Pod Hotels Coming To An Airport Near You

11 Feb

The company Minute Suites chose two connection hubs for its debut hotels—Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport was the first to open in 2009, followed by Philadelphia International Airport, which opened last March. Two new locations inside Dallas/Fort Worth Airport are in the works—the first will open near the end of this year in Terminal D, serving several international and domestic airlines. Another is slated for Terminal A (where American Airlines currently resides) for the end of 2014.

Each roughly 56-square-foot room has a daybed—those in Philadelphia have an additional pull-out trundle—pillows and blankets, along with a 32-inch HDTV that also can be used as a computer with a wireless keyboard and mouse. An in-room workstation (desk, phone, office chair) appeals to the business travelers that make up most of the company’s customers. And, according to CEO Daniel Solomon, the rooms are even used for small meetings occasionally.

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While there’s no room service or bathrooms in the current locations, the new Minute Suites at Dallas/Fort Worth will have private shower units, says Solomon. The suites go for $30 the first hour (the minimum stay) and $7.50 for every 15 minutes afterward (discounts apply for longer stays). The company doesn’t plan to stop expanding, either—it’s in negotiations with several other U.S. airport hubs.

Inspired by Japanese capsule hotels, London-based Yotel has pods inside Heathrow and Gatwick Airports as well as Amsterdam’s Schiphol and is looking to add more across the pond soon—it’s bidding to open a hotel inside New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport and is negotiating with other large airports in the U. S. and Europe. The hotel’s rooms are largely self-service (you can book online and check in and out on a computer console) with a futuristic feel.

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Standard cabins—measuring 75 square feet—come with a bunk-style single bed complete with a flat-screen TV, plus a small work desk and tiny bathroom with shower. Premium rooms provide a step up in square footage and a larger double bed.

Rooms must be rented for at least four hours, and prices run from £25 (about $45) for a standard room to £40 (about $63) for a premium cabin. Travelers often stay at Yotel before early morning flights or to get cleaned up before a big meeting.

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The design-centric wooden pods by Russian-based Sleepbox may populate European airports and train stations with its cool concept soon. (Currently a model unit is in place at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.) The self-contained compartments are the most spare on the mini-hotel spectrum, with a bed platform, electrical outlets, nightstand, reading lamps and electric blinds. In the meantime, Sleepbox is opening a Moscow hostel this spring that’s outfitted with the tiny rooms. Next up? Customizing Sleepboxes for use inside offices—another place where rest is hard to come by.

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestravelguide/2012/02/10/pod-hotels-coming-to…

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