This blog post was updated on July 26, 2021.
With an early morning flight out of Munich back to the United States, I decided to go with the convenience of the airport hotel rather than something in the city center. I could take the train into town for dinner and still wake up in the morning without having to worry too much about my travel time to the airport. The airport hotel can be convenient for those long layovers or early morning flights. However, not all of these hotels are created equally. Before you book that rollaway after touching down on the runway, make sure that your airport hotel offers these essentials.
A direct connection to the airport: In Munch, the terminal was right outside the hotel lobby. I didn’t have to worry about how I would reach the hotel and how I would reach the airport for my flight. Your airport hotel should either be within walking distance to the airport or the hotel should provide a shuttle for you to reach the hotel. We stay in these properties because we don’t have a rental car and don’t want to spend time navigating to a hotel when we don’t have the time. It is essential that your airport hotel either directly connects to the airport or at least provides a shuttle to and from the terminal.
A day rate incase of a long day layover: When I had a long layover in New York, I was desperate for a day rate from one of the neighboring airport hotels to rest up all day after a red eye and before a long flight to Europe at night. I called around to several hotels only to get a few laughs and confusion on the other end. They had no idea what I was talking about. However, there are many airport hotels that do offer a day rate where you can pay a price for staying the day. I would have gladly paid this price rather than spending the whole day sitting on my suitcase for 13 hours. If you are looking for a hot shower and a place to nap other than inside the airport terminal, ask around to see if any of the airport hotels offer this essential.
A business center: More often than not, you will find yourself at the airport hotel because of a flight the next day. You will want to make certain that your airport hotel has a business center for tying up loose ends before taking to the skies on long flights. With a business center, you can print your boarding pass right on site and not have to worry about the rest in the morning.
A swimming pool or a gym: You will probably find yourself at the airport hotel after a long flight or in preparation for a long flight. The last thing you should be doing is sitting before your flight where you will be sitting for hours on end. One airport hotel essential to look for is a swimming pool or some sort of gym space where you can run or swim around before getting on a plane again.
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