When I booked an early morning flight from London to Kuala Lumpur, I realised I would be sleeping in Heathrow Terminal 4 for the night. Step in Yotel, with trendy purple cabins available from 4 to 24 hours…
I’ve slept in lots of airports over the last few years and it’s definitely not a comfortable experience. Hard floors, cold air conditioning, awkward metal benches, cleaners waking you up in the middle of the night, pay-as-you-go WiFi and plug sockets nowhere to be seen…it’s definitely not the most glamorous part of what I do.
With that in mind, I prefer not to book early morning flights if I can help it. If public transport isn’t running I’m faced with the choice of an expensive taxi to the airport, or simply sleeping at the airport overnight. I tend to choose the latter.
Airport hotels can be rather expensive and they aren’t always located close to the airport, so you have to catch a shuttle bus to the terminal. I don’t need a fancy hotel room, just somewhere comfortable to get a few hours sleep and freshen up.
That’s what makes Yotel a perfect alternative.
When I realized I had an 8am flight out of London Heathrow Terminal 4 for my Southeast Asia trip, I faced a dilemma. I needed check-in around 5am, and since I live in Manchester, that meant I would definitely have to get the train down to London the day before and stay overnight somewhere.
I could have booked accommodation in Central London, but then I would face the issue of getting to the airport early in the morning. I didn’t fancy an uncomfortable night’s sleep on the airport benches before a long-haul flight, so I decided a hotel at/near Heathrow would be the best option.
Yotel Heathrow Airport seemed like the perfect solution. It is located INSIDE Heathrow Terminal 4 so I could literally roll out of bed and check-in for my flight to Kuala Lumpur. No hotel shuttle buses, no hassle of getting to Heathrow by public transport from Central London. And I could get a few hours extra sleep instead of waking up at the crack of dawn!
The best feature of Yotel is that you have the flexibility to book cabins by the hour, and you can choose your check-in and check-out times. So if you only have four hours to kill, you can just book four hours in one of their rooms!
The Yotel Experience
It was the most relaxing to start my journey. The evening before my flight I took the tube to Heathrow Terminal 4 and walked straight inside the terminal to check into my room at the Yotel. The following morning I woke up feeling relaxed and refreshed, and I was already inside the airport so I was just a stone’s throw from departures.
I really can’t speak more highly of Yotel. The rooms are designed a bit like First Cass airline cabins- they may be compact in size, but they have all the amenities you could ever need.
You get complimentary tea and coffee round the clock, which is fantastic value considering how much I few coffees would cost in one of the airport cafes. There’s FREE Wi-Fi too, so I was able to do some work on my laptop and make a few phone calls over Skype.
My room was divided into two areas by a shower screen screen, with a comfy capsule-style bed and flat screen TV on one side, and the bathroom on the other.
There was a ‘technowall’ for charging electronics, which featured both European and English plug sockets- very useful if you don’t have a UK adaptor. The ledge above it had a ‘To Go’ menu with a list of food and drinks I could order to the cabin if I was feeling a little peckish. Above it was a large mirror and a coat hanger for clothes, and below there was a foldout table, should I have wanted to dine in my room.
The thing I was looking forward to the most was the incredible monsoon shower. Waking up to a hot shower with good pressure was the best way to start the day. I also borrowed a hairdryer from reception free of charge so I could style my hair!
All in all I was very impressed with the Yotel and would definitely stay there again should I have another early morning flight out of Heathrow. I found I didn’t even want to sleep because I wanted to enjoy the Yotel experience! It may not be for everyone- particularly if you get claustrophobic or you want to be able to look out of a window- but it served all my needs before my long journey to Southeast Asia.
You can book a cabin for a minimum of 4 hours at Yotel.com. Yotel is available in New York City, London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol.