Yotel Gatwick; pod style hotels arrive in the UK

What do sushi and hotels have in common? Both evidence that good things come in small packages. The perfect bit size sushi piece has everything you need in a mouthful but nothing extra, all packed together in an efficient morsel for degustation.

From the business behind the sushi chain Yo Sushi comes a hotel chain called Yotel. Based, I imagine, on Japanese capsule hotels but with some modifications for the European market. They currently have branches at major European airports including Gatwick, where I checked into recently.

I don’t normally review hotels on the blog but this one is worthy of mention, purely for its uniqueness. I’ll freely admit one of the main reasons I chose to stay there was intrigue. It also worked out as the best value for money in terms of convenience for a late-night check in and an early flight. Although, at £75 it wasn’t, by any means cheap. A further major positive was how well located it is; the Gatwick hotel is in the arrivals lounge of the south terminal so I rolled off the train into the hotel and rolled out to departures. For ease, it can’t be beaten.

Check in was smooth and friendly. My pod was smaller than I expected, even having prepared myself for a cosy experience but it had everything needed for one person and hand luggage. As stated on their website if you have hold luggage or need to contemplate a repack a larger pod would make this much easier. Ditto if there are two of your travelling; the single pods are open plan , including the bathroom and I would check carefully the bathroom arrangements in the larger pods if two of you are sharing unless you are VERY (too) comfortable with your travelling companion.

The bed was very comfortable and the cabins very quiet until the early morning when people were leaving for very early flights. The noise was never too much that I got up to put my earplugs in but it is something to bear in mind if you are a light sleeper.

Probably the most notable element of the stay was the friendly and helpful reception staff who will make you a tea or excellent coffee for free at any time of day or night and helpfully offered hot water for me to make my own bedtime herbal brew and porridge breakfast. Initially I was disappointed that there weren’t in room facilities to make hot drinks but the quality of the coffee on offer at reception definitely made up for that. Food and drinks are available from reception and seemed very reasonably priced for airport fodder. I’m not sure any sushi was available though….

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Would I stay again? If travelling on my own and the Yotel was cheaper than my beloved Premier Inn then yes, I would. I’d only stay with a companion if the bathroom was separate though. All in all a unique experience with excellent coffee.

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