My friend Kara and I went to Russia over Thanksgiving week 2019. She found an insanely low-cost flight on Delta, $500 total to travel from Miami to St. Petersburg via Amsterdam on the outbound flight, and Moscow to Miami via Paris inbound. Our Miami to Amsterdam flight took off in the early evening around 5 p.m. and got us in to Amsterdam around 6 a.m. local time, which to us felt like the middle of the night, and we had a six-hour layover in Amsterdam until our next flight. We were tired and felt gross from the transatlantic flight, but figured we could get comfy and camp out in one of the many airport lounges she has access to through a credit card membership.
Much to our chagrin, we were denied entry at not one but two airport lounges, because we had more than three hours remaining until our flight. Exhausted and a little angry, we set off to settle in to a harshly-lit seating area when Kara spotted the airport’s Yotel, a place to relax in comfort and catch some Z’s without leaving the airport.
The rooms were available for 50 euro for a maximum of four hours, which we gladly plunked down, tired and knowing we couldn’t get into a lounge for another two-and-a-half hours. After checking in, making some delirious jokes about the “Yotel, Motel, Holiday Inn (SAY WHAAAATT?)” we were off to our respective rooms for some quality nap time.
Yotels are billed as “smart-space” hotels – they even call the rooms “cabins,” like it’s an airplane or a ship. The room I stayed in could best be described as a cross between a futuristic hotel room and a tiny house. Apparently, there are Yotel hotels out in the world at non-airport locations, and even Yotel condos coming soon. My bed was up on a platform and very comfy, and the cabin glowed with a soft pink light that could be turned off, almost completely blacking out the space. The room also had wifi, which I used for a grand total of five minutes before passing out for the next three-plus hours. It also had a bathroom and a shower. If I had spent a little less time sleeping, I could have taken advantage of the opportunity to freshen up a bit more, but the extra minutes of sleep were totally worth it.
At 50 euro for four hours, it was by far the most expensive nap I’ve ever taken, but for someone who loves to sleep, it was also a contender for the best 50 euro I spent on that trip. We woke up refreshed and ready for the next leg.
Have you ever stayed at a Yotel, nap pod or found another creative way to rest during a long layover? Share your stories in the comments.