Next time you’re in Atlanta and you feel the need to rent a room by the hour, you’ll be able to do it without leaving the airport and heading to a sleezy part of town. Behold, I bring you the Minute Suites.
For world travelers, this is nothing new. You can find dayrooms in airports all over the place, but the US has been way behind the curve on this trend. Atlanta is, I believe, the only place you can currently do it in the US. Please correct me in the comments section if I’m wrong.
I think the airport may be the one place where you would even consider lying on the sheets they provide in a rent-by-the-hour hotel. I mean, it’s a pretty sketchy business in almost any context. But in the airport it makes perfect sense, and it’s a welcome addition.
Here’s how it works. Go to minutesuites.com and you can reserve a room. The mini hotel is located on concourse B outside gate 15. The cost is $30 for the first hour and $7.50 for each 15 minutes after. Anything over 8 hours will get you a 25% discount. That’s still a very hefty $450 for 20 hours (which is basically what you get at a regular hotel). So this is clearly not for that purpose.
The main purpose is for those people who want some sleep. A few years back, I took a redeye from San Francisco to Atlanta and then had a 5 hour layover before my flight to South Africa. I would have loved to have had a bed for a couple hours to break up the two overnight flights.
It’s about time that this trend came to the US. I know there have been efforts in the past (I recall a hotel in the Bradley terminal at LAX long ago), but hopefully this time it’s a trend with staying power. If you want to take advantage, I’d highly recommend making a reservation. There are only a few rooms in this place.
Orlando International also does hourly rentals at the Hyatt in the main terminal. I believe it works out to $40 an hour. I checked into a room after landing on a red eye flight from the west coast to nap, wash up, and change for an all-day affair in Orlando and my total bill for the 2 hours was just under $90
Los Angeles (LAX) had a similar concept years ago. I don’t know if it’s still in business but I rented one for a nap back in 1990 or so.
With all the travel options these days, it’s hard to believe anyone would still have to take an airline with a long layover somewhere that they would need a hotel room for a few hours.
Off Topic: That Horizon Air ad to the right for Mammoth Mountain with the Horizon plane with the ski lift chair is great. Some ad agency did a good job on the photo idea part of the ad.
What a terrible website! Full of corporate blather, and lacking basic information such as the size of the room, bed, whether there’s a private shower etc. The site seems to be oriented more towards selling the concept to airports than selling rooms to travelers.
Jason — the Hyatt at Orlando is outside security, which makes a big difference. Now if only the US allowed airside international transit… A long time ago (1991 I believe), someone I know was traveling to Vietnam with an overnight layover in Bangkok, for which he booked a hotel in town. Thailand was under military rule at the time, and the traveler had neglected to obtain a visa. He tried to argue his way into the country, pointing out his hotel reservation and imminent departure the next day, until a helpful stranger whispered in his ear that the way things were going, his only option in town appeared to be a prison cell. Good thing the airport had airside hotel rooms :-)
whenever I’m catching a connection in Detroit I pass a pretty nice looking Westin inside of security – doubtful they’d do by the hour, however, but I’m not sure…
So, which international airports have places like this? I know about the Singapore Changi airport hotel, but is there a list of “behind security” airport hotels somewhere?
I love this idea. My wife and I were traveling through Miami Intl and we had a 6 hour layover or something. Due to weather, flight cancellations, and being bumped all day and a redeye from LAS to MIA, the $90 on the hotel room for 3 hours very well spent.
The room was really small, but who cares, it was better than sleeping on the terminal floor.
Kind of silly, but I love that airport now because it had a hotel we could crash at when we needed it the most..
The photo looks a bit like the Bates Motel (a la “Psycho”).
DFW has something like this, sort of – there’s a Grand Hyatt in Terminal D (outside of security, unfortunately), though I don’t know if they rent rooms by the hour or in hour blocks.
Oliver, to answer your question, I’ve seen in-terminal “transit hotel” setups in Bangkok, Seoul, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore so far. The Novotel at the Hyderabad, India airport also rents rooms in 4-hour blocks, though it’s not as convenient because it’s outside the terminal.
Anyone else here travel through MSP in the early 90s? They had the “Ziosks”, which were little automated ~7×9 cubicles that you could rent in 30 minute intervals for napping, computer work, etc. Each had a couch (with pillow and blanket), a desk, a TV, phone, and modem port.
I think that’s what I mentioned used to be in the Bradley terminal. It’s long gone.
David SFeastbay wrote:
There are still plenty of places where that becomes useful on long hauls. There may be plenty of options, but flights don’t always have ideal connections. Even if it’s a 2 hour layover, a single hour in a quiet room sounds great to me.
I agree with you on that. I don’t believe there are showers. That’s a drawback, but it probably made it a lot easier to put this together.
There are many, I believe. Narita is one (http://shanghaiist.com/2006/03/01/day_rooms_at_to.php).
Ed Casper wrote:
Indeed it is. Straight from the Universal backlot.
I am with Ron — that website is terrible. Doesn’t even use a trusted certificate when you click on the Reservations button.
@MeanMeosh — thanks for the HYD tip. While I am unlikely to ever connect there, the new hotel might come in handy when arriving late in the night from Europe. I always hated those 3am rides into town to get to my hotel. Would rather spend the first night at the airport hotel.
I was traveling in Europe last summer and had an unavoidable 11 hour layover in Zurich, which has a wonderful day/night room facility behind security. For about $110, I had a clean, private room with access to a shower facility for entire layover. It was well worth the money.
The Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport does offer a day rate (though not by the hour as of the last time I heard)… but, the day rate ($99), which includes use of the fitness center, pool and discount at the DEMA restaurant (plus the room of course) works out to be very competitive with minute suite.
Love the article. People get a kick out of this when they come to visit (we have a small hotel in Panama City – http://www.loscuatrotulipanes.com) but the country has what they call “push buttons” which are motels for rent by the hour and in some cases, the 1/2 hour (the latter being if you’re really quick). They call them push buttons because you enter into a really secluded maze-like driveway, then pull into a garage where you place the money in the drawer, order stuff (condoms, drinks, food) then ‘push the button’ for the garage to go and..dunno how to phrase this…the show to begin. Someone from Atlanta definitely visited Panama and got a good idea :)
Honolulu used to have a mini hotel in the overseas terminal, but I don’t see it mentioned on their website currently. My guess is it had to be closed to make way for the new central security checkpoint.
Atlanta’s charges are ridiculous. I stayed at Singapore Changi’s transit hotel for 6 hours and it cost barely US$45. Such accommodations are a long time coming in the US, but they should not be accessible only to the very small number of flyers who can fork out that kind of money.
@Mark Brown — are you suggesting that the presumably private company operating this facility should charge less than the market will bear?
I do agree that it’s expensive and that it’s unlikely going to be successful at those rates. But if they *can* fill their rooms at those prices, I can’t really blame them for not doing it. It’s, after all, not a charitable organization running a shelter for homeless travelers out of the goodness of their hearts, supported by donations from the community.
They have these in London Heathrow. They’re inside security, have private bath w/ shower, you can order snacks and much cheaper than this. It was perfect for a Mumbai to Buenos Aires trip via London and Madrid with about a 8 hour connection. To get to a nearby airport hotel, check in and then get back to the airport and go through security would’ve taken up a fair bit of that time. I reserved it for 5 hours, had a shower and a nice nap. I’m not sure that sofa looks long enough for someone over 6 feet tall.
I think Yotel was one of the originals, they have them at LGW, LHR and AMS:
I’ve stayed at the Yotel at LGW a couple times. Nice, cheap, calming, and WiFi is included. It’s outside of security, but it worked for my purposes.
AFAIK, the Hotel Mercure is still open airside at AMS.
Some years ago, I believe it was Memphis where my flight ended due to bad weather around midnight. There was a short-term stay place which basically was a cell with a bed, TV, and wash facilities. Minimal, but clean–and fit the need until the 5:00 report for a 6:00 am flight.
Why is this only catching on at airports? I’m between cable right now and would love to catch a sports game in a more private environment than a sports bar. I’m having it installed shortly, but I wouldn’t mind paying a few bucks to rent a room for a couple hours during the day or night. Where I live, though, cost of living is quite really low, and I could grab a cheap, though decent hotel room for a little over $30, though it doesn’t seem quite right given that I already have a place to sleep.
This is great idea, charging by the hour.
I doubt it will stay in business for long. Several international airports has nice rooms with shower inside the terminals for about $10-15 per hour. This one in atlanta does not have charges $30 per hour,, does not make sense way overpriced
It’s a hotel trend now to offer rooms by the hour, specially in the airports where many travellers may need a room for few hours to freshen up or rest while waiting for their flights. There are these websites where you can see the list of these hotels, such as dayuse.com or dayguest.com.
“The cost is $30 for the first hour and $7.50 for each 15 minutes after. Anything over 8 hours will get you a 25% discount. That?s still a very hefty $450 for 20 hours”
THIS IS TOO EXPENSIVE. It’s a lot more comfortable to book a 4 star hotel or even a 5 star hotel for 2 nights so you can arrive anytime and you won’t be paying more than $ 250.
$ 30 per hour or $ 450 for 20 hours….is it a joke ??
The TWA hotel at JFK has a ‘day rate’ room but it’s a set of specific time blocks and wasn’t much different from a full night’s rate.
I arrived at the hotel around 5pm and had a 11pm flight. My choices were the 8a-8p block or a full night rate if I wanted to stay till 9-10pm.
I was in the city since 6am and was glad I could grab a nap, but I did also wish for a shorter/later block or hourly rates somewhere else.