Airport hotels were standing in the corner of the stage, when city hotels and fancy resorts where enjoying the limelight, battling perceptions of being dank, outdated, overpriced, boring or just too crowded.
Around the world, renewed vim and efforts are going into airport hotels – which really are the first outpost of any travel experience – into turning them into mini destinations themselves. Brand owners are increasingly trying to add more to the layover and transit experience.
Opening Hyatt Place Frankfurt Airport recently, Ines Bruenn, general manager of the property, said, “Our guests are constantly on the move, and we want to make sure our multitasking guests can easily accomplish what they need to do while on the road. We are confident that Hyatt Place Frankfurt Airport will help make our guests’ journey easier, more productive and successful.”
Look around the world and you will see ramped-up offerings, bringing gastronomic, lifestyle and wellness offerings to airport hotels, and turning the concept of transit hotels on its head. Citizen M at Charles De Gaulle, Element Miami at Miami International, and Alt Hotel Pearson at Toronto international all come to mind.
Here are some airport hotels that are scheduled to open this year:
Set to officially open on February 1 this year, the 193-room Naumi Auckland Airport has been designed to exude a contemporary vibe, with bold accents of colour and playful details at every turn. Located in the airport precinct, south of the city centre and just minutes from the international and domestic airports, the hotel offers a perfect stylish stopover for leisure and business travellers.
With private patios and balconies, an outdoor swimming pool, a perfectly manicured English garden, restaurant and bar, fully equipped gym and over 500 sqm of conference and meeting space, the property offers all the signature Naumi comforts with the idiosyncratic design and personalised, authentic service the brand is known for.
Gaurang Jhunjhnuwala, CEO of Naumi Hotels Australia and New Zealand, says, “Naumi Hotels is anything but a cookie-cutter hotel brand, moving away from the sterile and the impersonal by offering micro, bespoke experiences for every guest.”
Art plays a central role at Naumi Auckland Airport, with an impressive gallery of works embellishing the hotel from the entrance through to each and every guest room. Featured artists include Belynda Henry, an Australian-based artist and winner of the NSW Wynne prize, who has been commissioned to capture the natural landscape of Auckland with multi-sensory pieces showcased in the hotel lobby and New Zealand-based designer Judi Bagust whose whimsical signature brush strokes are reminiscent of the particular song of the tui bird and compliment the landscapes.
ONE TO TRY
Situated 3.2 km from New Chitose Airport, the main domestic and international gateway to the island of Hokkaido in Japan, the 154-room Best Western Plus Hotel Fino Chitose comes with a selection of Japanese-style family rooms for up to four guests. All rooms come equipped with modern facilities including flat-screen TVs, kettles and complimentary wi-fi. The hotel will also feature a 24-hour front desk, daily housekeeping and laundry, supported by Best Western’s assuring service standards.
Among international brands, Best Western Plus Hotel Fino Chitose is closest to New Chitose, Japan’s fifth busiest airport. Handling more than 20 million passengers per year, this major air hub provides direct connections to and from major cities all across Asia and beyond, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur.
“With its snow-capped peaks, national parks and fresh mountain air, Hokkaido is a natural paradise for visitors – especially those from Asia’s most crowded cities. So, it is no surprise that the island is welcoming a rising number of international visitors, the vast majority of whom travel through New Chitose Airport,” commented Olivier Berrivin, Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ managing director of International Operations – Asia.
Expect Best Western Plus Hotel Fino Chitose to welcome its first guests in May this year.
Hilton pioneered the airport hotel concept in 1959 and has steadily challenged travellers' perceptions of what these properties can offer with features including creative and upscale dining options, modern design and state-of-the-art meeting facilities.
Hampton by Hilton is making its debut in the Middle East, opening the world’s largest Hampton by Hilton property at Dubai International Airport, near Terminal 2 in mid-2018. The hotel boasts an impressive 430 rooms, offering the brand’s signature services and amenities guaranteed to ensure that trips start and end on a high note.
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