With the heightened focus on airport security over the past 10 years, ‘transit’ has taken a new meaning. Business travellers at the mercy of airline schedules, can find themselves having to fill anything from two to 10 hours between connecting flights. Spurred by this trend, the airport hotel has undergone a dramatic transformation in look, feel and function.
Many of the world’s major airports have hotel properties located next to them or in close proximity. However, the new airport hotel sits within the physical boundary of the airport. Connected or located adjacent to an airport terminal, it allows travellers to step directly from their arrivals gate, in some cases via immigration, into a different world.
The majority of these hotels are three-star properties that blend first-class amenities with convenience. In contrast to the old sterile airport hotels, these newer properties exude the local culture, beauty and style throughout their design. They acknowledge that they are providing the traveller’s first experience of a country. From room furnishings, to artwork, and even panoramic views or plane spotting advantages, the new airport hotel design immediately reminds the traveller of which country they are visiting.
Airport hotels offer excellent facilities for academics or business travellers who need to work, including in-room Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, business and conference facilities and ambient lobbies. Rooms are of a high quality with an emphasis on comfort and noise levels associated with airports are minimised through effective sound proofing.
According to Peter Hook, General Manager Communications at AccorHotels, the airport hotel product has changed dramatically and helped create a new market. “They are now meeting centres, places to enjoy fine dining and places to relax. Airport hotels have never been more popular because they offer so much more” he said. Mr Hook refers to Accor’s Sofitel London Heathrow, which provides direct access to Terminal 5 via a covered walkway and to Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4 via the courtesy Heathrow Express/Connect train. It offers the largest meeting capacity in the Heathrow area, as well as spa and relaxation facilities, a hair salon and an on-site car park with ‘Stay, Park & Fly’ packages.
The services and facilities offered by modern airport hotels around the world vary depending on the airport to which they are linked. For example,
In Singapore, the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport allows travellers to link to Terminal 3 via a cutting-edge bridge, while Terminals 1 and 2 are accessible by Skytrain. A distinguishing feature is the tropical resort hidden inside this hotel, with courtyard gardens and a landscaped pool area. Guests can host a tropical garden conference in any of the seven meeting rooms or ballroom.
In Europe, the Hilton Frankfurt Airport is situated directly above the InterCity Express (ICE) railway station with direct pedestrian access via skywalk to Terminal 1. Located in the iconic ‘The Square’ building, the hotel features 10 meeting rooms and a grand ballroom, a 24-hour business centre, 24-hour fitness centre, sauna, lounge and bar, and a restaurant. All guestrooms and suites feature soundproof windows, LCD TV and dedicated work space.
In Canada, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport is located 99 steps from the US departures terminal. Features include total soundproofing of guestrooms, a noise-free zone and ‘quiet rooms’ where there are no bellmen, housekeeping or room services to keep guests awake. The hotel also offers unique Learn to Fly packages in a motion simulator.
Sydney, the Mercure Sydney International Airport offers shuttle service going directly to domestic or international terminal, depending on where your next flight is departing from.
Choose convenience – As a business or leisure traveller, you’ll have access to an array of dining, meeting, leisure and accommodation facilities, just steps away from the terminal. You can use the Mercure Sydney International airport hotel almost like a more comfortable airport lounge, by checking in online and simply walk or jump in a shuttle bus to your gate an hour before departure.
Save time – With no need for on-the-ground travel, you’ll have more time to arrive for your next flight, and have your boarding pass printed and baggage checked. The refreshed airport hotel, will do this for you while also displaying departure/arrival boards.
Improve your productivity – You’ll get on with work in close proximity to the airport and the Sydney CBD.
Be inventive – With an ideal location and first-class facilities, the hotel can host formal or informal meetings and conferences, depending on your needs, the hotel offers 11 flexible meeting spaces and delicious catering.
Access easily to transport – By being connected to the terminals, the Mercure Sydney International Airport provides direct access to public transport with a short 5 minutes’ walk to Wolli Creek Station.
Relax between flights – As a busy traveller, you’ll just relax more easily and arrive refreshed and ready for any new adventure…
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