Hotels that are actually at airports — meaning in the terminals, not nearby — save travelers time and reduce stress. Why don’t more airports have them?

Airport hotels are normally the worst. Aside from being the products of bland mega-corporations, they’re typically located off-site and require a shuttle to reach. That means if you end up staying in one, you may have to contend with traffic, shuttle wait times, and other factors just to get to and from your lodging. The typical location of airport hotels also makes it difficult for travelers to experience a city’s restaurants and cultural destinations.

But I recently stayed at one airport hotel that was the opposite of that: The Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport.

Hotels in airport terminals: a good but under used idea.

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The Orlando Airport Hyatt is great because it’s actually located in the airport itself. So, after deplaning, you can just walk over to check in. In my case, I was in my room about 10 minutes after I stepped off the plane. It was amazing.

The next morning, I walked over to the car rental area, picked up my vehicle, and was gone. I never had to set foot in a shuttle, or schlep out to some middle-of-nowhere place.

There were other cool things about the Hyatt as well. My room had a view of the runways, and many of the other rooms look out into the airport itself. And because it’s on-site, guests have access to the shops and food courts of the airport. All of this stuff is pretty generic; I ate at McDonalds and the room was nice but boring. Still, I was in a hurry during this trip and staying at the airport was better in every way than staying “near” the airport.

So why don’t more airports have these kinds of hotels? I’m sure it has to do with everything from building regulations to limited space at some airports. But, look, this should change.

I’m not suggesting anyone should stay in airport hotels while traveling. If at all possible, well-located and locally-owned places are the better option. But for those times when speed and efficiency are the most important factors, in-terminal hotels are amazing.

— Jim Dalrymple II






Written by Jim Dalrymple II

Urbanism and travel writer. Also a journalist covering the news.

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