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World's Best Airport Hotels

© Courtesy of Regal Airport Hotel

With French cooking classes, craft beers for turndown or BMW bikes for exploring, today’s airport hotels offer more than just a place to wait out your layover.

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Tim Sargent once spent a week in Dallas, and never left the airport.

Instead, he was checked in at the Grand Hyatt DFW, a plush airport hotel just outside Terminal D. “I’ve been there at least 20 times for meetings,” says the San Diego-based biotech executive. “Dallas is a huge hub, and it’s central, so it’s convenient for colleagues around the country. Staying at the airport, you don’t have to pay for a lot of cab fares. And the hotel is actually really cool.”

Airport hotels have come a long way since their first mainstream incarnations, as bare-bones motels meant for bleary-eyed layovers. An increasing number of airport hotels now have spas, rooftop pools and fine dining that goes far beyond the toast-your-own-waffle breakfast spread.

One big reason? Business travelers like Sargent. “Airport hotels are finally stepping up to the level of services and amenities we’ve been seeing in downtown business hotels for quite a while,” says Jan Freitag, senior vice president with hotel research firm STR. Meeting at airport hotels streamlines both time and costs for far-flung business travelers—some of whom use them for one-day meetings then fly home by nightfall, Freitag says. “Companies don’t have to pay for much beyond the airfare.”

The best airport hotels, however, make it tempting to stay for the weekend too. At the Radisson SAS at Oslo’s Gardermoen, for example, travelers can play virtual golf on one of 32 courses around the world. The Four Points Sheraton outside LAX invites guests to join its Beer Club and have a craft beer left bedside for turndown service. The Regal Airport Hotel in Hong Kong even boasts its own luxe wedding facilities.

As for the Hyatt DFW, Tim Sargent says there are lots of amenities he enjoys during his stays—like the automatic blinds that come up as soon as he walks into his room, the sushi bar and the 24-hour gym. And though he hasn’t yet stayed for one of the regular gourmet-cooking weekends (led by the hotel’s French chef), it may be just a matter of time before he does.

Want your next airport stay to be more than a fly-by? Check out our list of the world’s best airport hotels.

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