Any weary traveler who has attempted to slumber on a microscopic airport chair or hard-as-rock bench, or even tried to find a place to plug in a laptop, will wonder why no one has ever thought of this before: a cozy, luxurious, private sleeping pod where you can peacefully rest away the hours between arduous flights.
With the help from Dubai- and Kuwait- based IFA Hotels & Resorts, the concept of small privacy pods inside the airport terminal was born – Yotel. The pods are quietly taking over – two Yotels are now located in London’s Gatwick (opened in July 2007) and Heathrow (opened in November 2007) airports, and one in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport in early 2008.
But will this particular invasion of the pods be warmly welcomed? The awful truth is that most airports want their “guests” to remain upright and shopping, since retail is one of their major revenue streams. All major airport hotels charge by the night, not the hour. Yotel’s prices are approximately $50 for four hours in a 23 sq. foot standard cabin (with twin size bed and 20-inch TV) and $80 for four hours in a 33 sq. foot premium cabin (with double bed and 23-inch TV), and hourly rates go up incrementally after that. The pods, which are substantially smaller than a hotel room, include a private shower, a desk and chair and free Wi-Fi. Apart from work, sleep and other bedside activities there’s not a lot of room for mush else.
The bed is firm, hand-layered organic cotton, latex-covered mattress specially commissioned from a company specializing in baby cots. Twenty-four room service offer snacks and small meals.
You can choose between Premium (double), Twin (2 large singles – bunk style) Standard (large single) cabins with en suite bathrooms, flat screen TV’s, free Wi-Fi and 24 hour in cabin service.