On your next layover, try a Yotel


For frequent travelers, one of the toughest decisions is what do you do with a stopover that really isn’t long enough to become a layover. If it’s still too long to sit in an uncomfortable airport chair, or even in a lounge where you could doze off and miss your flight, what’s the alternative?

A relatively new service called Yotel is looking to fill that niche. With rates starting at 37 British pounds for four hours, the capsules are modeled after first-class airline seats. The smallest are 7 square meters, the largest 10 square meters, and they include a bed, a shower, and a flat screen television. Longer stays are available. For example, a standard cabin in London is 58 pounds for 10 hours; in Amsterdam it is currently 76 euros. Yotel is currently not in travel agent computers but cabins, even for four hours, can be booked in advance on yotel.com

Even the smallest standard cabins include free internet connectivity, television, room service and relatively plush if very tiny accommodations. (Claustrophobics need not apply.) This is a description from the company’s site.

The large single bed (large enough for a cosy 2) with full sitting height, a hand layered organic coir, latex and lambswool mattress for the best sleep ever with percale cotton sheets pillows and duvet.

The bathroom includes a shower, revitalising all in one body wash, heated mirror and soft towels.

The fold out work desk and stool, doubles for unpacking and there is overhead hand luggage stowage, suit bag hanging and storage areas for small pieces.

Currently there are three locations, London Heathrow Terminal 4, London Gatwick, and Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport. The company hopes to have locations at most of the world’s major airport, with the next location planned for Abu Dhabi. While these capsule type hotels have been common in the Far East, they have been nonexistent in Europe and the United States. An added benefit – no wasted time getting in and out on hotel shuttle buses.

Although for travelers who might just want a shower or nap before a meeting, Yotel CEO Gerard Greene, an industry veteran, says they hope to open in city centers such as London and New York. In an economy where companies are slashing travel budgets, these micro-rooms may end up a big big business.

  • Nicholas Holland

    We have used these Yotels on several occaisions as they are so much more convenient for early morning flights after a seven or eight hour journey in from the wilds of northern UK. They also make a great option for recovery after Transatlantic flights when I cannot afford a Business Class ticket with the asociated arrivals lounge. A good three hours kip and a shower after a flight makes a huge difference to my body clock on arrival in the UK from the US.

  • http://travel-babel.blogspot.com;http://nordic-walking-usa.blogspot.com;http://culinary-colorado.blogspot.com; Claire Walter

    I blogged about this concept last March and included an image, in case anyone wants to see what one looks like: http://travel-babel.blogspot.com/2008/03/third-micromini-room-yotel-opens.html

  • skyguyj

    I’ve stayed at the Yotel LGW 3 times now. Great staff, GREAT location, and so nice to know when you walk out of Customs the Elevator is almost directly in front of you.

    The first time I booked the “Single” which was an Upper Berth much like on a train. The next time I booked the “Single” but specifically requested the “Lower”, and it was much less claustrophobic. The Third time I took the Premium Cabin, and there was not a whole lot in the difference. I highly recommend the lower single and save your money on the Premium.

    The nice thing about the Gatwick Yotel is the location; the lift is next to Costa Coffee, there’s a pseudo-supermarket just steps away, where you can purchase salads, water, sandwhiches etc. Granted, at airport prices, but you’re paying for convenience.

    One caveat, bring an Alarm Clock! There are no phones in the cabins hence NO wake-up calls (and if you’re jet-lagged and on a schedule, this could be a problem). I suggest ordering a “Cafe Americano” from the front desk, to be delivered at the time you would like to wake up. It’s 1 Pound 70 pence, delicious, and well worth both the investment and the peace of mind. They were right there with it at the time requested.

    Smokers will have to make do going without, but at the Gatwick location, you can take the lift up, and walk out a side door just past Costa Coffee if you absolutely have to have a quick puff!

    Lastly, on one of my trips my arrival was delayed by 24hrs; I called thier office in central London from the States, spoke to a charming agent named Katie Hazelgrove, and she had my booking Amended and e-mailed to me within minutes, and at no additional charge for changes!