COOL YOUR JETS!
Airport Hotels With Unexpected Perks
You're actually in luck if you get stranded at one of these five airports, whose hotels are taking their amenities to creative new heights.
Drink sky-high wines
The Radisson Blu Hotel London Stansted Airport literally elevates customer service at its Angels' Wine Tower Bar. The 42-foot-tall, steel-and-glass structure holds up to 4,000 bottles of wine and bubbly at a time. Once you make a selection, bar "angels" strapped into harnesses gracefully glide up the side of the illuminated tower to retrieve your bottle.011-44/1279-66-1012, connected to Stansted's main terminal by an enclosed walkway, radissonblu.co.uk/hotel-stanstedairport, glass of wine from $8.
Whip up gourmet airport food
Executive chef Jean-Claude Plihon—a globe-trotter who's lived in Barbados and Egypt—helms Grand Hyatt DFW's Epicurean Studio, where you can prepare alternatives to typically lackluster airport and airplane food. The three-and-a-half-hour cooking classes include lunch, plus a DVD with a live recording of the session and recipes for the dishes prepared. Topics range from "French Cuisine Decoded" to "Destination: Lima, Peru." 972/973-1234, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, Terminal D, granddfw.hyatt.com, $95 per class.
Pamper travel-weary muscles
The words bliss and relaxation don't apply much to airports these days—unless you've landed at Hong Kong International, home to the Regal Airport Hotel. As planes crisscross high overhead, guests can sunbathe by the outdoor pool and garden, get a massage in one of the Om Spa's alfresco bamboo cabanas, soak in a hot tub, or indulge in a pedicure at the foot massage salon. Even travelers with short stopovers can squeeze in a visit to the spa; give the staff your time frame and request a one-of-a-kind treatment, like a charcoal-bamboo body wrap. 011-852/2-286-8888, regalhotel.com, massages from $116.
Pilot your own set of wheels
Guests at The Fairmont Vancouver Airport hotel are treated to complimentary use of adult- and child-size BMW Cruise Bikes. Pedal-friendly trails lead to Flight Path Park—the perfect place to spot takeoffs and landings—and to the riverfront McDonald Beach Park, where the Fairmont keeps beehives that produce its signature honey. Bonus: Anglers heading home with a vacation's worth of catch can store their salmon and halibut in the hotel's departures-level fish freezer, kept at a chilly 15 degrees minus Celsius. 866/540-4441, above the U.S. departures terminal, fairmont.com/vancouverairport; guests must apply in advance for a free membership in the Fairmont President's Club to be eligible to use the bikes.
Tee off at 32 courses
The Fit4Flight fitness center at the Radisson Blu in Oslo's Gardermoen Airport is equipped with more than just weights and machines. A golf simulator programmed with 32 virtual courses tests the mettle of beginners and pros alike. Guests flying solo can rent the simulator by the hour to perfect their swing, while groups of up to 14 can band together for a serious game. Stop at one of the solariums, and you might even be able to convince people back home that you were actually out on the green. 011-47/63-93-30-00, linked by a walkway to Oslo Airport, radissonblu.com/hotel-osloairport, simulator rental $32 per hour.