While budget airlines are great on the budget – well, that’s about it. It really is just a question of money. Because who actually likes having a restless night sleep before getting to the airport at an ungodly hour?
No one, that’s who. I don’t know about you, but the idea of having to get up at 3:30AM and embark on a zombie journey to a remote airport doesn’t appeal to me all that much. But a traveller’s gotta do what a traveller’s gotta do, right?
Unless you are flying out of Gatwick.
If indeed you are, you may want to sit back and read on because I think I just found the perfect solution to the early flight problem. It’s called Yotel.
Yotel Gatwick Airport: The Concept
The idea behind Yotel is actually pretty simple: choose between three different types of cabin for which you will pay by the hour (no, not that kind of hour) – and that’s it. No hassle. No fuss. No extra fees. Just a simple, straightforward airport hotel that want to offer travelers a nice place to sleep, unwind, shower, perhaps even get some work done, either during a layover or an early flight.
Space is key, here – the cabins, or pods, are very, very small. There’s no going around that. But the cabins are very smartly designed. And in every case, it beats having to sleep on the airport’s floor or being in a night bus.
The Yotel is a surprisingly cheap option for a hotel airport – because of the size and the possibility of paying by the hour, you only pay for what you need, not a penny more. There are no hidden extras, no bad surprises. Just an affordable, relaxed hotel stay.
Additionally, the hotel is located in the South Terminal of Gatwick Airport, just minutes away from the check-in counters – meaning that you can get up just an hour or two before your flight time, have a relaxed breakfast and head to your gate right on time. Talk about stress-free and easy time management!
Yotel Gatwick Airport: The Rooms
I was assigned a premium cabin, which is the largest one available. And by that I don’t mean that it’s large, just slightly larger. But you know what? It was perfectly fine, and it was exactly what I needed. The cabins do require a bit of maneuvering if you have a large suitcase, but it’s very much manageable.
Every single centimeter is considered – be it the desk, the reclinable bed/couch and even the bathroom space. But small doesn’t mean bad, in this case. Quite the opposite. The Yotel offers an LCD television, free wifi, several lighting settings, organic toiletries, tons of room service options, a monsoon power shower and much more. Personal toiletries are available for sale at the reception, and some items can also be rented if need be (like a hairdryer, ladies).
My only concern was about the bathroom situation – the glass walls are a great way to make the cabin feel a tiny bit larger, but it doesn’t leave much room to privacy and intimacy if you are traveling with someone else. That could potentially lead to very awkward situtations of TMI!
While the otherworldly purple lighting may scare off some travelers, I thought it was a welcome change from cold white neon lights. I also LOVED the many different lighting options from a flick of the finger while laying in bed – pure magic.
The bed was surprisingly comfortable and thanks to this and the proximity to the boarding gates, I was able to get a very good night sleep.
And that alone is worth a positive review – sure, most airport hotels are comfortable, but how many can claim to be completely soundproof and easy on the budget? Only the Yotel.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Yotel Gatwick Airport. As always, all opinions are my own – this hotel really is a fantastic solution to long layovers and early departures.