Even if the planet was disintegrating around us people would still use air travel to get around the globe, whether they’re wannabe tree-huggers or global warming naysayers. For all its faults environmentally, flying remains the quickest way to travel, and in some parts of the world is the only option to cover long distances where public transport is practically non-existent. So, instead of telling people to stay at home – which they won’t – it’s better to provide greener travel options so they can do their bit for the environment should they want to. This means staying in smaller hotels, where there’s often a slant towards the personal touch, or large hotels that have worked hard to incorporate environmental practices.
And because so many long-distance flights entail a stopover, it seems only right to take a look at the flurry of airport hotels catering to the weary traveler. Here are our top seven of hip airport hotels from around the globe:
It’s a well known fact that space is precious in London, and those who know how use every teeny, weeny orifice they can find, so it’s no surprise to see a hotel for hobbitses in the metropolitan area. Inspired by British Airways’ first-class suites and the boxy Japanese pod hotels, Yotel Gatwick is the brainchild of Simon Woordroffe, founder of the Japanese fast-food sushi chain YoSushi, and unlike many of the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin Asian sleep pods, Yotel is a designers dream.
Yotel bunks, Gatwick, London
Designed by exclusive company Conran & Partners, the rooms are small but perfectly functional with a shower room and toilet, though claustrophobia sufferers may want to opt for the premium cabin where there’s slightly more room – well, you can at least get the cat in there, not sure about the swinging of it though.
Taking North America by storm, Aloft are a new breed of budget luxury hotels from Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The high-design/low-cost brand of hotels offer a new, contemporary take on the average airport hotel. Swathed in vibrant colors throughout, Aloft hotels veer away from the usual corporate beige coloring of so many other airport hotels, making a stay there seem not so banal.
Twin room, Aloft Hotel, Denver International Airport, Colorado
Check out the interactive menu in the lobby restaurant or have a relaxing game of pool in the lounge before bedding down for the night. Doubles from $189, room only. A number of hotels are dotted across North America with one also in Beijing.
Plush pool at Plush Hotel, Bristol Airport, England
Nestled in the Somerset countryside, just over a mile from the airport, Plush is a small, independently-run boutique hotel that’s built up a loyal fan-base of customers over the years. Each room is luxuriously and uniquely decorated and offers guests the chance to unwind in the most beautiful setting overlooking the Mendip Hills.
Plush bed at Plush Hotel, Bristol Airport, England
Prices vary according to which room is preferred and whether airport parking is included. A seven day airport package, which includes one night’s stay and seven days parking in the hotel’s exclusive airport car park, costs £129 ($182) per room.
Here’s another plane hotel, well, half a plane. There’s not much information available about it but of what we can find it looks set to join the cool ranks of airport hotels. Located in Tirana, Albania, the hotel is on the road to the north of the airport, next to an existing hotel that is reported to be more Dallas than Dracula. This new quirky pit stop was set to open in late 2008, so if you’re heading that way, take some pics and tell us more. No prices as yet.