We had to kiss and make up with Delta. Since transatlantic ships don't head east to west at this time of year, we had no choice. I guess we could have stayed in Europe until October, but we were jonesin' for some Seattle. We needed to break up our two day marathon back home with a stop in London. Rather than dropping pounds in the spendy city, we decided to try something new – a pod (I guess that's what we'll call it) at the Yotel in London's Heathrow Airport.
Entering Yotel, you feel like you have just stepped into a hip (and very quiet) NYC club (but by way of some really exclusive back door). The second you pass through the inconspicuous entrance, you may completely forget that you are in the middle of one of the world’s busiest airports. In fact, if this place weren’t in Heathrow Terminal 4, the small, dimly lit, window-lined corridors might make the whole experience feel a little naughty.
If you go for the tiniest option, a small set of stairs leads you up or down into your 75 square foot cabin (that's what they call it). The cabins have a sci-fi / Tomorrowland-y feel. The awful ultraviolet lighting and sleeping "dug out" make you feel like you’re preparing to go into cryostasis – like you're going to sleep and planning to wake up on another planet.
Here's the deal. This is a tight space; if you stand in the middle of the cabin, you can almost touch every wall without moving. Put two people in the room and you better be prepared to negotiate. For example, if you have the collapsible work table open, both people can’t be standing up at the same time. Well, I guess someone could stand in the shower space.
Yotel does offer slightly – and I mean slightly – larger pods, but where is the fun in that? We can now say that we survived a transition day AND did it in about 75 square feet. We hear your polite golf clap. Thank you.
While an overnight stay is not cheap (this is the UK people), once you account for amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi and decent espresso, the price starts to seem more reasonable. Slap a “price tag” on the ability to wake-up and amble to your gate in mere minutes, and staying at Yotel begins to seem like a no-brainer.
Before the godforsaken LHR - DTW leg of our journey, we got up, showered, sipped a couple lattes, walked upstairs to drop off our checked luggage and went back to the pod for a bit of work before grabbing our carry-ons and heading for security. Almost stress free. When does that happen at an airport?
We say yes to Yotel.