Five of the world's best airport hotels

By David Flynn, July 6 2011
Five of the world's best airport hotels

Whether your flight is arriving late at night or you’re got an early morning wheels-up, the convenience of an airport hotel lets you spend less time rushing and more time relaxing. Here's are five of the world’s top airport hotels for the frequent flyer set.

Regal Airport Hotel, Hong Kong

A perennial award winner among airport hotels, The Regal is a haven for any Hong Kong stopover when you’re heading on to Europe the next morning.

Adjacent to the airport and accessible through an air-conditioned walkway, you can be checked in within five minutes of collecting your bags.

The Regal’s soothing OM Spa is open through to 11pm but we suggest you book through the hotel in advance, as the evening slots tend to fill up quickly with other late-arrival passengers.

Got a bit more energy to burn? The gym is open around the clock with a swipe of your room key.

Crowne Plaza Hotel Changi Airport, Singapore

Any visitor to Singapore couldn’t fail to miss the extraordinary cut-away design of the Crowne Plaza Hotel adjacent to Changi Airport, which we rated as "the ideal airport hotel" in our review of the hotel.

Singapore-based architectural firm WOHA steered the Crowne Plaza away from the traditional tenants of an airport to make it more of a chic upscale urban resort.

Covered walkways link the hotel to Changi Terminal 3, where you can catch the airport’s ‘automated people mover’ light rail loop system to Terminals 1 and 2.

To recover from your flight, hit the tropical pool which weaves around landscaped mini-islands or sign up for the spa’s ‘jet-lag reflexology’ treatment. You can also borrow an iPod that’s preloaded with a variety of soothing tunes.

Langham Place, Beijing Capital Airport

The squat box-like shape of Langham Place seems at odds with a brand renowned for its style and playful sense of design, doubly so when it sits against the eye-catching Terminal 3 designed by Sir Norman Foster.

That all changes once you step into the lobby and discover what Langham calls the world’s first ‘lifestyle airport hotel’.

A travel-savvy Langham touch is the the ‘Club L’ lounge, open 24 hours and split into four separate areas. Revitalise is for freshening up after a long flight, while  Replay lets you wind down with a pool table and Playstation 3 consoles.

Massage chairs litter the quiet Relax zone, and you can Refuel at the bar and buffet – very handy when jetlag sends your meal times out of whack.

The Novotel, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport 

While not a name you’d usually associate with hotel luxe, this Novotel attached to Bangkok’s busy international airpot gets a nod for its innovative and flexible approach to bookings.

Each room is yours for a full 24 hours starting when you arrive, rather than locking you into the standard 2pm checkout.

It's a sensible move for any airport hotel, particularly one in a transit hub like Bangkok where flights arrive and depart 24/7. 

And it's an especially good option for passengers on evening flights from Australian airports, which arrive in Bangkok in the wee hours of the morning, when getting into the city is a pain and many city hotels only have a skeleton night crew on duty.

Sofitel Heathrow, London Heathrow Airport

An airport isn’t where you might expect to find a luxury hotel, but the Sofitel doesn’t trade comfort or five-star cred for convenience. 

Perched alongside Terminal 5, the Sofitel Heathrow is good for a stopover the night before you depart if you’ve got a flight the next morning – such as catching Qantas' QF32 from London back to Sydney, because even with QF32’s noon departure you want to be at the airport absolutely no later than 10am.

That means enjoying a little extra sleep in the Sofitel’s surprisingly quiet rooms, have a decent breakfast at a civilised hour and strolling straight up to the T5 checkin counter with time to spare.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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