You won't mind your layover once you've stayed in one of these spots.
CNN  — 

Globetrotters know what it’s like trying to sleep coiled up on a hard plastic airport seat for hours while they await their next flight. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Transit hotels are making long, multiflight trips tolerable. These short-stay hotels are located within security checks in airports and close to terminals. Passengers can walk off the plane and check into a room to refresh between long flights.

No visa is required to stay over in a given country. Rates at transit hotels vary but are often cheaper than at regular hotels.

Minimum required stays average about six hours. Standard amenities include a bed, desk, toilet, shower and Internet access, but many premium transit hotels include gyms and spas, as well.

Transit hotel hot spots

Singapore's airport is one of the world's busiest.

Because business depends on a heavy flow of onward-bound passengers, transit hotels are nearly exclusive to busy transfer hubs, especially in Asia.

One of the most popular transit hotels is at Singapore’s Changi, one of the world’s busiest airports and a frequent layover spot for flights to and from Asia.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe – its compact and clean “Yotel” hotel pods do good business.

You won’t find in-airport transit hotels in Melbourne Tullamarine Airport or Sydney Airport’s international terminal – Australia is not a common midway point for journeys.

Good for business, but good business?

Forget sleeping on the plane, sleeping in a transit hotel is the way forward.

Nigel Summers, director of the world’s largest hospitality consulting firm, Horwath HTL, says that transit hotels can be a tricky investment for hoteliers.

“You don’t have to give people much (because it’s a very short stay), but it can be difficult to predict the flow of people,” Summers says.

“For example, if there is a major closure at an airport, it can be hard to plan how much food to prepare and how much staff to keep on.”

The success of transit hotels also depends on the efficiency of the airport, with more efficient airports being less suitable for hotel business.

“If it is easy to clear customs, say at Hong Kong, people are probably less likely to stay inside the airport for their layover,” explains Summers.

“But if it’s harder, somewhere like New Delhi, people are more likely to find accommodation inside the airport.”

Best airports for a long layover

Interview with general manager of India’s first transit hotel

The Eaton Smart transit hotel at New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport is stylish and comfortable.

Located inside New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, the Eaton Smart is one of the world’s more stylish transit hotels, noted for its simple modern designs.

Hotel GM Vikram Khetty explains how transit hotels are revolutionizing the way we wait for our next flight.

CNN: Who are your target customers?

Khetty: Passengers who are stuck at an airport waiting for their connecting flight. You might need to wait up to 10 hours in the airport before your next flight is ready, so a transit hotel is the ideal place to rest your head, refresh and enjoy some freshly prepared food or even a spa treatment, which will aid in the prevention of jet lag.

CNN: Are there visa or ticketing requirements for staying at your hotel?

Khetty: No visa is required, as transiting passengers often don’t have an entry visa for India. For international travelers, they just need a passport and airline ticket, and for Indian nationals, identity papers or passport and travel documents.

CNN: What is the minimum stay?

Khetty: The rooms are sold for a minimum slot of five hours at $65 (Rs 3,000).

CNN: What makes Eaton Smart different from other transit hotels?

Khetty: The hotel will be known for its quick turnaround, smart utilization of room space, modern design and comfortable facilities. It will also offer free Internet access, a spa, innovative Aqua Pods, a gymnasium, and a lounge serving teas, alcoholic beverages and all-day dining menus.

Eaton Smart at Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport has two wings – domestic and international. The domestic wing has 36 rooms while the international wing has 57 rooms. All the rooms are 21 square meters in size.

Jane Leung is a Hong Kong-born Canadian who has worked in film and television production, the professional sports industry and magazine publishing.

Editor’s note: This article was previously published in 2011. It was reformatted and republished in 2017.