August 17, 2008

5 Chic Airport Hotels

By Tom Henry

Stopovers should be an opportunity to relax. Tom Henry selects repose near the runway



More pay-as-you-go rejuvenation-centre than hotel, this is an ideal pit-stop for weary travellers in South-east Asia's favourite hub, Singapore. It is decorated to look and feel like a tropical oasis of sorts. "Slumberette" quarters can be booked by the hour for up to three hours or for a solid eight hours. Spa, fitness and beauty services can be purchased separately, as can the use of the lounge, including showers and a non-alcoholic bar.

Rainforest by SATS, West Wing, Changi Airport Terminal 1, Singapore (00 65 6541 8518; Slumberettes from S$10 (3.70) per hour or S$88 (33) for eight hours, room only



A suite featuring a Swarovski crystal bathroom more or less sets the tone at this decadent offering. The new five-star, 605-bedroom Sofitel at Heathrow's T5 also boasts a fine-dining restaurant overseen by Albert Roux, and five live-cooking theatre-kitchens. While away the hours in Tea 5, a salon with its own tea master, before heading over to check in for your flight via a connecting walkway. If you have more time to spare, there is also a swanky spa providing a series of wellness regimens.

Sofitel, Heathrow Terminal 5, London (020-8757 7647; Doubles from 128, room only



These new digs are as ritzy as their location at theUK's hub of private aviation, Farnborough airport. Overseen by the man behind the Malmaison and Dakota hotel chains, Ken McCulloch, this latest project will do his reputation no harm. Former Interior Designer of the Year Amanda Rosa is responsible for the hotel's 150 guest rooms and 19 Sky Studio suites.

Aviator, Farnborough Road, Farnborough, Hampshire (0870 220 8000; Doubles from 95, room only



Located next to Schiphol Airport, CitizenM(obile) was built with the design cognoscenti in mind. The place looks like an art installation that has been converted into a hotel. But don't let that put you off - the affordable-luxury ethos means ergonomically designed rooms with runway views, free movies and Wi-Fi, and even low-cost calls.

CitizenM, Schiphol, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (; 00 31 85 580 1234). Doubles from 73 (61), room only


Philadelphia International

A welcome reinterpretation of airport-hotel design, Aloft re- energises with its panoply of colours and uplifting, loft-inspired decor. Sample the menu in the "w xyz" bar (try saying that after a couple of Martinis), or pick up healthy snacks at the 24-hour re:fuel cafe, then retire to the sleek and spacious bedrooms, with oversized showers and baths. There's also a gym, pool and games room.

Aloft, 4301 Island Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US (001 267 298 1700; Doubles from $189 (99), room only

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