Sometimes travel can be tiresome, especially if you have a late arriving or early departing flight.
If you have ever been to airports at silly o’clock, you’ve probably noticed a fair few travellers curled up on an airport bench, clutching their bags and using hoodies as pillows.
Not the most comfortable of sleeps, but needs must in some situations.
In fact, I had the unfortunate experience of sleeping at London Gatwick Airport many years ago, when a severely delayed flight meant that my sister and I missed our last train home, and had to wait until 6am for the next one.
This resulted in us sleeping on a bench outside the air shuttle train area for 4 hours. I say sleep, but that didn’t happen really. It was a disturbed few hours with constant nosies from announcements and bright lights, as well as my own worries that someone would pinch our belongings.
The hotel industry has developed since then, and now caters for travellers that just need a bed for a short stay.
When I was in transit in Singapore a few years ago, I booked a bed in a transit hotel for 4 hours to get some shut eye. It was perfect for helping me deal with the next 12 hour leg of my journey.
Recently, I got the chance to experience the latest phenomena of hotel type. The POD or capsule hotel, is a concept from Japan.
The idea is that you have a room with the bare essentials in order to sleep for a set period of time. In Japan though, these pods can be really tiny, and only include a bed.
If you are in need of a hotel stay for a short period, but don’t wish to cram into a tiny space, then Yotel could be what you need.
What is Yotel?
Yotel is a hotel brand operating in 7 cities around the World, from New York to London, to Singapore, with an 8th on the way. Just over half these operate out of airports, and are known as YotelAir.
Their concept is very much based on these Japanese capsule hotels, whereby you get a hotel with an en-suite bathroom, and enough essentials to help you rest enough to continue your travel.
Where is Yotel at Gatwick?
YotelAir LGW is based at the south terminal of Gatwick airport which is conveniently located as you exit arrivals in the main concourse.
A lift will take you to street level, under the main airport, and you’ll arrive into what looks like the entrance to a space ship.
Check in at mission control
Its purple mood lighting is warm and inviting, and you are greeted by friendly staff members at mission control (reception)
After check in, you’ll be given a bottle of water and any other essentials you may need, such as a hair dryer or alarm clock.
Mission control is open 24/7, and there is always a staff member on hand to provide help and support.
Free super fast WiFi is offered throughout the hotel, and is easy to connect to.
Being located in the terminal building, there are a number of options for food a drink. Costa coffee is right above Yotel, as well as a variety of restaurants. However, Yotel also provide food and drink options too.
You can have unlimited free tea/coffee 24/7 as well as a selection of food options from breakfast to a thai curry or pizza, and all at affordable prices.
On arrival to the room, I was surprised by how much space there was. The futon bed was sat upright, with a large storage space underneath for all your luggage. There was also an area with hangers to hang up clothes, as well as a bedside shelf and built in TV, with charging points for all your electronics, including USB outlets.
There is also a fold out table and chair, should you need to do any business whilst there .
The bathroom was neatly beside the bed, with curtains which drew across the sliding glass door and window.
Inside was a spacious wet room, with intensely powerful monsoon style shower. Large fluffy towels, shower gel and shampoo was also included – what more could you ask for?
When it came to sleeping, the bed folded out by the press of a button on a control panel. This panel also controlled the lights in the room, which could be changed from the mood lighting, to brighter and more functional lighting.
Blinds pulled down over the window, which made the room pitch black and perfect for sleeping.
The mattress was extremely comfortable and the bed had a feather duvet, which made it feel like you were sleeping on a cloud.
After a good nights sleep, you can get up, shower and walk straight across to check in, making an early morning, or connecting flight much easier to deal with.
As of October 2017, cabins are priced from £37 for a 4 hour stay or £62 for overnight (standard cabin) or £49/£85 for a premium cabin.
I loved my stay at YotelAir Gatwick. It catered for my needs well, and its location meant that an early start, wasn’t so early. It allowedme to feel rested and ready to explore my next destination.
*YotelAir provided me with a premium cabin for the night in exchange for sharing this blog with you. As always, all opinions are my own.