7 design-inspired airport hotels to visit around the world

Once thought of as a drab four walls and bed to pass time during a layover, the airport hotel is making a comeback.

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport in Singapore

1. Crowne Plaza Changi Airport

Voted in 2018 for the fourth year in the row as World’s Best Airport Hotel by Skytrax, the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport is located in Singapore Changi Airport, Terminal 3. Its shimmering gold-and-silver stitched façade of the hotel is hard to miss with its interiors equally playful, with bright orange and hot pink sofas, though the hotel’s standout feature is its lagoon-like pool shrouded in palm trees. Book a room with doors that open straight into the pool or a suite with a bathtub that looks out into the landscaped garden. Those who want more privacy can opt for an aromatic bath or foot reflexology session at the Essence Vale Spa.

Naumi Hotel Auckland Airport

2. Naumi Hotel Auckland Airport

It’s a cauldron of neon splashes, zigzag patterns and suede upholstery at Auckland’s new airport hotel, a few minutes’ drive from Auckland Airport, where a 10-foot-tall gilded birdcage greets guests at the check-in desk. The lobby’s décor takes inspiration from New Zealand’s tui bird, in details such as potted fan palms and fuzzy blankets draped across dark velvet sofas. Guestrooms are just as snap-worthy with different rooms evoking different style icons such as Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and Italian luxury fashion house Missoni. The fun doesn’t stop there – the black-and-white-tiled outdoor heated pool, snazzy 24-hour gym and cute 3-hole golf course make working out seem like less of a chore.

Park Inn by Radisson, Istanbul Odayeri

3. Park Inn by Radisson, Istanbul Odayeri

Istanbul New Airport has only just opened this November, but the Park Inn by Radisson is already in full operation. Located next to Ayvat Bendi Milli Park, the Park Inn is only a 10-minute drive from the new international airport but feels more like nature retreat. Magnificent oak trees from the forest are visible from nearly every nook of the hotel, from the guestroom balconies to the outdoor swimming pool, while baby blue and lime green accents in rooms allude to the surrounding nature. Time permitting, guests can also swing by the nearby Kemer Country, one of the Balkans’ most well-known golf and equestrian clubs.

4. Cordis Beijing Capital Airport

Located by Beijing International Airport, Terminal 3, the renovated Cordis – formerly the Langham Place – brings simple luxury in the form of muted beige furnishings with copper and silver accents in common areas such as the lobby and indoor heated pool. Guestrooms are spacious and elegant with dark wood dressers and beige headrests. Well rested? You’ll want to leave time to indulge in some of the hotel’s gastronomical offerings, including the soon-to-be-opened Ming Court. The fine dining restaurant, which has a Michelin star for its original restaurant in Hong Kong, will serve Cantonese delicacies amid a stunning lake view.

5. Hilton Munich Airport

A long-time favourite amongst frequent travellers, the art deco-inspired Hilton Munich Airport between Terminals 1 and 2 recently underwent a major renovation. The 60-foot high palm trees inside the soaring atrium remain the centrepiece of the hotel, but the 162 guestrooms in the new wing have been upgraded. The new rooms evoke the Bavarian Alps in pine greens hues, wood plank walls and sleek leather headboards with hand-stitched outlines of the alpine mountain range. Schedule some time for the Fit & Fly Spa package where you can get a hot stone massage or lap it up in the indoor heated pool.

6. Manchester Airport Marriott Hotel

A quick jaunt from Manchester Airport via the hotel’s free shuttle service, the recently renovated Marriott has all the workings of a country club. The tree-lined drive – which is especially gorgeous during autumn – sets a relaxed mood as it leads to the three-storey red-brick building. The town-and-country vibe continues in the cilantro-green-walled guestrooms, but you won’t want to spend all your time in here. Take a dip in the hotel’s indoor heated pool, where yellow pillars and elaborate patterned tiles hark back to Roman days or sign up for a personal fitness class. After working up an appetite, dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Brasserie Blanc Hale Barns, is in order. Here, celebrity chef Raymond Blanc serves home cooked French food in a glass atrium with hanging plants.

7. Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport

From its mammoth outdoor pool and sun loungers spread across a manicured green lawn, to guestrooms with grey geometric motifs and pops of purple, the re-designed Hyatt Regency LAX screams mid-century glamour. A quick ride on the hotel’s free shuttle from the airport, the 580-room hotel also boasts a grand ballroom and a 50,000 sq ft conference room, though its best feature is arguably its dining. Unity LA Restaurant serves signature dishes from LA’s different neighbourhoods such as Korea Town’s lip-smacking pork ribs and Boyle Heights’ famous carne asada, while the 24-hour Open Market has grab-and-go sandwiches and a noodle station.

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