And of course there’s no better place for a spot of people-watching – all human life is in an airport hotel. We’ve teamed up with flight search and holiday comparison specialists netflights.com to choose our worldwide favourites for when we are jetting off again.
TWA HOTEL JFK, New York City, USA
A homage to the golden age of air travel, this opened last May and has what the owners claim is simply the best place “for plane spotting and enjoying a cocktail in the world” – the 64ft infinity edge rooftop ‘poolcuzzi’ that overlooks the runway, alongside a bar and observation deck.
Housed within the space-age and iconic TWA terminal building, it’s a celebration of everything from the era, from retro phones and furnishings to vintage amenities in the bathrooms and mid-century uniforms for the staff.
Guests can also dine in one of six restaurants or knock back a cocktail in eight different bars – one of which can be found within a converted 1958 Lockheed Constellation, an iconic aircraft from an era of aviation defined by legendary TWA founder and flight pioneer Howard Hughes.
You won’t want to leave.
From £165 a night at twahotel.com
Tourists can enjoy cocktails by a rooftop infinity pool
The space-age look of TWA hotel
CROWNE PLAZA, Changi Airport, Singapore
What is frequently voted the best airport on the planet should have a fine hotel – and this is the grand fromage of the genre.
Reached by a short walk from Terminal 3, or a brief ride on the skytrain, you can experience chic bedrooms kitted out with all of the hi-tech bells and whistles you’d expect, modern furnishing and triple-glazed floor-to-ceiling picture windows overlooking the (noiseless) airfield.
Guests can recharge for their next flight in the Essence Vale Spa or the terminal’s butterfly garden, work out in the gym or relax over a meal in one of several restaurants flanking the huge courtyard and rainforest gardens.
There’s a lovely outdoor pool and next door is the spectacular Jewel entertainment and retail complex with the RainVortex indoor waterfall.
Magnificent – you’d be happy to have your flight delayed just so you could be stuck here.
Changi Airport boasts a jungle-like atmosphere
• From £216 a night at ihg.com
• Some hotels are currently closed due to coronavirus restrictions; room rates all for October.
HOTEL VERDE: Cape Town, South Africa
Claiming to be Africa’s greenest hotel – that may be debatable – there’s no doubting Hotel Verde’s commitment to help travellers offset the impact of their air travel.
More than 6,000 litres of ‘grey water’ is recycled daily, rainwater is collected and used to feed the hotel’s irrigation system and energy is drawn from the hotel’s own solar panels and wind turbines.
The hotel has a ‘zero waste to landfill’ goal, its gym equipment generates energy when being used by guests, and its rooms have been designed with sustainability in mind without compromising comfort.
Nuovo restaurant’s menu features ingredients that are locally produced, responsibly sourced and seasonal.
From £113 a night at verdehotels.com
WESTIN DENVER INTERNATIONAL, Colorado USA
This is all about getting the simple things right in a striking building.
Connected to the Jeppesen Terminal by a free shuttle and short covered walkway, the hotel’s pared-down and understated decor and furnishings manage to create an air of cool efficiency and comfort.
Westin Denver International features white tents to mirror snowy peaks
Rooms feature Westin’s signature Heavenly beds, distant views of the Rockies and all the tech touches any modern traveller expects.
The in-house artworks, indoor pool and open-air plaza offer scope for diversion during any layover, and there’s a trio of dining venues in the Sky Lounge.
From £252 a night at marriott.com
YOTELAIR, London Gatwick, UK
With the brilliant Bloc here too, passengers at the South Terminal are spoilt for choice when it comes to comfortable and convenient lodging.
Yotelair – the airport spin-off of the hotel spin-off of the sushi restaurant chain – narrowly pips it because of its attention to detail with masterful minimalism.
Although its cabins are small they’re perfectly formed, with mood lighting, comfortable beds, a monsoon shower and super-fast wi-fi.
They can be booked any time of the day, for just a few hours if necessary.
From £95 a night at yotel.com
Chic Yotelair cabins are situated at the South Terminal of London Gatwick
FAIRMONT VANCOUVER AIRPORT, Canada
A two-minute walk from the baggage carousel, it could be on our list simply for its views.
Take in panoramas of the North Shore Mountains and taxiing aircraft through soundproofed floor-to-ceiling windows before enjoying a jetlag recovery treatment in the excellent day spa or a bite of Pacific Northwest cuisine in the Globe@YVR restaurant.
If you really like your dish, you can even arrange to take it on your flight with you via the Carry on Cuisine programme.
And for guests who have been casting a line in the rivers of British Columbia there’s a ‘fish valet’.
That prized salmon catch will be stored in the property’s fish freezer.
From £223 a night at fairmont.com
NAUMI HOTEL AUCKLAND AIRPORT, New Zealand
A few minutes away via a free transfer, what guests at this recently opened hotel lose in ultra-convenience they gain in Instagram-friendly design touches.
Naumi Hotel dazzles with Instagram-friendly interior design
Inspired by New Zealand’s native tui bird, it’s replete with a putting green, lush gardens, unicorn inflatables in the outdoor pool, and neon lighting and stylish furnishings in the riotously decorated rooms.
Paksa restaurant serves up Pacific Rim cuisine with a focus on health and wellbeing.Anyone spending time here on a stopover or longer is guaranteed plenty of material for their envious friends back at home.
From £81 a night at naumihotels.com
HILTON FRANKFURT AIRPORT, Germany
Located within the enormous and iconic ‘groundscraper’ Squaire building (the length of the Eiffel Tower laid flat) adjacent to Terminal 1.
There’s a huge glass atrium reception decorated with orbs that change colour at night, a hi-tech business centre and numerous meeting rooms.
Soundproof windows and luxurious linens are just a few of the reasons why it’s particularly popular with business travellers visiting Germany’s financial hub.
Rise restaurant promises, among many other things, “the finest bread”, while Fifth bar delivers pastries, burgers and beers.
From £113 a night at www.hilton.com