Airport Hotels: Build Them to Be Great
Airport hotels hold a dear place in a weary traveler’s heart. By definition, airport hotels are generally hotels that are attached to the airport or require only a short shuttle bus ride.
Travelers tend to choose airport hotels for convenience, price and time constraints.
But not all airport hotels are created equally. Some offer amenities that make not only travel more convenient but also make for a memorable and comfortable stay.
Here are some factors that separate “airports with hotels,” from true hotel airports.
But first, a little history…
Aviation historians say the first airport hotel opened in 1929 at the location of what is now the Oakland International Airport. The hotel had 37 rooms, a barbershop and airplane ticket office, according to Air & Space Magazine. The next, and more notable was opened not too far from the Oakland airport. It was the Hilton, which opened at the San Francisco Airport Hilton in 1959. It even had a night club at the hotel called Tiger A-Go-Go.
Nowadays, most of the country’s largest airports have hotels.
What makes an airport hotel great?
It's easy to get to.
A great amenity of most airport hotels is free transportation to and from the airport. The most traditional operations practice has to been to own and operate a shuttle van. Hotels like our Fairfield Inn & Suites Jacksonville Airport find this most efficient with their proximity to the airport and market. With ride-sharing apps today, hotels can also sign up for business accounts. Hotels like our Hampton Inn & Suites Orlando/Downtown South-Medical Center offer complimentary uber rides. It’s great for high volume hotels, faster than regular shuttle vans operated by the hotel, saves operating costs, while still saving money for guests.
They think of the little things.
Forgot your workout gear? Couldn’t fit your bathroom essentials in your carry on? As Hotel Owners, we try to think of ways to offer the best guest experience. Consider a wellness brand, like Westin or EVEN hotels. For example, at the Westin Atlanta Airport, not only do the rooms have treadmills or spin bikes, the hotel can provide you work out gear through a partnership with New Balance. The hotel also brings bags to the airport for guests traveling on Delta or American flights.
You can forget where you are.
Sure you’re staying at an airport hotel, but you don’t have to be reminded of it at every turn, right? Hotels near airports can invest in sound cancellers like soundproof windows and blackout drapes in every room. In addition, depending on the market, you can add other amenities to create an oasis-like experience. A great example? The Hyatt Regency at Los Angeles International Airport. They invested in building materials to help with the noise and created a pool with private cabanas for guests. You feel like you’re in LA, for sure!
Double the profits.
One of the latest building trends for hotels is dual-branded hotels. It’s when two different flags share the building mainly through the back of the house and common areas. It allows you to attract different customers and also offer different rates. Meanwhile, you save on overall labor during operations.
The food is excellent.
There’s nothing like getting off a 10-hour flight to only find cold sandwiches and vending machine sodas awaiting you at your destination. Airport hotels with good dining options are a gem when it comes to tired travelers. The Loews hotel at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport features not only a Capital Grille steakhouse, but it also has McCormick & Schmick’s, which focuses on farm to table ingredients, and a gastropub.
Interested in building a hotel near an Airport? Let us help you! Check out our development services and see how we can help.