Great Airport Hotels in Southeast Asia
Travelling from North America to Southeast Asia often takes 24 hours, and when I arrive in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, all I want to do is take a shower and go to bed. Many times my final destination is an hour from the airport or requires another flight, so now I deplane and head to an airport hotel to rejuvenate. The next day I awake refreshed, on local time, ready for a new adventure. I also stay at airport hotels when I have a flight at o’dark thirty in the morning.
Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)
When I arrive at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, I pick up my luggage and head to Level 2, Gate 4, where a complimentary shuttle to the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel is available 24-7. The bright, lofty atrium lobby of the Novotel is a welcome change from being cooped up in an airplane for the better part of a day. The hotel offers 24-hour flextime, which means regardless of what time I check in, I do not have to check out until 24 hours later. From the hotel there is easy access to Airport Rail Link, with a connection to the Bangkok Sky Train, and an express train into the city.
Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport (DMK)
After arriving in Bangkok, my next flight is often on Air Asia, a low-cost carrier that offers great deals to many destinations. Air Asia departs from Bangkok’s old airport, Don Muang. There is a free shuttle connecting Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang Airport. The transfer takes about one hour. Amari Airport Hotel is connected to Don Muang Airport via a short walkway from Terminal 1. The hotel offers great accommodations, dining facilities, a fitness centre and a lovely swimming pool. Golfers can try the 18-hole course that is between the airport’s runways. (A stop light warns golfers not to cross the runway when a plane is landing. Really!) The Amari Hotel offers a free shuttle bus to the Mo Chit MRT Subway and the BTS Skytrain for quick access to and from Bangkok city centre.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur (KL) International Airport is located about 60 kilometres from the KL city centre so I find the Sama Sama Airport Hotel the perfect stop while transiting. Formerly a Pan Pacific property, it was rebranded in January of 2013 as the Sama Sama Hotel; sama sama means “togetherness” or “you’re welcome” in Malay. The hotel offers easy access from the airport via a complimentary two-minute buggy ride. The elegant lobby has wide windows with a view of dense tropical vegetation. It is a welcome sight after hours cooped up in a plane.
Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN)
Changi Airport is one of the top airports in the world, so any hotel connected to the airport would have to be top-notch, and the Crowne Plaza Changi is just that. A bridge link in Terminal 3 connects the airport with the hotel. I have stayed here several times and found the pool especially lovely and refreshing. The pool creates a tropical resort ambiance not normally associated with an airport hotel. While not large in size, the pool has a unique design, with a lap area and little secluded islands of green. The hotel’s restaurant, with several show-stations, is so good that it is a favourite with locals.