Early flights, delayed flights, cancelled flights and lay overs; they’re all equally as unpleasant but they don’t have to be a disaster. In situations such as these airport hotels are a lifesaver and provide a place to freshen up, have a snooze or just have some quiet time and one I really rate is Yotel. Situated in Gatwick, Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol with another in New York City, the hotel is a fairly new concept and revolves around the design and idea of first class airline travel with a touch of Japanese influence.
I stayed at Yotel Gatwick the night before an early flight to Lisbon and can’t speak more highly of it. I arrived at around 8pm and was welcomed by a really friendly happy chappy called Milan from Holland who couldn’t do enough to make me feel at home and pleased to be there. He explained the concept, the super-fast free WiFi, asked if I needed any extra items such as a hairdryer, blanket, alarm clock or ear plugs, then sent me on my way.
I stayed in a standard cabin and although Milan had mentioned the rooms are smaller than the average hotel I was taken aback with how compact it actually was. Once inside though and settled in it completely didn’t bother me and I enjoyed working out how they managed to put everything into a confined space without it feeling claustrophobic or squished.
The bed seemed slightly bigger than a single and was so comfortable I could have stayed in it all day. Parallel to the bed and on the other side of the cabin was the bathroom. It had a powerful monsoon shower, toilet and sink and was behind a glass wall which, in addition to the size of the cabin, definitely makes a standard cabin suitable for only one guest or there’d be a lot of this action going on.
I don’t like small spaces at all but I didn’t ever feel claustrophobic during my stay and that’s including when Laura arrived and we shared a bottle of pre-press trip wine. The room and hotel were completely sufficient and more than what I was expecting in terms of amenities. Although the cabins are small and Yotel Gatwick is an airport hotel it still has all the essentials to keep travellers happy including wine, spirits, snacks, meals and free WiFi as well as comforts like big fluffy towels and wash kits.
Cabins can be booked for overnight stays or just a few hours depending on your needs. Prices start at a really reasonable £32 for four hours and I wouldn’t hesitate at all booking a cabin at Yotel again. The welcome was just that, welcoming and genuine, the bed was amazingly snug and cosy, and the bathroom clean. And as the hotel is inside the south terminal it’s seconds away from the departure gates and only a short ride from Gatwick North Terminal.
There’s no need to ever feel stranded or tired while travelling with long layovers, early morning, delayed or cancelled flights. Yotel has everything needed to freshen up and feel human again (apart from clean knickers, you need to bring them yourself) and regular travellers will know places like Yotel and that magical first shower and change into clean clothes after a long flight are a godsend.
(I was a guest of Yotel)