Anyone who has ever tried to catch a few winks at an airport between fights knows that it is next to impossible. Enter the micro hotels now popping up at airports worldwide. These tiny cabins are often situated in non-public areas and are rented out for anywhere from fifteen minutes minimum to overnight. Just what a body needs to get refreshed after a long flight.
They are known by different names, but these short-stay pods all have one or more of the following: a bed, desk, internet access, and some also come with TV, entertainment systems, recharging stations for electronics, bathroom, Air Conditioning and showers.
Yotel pod hotels were introduced to London in 2007 and in Amsterdam in 2008. Patterned after first class cabins in airplanes, Yotels come complete with single or double bed, a small desk, a bathroom (en suite) and entertainment systems in a 7 – 10 square meter space. The cost ranges from $39 for four hours to $93 for an overnight stay.
Munich has Napcabs, which come with a bed, desk, air conditioning, TV and internet access. The minimum charge is $38 for two hours between 6:00 – 10:00 pm or three hours at other times.
The Sleepbox in Moscow is four square meters in size with a maximum of three bunk beds, bedside tables, electric outlets, lamps to read by. TV and alarm clocks are available upon request. There are future plans for Sleepboxes in downtown Moscow in train stations, shopping malls, and exhibition centers. The charge is $15 per hour with a minimum thirty minute stay.
Minute Suites are currently in Atlanta and Philadelphia airports. It is likely we will be seeing more in other large cities before long. These include a daybed/sofa. HDTV, a desk, a phone, a chair, and Wi-Fi. The minimum stay is one hour for $30 plus $7.50 for each half hour thereafter.
Dubai’s airport has Snoozecubes equipped with soundproofing; touch screen TV and internet access for a $16 minimum charge for one hour. These cubes are connected to the flight information system to insure no one misses a flight.
Each brand of pod hotel may look a little different, but they all seem to have a few things in common. All are small, cozy and efficiently designed. Some strive for luxury in the small spaces while others offer basic comfort. The goal is to provide, as one architect for Sleepbox put it, “…moments of quiet sleep and rest without wasting time in search of a hotel.”
It is an amazing concept that is catching on. Some seem a little pricey, but compared to the hassle of trying to find a nice hotel near the airport and the drive time to and from, catching a few winks right at the airport seems the best solution. Originally there was some concern about bed bugs and trysts, but the majority of the reviews I have found mention neither as a problem. And, as for safety and convenience, I’d venture to say the micro hotels beat napping in the open an airport lounge!