Airport Hotels That Will “Perk” Up Your Layovers

Faced with a long layover or early-morning flight? Exhausted and fidgety in an uncomfortable chair amid the constant commotion of a typical airport? Sure you can take refuge in your airline’s club lounge, around $50 per day if you’re not a member, but there’s a limit to how many snacks you can nibble on before the tedium sets in.

Fortunately there are other options for the weary and laid-over traveler, namely: the airport hotel. Long associated with itinerant business flyers in need of the basics, these properties offer a number of services and amenities specifically geared toward day travelers. And after a round of recent new builds and renovations, they’re doing it in style. Here are some of the top reasons to check out, or into, an airport hotel on your next layover.

Day passes aren’t just for club lounges. Airport hotels offer day room rates for travelers in need of a nap, gym time, or access to a business center for a more professional and quieter work setting. Day use rooms are available with major chains like Hilton, Hyatt and Westin, and can be accessed directly or booked through sites like Hotels By Day, Between 9 and 5, and, the latter advertising up to 75 percent off the overnight price. Rates of course vary, but to give an idea, the Hyatt Regency at Orlando International Airport offers day use rooms for $99, available from 10am to 6pm.

After a long, cramped flight, your muscles are often aching for some physical activity (which is also a remedy for jet lag). Airport hotels offer fitness options designed with the air traveler in mind, and often go above and beyond the typical hotel workout room. Many airport Hyatt’s offer 24/7 access to fitness centers, while others, like the Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport, let you book time with a personal trainer through a partnership with the app MobiPT.

Another great way to burn off travel stress is a dip in an airport hotel pool. Whether you put in some laps or lounge poolside with a book (and cocktail), you’ll be able forget all about your next connection, at least for a while. This is an especially attractive option for warm weather layovers, letting you pretend you’re on a micro-vacation. The outdoor pool at the Hilton Miami Airport comes surrounded by palm trees and a lagoon, while the rooftop pool at the Grand Hyatt DFW lets you watch planes take off as you swim.

If not a pool, then a full-service spa found at many airport hotels will help take the travel kinks out. Pop in for a quick foot massage or stay for a facial and a body wrap; all you need is a spare hour or two. The Westin Los Angeles Airport spa, open from 9am to 9pm, is just one of many airport properties with spa facilities available for travelers, offering a dose of pampering between flights.

You won’t lack for options when it comes to airport bars and restaurants these days. But to really escape the airport for a relaxing meal or cocktail, the airport hotel offers an unhurried refuge to enjoy your layover. The Westin Denver International Airport, for instance, features healthy “SuperFood” choices on the menu at its fine dining establishment Grill & Vine. While a few floors up, travelers can stop by the swanky Sky Bar Lounge for a Bourbon Rhubarb Smash, or some other handcrafted cocktail from the signature Westin brand.

If the chance to escape the bustle of the airport isn’t enough to seek out an airport hotel, maybe these travel perks will tip the scales. Besides free shuttle service or direct access to the terminal, airport hotels like the Hyatt Regency Orlando offer a baggage-retrieval service delivered directly to your room, as well as airline check-in counters. The Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport even goes so far as to provide guests with its own TSA security checkpoint.

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John Anderson

John Anderson

John Anderson is an award-winning journalist, travel writer and blogger based in San Jose, California. He has covered the meetings and hospitality industry extensively since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @jcax01

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