The Layover: 5 Airports Worth the Stay

by Matthew Wexler
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Nov 15, 2012

The scenarios are endless: Your taxi gets a flat tire en route to the airport. The plane is experiencing mechanical difficulties. Maybe you've willingly given up your seat for a future free round-trip ticket. Perhaps you've "grinded" or "scruffed" your way into meeting the man of your dreams (or the night)? Whichever the case, you may find yourself stuck in a far off place without the wherewithal or energy to trek into the city center for an evening's rest.

Have no fear. EDGE has uncovered five can't-miss airport hotels that offer unique amenities, picture-perfect views, and world-class dining, all within walking distance or a quick shuttle from your terminal. Who knows, you may want to stay a second night.

Hotel Radisson Blu, Zurich

Within a mad dash to the terminals and airport shopping center, Zurich’s Hotel Radisson Blu is Switzerland’s most booked and best-rated business hotel. The 330-room hotel includes 6 one-bedroom suites in a variety of styles and free, high-speed Internet access is available throughout the property. If you have a burst of energy, Zurich’s old town is only 10 minutes away by train.

Over the EDGE: Award-winning Italian architect Matteo Thun has designed a palette of rich and welcoming fabrics and surfaces in several different themes, including At Home, Chic, and Fresh. For an Obama-worthy experience (and one that will crush your expense account), settle into the Presidential Suite. Added features include Bose sound system, additional design elements by George Nelson, Cassina and Vitra Design, and an open bath area featuring a signature tub by Philippe Stark. You can squeal like a pig in mud and clean up with body care products by Anne Semonin - although nobody will hear you through the soundproof panoramic windows.

Don’t Miss: Angel’s Wine Tour Grill and Bar offer dynamic dining and drinking options in a Cirque du Soleil-style setting that may leave a crick in your neck from all the crooning you’ll be doing to check out the action. The restaurant’s ceiling becomes an art installation with the display of 300 stag antlers. Meanwhile, the atrium bar makes full use of the soaring ceiling to showcase a 4,000 bottle collection and "wine angels" that fly through the air to retrieve your selection.

Hyatt Harborside, Boston

"Pahk the cah in Hahvad Yahd" and head to the Hyatt Harborside for an unparalleled view of Boston’s cityscape. Considered one of the top luxury hotels in Boston, the property is also making a statement for the 21st century with its eco-friendly initiatives that include a saline mineral pool, Energy Star certification, and one of the city’s first Green Business Awards.

Over the EDGE: The hotel boasts Respire by Hyatt - Hypo-Allergenic Rooms that includes a six-step process to reduce airborne particles and irritants. And with all of those potential in-flight germs floating around, a pure night’s rest is just what you’ll need. If you arrive with a jolt of energy, take advantage of 24-hour access to the StayFit gym, or get focused for the day ahead and tap into your inner kundalini with YogaAway in the privacy of your own room.

Don’t Miss: The water is the key attraction at the Hyatt Harborside, so be sure to book a room with a view. Harbor cruises and water taxis are easily accessible. A three-hour harbor cruise offers picture-perfect views of the Boston skyline and harbor islands, while the taxi will transport you to more than 60 stops from the Shipyard Quarters Marina to Liberty Warf. (Note that water taxis stop operating at 10 p.m.) Staying put may be just as enticing with a sunset dinner at the Harborside Grill, where you can enjoy a lobster roll and local beer.

Regal Airport Hotel, Hong Kong

With a whopping 1,171 guest rooms, you may feel like you’ve actually arrived in Hong Kong without ever leaving the airport. Awarded the world’s best airport hotel for two years in a row by Skytrax, the world’s largest airline review site, the Regal Airport Hotel in Hong Kong boasts features and amenities ranging from complimentary shoeshine service and airline "self check-in" kiosks to an organic farm and both an indoor an outdoor pool. Utilize the enclosed comfort of an air-conditioned link bridge that connects directly to the terminal and you’ll feel fresh as a plum blossom as you proceed to your next destination.

Over the EDGE: Enter into your own personal oasis by booking a Spa Deluxe or Spa Cabana room, located at the hotel’s OM Spa. Rooms feature both a traditional bed and massage table, while the cabanas also include an outdoor patio and Jacuzzi. A 60-minute massage or facial is included in the room rate.

Don’t Miss: Authentic Asian dishes from a variety of regions as well as Japanese and sushi are available at Regal Airport Hotel’s six restaurants. For a truly authentic experience, dine at Rouge where you can sample traditional and modern interpretations of Canton and Sichuan delicacies from a 35-page menu. Eat like the locals by sampling signature dishes such as golden prawns with salty egg yolk and sautéed fresh milk or smoked crispy chicken with supreme tea leaves. Five-course tasting menus are also available.

CitizenM Hotel, Amsterdam

The latest brand in "affordable luxury", CitizenM is currently in the Netherlands and Scotland but is about to make its footprint in London, New York, and Paris. The brand targets the budget-conscious traveler who has a taste for the finer things in life.

Over the EDGE: CitizenM’s concept puts in in charge, with self check-in and a lobby space designed to feel like you’re sitting at home (if your home is furnished with modern designs by Vitra). Features include free Wi-Fi and computer use, and 24-hour canteen and cocktail bar. Once tucked away in your room, enjoy a king-size bed, free movies on demand, and a touchscreen MoodPad that gives you full control of the room from TV and mood lighting to window blinds and temperature.

Don’t Miss: CitizenM will offer you comfortable last-minute digs, but in this case, the real find is the airport itself. Schiphol Amsterdam Airport is packed with retail and dining options that will encourage you to help the European Union get back on its feet. If you shop at the beginning of your trip, Schiphol offers free Shop & Collect, whereby you can leave purchases securely at the airport and pick up prior to your return flight. You can even reserve items online (48 hours prior to departure). With more than 30 dining options, relax with a pikketanissie (a traditional Dutch spirit, similar to gin) before heading to your next destination.

InterContinental, Chicago O’Hare, Chicago

Nicknamed "the Windy City" in part due to its 19th century blustery rivalry with Cincinnati, Chicago is still no stranger to inclement weather. So if you find yourself snowbound this winter, rest assure that settling into the InterContinental puts the Second City at the top of its game for airport accommodations.

Over the EDGE: Live entertainment is an elevator ride away at The Montrose Room. This intimate live music venue is receiving accolades across the board for its state-of-the-art acoustic design, cabaret-style seating, and talent roster ranging from Grammy winners to up-and-coming talent. If you’re lucky, you might catch the spontaneous humor of Second City. Start your night with specialty cocktails at Ice Bar and you’ve got a recipe for a night out on the town without ever leaving the hotel.

Don’t Miss: Full-time curators scout, source and care for a rotating exhibit of art and sculpture that adorn the InterContinental, turning hallways into exhibition spaces. "The ’Museo’ concept showcases how the hotel embraces the visual arts - sculpture, painting, architecture, photography - enhancing our guest’s stay and fueling a passion for experiencing culture," says curator Martha Schneider. The current showing, "Elevate," showcases original works from six of the cities most prominent galleries. Complimentary tours are available upon request.


Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Style and Travel Editor. More of his writing can be found at Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.


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