It seems like the classic tale of travel gone bad – landing in storm winds pushing our plane to roll a little, rolling off the flight, dashing through the rain and collecting our slightly oversize suitcases, only to have to sleep in the airport.
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Gatwick Airport Yotel for the evening, but my (very many) opinions are only ever my own, and I would never recommend anywhere that I wouldn’t happily revisit – in fact we’re planning another trip around this handy little hotel, yo.
Luckily, for us it wasn’t on rows of uncomfortable airport lounge chairs and even luckier it was a pre-booked stay because Storm Katie had decided to descend on South-East England making getting home from our late flight home from Vienna a proper hassle.
First things first – I don’t normally tend to blog hotel reviews. It isn’t because I don’t like writing them or we don’t stay in some lovely places, but it tends to come down to one of 3 reasons; 1) We are either out exploring the city & don’t really want to spend a great deal of time (*cough* tidying *cough*) photographing when a new playground awaits 2) The only time we’re actually in the room is spent unconscious, dressing or sipping a brew – or down the hall in the spa 3) The Mr gets really annoying at being directed out of the way to take said photos.
Over the years I’ve gotten pretty sick of soulless beige boxes with varying degrees of functionality. We’ve tried them all – cute apartments (one of our favourites), castles (second favourite), budget hostels (back in the years of my long-ago youth, cue the violins), canal boats (third favourite), and luxury hotels which are often ‘fine’ but eye-wateringly expensive and beige.
We’ve begun to find our level with boutique hotels (officially best favorite). They have the personality that makes my heart camera click and a level of detail and personal service that we enjoy. Alls I know is that I’ve certainly realised what I do and don’t like about hotels over the years.
We loved the sheer compactness of the Yotel. Every space has been used to maximum effect – there are spaces for suitcases under the bed/sofa, the sofa is comfy for watching TV then unfurls into a firm bed. The wall unit contains space to stash all of your odds and ends, a TV, a meccano-esque fold-out table, a couple of glasses and more than enough power sockets to accomodate a blog addict.
Let me present my model of domestic contentment – I only made him demonstrate the bed machinations and replump the pillows twice on video, only to decide that my hands were too shaky to upload the post…
The bathroom is modern and perfectly proportioned – though with only a curtain and glass wall between you and your partner, you’d better go with someone you feel comfortable with…
Buttons operate the whole room – several light settings, the bed mechanism, an iPod dock and headphone jack. I spent at least 15 minutes just playing with them. For the blog you understand!
We adored the Tardis/ship like corridors and with never heard a noise from any of the other cabins. We slept as sweetly as newborn kittens. The idea is compact luxury, and there are so many times we could have used a Yotel like this when travelling internationally.
My first ever trip was via a 10-day stopover in Singapore, and arriving into Changi Airport at 2am as a newbie traveller, I booked myself into an airport hotel similar to this, and it was a lifesaver. Having a shower and a 4 hour nap refreshed me for the buzz of discovering a brand new city all on my own – and washed that particular grossness of flying away.
Will we be using the Yotel again? Definitely. With airport hotels usually so far away from the airport, it makes booking an awfully early or late flight so easy – I couldn’t help but think of stressfully waiting outside our hotel for a cab near Stansted at 4am for our to flights to Morocco last year. This would have been a lifesaver.
Within 15 minutes of collecting our bags, we had checked in, stashed our stuff, plugged our dying electronic kit in and were sat in the pub rewarding ourselves with a well-earned tipple. Could be a worse way to wait out a storm huh?