In general, an airport hotel is to a business traveler what an MRE is to a serviceman – a no-frills, basic-needs option that never really satisfies but always gets the job done. However, in this gray landscape of conveniently located, utilitarian accommodations, better options exist.
Here, four fine hotels with up-to-the-minute technology and business services, an eye for style, top-quality onsite dining options, and amenities on par with an upscale resort (spa treatments, anyone?).
The Hotel: The Hotel at Arundel Preserve
Where: The Hotel at Arundel Preserve is in Hanover, MD, between Baltimore, Washington DC, and Annapolis. Using the complementary shuttle service, BWI Airport is just 10 minutes away.
Why we love it: The Hotel at Arundel Preserve is an LEED Silver certified, planet friendly hotel that takes advantage of natural light.
Dining options: Grillfire’s exposed brick and wood-beamed ceilings and long bar set a casual, friendly tone, but the food trends upscale.
Vivo Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar serves classic Italian fare and an extensive Italian wine list. And who on earth ever said no to tiramisu?
Room service is available.
The Hotel: Cedarbrook Lodge
Where: Cedarbrook Lodge is less than five minutes from Sea-Tac International Airport and 20 minutes from downtown Seattle.
Why we love it: It’s a toss up between the gourmet farm-to-table restaurant (the complimentary breakfast spread is otherworldly) and the lush outdoor spaces, and the top-notch, must-see spa. Communal living rooms in each of the two buildings are stocked with yogurt, chocolate, and two freezer drawers full of ice cream fit for the most gastronomic of gastronomers – all complimentary.
Dining options: At Copperleaf Restaurant, you’ll find Painted Hills Natural Beef, Snake River Farms pork, organic local produce, and fair-trade chocolate. Executive Chef Mark Bodinet trained at the French Laundry and grows greens in the on-site garden.
The bar serves culinary cocktails, a healthy selection of Northwest wines, and some of the area’s best microbrews.
The Hotel: The Kenilworth
Where: A free airport shuttle takes you to and from Newark Airport, Newark Penn Station, Roselle Park Station, and Metro Park Station. Newark International Airport is just 15 minutes away, and the hotel is 30 minutes from Manhattan by car.
Why we love it: The Kenilworth has style like any NYC boutique hotel, but it’s quietly removed from the hustle of the city. Also, consider avoiding the hassle of airport travel by staying the night before you leave town. Park your car at the Kenilworth, and they’ll give you a lift to the airport the next morning. They’ll even be there to pick you up when you get back.
Dining options: The Trellis Lounge offers a New American menu and some of New Jersey’s best micro-brewed beers.
The Hotel: Woolley’s Classic Suites
Where: 15 minutes from Denver International Airport (a free shuttle service is available 4 a.m. to midnight). 20 minutes from downtown Denver.
Why we love it: The atrium dining area is like an outdoor piazza, with a mini river, trees, old-fashioned street lamps. And, spacious suites feature Simmons Beauty Rest Black label mattresses – beds are EVERYTHING!
Dining options: Enjoy complimentary cocktails and appetizers served everyday in the atrium from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Complimentary cooked-to-order full breakfast is served daily.
Jardin, Woolley’s onsite restaurant, serves a well-execute menu of New American cuisine and loads of Colorado’s best brews.