I have stayed in more luxurious hotels. I have stayed in hotels with larger TV screens. I have stayed in hotels with more expensive toiletries in the bathroom. I have stayed in hotels with a lot of amenities that the Incheon Airport Transit Hotel simply does not have.
But, I have never spent the night in a hotel that more perfectly fulfilled its mission than this wonderful hotel in the Incheon Airport.
With an overnight layover in Korea I was faced with a dilemma. My scheduled arrival was for 11:10 pm and my departure was set for 3 pm the following day. Should I spend the night in the airport trying to grab a few hours sleep under who knows what conditions? Well, I’ve done that before and it’s not very pleasant. But who wants to catch a taxi around midnight to rush off to a hotel for the joy of grabbing a few hours of sleep and a shower, then trying to find a place to have breakfast the next morning and getting back to the airport, especially in a country where you have never been before and where you do not speak the language. Would I have to change money to pay the taxi? How about the restaurant? Maybe I could use my credit card. If I leave the airport, would I need a visa?
There are a lot of questions, but there is one really good answer. I checked into the Transit Hotel only minutes after getting off my plane. The room was very nice – not one of those tiny cubicles you may have read about in some Japanese airports. Best of all it was quiet – I did not hear a single airplane noise from my room.
Everything worked well. The shower was hot, the TV was just fine, and the room was spotless.
I think I left a wake-up call, but didn’t really need it since my departure was mid-afternoon. The final treat for this perfect stay was breakfast in the Matina Restaurant, part of the hotel. So, if you find yourself flying through this lovely airport in Korea be sure and check the Transit Hotel website before you go.
But, there is more to this story. I can’t recall having ever been in a more beautiful, functional and user friendly hotel in all my travels. Much of the beauty, I believe, is in the wonderful amenities provided by the airport itself. Try to imagine, and it will be difficult I know, an airport that has spotlessly clean showers that are free for travelers. Then try to imagine an airport that has not just wi-fi, but a complete bank of free computers for your use. How about a spa? Of course!
But, that’s not all. Imagine an airport that has a hands-on cultural program for visitors to learn about traditional arts of the country. It’s not just a room to walk through and look at the photos or the artifacts behind glass. Instead, there are “work” stations (I think I’d more likely call them “fun” stations) where you can sit at a table and have an instructor show you how to make your own traditional arts. And there are several choices from which to choose.
Of course there is shopping, but not “airport” shopping. This airport is more like a shopping center with nice, large stores to browse through. It’s all fun, it’s beautiful, it’s spotlessly clean and it’s functional. Who could ask for anything more?
But, here’s the funny part. I thought the Incheon Airport Transit Hotel was perfect for my needs, but the fact is – if I had to spend the night in an airport where I didn’t have a hotel room I would choose this one! So, while you’re here, check out the Seoul Incheon International Airport.
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