Generally standardized, oscillating between high-end chains and economy brands, airport hotels are changing. Traditionally targeting business travelers - those forced to take a flight very early in the morning, to participate in a meeting that is prolonged - but increasingly open to leisure customers, professionals are now redesigning the challenges of the sector. Already started a few years ago with the arrival of the CitizenM brands in Amsterdam Schiphol, Pentahotel in Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Moxy in Frankfurt, London and Munich, the "lifestylization" movement is spreading to all major airports around the world.
In a complex market and economy, where competition is fierce, all players want to make their mark, said Olivier Cohn, CEO of Best Western France. For a long time, products have changed little, but things are changing, and our bet is to offer today an alternative in terms of tone, spirit and service. The American brand, which now has 4,300 addresses worldwide, including 300 in France, inaugurated at the beginning of the year, at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport, the Aiden Hotel by Best Western, a new brand with a more premium positioning than the previous one (but offered at the same price as the former Best Western Plus Paris Roissy) and betting on a strong décor. "Demand has evolved," continues Olivier Cohn. Aiden responds to a demand for more contemporary and social hospitality. Customers want to spend more time in common areas, bar, restaurant, want to socialize. The decorative bias, our DNA, changes the game, and the differentiation of services – healthy kitchen, outdoor space, music, food truck... – now attracts a new clientele, young and old.»
The June Hotel is a nod to the free spirit and soul of California and is a distinctive addition to the Los Angeles boutique hotel landscape. Press photo
On the other side of the planet, the American brand Hotel June, developed by Proper Hospitality, already leading the development of the Proper Hotel and Avalon Hotel brands, inaugurated in 2021 its first establishment, just a few hundred meters from Tom Bradley International Terminal Airport, breaking completely with the established genre. "We're the opposite of airport hotels," says Eva Nineuil, the group's creative director, based in Los Angeles. Because of its location, about ten minutes from the Venice district, the hotel makes the perfect spot, at a lower price (count 250 dollars per night) to be at the heart of the Californian lifestyle. As for travelers departing or arriving from LAX, they live here a unique experience before catching their flight, in a very relaxed setting, around a swimming pool immersed in a Tulum atmosphere, a menu serving fish tacos, a cocktail and spritz menu guaranteeing a change of scenery ... And for those who are passionate about aviation, three suites on the top floor have views of the LAX tarmac, observation spots to watch planes take off on the runways, over the Pacific, with sunset as a bonus...
Located in the heart of Terminal 2 of Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport, Moxy Lyon Airport is a few steps from the boarding gates and offers "runway view rooms". Press photo
A last experience pushed to the extreme for a few years already by some brands. In 2019, in the heart of JFK airport in New York, the former terminal of the TWA company, built in 1962 by the Finnish architect Eero Saarinen and which will earn it to be classified as a historical monument, reopened converted into a luxury hotel, nearly eighteen years after the abandonment of the premises. The TWA Hotel offers 512 rooms in a very design style, most with views of the tarmac. An "immersive experience", say hotel specialists, and strategic access to the clientele of travelers, which can be found in the last Moxy hotel located at Saint-Exupéry airport in Lyon. Operated and rehabilitated by the French group Alboran (as part of a franchise with the Marriott group), the former Sofitel offers 123 rooms with "slope view". "Lyon is the fourth airport in France, a true crossroads for local and international travelers," explains Eric Omgba, co-founder of Alboran. Our "bleisure" clientele - in other words business and leisure - is now looking for a more fun, more modern, more relaxed hotel. It is a unique experience to sleep in the heart of an airplane ballet, while being comfortable in bed. Our customers love it!»
It is a unique experience to sleep in the heart of an airplane ballet, while being comfortable in bed.
Eric Omgba, Alboran
At or near the tarmac, airport hotels now claim a greener positioning. Established at Bordeaux-Mérignac airport for a year and a half, the Accor group's Greet brand advocates "circular hospitality to feel good while doing good". Concretely, the hotel, which has 86 family rooms, has toured garage sales and second-hand shops to dress all its spaces. He favors small local producers for his breakfast, installs insect huts in his garden and organizes, with limited success, workshops on the theme of composting... This trend towards eco-responsibility is also of interest to the Eklo brand, which claims its "green" commitment everywhere, and whose last hotel opened in February at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle. On the travelers' agenda: market cuisine, organic breakfast cereals, a zero plastic policy, cigarette butt recyclers and an eco-design that makes it proud to "consume half as much water and electricity as a classic hotel". A general movement that also seduces the super-economy hotel industry. Established in Roissy since 2018, as well as at Amsterdam airport, and now present in eleven countries, the easyHotel brand wants to offer the best carbon footprint per occupied bed. An ambition translated to CDG by the construction of a building and rooms favoring as much raw, sustainable and recycled materials as possible.
Five hotels at the foot of the slopes
L'Esprit Libre Aiden by Best Western, Paris Roissy
The new concept l'Esprit Libre is the promise of a stay synonymous with a parenthesis of Bohemian life, far from the usual daily life, stress and pressure. Press photo
Psychedelic colors, bohemian furniture and flower power tapestries, this is the new identity of this hotel located 5 minutes from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport. On the menu: a Nina bar in tribute to Nina Simone, a restaurant focusing on local and French products, and 119 stylish rooms.
From 110 €.Hotelespritlibre.com
Hotel June West, Los Angeles
Housed in a Mid-Century building, this hotel has 229 rooms and 21 suites, all equipped with linen sheets and trendy Aesop products. The rest is a hymn to holidays and Mexico, as opposed to traditional airport hotels.
From 230 €.Thehoteljune.com
TWA Hotel, New York JFK
In a spectacular building, with original architecture in the shape of bird wings, stand the 512 rooms of the TWA Hotel, rentable by the day or by the night. Sixties spirit in the décor, lobby dipped in red and furniture signed Knoll, the work of the agency Stonehill Taylor, also at the origin of the Ace Hotel New York and Brooklyn. From 300 €.Twahotel.com
Read alsoFrom the terminal to the hotel: TWA, a glamorous epic made in USA
Eklo Hotel Restaurant,Paris Roissy
The ninth hotel of its kind in France, the 3-storey property has 151 rooms with multiple categories ranging from solo travelers to groups and families. On the program: check-in at the bar, restaurant and market kitchen, wooden library to phosphorate, grocery store and wine cellar to snack.
From 57 €.Elkohotels.com
Greet Accor, Bordeaux Merignac
Greet Accor Bordeaux Merignac: 3 minutes by tram from the airport, the fourth hotel of the Greet brand (which has 27 in France) targets business and economy customers by claiming its green fiber on all floors. Some 86 keys, a cheap restaurant, and a guiding thread: being human and committed.
From 60 €.All.accor.com