Yotel is a tiny “capsule” hotel located right inside Terminal 4 at Heathrow Airport in London. We stayed here last night partly out of curiousity but mostly for the convenience of not having to battle public transit this morning. Some notes on the experience:
- The room is small, but it’s not a “capsule” — there’s enough room to walk around (a little) — and it’s more like a “pod.”
- Check-in is completely automated: there’s a touch screen at the door that spits out a key card. You need your booking number for this, which fortunately I’d remembered to print out.
- Your booking number is also your wifi password — the wifi is included at no extra charge.
- Our television was missing a remote control. I was able to get one from the person staffing the snack bar — “galley” in Yotel-speak — but it didn’t work. She finally resorted to “rebooting the TV” from her console and that did the trick. All I was trying to do was turn the TV off.
- The TV has a wake-up alarm feature you can set. But the TV’s clock was set 10 minutes slow.
- This morning the now “working” TV was as slow as molasses to do anything: changing channels took a few seconds and the remote “froze” several times. Obviously this system needs work.
- There are no windows. I didn’t think this would bother me but it did.
- There’s no door between the beds and the bathroom, only a curtain. Oh, wait, there is: just discovered a sliding glass door no our way out. And the toilet makes a shockingly loud noise when you flush it.
- The beds are very comfortable.
- The rooms are fairly well sound-proofed, but there is a fairly constant rumble of the surrounding airport: part noise and part vibration. They offer free ear plugs in the galley.
- Rooms let by the hour, with a minimum of 4 hours. We took 12 hours and paid £80.
- The “monsoon” shower is great, but hard to adjust the hot/cold mix of. And because it’s in the same area as the sink and toilet, water gets everywhere.
All in not a bad experience, but not the futuristic teleport into the future I’d anticipated either.