Europe's 10 Best Airport Hotels

by  Tommy Burson | May 2, 2014
Zurich / sorincolac/iStock

While overnight layovers can be a great excuse to explore (albeit briefly) an unknown city, the reality is you often end up too far from the airport. On the other hand, airport-adjacent lodging is rarely anything to write home about. Thank goodness, then, for these ten European airport hotels offering comfort, a glimpse of local culture, and reasonable prices – all while remaining conveniently close to (or, in some cases, inside) the airport.

Frankfurt, Germany
Competing against Frankfurt Airport’s world-renowned Sheraton, the two-year-old Hilton Garden Inn at The Squaire offers sleepy travelers an equal amount of luxury for just $125 per night (a good $75 less than Sheraton rates). Built above the high-speed ICE train, which offers instant access to downtown, the hotel also conveniently connects to Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1 via a scenic skywalk. A stay at the Garden Inn caters to business crowds and rushed travelers. Need a quick snack after your flight or before your business meeting? The 24-hour Pavilion Pantry in the lobby serves up healthy snacks, sweets, and a refreshing bevvy. Oh, and did we mention the free WiFi?

Milan, Italy
The only hotel directly connected to Milan Malpensa’s Terminal 1 and a mere 30 minutes from the city center, Sheraton Malpensa functions as much like a trendy, social hub as it does a quick layover point for travelers. After your flight, sit back and enjoy a tasteful cocktail at the Monterosa Bar, or gather with colleagues and enjoy traditional Italian fare at Il Canneto, accented with a 20-foot wine tower. Rooms start at $175 per night, showcasing a typically Milanese design-focused aesthetic. Plus, there’s complimentary breakfast and daily social hours with free wine tastings, located near reception.

Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its colorful, slightly coffeeshop-inspired look, Citizen M, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport fits Amsterdam to a tee. Located just a two-minute walk from Schiphol’s arrival and departure section, Citizen M attracts a business casual crowd, mixing professionals with young travelers. This creates a social atmosphere, especially with services like the canteenM cocktail bar. The stylish living rooms are furnished with Vitra’s finest. Single rooms begin at $160 per night, each equipped with free WiFi, free movies, and a power rain shower.

Madrid, Spain
Sleek, stylish, and sublimely Spanish, Hilton Madrid Airport intertwines the city’s elegance with the standard comforts of Hilton. Located just a few minutes from the airport (via complimentary shuttle service) and 15 minutes from Madrid’s downtown, it’s an ideal hotel for those looking to both rejuvenate after a long flight and explore a bit of the city. Starting rates of $137 per night — along with amenities like free WiFi in the hotel lounges, city tours, and a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool — illustrate why Hilton Madrid Airport has been awarded the best business hotel in Spain for the past three years.

Rome, Italy
Unlike other spots in the city center, Hilton Rome Airport brings a modern touch to the ancient city. So while you won’t be lounging in a 300-hundred-year-old villa, you also won’t have to deal with creaky floors and drippy shower heads. In typical Hilton fashion, the hotel guarantees much needed R&R with the swimming pool, cocktail lounge, and spacious sundeck. The tennis court adds a dose of ritz, as does a rotating exhibit in the lobby showcasing works by local painters. Hilton Rome is located just a five-minute walk from Terminals 1, 2, and 3, and rates start at $180/night.

Moscow, Russia
Any long-haul flight brings along a bit of restlessness. At Holiday Inn Moscow - Vinogradovo, guests can blow off some steam in the game room and on-site bowling alley. The hotel itself is a little out of the way from Moscow’s Red Square (about a 30-minute subway ride), but it’s an ideal location if you’re looking for an extended layover from Sheremetyevo Airport (about a 15-minute shuttle ride). For a nightly price of $105, you'll get free WiFi, a breakfast buffet complete with omelette bar, and a spectacular lakeside setting — the perfect haven for those curious about Moscow, but hoping to avoid its hustle and bustle.

London, England
A proposed second runway at Gatwick airport has necessitated the emergence of BLOC Hotel Gatwick, which, like other BLOC properties, merges luxury and technology. Upon entering, guests use their smartphones as a room key. Other tech-savvy amenities include a wall-mounted tablet next to the beds, flatscreen TVs, and free WiFi. Noise isn't an issue, thanks to extra-thick windows (even the rooms overlooking the runway are blissfully quiet). The hotel is located inside the airport’s South Terminal, upstairs from the train station, and literally steps away from passport control, so you don’t have to worry about running to catch your flight. Rates start at $100 per night.

Warsaw, Poland
It’s not often you’ll get a layover in Warsaw – but considering the city’s moniker as Europe’s new restaurant center, tourists may be taking a greater interest. The Hotel Courtyard by Marriott at Warsaw Chopin Airport is a perfect place to say, especially at the cheap rate of $95 per night. Guests can follow flight departures and arrivals in the lobby, meaning you won’t have to leave the comfort of your hotel if your flight gets delayed. And, speaking of comfort, the hotel offers free WiFi as well as a brasserie serving traditional Polish fare (pierogies, anyone?). For those looking to explore one of Warsaw’s trendy restaurants, it’s a 30-minute ride to Warsaw’s Old Town and Royal Castle.

Keflavik, Iceland
With Icelandair offering multi-night layovers, Hotel Keflavik is an easy choice for short-term explorers of Reykjavik. The recently renovated property is located five minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from the famed Blue Lagoon, and 40 minutes from downtown Reykjavik. Better yet, Hotel Keflavik will even arrange your Icelandic travel migrations, such as shuttle service to and from Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle. Prices here begin at $120 per night (including a complementary Nordic breakfast), and the hotel even offers a concierge service to help you book your full- or half-day itinerary.

Zurich, Switzerland
Distinguished as the only hotel with direct access to Zurich International Airport terminals, Radisson Blu Hotel at Zurich Airport is perfect for those arriving or departing a European river cruise. First, though, let’s get this out of the way: Switzerland’s expensive. At $200 per night, the Radisson Blu in Zurich is no exception. But the on-site Filini Restaurant, serving traditional Italian fare under the scope of designer Matteo Thun, helps justify the cost. After dinner, guests can take a 10-minute train ride to the downtown area, where the famed Bahnhofstrasse awaits.

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