Love them or loathe them, airport hotels are convenient, and whether you are looking for somewhere to rest before an early flight, somewhere to revitalise during a long stopover, or simply somewhere to catch a few hours sleep during transit, a good airport hotel can make all the difference to your journey… but finding a ‘good’ one is not always easy.
Airport hotels within walking distance of the airport terminal are often expensive, particularly when compared to those in surrounding areas, but are they really worth the money? Hotels outside the airport grounds can be as much as 50 percent cheaper, and they usually provide a complimentary shuttle service to and from the terminal, but do you really want to catch a bus when travelling early morning, late night, with small children, or with lots of luggage?
When it comes to Airport Hotels, it’s all about finding the right balance, and having recently stayed at the new Hampton Inn by Hilton at Stansted Airport, it seems that the big chains are finally getting it right!
The Hampton Inn by Hilton is situated opposite the Stansted Airport Train Station, a 5-minute stroll from the airport terminal. The flat paved walkway from the airport to the hotel is covered, and a lift takes you up to the terminal floor. It’s effortless.
Inside, the hotel is modern, fresh, and well presented. The fact that the reception, bar, breakfast area, and restaurant all merge into one space might not appeal to everyone, but it is a huge space with plenty of different seating areas (high bar tables, comfy couches, and dining tables), and there is free WIFI throughout.
When comparted to the neighbouring Radisson Blu Hotel at Stansted Airport, the bar at the Hampton Inn certainly doesn’t have the same wow factor (there’s no acrobat in the wine cellar for one!), but its practical, there’s a good selection of well-priced beverages, and the staff are fast, efficient and courteous.
The menu at the Hampton Inn is limited, but there really is something for everyone with typical pub grub favourites such as lasagne, burgers, Thai curry, and pizzas. There’s a choice of starters and desserts too, and the service is fast – very fast! So, make sure you’re hungry when you order.
What impressed me the most about this particular airport hotel is the cleanliness and the well-appointed rooms. Our twin room had two very large single beds with crisp white linens, a choice of pillows, a tea/coffee station, TV, air con, an iron and ironing board, a hairdryer, and plenty of electrical sockets with USB adapters to charge your essentials.
The bathroom is bright and airy, with a walk-in shower and all the necessary toiletries including shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. No towel hooks would be my only gripe here, but overall, the rooms are excellent and well designed for both business and leisure travellers.
Finally, there’s the breakfast, which is included in the room rate. Served from 4am each morning, it includes a huge selection of hot and cold food items, and it’s surprisingly good. You could enjoy a full English Breakfast, a continental breakfast, or simply grab a piece of fresh fruit and a croissant – you’ll find everything you can think of at the breakfast buffet, and this is one of the main reasons while I’ll be choosing the Hampton Inn over the Radisson Blu Hotel as my number #1 Stansted Airport Hotel.