I had a 12-hour stopover in London on my way to Las Vegas and needed somewhere to sleep for the night. As I was only sleeping there, I wasn’t looking for anything fancy or expensive. I found the Yotel Gatwick Airport, a new take on the Japanese capsule hotel concept. You get a 7m2 cabin with bed, shower, toilet & desk in a well designed space that feels like you’re business class on a flight or in a sleeper cabin on a train. Yotel have locations in Gatwick, Heathrow, Amsterdam as well as a city centre location in New York City.
Full marks for location, you can’t get better than in the actual terminal, no other hotel is closer. It was great waking up refreshed, opening the door and actually being in the terminal.
The room, sorry cabin, looked well used and needed some maintenance. Paneling below the bed was loose and the air conditioning unit was missing a cover. Overall the cabin is a well-designed small space that offers you a place to sleep in between flights. Don’t stay much longer than I did though or you’ll begin to get ‘cabin’ fever.
While the bed linen and towels were spotless, the cabin is in serious need of a deep clean. I wasn’t impressed with the dirt buildup in the grooves in the glass of the shower door and on the grooves in the shower wall. Yotel management if you are reading this you need to take a toothbrush to the grooves in the shower wall in cabin 21. Not impressed at all.
The reception desk is located in what looks like the kitchen, with steel fridges located behind the desk. When I got to my room I saw on a map that it’s not actually called reception, but rather the galley, which would explain the fridges. The guy who checked me in that night seemed a little disturbed by my presence and a bit gruff when I asked directions to the cabin (I felt that he wanted to shout “follow the signs you stupid fool” at me – I suppose he would have been right, I should have followed the signs!). The lady who checked me out in the morning was very pleasant and lovely.
The Yotel is a great concept and serves its purpose well but getting room cleanliness wrong is unforgivable.