Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
To enjoy air travel, which I still firmly believe is possible, there are a few necessities.
First, it always helps to be elite: traveling in first or business class makes everything better. Second, having some vaunted frequent flier status, lounge access. Third, even with those perks, you need something of a Buddha-like attitude. What will be, will be. Hold your plans lightly. Resolve to be happy wherever you happen to end up.
This last piece of advice is easier when you know about terrific hotels that are close enough to the airport to make them feasible on either an intentional or unintentional layover. These are places that are nice enough that you'll sort of hope to get to stuck there -- places that you might actually plan to come back to for a stay all on their own. Here are my three places that I've spent at least a night at recently while in transit, which I'm adding to my list of my favorite layovers.
- InterContinental San Juan: You can see the hotel when you're landing at the airport, that's how close it is -- it's less than a ten minute drive from terminal to hotel check-in. The hotel is in the Isla Verde area, and has access to one of the nicest stretches of beach in San Juan, as well as a lively, private pool area available only to hotel guests. Club level rooms have balconies with a view of the pool.
- Cedarbrook Lodge Seattle: It's really hard to believe this is exactly two minutes from the airport, but you're barely on the free shuttle enjoying your complimentary water before you've arrived at this wooded, quiet property. This hotel used to be a private hotel for Washington Mutual, but those days are long over, and it's now open to the public. It's designed for business travelers in mind, with 24 hour complimentary snacks, complimentary continental breakfast, and a load of other perks.
- InterContinental Tahiti: Okay, if your work brings you to Tahiti and you get stuck in Papeete, no one is going to have a ton of sympathy for you. A more likely scenario is that you're flying through Tahiti on your way to other islands in French Polynesia, when weather unexpectedly grounds you. Worry not, within five minutes you will be at the InterContinental Tahiti which you really could stay at for an entire vacation. I hope that you're stuck there on one of their Polynesian dancing nights -- their dancers are known for being some of the best in the Society Islands. Bonus points for its brand new fitness center with water views.
Gallery: 3 Great Layovers