what is an airport hotel
Grand Hyatt SFO, a luxurious airport hotel. Credit: Hyatt

Whether you’re a full-time traveler or just on a yearly vacation, staying in an airport hotel can be really convenient and helpful on your trip. Find out everything you need to know about staying in airport hotels in this handy article! 

An airport hotel is a hotel that is within close proximity to the airport. They are convenient for travelers on a long layover who want a clean and comfortable place to rest. They can also act as a place to stay for those who are stuck in transit due to flight cancellations or weather. They usually have all the features and amenities you would expect to find in a regular hotel. 

In this article, I’ll go over the pros and cons of airport hotels, what sets them apart from other hotels, and give you a breakdown of everything you need to know before checking yourself in!

What is the difference between an airport hotel and a regular hotel?

A regular hotel is a type of accommodation that can be found all over the world. They are usually situated in busy tourist areas and provide accommodation and amenities for travelers. Regular hotels can be found scattered across cities and rural areas but are likely to be found near busy tourist destinations or attractions.

The difference between an airport hotel and a regular hotel is that the airport hotel might cost more due to its prime location. There are also limited brands that are connected or close to the airport and they are usually the more expensive brand name hotels.

What is the difference between an airport hotel and a transit hotel?

A transit hotel is a special type of hotel that is located in the transit zone of an airport, unlike an airport hotel that is connected to or near by the airport. This means you don’t have to leave the airport to stay at this kind of hotel. Transit hotels are great for travelers with long layovers who want to avoid snoozing at the gateway. They also provide a comfortable refuge for those stuck in transit due to flight changes or cancellations. 

Transit hotels are different from airport hotels because they charge their guests by the hour, which can be convenient or inconvenient depending on the length of your stay. If you’re on a long layover and need a nap, it’s a very reasonable option compared to the uncomfortable gate benches or leaving the airport to find a hotel. For those who are stuck in transit and have a longer stay, it might be more inconvenient. 

If you do decide to leave the airport and stay in an airport hotel, make sure you’re prepared and know all the important details about collecting your luggage on a layover. Be sure to avoid any travel mishaps and keep your luggage with you when leaving the airport!

Price differences

Regular hotel

Regular hotels charge guests nightly and can range in price depending on the amenities offered and the level of luxury. These kinds of hotels often give deals and discounts to their customers that can be found on websites like Trivago, Expedia, and Priceline

Airport Hotel

Prices may vary when booking airport hotels for many reasons. Often, when travelers are new to a country, they prefer to stay near an airport, so there is great demand for these types of hotels. Hotel chains that are able to build near airports are usually more luxurious brands like Grand Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott. These brands already charge a premium for their more upscale rooms.

High demand and limited choice are the biggest factors in an Airport hotel’s price point. Be sure to book a hotel far in advance to try and secure the best price before you travel.

What amenities do airport hotels have?

Airport hotels tend to have all the same amenities you would expect a regular hotel to have. Features like a gym, sauna, pool, continental breakfast, turndown service, and more can be found in airport hotels.

Why stay in an airport hotel?

There are plenty of perks to staying in an airport hotel that you should consider. Airport hotels are very convenient if you have a long layover and plan on going into the city to explore. Cabs and Uber to the hotel won’t have the premium fee they normally have when traveling back and forth to the airport. 

If you’re traveling solo in a country, it’s completely natural to feel a little unsafe. Staying in an airport hotel offers familiarity and safety, especially if it’s a brand you’re familiar with. These airport hotels might offer a free or cheap shuttle to and from the airport for their guests, making getting to the airport affordable and safe. 

If you have a shorter layover, these hotels are a great choice to get a little rest. They offer a comfortable respite, a clean place to shower, and a safe place to store luggage. In the event your flight gets canceled or delayed, an airport hotel is an excellent option for staying close to the airport in case of a last-minute flight change.

Downsides of airport hotels

Of course, airport hotels have their downsides, too. Due to their proximity to the airport, they do tend to be louder than the average hotel. Although hotel chains do their best to mitigate the noise, they usually aren’t as soundproof as most people would like. Jet engines taking off and landing at all hours of the night might not be ideal for light sleepers or children. 

Airport hotels often have a premium charge, which might be out of range for most budget travelers and even some mid-range travelers. An average night stay at an airport hotel can cost between $200-$400 USD per night. Being a member of a hotel loyalty program can mitigate those costs a bit with points earning and free upgrades.

Airport hotels in other countries outside the Americas, Europe, and Australia might cost significantly less but still higher compared to hotels in the nearest city.

Pros and Cons


  • Convenient location 
  • Safe and comfortable 
  • Familiar brands


  • Can be expensive
  • Can be loud

Popular airport hotel chains in the US


Marriott is a common hotel chain across the USA and is a great option for travelers. This hotel chain owns many familiar brands of hotels like The Ritz Carlton, Westin, Sheraton, and aloft hotels.


  • Top-notch amenities 
  • friendly and helpful staff. 
  • Affordable 

Price point: $200-$299 USD

Grand Hyatt

Service is unparalleled at the Grand Hyatt. Guests can expect a luxurious stay with top-quality amenities. Guests are often unexpectedly delighted by the delicious food in the hotel restaurants at the Grand Hyatt. 


  • Luxurious rooms
  • Great amenities
  • Maintains quality across locations  

Price point: $350-$420 USD


The Hilton is another quality brand where guests can book without thinking twice. The Hilton’s service, rooms, and amenities are always up to their sky-high standards. You’re definitely in for a good night’s sleep when booking a room at the Hilton. 


  • Clean and comfortable rooms
  • Maintains quality across locations
  • Affordable 

Price point: $250-$300 USD


The InterContinental is another wonderful budget stay with clean and modern rooms that are both comfortable and practical. They have incredible amenities and have won many awards for cleanliness and hospitality. This chain of hotels is a great choice for an airport hotel stay. 


  • Affordable
  • Clean rooms
  • Modern look

Price point: $175- $250 USD

TWA Hotel

Stay in style at a TWA Hotel. With its unique architectural design and retro elements scattered throughout the hotel, it’s sure to be a unique experience. Enjoy a drink in a 60’s sunken lounge or watch planes take off from the rooftop pool, it’s definitely a cool way to enjoy your layover. The rooms stick to the sleek retro design and make a comfortable night’s stay. 


  • Unique decor and design
  • One-of-a-kind amenities 

Price point: $350-$400 USD

Check out our guide for the best airport hotels for more detailed recommendations.

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