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Taking Off

Taking off..............................(airporthotelvilaaeroport.jpg)

You're about to jet off somewhere amazingly beautiful, but your flight is at some ungodly hour of the morning. You could check into the Motel 6 nearest the airport, or you could make the airport layover part of the adventure. These days, airport hotels are getting more and more interesting.

TTaking off..............................(airportjumbohostel.jpg)ake the Vila Aeroport in Tirana, Albania (top). It's just been built along a roadside near the airport, and is shaped like a giant silver fuselage. It's hard to find out much about it, but it looks cool.

It's a bit like the Jumbo Hostel we featured on Been-Seen this time last year (right). The new hostel is built from an old jumbo, and parked near the airport in Stockholm, Sweden. As it's a hostel, it's more for the backpacking set than design junkies, but it's probably worth staying the night just for the experience.

But airport hotels aren't just about gimmicks. Some are about convenience pure and simple.

Well, convenience and design.Taking off..............................(airportyotel.jpg)

The fabulous YOtels (right), modeled on Japanese capsule hotels, are now available at Heathrow, Gatwick and Schiphol airports.

They're little pods you can climb into and sleep in, even if it's just for a few hours.

A similar idea is Citizen M at Schiphol, which offers affordable luxury for the masses. Citizen M is Citizen 'Mobile', the traveler who cares where he sleeps, even if he's not paying a fortune for it. The brand is set to replicate all over Europe soon.

Taking oFF..............................(airportaloft2.jpg)

One group of hotels that's already replicating is Aloft, which has 20 airport hotels all over the United States, from Portland to Jacksonville. Loft-style residences from the creators of W Hotels, they're design hotels for jetsetters, with pool tables and DJs. They give a whole new meaning to airport lounging.

There are quite a few other upscale airport hotels. We've featured Sheraton Paris, which is right inside Terminal 2 of Charles de Gaulle. Talk about convenient, unless you're flying out of Orly, that is.

Taking oFF..............................(aiportplush2.jpg)And on the boutique front, here's a great airport hotel near Bristol in England (right).

It's called Plush and, even though it looks very remote, it's the nearest hotel to Bristol International Airport.

It lives up to its name in decor, is set in beautiful gardens and grounds, and has panoramic views of the Mendip Hills and Welsh vales.

Perfect for taking your mind of the flight ahead.

– Roshan McArthur

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