My Yotel Experience

The Tiny House Blog has featured the Yotel airport hotel pods before and this time I had a chance to stay in one at Heathrow Airport in London. These convenient sleeping pods located in London, Amsterdam and New York give you the option for a more peaceful layover while combining space saving designs, Japanese esthetics and a hint of Star Trek.

Yotel offers several sizes of these transit rooms including double, twin, bunk style and Standard, which features a single bed, but more space. At the Heathrow Yotel there were 32 pods built into the hotel, a Command Center where you check in and order food and coffee and a small waiting room. Each Yotel offers free WiFi and free hot drinks. For even more convenience, the Yotel was located right at the front of Terminal 4 so you don’t need a boarding pass or have to go through security to make it to your room in the middle of the night. Yotel rooms can be booked by the hour, so if you have an eight to twelve hour layover it’s a nice place to get some shuteye.

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My particular pod was meant for just one person and contained a twin bed built into the wall, a TV and remote, folding desk and chair, a mirror and luggage rack and a great little wet bath with toilet, tiny sink and a wonderful shower with a rain shower head. All this fitting into a space the size of a walk-in closet. The pod was tiny, so having just one piece of luggage was perfect. Any more and it would be too crowded. There was a take-out menu, a phone for ordering food, a glass for water, soap and shampoo, towels, sheets, fluffy pillows and a feather comforter. A privacy screen was available for the window in the door and I really got a kick out of the small, folding chair that hung on the back of the door.

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The best part of the Yotel was not only the very comfortable bed, but the hot shower and the free cappuccino the next morning. These pods are not cheap (6 hours cost about $70), but the sleep and shower put me in a much better frame of mind for a 10-hour flight.

Even if you don’t get to spend many hours in these cool little pods you can still pretend you’re a member of the USS Enterprise bridge crew.

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Photos by Christina Nellemann

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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Brenda - June 23, 2014 Reply

That is the coolest thing ever! I could definitely do that and what a great idea for long layovers. Thanks for sharing the great pics.

Dominick Bundy - June 23, 2014 Reply

Nice concept, but was wondering do any of these pods have a window? I can’t imagine trying to sleep in such a small space without a window..How would one get air or circulation ? if there is no window..

    Christina Nellemann - June 25, 2014 Reply

    Hello Dominick. Yes, all of these particular pods had a window in the door with a privacy screen that you could pull down. I’m a bit claustrophobic and I was fine in my single pod. However, I met a woman the next morning in the lobby (who had three large bags of luggage) and had no idea how small they were. She was freaking out a bit about the size.

Wendy - June 23, 2014 Reply

Looks pretty cozy! Did they have a wake-up call service? I would worry about sleeping and missing my flight.

Cedar - June 23, 2014 Reply

Fun post. Thank you!

jipsi - June 23, 2014 Reply

Wow, thanks for the ‘mini trip’! I often wondered about these ‘sleep pods’, having heard about them as mainly a Japan type offering, or via my fave old sci-fi/cyberpunk WIlliam Gibson novels (Neuromancer, Burning Chrome, etc) who was ‘using’ similar ‘pods’ like these waaaaay back in the 70’s when the concept was still… well… a concept…. BIG KUDOS for sharing so many pics! Although these are tiny, I can still see them as being a very attractive – and sublimely more pleasant! – alternative to pacing airport shoppes and eateries, contorting oneself quite uncomfortably in the well-used (and questionably ‘clean’?) seating for a few minutes much-needed shuteye outside the boarding gate, over a more-than-3-hour layover…. 😉

Marsha Cowan - June 23, 2014 Reply

That’s about the cutest thing I have seen in a long time! Looks really comfy cozy, too. Makes me want to travel just have to stay over in one of these adorable little rooms. Thanks for sharing that!

jane - June 24, 2014 Reply

I have stayed at the heathrow yotel..we loved playing dens when i was a child and this was just a delightful but more sophisticated and comfortable the staff were excellent.. cannot recommend this too highly

Oahu Girl - June 25, 2014 Reply

After flying, $70 seems WELL worth it to me !

A Yotel Experience | Tiny House Blog | Small Lifestyle - June 26, 2014 Reply

[…] Read the full article […]

Katie - June 27, 2014 Reply

Great story, thanks for sharing! I love how they painted the floor next to the bathroom door that fun, fuchsia accent color. I’d love a chance to try one of these out, however don’t have plans to be in London in the near future but I’m never saying never. $70 for 6 hours seems a bit pricey but I suppose you don’t have to leave security so your paying for convenience. All in all, great concept!

Cheers,
Katie

Marsha Cowan - June 29, 2014 Reply

Sooooo….when are we going to get more tinyhouseblog articles? : <

Lisa E. - July 1, 2014 Reply

Fabulous. In the past, when I traveled overseas, the layovers were a killer. I can still remember aching all over from hours of sitting in cold waiting areas for the connecting flight. I hope they put this in O’Hare; I couldn’t think of an airport that needs it more!

marcia - July 2, 2014 Reply

Looks fabulous. What fun! Like playing “house” as a kid. For NYC – might be good to use before an early am flight to miss the dreaded rush hour. Have to see which airport has these – JFK or LaGuardia. $70+ looks cheap for NYC! Thanks for reporting. Now they just need to put these all over to avoid the Long Layover Angst. Three locations worldwide is pretty limited! Yoo-hoo Yodel!!!

Lenore - August 21, 2014 Reply

i stayed once in the gatwick yotel in London. It’ s true the rooms are small with no real window, but, when exhausted, the soft comforters and pillow were sooooo welcome. Didn’t even notice the windows were missing! I was amazed by the tiny bathroom with everything you could need on hand.
Also the price was about 32 british pounds…not so pricey for a real sleep.
I’d stay in one again if I had to.

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