The best airport hotels in the UK for taking the stress out of early-morning flights


Take the bleary-eyed hassle out of an early morning flight check-in by staying at an airport hotel – here we pick out the best of the bunch

  • At Gatwick, the best of the budget options is the ultra-modern Premier Inn
  • Runway-view rooms are on offer at Newcastle Airport, at DoubleTree by Hilton 
  • In Edinburgh, holidays can start in style amid the pink neon of Moxy hotel

Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Airport hotels taking the stress out of early-morning flights.

Check-ins have never been fun, and those for early getaways are even worse now that we need extra time to show we’ve filled in the right forms and won’t fall foul of Covid requirements at our destination.

A night in an airport hotel is becoming the summer’s most attractive holiday extra. For less than the price of a family’s pre-departure Covid tests, you can forget about beating the morning commuters while you sleep within sight of the runway. Better still, airport hotels tend to be very conscious of Covid protocols, so while facilities such as restaurants, gyms and pools are open, enhanced room cleaning, contactless payment and table service are likely to be the norm for some time.

Take it easy: The work/relax area at the Moxy, Edinburgh

Heathrow has dozens of hotels along its perimeter roads. The newly refurbished Hilton at Terminal 4 is a short taxi ride from all the other terminals, or you can use the Hotel Hoppa bus that stops nearby. The hotel embraces the holiday mood from the start, with olive trees growing in the atrium and illuminated maps of the world on bedroom walls. Rooms in August from £118 (hilton.com).

Newcastle’s DoubleTree

Newcastle’s DoubleTree

At Gatwick, the best of the budget options is the ultra-modern Premier Inn, a five-minute walk from North Terminal, with its free shuttle to the South Terminal. Family rooms sleep up to four and if adults pick a meal deal, two under-16s get breakfast for free. From £45 (premierinn.com).

The Holiday Inn Express at Stansted has bright, modern rooms and is a five-minute shuttle ride from the terminal. Breakfast is served from 4am. From £113 (ihg.com).

At Luton, the Ibis Budget has small, sleek rooms a short walk from the terminal. There are ‘grab & go’ coffee cups and food bags in the breakfast room to save time in the morning. From £47 (accor.com).

Travelodge has a site two miles from Birmingham Airport and local taxi firms promise ‘always there’ transfers to the terminal in time for early flights. Arrange offsite parking when booking your room for cheaper rates and a free shuttle. From £31 (travelodge.co.uk).

Manchester Airport has come alive with the opening of its new Terminal 2. The check-in, security, shopping and dining areas welcome travellers with Virgin Atlantic, Singapore and Etihad airlines as well as package holiday favourites Tui and Jet2. It’s an easy walk to both terminals from the Clayton Hotel, or get the free shuttle bus that runs every 15 minutes. Some rooms have runway views and there’s a gym for pre-holiday workouts. From £100 (claytonhotels.com).

At Luton, the Ibis Budget has small, sleek rooms a short walk from the terminal

At Luton, the Ibis Budget has small, sleek rooms a short walk from the terminal

Runway-view rooms are also on offer at Newcastle Airport, at DoubleTree by Hilton. It is a two-minute walk from the terminal and there’s a friendly bar and restaurant, a gym with floor-to-ceiling windows and rooms with connecting doors for families. From £84 (Hilton.com).

The cluster of hotels around Glasgow Airport includes the Courtyard by Marriott. Early-morning taxis to the terminal cost about £7, rooms from £60 (marriott.com).

In Edinburgh, holidays can start in style amid the pink neon of Moxy hotel. Check in at the bar, rather than a reception desk, then eat, drink, work or relax in the big ‘lobby meets living room’ area. Walk to the airport in about five minutes or get a taxi for about £5. Rooms from £119 (marriott.com).



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