Never stay at crummy airport hotels ever again
Some savvy travellers are booking five-star retreats that are almost as convenient. They’re located close enough to the airport to work for long layovers, early departures, brief business meetings, and international rendezvous.travel Updated: Nov 13, 2018 16:30 IST
A few years ago, producer Christina Wayne decided to close out a trip to Rome by spending a night at La Posta Vecchia, a Renaissance villa once owned by John Paul Getty that features marble staircases,stone fireplaces, and silk drapes thatframe views of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Its best amenity, though,is that it’s an easy ride fromLeonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport. “Our flight out was very early,” says Wayne, chief executive officerof Assembly Entertainment. She chose La Posta Vecchia as a high-endalternative to an airport hotel, a move thatpaid off handsomelywhen she learned her flight had been cancelled.“We wound up having to stay the weekend,” she says. “It was glorious!”
Airport hotels - those properties in or next to an airport that cater specifically to people in transit - have upped their game in recent years. The Fairmont Vancouver Airport, which sitsdirectly above the U.S. departures terminal, has a soundproofed spa and serves afternoon tea. Adjacent to theDenver International Airport’sJeppesen Terminalis a Westinthatoffers mountain views and a rooftop pool. Next year, the TWA Hotelwill debut in the Eero Saarinen-designed terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to provideretro-styled relief to tired travellers.
But for the most part, airport hotels feel like utilitarian sleep boxes; even the best have a you-could-be-anywhere vibe. They’re great if you have a four-hour layover and just need a shower and some shut-eye, but if you’re staying longer, they’re not the only option.
Some savvy travellers are booking five-star retreats that are almost as convenient. They’re located close enough to the airport to work for long layovers, early departures, brief business meetings, and international rendezvous, butbecause they’re designed as destinations rather than stopgap lodging, they offer distinctive design, memorable meals, and even some serious leisure activities.
At the new Solis Two Porsche Drive near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, guests can learn to drive sports cars. The Westdrift Manhattan Beach, 10 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport, has a nine-hole golf course. Farther afield, at theRoseate House New Delhi, a five-minute drive from Indira Gandhi International Airport, you can wander in acres of gardens or take a dip in the 100-metre swimming pool.
While these hotels may not be within walking distance from the luggage carousels,they don’t require a trek downtown. Since many airports are located in outlying areas, an open-minded travellercan find a country property with lots of character. In the U.K. are grand estates-turned-resorts;in France, it’s manors and country inns.
In less cosmopolitan areas, the options can be even more rewarding: Consider the Umstead Hotel and Spa, just a seven-minute drive from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, where you can get 24-hour room serviceinstead of a bowl of bagels. At thesevenproperties below, all fewerthan 20 minutes from a terminal, you’ll be praying for a flight delay.
Westdrift Manhattan Beach Distance: A 10-minute taxi from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)Instead of battling the city’s notoriously tangled downtown traffic, head toward the beach. Though it’s not directly on the ocean, the Westdrift has a laid-back, modern feel—like West Elm, in a good way. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, a crossfit-inspired gym,and an indoor-outdoor restaurant. From $185 a night
Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas Distance: Ten minutes fromDallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)True to Texas stereotype, this resort does it big. Spread over 400 acres, it has three swimming pools, two golf courses, indoor and outdoor running tracks, and a sandy beach - all just minutes fromthe airport. If you get in late, there’s 24-hour room service. And if you haven’t had enough time in the air, you can sign up for an aerial yoga lesson. From $455 a night
Coworth Park Distance: A 20-minute drivefrom Heathrow Airport (LHR)Though it might not be obvious to the just-passing-through, Heathrow is set in a posh part of the English countryside—Windsor Castle is just 20 minutes away. So is theDorchester Collection’s Coworth Park,an elegant Georgian estate set in 240 acres of parkland near Ascot. (For speedier access, the property also has its own helipad.) Instead of a departures board, you’ll find smoked-oak floors, a spa, three restaurants, and even a polo field. From about $540 a night
Lansdowne Resort and Spa Distance: A 15-minute trip from Dulles International Airport (IAD)You don’t have to choose between a chain hotel or a 45-minute slog to downtown Washington. At Lansdowne, which overlooksthe Potomac River, you can book a treatment in the 12,000-square-foot spa or hike one of the trails windingthrough the 476-acre property. Deluxe suites from $569a night
Solis Two Porsche Drive Distance: Five minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)Go from the airport to the racetrack in 300 seconds flat. The year-old Solis overlooks the Porsche Experience Center at the carmaker’s North America’s headquarters. Guests can watch the action from the rooftop or partake in it, choosing from a fleet of dozens of vehicles and learning from an expert “drive coach.”There’s also an indoor swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness centre, and an airport shuttle every 30 minutes. From $179 a night
Roseate House New Delhi Distance: Five minutes from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) Delhi’s airport has not one but several five-star hotels nearby - including a JW Marriott, an Andaz, and the distinctive Roseate House. The property has a striking contemporary design, a rooftop infinity pool, a full-service spa, four drinking and dining venues, and its own theatre on 1.8 acres.From about $105 a night
First Published: Nov 13, 2018 16:29 IST