple, and the front-desk guy made sure to tell us about the free WiFi. Bless.
Click through our gallery to check out our room and you'll understand why we wish we were staying longer than eight hours.
Airport Hotels / Hotel Openings / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Canada Hotels / Alberta Hotels / → All Tags
Edmonton’s set to get its first Renaissance Hotel this summer (the first in Alberta, as it turns out). The new 213-room hotel will open at the recently-expanded Edmonton International Airport. As the only hotel attached to the airport terminal, this is good news for those of you who find a bed more comfortable than your airport chair.
The hotel was originally scheduled to be a Courtyard by Marriot property before that was kyboshed and it was decided to make the property the more boutique-like upscale Renaissance. The owners felt that the new airport terminal was so modern that the Renaissance was a better fit with the airport re-do.
Airport Hotels / Toronto Hotels / Ontario Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Canada Hotels / Groupe Germain / → All Tags
We had the chance to stay at the new ALT Hotel Toronto Pearson, owned by Canadian boutique hoteliers, Groupe Germain and, we gotta tell ya, this hotel-in-a-box is stylin’!
Back in April we reported Groupe Germain planned to open several ALT Hotels across Canada, and Toronto is the first up. The ALT Hotel business model is to maximize style while keeping costs down by minimizing superfluous services and prefabricating the hotel rooms – sort of like how cruise ships are built (ergo, hotel-in-a-box!). What this means is that you can get a hotel room for a very reasonable price, that is always the same, no matter what day of the week or what time of the year.
Knowing all of this, we were still pleasantly surprised that the 153-room hotel is so well-designed. When you enter, you'll first notice the eye-catching video wall. Made up of photos and LCD screens, this ever-changing mural is comprised of photos submitted via Instagram.
Although hotels have offered hourly and day rates for years under their breath, they're really beginning to push them in hopes of capitalizing on the increasing demand for a few hours of respite in between flights and meetings.
This might be causing headaches for hotel employees (i.e. room turnovers), but upper management is no doubt excited at the possibilities for increased revenue.
"Usually, between 11am and 5pm our guestrooms are empty," Michael Benjamins, the senior sales manager at the Town Hall Hotel, told CNN. "If we have one guest that wants to come for the day, and another who has a late check-in, we can use that room twice."
Holiday travel will soon get underway and we've been seeing some pretty hefty price tags for Manhattan hotels. Luckily there are a few options to consider, one of them is the new Hotel De Point, just three miles from LaGuardia Airport. We told you about this hotel in June, and now it's finally open and through the fall period, the hotel is touting starting rates of just $139 per night.
The 114-room hotel falls in the eco-conscious category with solar power features, energy management systems, high-efficiency showerheads, as well as 100% organic bath amenities. Still, this isn't some crunchy granola yurt operation. Italian marble floors and leather couches grace the lobby and rooms have 46-inch flat screen tv's, self-closing drawers, and come with free WiFi.
Even after the holidays are over, keep the Hotel De Point on your radar for next year, given its location near Flushing Meadows. It's a great base for those attending Mets games and the U.S. Open, and is in walking distance of restaurants, shops, and nightlife. Plus, by next year it will hopefully have its spa, fitness center and swimming pool in place.
Plus, not only are you getting a great deal on the hotel, it's part of the Ascend Hotel Collection, the membership program from Choice Hotels International, so you'll earn points for your stay. We'll call that a double hitter.
Tired of waiting in line at the airport, en route to your hotel?
Good thing the folks at The Mark have taken the initiative to start providing a dedicated airport concierge to help guests navigate the unsavory experience of landing in—and departing from—JFK, La Guardia and Newark.
From the moment they arrive, guests will be greeted at the gate, escorted through immigration, assisted with luggage, and whisked off to a waiting car. Not bad! Kind of makes us think of the way celebs get to travel, minus all the paparazzi.
Though if you assumed the VIP service came gratis, think again. The hotel is currently charging $400 per couple, though the good news is you don't need to go crazy planning ahead. If the need arises, simply call the hotel on the day of your flight, and they'll arrange for an airport concierge to be there waiting.
Today, for the first time in 40 years, Newark has a new hotel—the Courtyard Newark Downtown. Don’t roll your eyes! This is good news for several reasons. First, for those who have to, for whatever reason, fly out of Newark and also must stay overnight in the area, there's now a brand-spanking new option in a place where the selection has become a quality crap shoot.
This property is four miles from the airport (there's a free shuttle), plus it's within walking distance of Newark Penn Station, so if you can’t afford NYC hotel rates, bingo—you’ve got a friend in Newark and it’s only a short train ride away.
The 150-room hotel is owned by Tucker Development and Robert Finvarb Companies, but managed by Marriott International, so the well-known amenities and points are in place, but there are more in case you haven’t checked out a Courtyard in a minute. At this outpost the traditional front desk experience has been abandoned in favor of the more au currant boutique hotel method with individual welcome kiosks for a personal and private check-in experience.
Free WiFi and a business library with complimentary computers and a printer gets a thumbs up, as well as the Courtyard’s GoBoard 4.0, which dispenses local info such as maps, weather, news, and even flight information on a 55-inch LCD touch screen. It has mobile integration so guests can send the info directly to their smart phones! And, guests can dine and get Starbucks coffee at The Bistro, as well as get snacks and must-haves 24/7 from The Market.
Hotel News / Element Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Germany Hotels / Frankfurt Hotels / Eco-Friendly Hotels / Airport Hotels / → All Tags
Is Europe ready to balance itself out?
This week it was announced that Element, the brand that once gave out free rooms to guests who showed up with recyclable plastic bottles, is finally making the move across the pond. Starting with...Frankfurt, Germany. Though from the sound of it, Starwood is just scratching the surface, as it plans to embark on a full-blown European expansion of the eco-conscious brand.
Hope those Germans have a soft spot for smoothie stations and healthy breakfast wraps!
Airport Hotels / Hong Kong Hotels / Regal Hotels / Hotels for Plane Spotting / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Airport hotels get a pretty bad rap. Sure, there are the greasy, grimy ones, but we like to think that for every one of those, there's a perfectly clean business-friendly oneor, even better, an airport hotel with the luxury of an airport view.
All this week we've looked at a few of our favorite hotels for plane spotting.
Here's our final pick:
The Regal Hotel at Hong Kong International Airport.
If, for some reason, you can only give yourself to one airport hotel, then by god let it be the Regal at HKG. All of the previous hotels for plane spotting have nothing on the Regal, which sits right alongside one of the major runways. All that separates you from planes of exotic airlines taking off and landing is a street and a low, thin building.