Safe to say no one has a picture of an airport hotel as his or her desktop screen saver. Maybe the beach villa in Mexico with the infinity pool, yes. That’s because airport hotels are mostly functional and convenient, not an aspirational property you’d save up your reward points or plan a whole trip around.
It doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself in need of one at some point in your travels if say, a flight gets canceled or weather strands you away from home. Or maybe you want to cut out the stress of getting up for a crack of dawn early departure, catching those last few minutes of sleep, and reducing your commute to just a walk down a hallway to the departure gates.
The Best Airport Hotels for a Stress-Free Travel Experience
There are many reasons why you might need an airport hotel, but keep in mind not all are equal in convenience. When it comes to the best properties, it's all about location. Don’t get stuck in a seedy neighborhood that may or may not provide timely shuttle service. For a stress-free experience book a hotel inside or on the property of the airport itself. They’ll sometimes cost a pretty penny more, but the price will be worth it.
This list will single out some of the best properties for flyers looking for a seamless travel experience away from the hubbub of the terminal. With so many airport hotels, whittling down the list can take some time. Using our parent company TripAdvisor’s guest reviews and Certificates of Excellence, along with my personal experiences, and other outlets like Skytrax Awards, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 airport hotels in North America.
The Hilton Boston Logan Airport is the only hotel located on the grounds of Massport’s Logan Airport and allows direct connections to terminals via a skybridge or shuttle. This AAA Four Diamond hotel has three onsite dining options and room service until midnight for late arrivals. Amenities include a fitness room, pool, and an outdoor walking track for road warriors who want to keep up their workout routines. Select Wi-Fi packages require a fee, but you can avoid those if you book directly with Hilton or become a member of its free Hilton Honors loyalty program. This convenient hotel is the one you want to keep in mind if you ever find yourself stuck in Boston due to snow or weather-related flight cancellations.
The gold standard of airport hotels, Fairmont Vancouver Airport has won Skytrax’s #1 Best North American Airport hotel for five years running and seven times overall. Located inside Vancouver International Airport, the Fairmont is a luxury hotel and spa that offers floor to ceiling soundproofed views in its 386 guest rooms. Rooms facing north and the Jetside Bar provide the best runway views and would satisfy any plane spotter or AvGeek. The hotel also offers day rooms in its dedicated “Quiet Zone” for travelers that need a short reset on layovers ranging from 4 to 8 hours. For those who want to forget they’re at the airport altogether, the Absolute Spa at the Fairmont offers over 120 therapies including signature jet-lag recovery treatments. Flyers wanting a taste of the Pacific Northwest can head to the award-winning Globe@YVR restaurant featuring local specialties, or travelers like me who want to watch planes land from the comfort of their bed can take advantage of the 24-hour in-room dining option.
While the Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway isn’t located inside Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL), it’s a two-minute free SkyTrain ride away. This 204-room hotel focuses on hip and whimsical décor (think street art and mix-and-matched design) and prides itself on not being just another cliché airport hotel. Opened in 2017, everything in this ATL hotel is “so fresh and so clean” with state-of-the-art technology, including a 24/7 fitness center. Enjoy some Southern hospitality at Hickory & Hazel, the hotel's on-site restaurant that offers authentic Southern favorites like shrimp & grits. Despite only being a year old, the Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway has already won a 2018 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and has become the top hotel option for flyers at the world’s busiest airport. Don’t confuse this hotel with the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport hotel, which is a decent option but not as sleek, and due for an upgrade.
Designed to resemble a bird in flight, or maybe an upside-down mustache the Westin Denver International is just a few feet away from the airports main Jeppesen Terminal. This 519-room behemoth also serves as a conference center and links to the A Line train that takes you directly to downtown's Union Station, making it an excellent option for business travelers. Opened in 2015, the Westin features all modern amenities including a heated indoor pool and fitness center and guest rooms with full-length glass windows offer majestic views of the Rocky Mountains. The Westin DIA offers three dining options, a casual all-day dining restaurant, a café, and a Sky Lounge bar that offers drinks and snacks until 1:00 am.
Escape the hustle of the American Airlines hub Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) with a stay at the Grand Hyatt DFW. Located inside the airport’s International Terminal D, the Grand Hyatt allows guests to rest easy after a long flight; or serves as a nice option for a stress-free wake up if you have an early hour departure. The Grand Hyatt also features a rooftop top pool and fitness center, and multiple on-site and in-room dining options. If you’re a picky eater and want extra choices, guests can also get a permit to access the secure side of the airport to visit restaurants and shops in DFW’s other terminals. There is another Hyatt property at DFW airport, the Hyatt Regency. But take note it’s not directly connected to terminals like the Grand Hyatt DFW and requires a short shuttle service.
When it comes to convenience, The Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport has it all, especially for Delta flyers. Located inside the McNamara terminal hotel guests can enjoy direct access to DTW using the hotel’s private security entrance located in the lobby. With a multi-million dollar makeover last year, the Westin spruced up its 404 guest rooms and lobby atrium, with upgrades to the hotel’s contemporary restaurant, Reflections. No need to grab airport fast food on the go. The hotel also offers an indoor heated pool, workout studio, and a dedicated business center.
Flyers to Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) can enjoy a stress-free stay right inside the airport at the Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel. This 279-room property offers key amenities like an indoor pool, fitness center, and full-service spa treatments to work out those cramped muscles after a day of flying. Bijou Resto I Bar, the hotel’s on-site restaurant offers casual dining and Quebecois treats like poutine from its bar menu. Like other hotel chains mentioned, Marriott charges for certain Wi-Fi packages, but these fees can be avoided by booking directly from the Marriott website or by joining its Marriott Rewards loyalty program.
This convenient 445-room hotel is located smack dab in the middle of Orlando International Airport’s (MCO) main terminal. Interior rooms feature balconies overlooking a large atrium surrounding the arrivals/departure areas, while outside rooms provide guests with tarmac views. At the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport hotel, travelers can also go for a swim on its heated rooftop pool or run a lap on rooftop jogging track all while watching planes lift off the runway. The hotel offers three dining options onsite, but guests are only an elevator ride away from all other airport shops and restaurants. While most airport hotels are adjacent or a short distance away, this Hyatt offers one of the most immersive airport hotel experiences by being a centerpiece of MCO.
The Tampa Airport Marriott ticks all the boxes for a convenient and practical airport hotel. Set inside Tampa International Airport (TPA), this Marriott’s 298 noise proof rooms offer a prime location for travelers in need of a place to stay after a late arrival or early departure. For those stuck in between on an extended layover or flight delay, day rooms are available from 10 am to 5 pm daily. Guests can keep active at the 24-hour fitness center or veg out by the heated outdoor rooftop pool; I’d pick the latter. There are several dining options on-site including a Bar & Grille and cafe, but other restaurant options at the airport can easily be reached within a few steps from the hotel. The Wi-Fi situation is like that of the other Marriott owned properties on this list and require joining the chain’s loyalty program for free log-ins.
Another recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence, the NH Collection Mexico City Airport T2 hotel is just an elevator ride up from inside the MEX International Terminal. For travelers worried about missing a flight due to Mexico City’s epic traffic jams or those who just need a spot to flop out after a long international flight, this property is the choice for you. 287-soundproofed rooms that circle a modernist courtyard say “adios” to the buzz of the surrounding jet noise, giving weary travelers some R&R. As you would expect, the hotel offers a Mexican-meets-international menu at its on-site restaurant along with a buffet breakfast and 24/7 room service. While there isn’t a swimming pool - a gym, sauna, and steam room are available for guests wishing to focus on their wellbeing while staying at the NH. Travelers needing to get work done on the road have access to 20 meeting rooms and a dedicated business center. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
Header image courtesy of WeStudio via Shutterstock.com/Hotel images courtesy of Tripadvisor.com
Editor's Note: Airfarewatchdog.com is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network