The Yotel brand is continuing to expand, with both Yotels in both major cities and airports. There is also the Yotelpad extended stay brand and an airport brand called Yotelair. This allows for rooms to be booked for hourly rates, 24 hours a day (with a minimum of four hours). This is just what you need when you have a very early flight and the airport and airline is advising you check in at least two and a half hours before the flight departs.
Recently the brand has also extended to offering airport services without the need to book a room (or cabin, as they call their rooms). So Yotelair Istanbul Airport allows bookings for its Komyuniti lounge (inclusive of food and drink which is available all day and night) and shower cubicles without booking a room, while Yotelair Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport allows bookings just to use the showers.
Earlier this year I stayed in the Bloc Hotel at Gatwick, which I was impressed with, and back in 2019, in the Yotelair at Singapore Changi, a review of which can be read at this link.
Where is it?
The entrance to the Yotelair is opposite arrivals, so if you are arriving by train, as we did, you walk along the short corridor into the south terminal and then turn right.
Our Easyjet flight to Palermo was at 0535, so we were arriving at around 1800 the day before. The airport seemed quiet, but there may have been flights departing and I did not walk left into Departures to see if there were any queues — plenty of time for that the next morning.
If you face international departures with Costa on your right, and then turn round, this is what you see.
You then take either of these lifts down to the hotel. When you get out you’ll see this.
What’s it like?
There is a door to enter a small vestibule which contains the self-service check-in machines, but this was open at the time of our arrival and we could see the receptionist inside, to the right.
Yotel calls this area ‘Mission Control’ in a nod to the design of the place which is a little space age and, to my mind, a little ‘spaced-out’, certainly how you feel having just got off a flight or woken in the middle of the night to catch one.
The receptionist was very friendly and helpful. We were checked-in very quickly and offered a choice of soft drink or a hot drink and told that the choice of food was available 24 hours as well.
There are three choices of room: standard, premium twin and premium queen. I stayed in a standard room last time (7 sqm) and they are well designed with even room under the bed for storing a cabin bag. This time since there were two of us I wanted to maximise the amount of space so went for a premium twin (10 sqm). The premium queen is also 10 sqm, but the twin seems larger because of the bunk beds leaving more floor space.
All the rooms include a fold down work desk, a foldable chair, an open wardrobe, a large rain shower (ours was accessible, so had a fold down stool and grab rail) and wall-mounted Urban Jungle shampoo, conditioner, shower gel in large dispensers.
The lighting is controlled from close to the bed and has several settings including a mood lighting one – very atmospheric. The rooms are all white, and slightly clinical, but at least then you can tell they are clean.
I found the beds comfortable, though if we had been in a standard or premium queen, this would have been the adjustable ‘Smartbed’ which reclines from a couch to a fully flat bed with memory gel foam mattress.
There is also a television, fast wifi and two USB charging points as well as numerous AC power points.
This is a photo from Yotel rather than one I took but it looked the same — we put down all our bags the moment we closed the door so the room was immediately a bit of a mess for photos.
Food and drink
The menu includes a ‘Speedy Continental Breakfast’ in the morning which could be pre-ordered and ready for departure. This contained an Eat Natural bar, an apple, Fairtrade apple juice, croissant, fruit yoghurt and any hot drink.
There were also paninis (£4.25) and, for the evening, very reasonably-priced hot meals like Thai Green chicken curry with rice (£5.25). You could also buy snacks, pot noodles, and cold drinks, including alcohol – beer – and wine. Also for sale are earplugs and alarm clocks, though we were planning on using the alarms on our phones to make sure we woke in time.
We decided to eat out since I needed to finish some work, so took the lift up to the airport and then walked up the stairs to the cafes and restaurants. We had a look in Giraffe, but the menu was shorter than on the website, so went next door to Joe’s Coffee House which was better value, had great staff, didn’t have a queue and most importantly didn’t just serve coffee, but also had draught beer on tap.
We returned at around 2100 and went straight to bed. We could hear a woman talking on the phone in a neighbouring room for a bit but quickly fell asleep, waking for our alarms at 0315. The shower was excellent.
This is an excellent way of reducing the hassle for an early morning flight, or having a rest after a long flight before risking driving home. The rooms are clean, reasonably quiet (no one comes for a party) and the service and staff are top notch.
A good night’s sleep either before or after a flight
Concourse, Gatwick Airport Ground Floor South Terminal,
Arrivals Rd, Gatwick RH6 0NN