Airport hotels can be pretty grim and more often than not we opt for the cheapest and most convenient option.
But there are some decent ones dotted around the UK – and we went to check them out.
Here’s everything you need to know about where to rest your head before you catch a flight…
Gatwick North Premier Inn Hotel is one to ‘steer clear of’, says the Daily Mail’s Thomas W. Hodgkinson
Price and location: From £122; two-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: There’s nothing premier about this inn. It has the decor of a Happy Eater. When I asked to see a room, the receptionist said this was forbidden owing to health and safety concerns. I asked what the reason was for this. He replied: ‘I just told you.’
Verdict: Steer clear of this one. 1/5
Sofitel at Heathrow Terminal 5 has a ‘little more soul’. Thomas gave it a glowing 5/5 rating
Price and location: From £162; two-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: Better than the Sofitel at Heathrow Terminal 5: a little less shiny, a little more soulful. With a preponderance of wooden surfaces, the room is like a cabin in a high-end yacht. It offers 24-hour room service, and the concierge is a sweetheart.
Verdict: Ooh, I say. 5/5
Price and location: From £109; two-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: The enormous lobby and bar is quite something, complete with a 50 ft tower made of wine bottles. Rooms are functional, cleverly put together and include baths. Two restaurants serve excellent British and American cuisine. It’s classy.
Verdict: Quite a sight. 4/5
Hampton by Hilton
Price and location: From £98; four-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: Sadly, this suffers from ‘hotel decor syndrome’: lime green chairs in the lobby; a strange tessellation of black, grey and white tiles in the bathroom. Otherwise an adequate service.
Verdict: Needs an overhaul. 2/5
Price and location: From £105; in the terminal.
What it’s like: It has tiny, cabin-style rooms. There’s the Oriel Restaurant for supper, just up the stairs, but you can order a snack from reception, too. You’ll also get complimentary earplugs for uninterrupted sleep.
Verdict: Everything you need, and nothing else. 3/5
Price and location: From £100; three-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: This smart hotel only opened in October. It has 24-hour room service — an efficient operation — and I was impressed by the towel origami on the bed. But be warned: a coffee in the lobby set me back an outrageous £6.19.
Verdict: Worth it for the towel origami alone. 4/5
Holiday Inn Express
Price and location: From £77; three-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: This is housed in the same building as the Crowne Plaza and is owned by the same people. It’s just not as nice. The room decor is pretty bland, but at least you can eat in its sister hotel’s excellent restaurant.
Verdict: A way to piggy-back on the Crowne Plaza’s facilities. 3/5
Bloc at Gatwick South is an ‘excellent option’ with its small rooms and rain showers in the bathrooms
Price and location: From £98; in the terminal.
What it’s like: Bloc is cheaper than most as it offers only rooms. There’s no restaurant or bar, but as it’s in the terminal that doesn’t matter. The rooms are small, but nice, with a satisfying rain shower in the bathroom. An excellent option.
Verdict: The future of airport hotels. Possibly. 4/5
Compact chic: Yotel Hotel at Gatwick South is ‘small but perfectly formed’. The rooms are priced from £135 and are designed to resemble aircraft cabins
Price and location: From £135; in the terminal.
What it’s like: As at Heathrow, this Yotel’s small rooms are designed to resemble aircraft cabins. There are no windows, but it’s perfect for crashing in. And you can treat the rest of the airport as your hotel.
Verdict: Yotels are small, but perfectly formed. 3/5
Price and location: From £88; four-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: The staff are pleasant and there was a judiciously chosen Matisse print on my wall, but the furnishings were pretty tired. It’s set to get an overhaul this month, so when refurbishments are finished it may be a better option. If you have an early start, they’ll make you a packed breakfast — a nice touch.
Verdict: Hang fire. 2/5
Hampton by Hilton
Price and location: Costs from £113; five-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: Outside, bunny rabbits munch the grass beside (incongruously) a Spitfire aircraft. This new hotel prides itself on being the only one here ‘on airport land’. The rooms are decent, with huge TVs. There’s no room service, but they’ll do you a packed breakfast if you have an early start.
Verdict: There wasn’t much wrong with this. 3/5
Hotel Moxy at Edinburgh Airport has a quirky lobby featuring a large photo of Andy Warhol and a pinball machine
Price and location: From £88; six-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: Airport hotels don’t come much cooler than the Moxy at Edinburgh. As a nod to the city’s status as the world’s first Unesco City of Literature, the lobby is decorated with bookish sculptures. There’s also a large photo of Andy Warhol and a pinball machine. It doesn’t do room service but you can get a snack at any hour.
There’s a startling pink theme to the decor. I also noticed a print in the lobby that read: ‘Stop trying to make everyone happy. You are not tequila.’
Verdict: Cool as a cucumber. 5/5
Hampton by Hilton
Bristol Airport Hampton by Hilton has ‘friendly staff and the rooms are pleasant’. This one scored a 3/5 rating
Price and location: From £79; two-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: This has friendly staff and the rooms are pleasant. A continental-style breakfast is available from 4am and a cooked breakfast from 6am.
Verdict: Your only real option in Bristol. It’s fine. 3/5
Price and location: From £85; one-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: There’s 24-hour service and the attractive rooms are decorated with modern abstracts — most have baths, too.
Verdict: A simple but solid choice. 3/5
Price and location: From £172; four-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: It’s a gleaming five-star hotel, if you like that sort of thing — I felt it lacked humanity.
Even the staff seemed cowed by the grandeur of their surroundings.
On every table in the tea salon there was a small, identical cactus, which just about sums it up. Breakfast is not included.
Verdict: Luxurious, but this comes at a price. 3/5
Radisson Blu at Manchester Airport is a five-minute walk to departures and rooms cost from £112
Price and location: From £112; five-minute walk to departures.
What it’s like: The bed in my double room was a super king, meaning it was about the size of a tennis court.
The sleek, understated decor includes cool black-and-white photographs, and the rooms also have bath tubs.
There’s 24-hour room service and an agreeable bar-restaurant. It’s definitely worth it.
Verdict: Your only option here — it does the job. 3/5
Prices based on a stay on Friday, June 28.