I am a big fan of staying at airports before early morning flights. First off – I’m a night person. Waking up early (even for a flight) is not something I particularly enjoy. Secondly traffic. It’s the worst. Especially in London. Both on the Tube and by car, I can not think of anything less I want to deal with early in the morning.
For these reasons staying at Heathrow Airport’s hotels has become something of a tradition for me before an early flight or on a layover, but hotels at Heathrow Airport can be notoriously expensive.
YOTELAIR is the exception to this rule. This chain of budget-friendly airport hotels inspired by Japanese capsule hotels has everything you need and nothing you don’t, all located within the airport. Unlike your Sofitel and Hilton Garden Inn, YOTELAIR hotel rooms are smaller but functional sleeping pods – rooms with beds that convert into couches with the touch of a button, full ensuites, fold-down tables, and large TVs.
I have stayed at YOTELAIR London Heathrow (formally known just as YOTEL) on a number of occasions during my travels, and it’s high time I share with you my favourite London airport hotel.
- Conveniently located within London Heathrow T4
- Smart functional rooms
- Automated check-in/check-out process
- Day rooms available (minimum 4-hr blocks)
- Free WiFi
- Well-priced (for an airport hotel!)
- Small rooms without natural light
- Limited on-site amenities & dining
- No in-room mini fridge
- Thermostat: does it really work?t
Checking In: YOTELAIR London Heathrow
As I was arriving at another terminal, I had to take the train to get to T4 where YOTELAIR is located. From the station, follow the signs towards the terminal. As you get closer, you’ll spot YOTELAIR listed on the yellow signs. Keep following them!
Located near the Plaza Premium Lounge and the Prayer Room in Terminal 4 on Floor 0, the futuristic-looking entrance to YOTELAIR London Heathrow will welcome you to one of the more unique hotel chains.
Taking the Japanese capsule hotel concept and applying it to hotel rooms, the hotel promises guests that YOTELAIR has everything you need and nothing more.
You have the choice of checking in at the receiption desk or a couple of self-serve monitors in ‘Mission Control’ – their reception-cum-food and beverage centre-cum-concierge.
I chose to check-in with humans as there was only one person in front of me, and had to wait just a minute or two before being checked in by a friendly member of staff.
YOTELAIR London Heathrow is a cashless hotel. I did experience some issues with my Australian debit card (probably because this was a stopover and I didn’t add the UK to the list of countries I was travelling to with my banking provider), but it was resolved fairly quickly after a phone call.
Cabins (aka: Rooms) at YOTELAIR London Heathrow:
There are three room types available at YOTELAIR London Heathrow:
- Standard cabin: perfect for solo travellers, these rooms resemble train carriage-style accommodation with a single bed and ensuite bathroom.
- Premium cabin: perfect for couples or solo travellers seeking more space; these rooms have an adjustable Queen ‘Smartbed’ that turns into a couch and an ensuite bathroom.
- Premium twin cabin: the most spacious rooms at YOTELAIR. These rooms are fitted with a double-bed and single bed in a bunk-bed configuration. Perfect for two adults travelling with 1 child, or one adult travelling with two children. The room has an ensuite and is fully accessible.
I had previously stayed in a Standard Cabin so chose to book into a Premium cabin, my preferred room type at YOTELAIR.
What’s it like staying in a Premium Cabin at YOTELAIR London Heathrow:
Premium Cabins are my favourite room type at YOTELAIR London Heathrow. Compared to the Standard Cabin (where I felt quite cramped during my long stay), the Premium cabins are better set up for those wanting to be able to work a little, relax, and sleep.
Immediately upon entering, you’ll notice the room is dominated by the hotel’s signature SmartBed. This bed can be turned into a couch with a touch of a button, giving you more space during your stay.
You’ll notice a panel alongside the left-hand side of the bed where you can control the lighting of the room (including some pretty funky mood lighting!). There’s also a thermostat near the door. A separate TV remote is located next to the phone on the bedside table.
On the wall opposite the bed is a TV, some electrical sockets, a fold-away table and seat, and a space to hang any clothes or jackets you need. During my visit, I did notice there were no USB sockets, only UK/EU wall sockets. Hopefully, they upgrade this soon!
There’s a window in the room that looks out to the hallway. These blinds can be lowered for privacy when you are sleeping, and provide full black-out of the hallways lights.
There’s room to store your luggage under the bed (suitable for one large suitcases and hand carry-on).
Each room is fully fitted with an ensuite bathroom. While on the smaller side, it is fully functional with a rainforest shower, toilet, and towels. 2-in-1 body wash/shampoo is provided for guests.
After settling in and preparing for my next flight, I managed to get an hour or two of work done using the high speed WiFi available to guests. I then settled in for a four-hour sleep before showering and heading off to my next flight.
My one complain about the ensuite is that the fan system isn’t super effective and even after towelling off, I found the room to be quite humid. So much so that I propped the door open a little to get some cool air into the room. I’m not sure if I missed a fan button, but it was super muggy.
Is there food at YOTELAIR London Heathrow?
You can order food at YOTELAIR. Head to Mission Control (reception) for complimentary hot beverages (coffee, tea, hot chocoalte), or to place your order for food. There’s a continental breakfast box available for those on early flights, noodles, sandwiches, pizza, ice cream, and soft drinks also available for purchase – perfect to sate those late night arrival munchies.
You also have access to the airside food and drinks available in Terminal 4.
Final thoughts on YOTELAIR London Heathrow:
Look, for £69- a night – or less if you are paying in four-hour blocks – I would definitely consider staying at YOTELAIR London Heathrow again. In fact, I have stayed there four times now!
I don’t want to drop £200+ on a hotel room that requires taking a airport shuttle at Heathrow or walking for a long time. Instead, I can hop on the Underground to T4 and be there in mere minutes.
Sure there are things I am not a fan of – the ensuite fan issue, the rooms are a little on the dark side, and they are not huge rooms (those with claustrophobia may want to try another hotel), but the price and location more than make up for this in my eyes.
If you are staying for longer than 24-hours or with a large family, there are definitely better hotel options (trust, I’ve spent two nights at YOTELAIR before…); but if you want a hotel located in London Heathrow that won’t break the bank, then YOTELAIR is the right hotel for you.
What to know when staying at YOTELAIR Heathrow
- YOTELAIR London Heathrow books out fast, so if you know you will want to stay at the property make a booking ahead of time to get the best rate and room type you want.
- Mission Control is open 24/7 and is where you can check-in/check-out, order food or drink (at a cost), and pick up anything you may need for your stay, including washbags (including toothbrushes, toothpaste, razor, moisturiser, and deodorant!) and dental kits.
- Ask Mission Control for complimentary extra pillows, towels, earplugs, hairdryers, and shower caps.
- YOTELAIR London Heathrow does not accept cash payments at the time of writing.
- You can pre-book a continental breakfast that will be delivered to your room for £6.95 per person. I found this perfect for the mornings with early flights (plus acted as a backup alarm to ensure I didn’t miss my flight!)
How to visit YOTELAIR Heathrow
What Terminal is YOTELAIR London Heathrow in? Terminal 4 landside (before you go through airport security to get to your flight).
Directions to YOTELAIR Heathrow: There is plenty of signage directing guests to YOTELAIR throughout Heathrow, and we had no trouble finding it. But if you’re worried about finding YotelAir within the maze of Heathrow airport, here’s my advice.
1. Take the free inter-terminal train to terminal 4 if you didn’t arrive there
2. Once in Terminal 4, follows the signs to floor 0
3. Once on floor 0, walk to the end of the arrivals hall (follow the signs for YotelAir) and take the escalator to YotelAir’s reception
4. Walk straight ahead and you will see signs for YotelAir’s reception (called ‘mission control’)
Is YOTELAIR Heathrow located landside or airside? YOTELAIR London Heathrow is located landside. This means that if you are transiting at London Heathrow, you will have to pass customs and immigration to stay at this hotel.
Is there WiFi? Yes, there is free WiFi available throughout YOTELAIR Heathrow.
Is it noisy at YOTELAIR Heathrow? Personally, I didn’t find it noisy. There was one or two times I heard people leaving their rooms in the morning, but you’ll tend to find the staff make it clear you need to be quiet when walking to-and-from your cabin.
Is YOTELAIR Heathrow a good business hotel? If you are looking for budget-friendly, short layover or day-room rooms, YOTELAIR Heathrow is a great place to stay. With free WiFi and a table space to work from, it’s possible to work. Plus, you also have access to a range of cafes throughout Heathrow. However, if you are spending more than a few hours at YOTELAIR to rest and doing more strenuous work, I’d highly recommend booking another hotel.
Can I earn Frequent Flyer Points or any hotel reward points for staying at YOTELAIR Heathrow? xxxx
Are there any other YOTEL Hotels in London? Yes! There are two other YOTELs in London. There is another YOTELAIR located at Gatwick Airport which is available for overnight or day-use.
YOTEL London is located in Clerkenwell, near Farringdon Station. YOTEL London offers larger, spacious rooms perfectly positioned in between London’s most popular tourist attractions.
Are there other hotels inside London Heathrow Airport? Read this article to find out the best hotels near London Heathrow Airport. [coming soon!]
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