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One way to cope with a long layover

YOTEL-corridors.JPG

A long airport layover following an overnight flight from North America to Europe can be very uncomfortable. I don't sleep on planes, so when I land in Europe I'm usually tired, cranky, in desperate need of coffee and the means to kill time until the next flight. Sometimes, it's quite a long time until the next flight and the hours can drag.

But in June, enroute to Rome, I managed to reduce the pain of a 6-hour layover considerably with a stay in the Yotel mini-hotel at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. The Yotel is a great find for a weary traveler who wants a private space for a few hours to rest, regroup, and maybe rearrange the carry-on luggage.

My single standard Yotel room was tiny but very clean and well organized, with a fantastic shower, soap and shower gel, good towels, good room temperature control, a flat screen TV, free wireless Internet, and a small desk and folding chair.

The only negative for me was that the room had very soft lighting which made it difficult to reapply make-up and re-style my hair after the shower. But that was a fairly small inconvenience.

The bed resembled the lower bunk in bunkbeds and was very low, set at only about 6 inches off the floor. It was comfortable to stretch out on, although I didn't sleep. I think it's a luck of the draw whether you get a room where the bed is a lower bunk or a room with an upper bunk. I peeked into the room across the hall which had an upper bunk, and the bed appeared to be a bit higher than knee level; presumably there's some sort of footstool to help guests hop up!

Small lights at the head of the bed made it easy to read the computer while stretched out in comfort (the TV is flat against the wall at the foot of the bed.) A phone at the head of the bed let me call the front desk after I forgot to get the wireless code; and room service can also be ordered. My room was extremely quiet, although that might also be because it was at the furthest reaches of the mini-hotel. Still, the entire Yotel seemed reasonably soundproofed and would be quiet for a nap between flights.

This is definitely an in-transit hotel -- there was a luggage rack above the desk with enough room for a large carry-on, but I think the space would be very tight for larger luggage. Still, at 10-euro per hour, I think it was worth the price for a four-hour break from my fellow travellers!

The Yotel was easy to find at Schiphol airport, just outside a large food court (so I could take some breakfast back to my room) and directly above my departure gates.

Comments (10)

Thanks for the report. I'll definitely consider doing this if I ever have a layover at an airport that has one. The price seems very reasonable!

sandrac:

Hi Annie,

Schiphol is a great airport, with the museum and even a library -- it would be easy to kill a few hours quite pleasantly!

But I think 4 hours is my cutoff in terms of the amount of time in which I can amuse myself. Anything longer is just too tough, especially when you're travelling alone and can't even buy a coffee without dragging all of your stuff along!

Anne:

Glad you found the Yotel restful! I finally got around to submitting a review to SlowTrav about my Yotel experience. The Schiphol rooms sound identical to the Gatwick rooms - good to know the chain is consistent.

I wasn't able to peek into the other rooms in Gatwick, all the window shades were down. So I hadn't realized there were upper and lower bunks. My room was also very quiet, and was mid-corridor, so I assume all the rooms must be well sound proofed.

sandrac:

Anne, I think they are identical. And I so appreciated your review on your blog -- it helped me decide to give Yotel a try!

What a great concept! I wonder which other airports offer this besides Amsterdam and London Gatwick.

sandrac:

Hi Nancy, there's one at Heathrow and the other right in NYC near Times Square. I think they need to expand -- Frankfurt would be great place to start!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, thanks so much for your review. It seems pretty clean and actually looks more roomier and with more amenities than I envisioned it would be. I think it is an excellent option for the traveler. I had a short overnighter in Frankfurt once and I had to stay in a hotel but if there was a yotel I would stay there instead (now after reading about your experience).

Thanks so much for sharing your experience and for writing this very helpful review.

sandrac:

Hi Kathy, I suspect the Yotel is a better deal than most other airport hotels (if you don't mind being a bit tight for space!)

The photo almost reminds me of the little narrow house in Venice! What a great concept. Too bad they don't have them in Newark. I would definitely rent one!

sandrac:

Newark would make a lot of sense for a Yotel -- I hope they keep expanding!

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