In the summer of 2009, I planned a mini break to Europe with my sister. On one of the nights of the trip, we were to arrive at London Gatwick Airport in the evening after midnight. We didn't want to be travelling around the (could be dangerous) streets of London with all of our luggage, as we were two tiny defenseless girls, so we looked at what options we had at the airport.

Enter the Yotel. It's basically a hotel but all of the rooms are v. compact and provide the bare essentials. We chose the standard size room (which can fit up to two people). One-third of the room was occupied by a bed that was slightly wider than a normal twin, which was built into the wall and lofted (with a TV also built into the wall at the foot of the bed). Another third of the room was the bathroom area, which was just glass partitioning, shower, toilet, and drain (so be aware that whoever you are sharing the room with can see you naked in the shower or using the toilet!). The third separating the bed and the shower was just a "hallway" if you want to call it that, or better yet, just a strip of floorspace where you could toss your luggage.

The benefit of staying at a Yotel is that you can pay by the hour. We booked our room from 2:30 (yes, in the morning) until 7:30 since we wanted to spend a full day out and about doing fun touristy things. The cost for 5 hours stay was £44.50, which is much cheaper than it would be to pay for a hotel room. And had we booked a hotel room, we wouldn't have gotten our money's worth since check-in is usually at 14:00 and checkout is usually at 11:00. It was a pretty perfect deal. It's also a good place to take a nap in between layovers, if you need it (though keep in mind, they only have three locations: London Gatwick, London Heathrow, and Amsterdam Schiphol).

The only horrible thing about our Yotel experience was that there was no hot water the night we stayed! We had to take cold showers (which were bearable only because it was summer time so the water wasn't freezing). Their customer service is superb though, because even though we didn't complain (we were too excited to be in Europe to whine about it) I received an email the following day that my credit card would be refunded 50% of what I'd already paid. Brilliant!


  1. yay yotel!!! hahaha i'm a little sad now that i'm not going to use a yotel this trip, although i'm sure there will be an opportunity in the future.

    and that is AWESOME that you didn't even have to complain and they refunded you 50%!!! (also love that you mentioned that you were too excited to be traveling to complain, that is AWESOME & I will never EVER understand or travel with the kind of person who will BITCH for HOURS about things that go wrong!)

    hearing about stellar customer service like that will honestly make me more likely to chose them in the future, just like my eurostar story!!


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