AIRPORT HOTELS GET COOL
It’s been a long time coming, but airport hotels are finally on the up – and about time, too. Be it for an early flight or a layover, there’s a whole host of travellers looking for somewhere great to stay – and so far, the demand hasn’t quite been reached. But places like the super-trendy Naumi in Auckland are trouncing the bland, generic hotels we’re used to at airports and offering the traveller a new experience.
Naumi (pronounced ‘now-me’) is a brand that’s opening hotels at a rate of knots; its latest has been a very welcome addition to Auckland Airport – not to mention one with serious style. As well as a buzzing, open-plan lounge and bar area complete with neon signs and an art theme throughout, there’s also beautifully designed bedrooms, with Grohe rainshowers and freestanding tubs to soak away the jetlag. To up the zen even further, there’s yoga mats in the bedrooms, while location-wise, the Villa Maria Wine Estate is right on the doorstep.
It’s not just Naumi that have cottoned on: CitizenM have opened up in Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, offering a generally great, relaxed space to hang out in before you jet off. Looking more like a Vitra showroom, the restaurant and bar are helpfully open 24 hours a day, and the hotel is full of Julian Opie artwork.
Over in British Columbia, Fairmont Airport Hotel in Vancouver is entirely soundproofed, and has tucked a string of awards under its belt. There’s plenty on offer for guests here, too: think live music seven nights a week; a spa with an indoor pool and over 120 different treatments to choose from; plus a daily afternoon tea overlooking the runways with the North Shore Mountains in the backdrop.
A quirky addition to the private airport set is Aviator over in Surrey’s Farnborough. Owned by the TAG Group, its Sky Suites have all leather chairs, huge bath tubs and Missoni blankets. Guests can take their pick from one of the hotel’s two private dining rooms, or the SkyBar, which shakes up signature cocktails.
Bring on brilliant airport hotels, we say. Hoteliers are missing a trick with a travel audience that hasn’t quite been tapped into – but these places are leading the way. Long may it continue.