We’ve all been there. You find an unbelievably inexpensive airfare, but there’s a catch. It’s a got a long layover. Like, not long enough that you can go explore the city but just long enough that it’s going to be annoying. This was me on the way home from Lebanon, with a ten hour layover in Amsterdam in the middle of the night.
As I rode that wave of elation for finding such a great fare, I thought to myself “no problem, I’ll figure it out. Sleeping in the airport isn’t that bad.”
Oh how little I’ve learned.
Of course, the day before I flew out of Lebanon, I still hadn’t researched where to sleep in Amsterdam Schipol Airport. So I frantically reviewed the Sleeping in Airports Amsterdam Guide hoping (praying) for a magical solution. I was tired. The two week trip to Jordan and Lebanon was epic but my body was ready for real sleep in an actual bed before I returned to work the next day.
That’s when I discovered Yotel Amsterdam Schipol Airport.
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What is Yotel?
It may be the most genius idea ever. YotelAir, one concept offered by Yotel, offers sleeping cabins inspired by the best first class cabins in the world. They currently operate at four airports: London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schipol and Paris Charles de Gaulle. The cabins are fully contained and smartly designed including a full shower and bathroom in each!
Most importantly, though, is that Yotel is on the airside of Amsterdam Schipol Airport, meaning you don’t even have to leave the secure area of the airport.
So, when I landed at 1am, I simply walked over to Yotel Amsterdam and checked right in. I went from the gate to check-in within ten minutes of landing.
How does Yotel Amsterdam Work?
My biggest piece of advice is don’t be me. I didn’t book a cabin in advance and had to chance getting one last minute when I landed. When you find that amazing airfare with the long layover, go online and book your cabin right away.
I had hoped to sleep on my flight on the way to Amsterdam. But, the spawn of Satan that was kindly kicking the back of my chair had other plans for me. So, as I walked to the Yotel check-in I was particularly worse for wear.
The purple illuminated entrance called to me from across the terminal. As I walked up, the employee at check-in (called Mission Control) smiled at me. Here goes nothing.
By some stroke of luck, they had a single cabin for me for 105 Euro. Honestly, it’s a bit much but given the level of convenience, it’s surprisingly comparable in price (or cheaper) than other hotels at or near the Amsterdam airport.
After a quick check-in, I walked down the dimly lit and purple illuminated hallway to my numbered cabin.
What are YotelAir cabins like?
My single cabin included a single bed, tv, fold out desk, luggage rack, stool, rain shower, sink, toilet, towel, and basic toiletries (soap, shampoo).
The cabin exceeded my expectations with cleanliness, amenities, and design. It had everything I needed to make my layover in Amsterdam amazing.
Here’s a short video tour of my single cabin at Yotel Amsterdam.
What was my Yotel Amsterdam experience like?
Ok, so I’m going to keep it real.
I quickly brushed my teeth, washed my face and jumped into bed. The minute I laid my head down (~1:45am), a loud drilling noise started from somewhere out in the airport. After some deep breathing to calm myself down, I called Mission Control and explained the situation.
The person I spoke with was incredibly empathetic. He apologized and said he would call the airport immediately to identify the cause. As the sound went on for another 15 minutes, I called again. He apologized again and said he could now also hear the noise and was waiting to hear back from the airport.
At this point, he told me I am welcome to checkout if I prefer, free of charge, or stay in my cabin and receive a discount on my rate. I agreed to stay and at least rest, use the Wifi and shower. Shortly after that call, the drilling noise stopped and I was able to fall asleep.
Six hours later, I woke up feeling refreshed. I took a quick shower, changed my clothes and walked out into the terminal for my flight feeling so fresh and so clean.
Honestly, I think my experience was an anomaly related to construction or maintenance in the airport. I was very impressed with how the Yotel Amsterdam staff responded and resolved the situation. They were very communicative and responsive plus my discount was reflected immediately on my account. I would absolutely stay with them again.
Click the link below to read other reviews for Yotel Amsterdam!
How to make the most of your Yotel Amsterdam stay?
Based on my experience, here are a few things you can do to make your stay at Yotel Amsterdam a great one!
- Book a cabin in advance (way in advance).
- If you have checked bags, try to check them to your final destination so you don’t have to pick them up during your layover in Amsterdam. If you don’t do this, you will have to go through immigration, baggage claim, and then re-check your bag and potentially go back through security. This sort of negates the convenience of Yotel being located on the airside behind security.
- Pack everything you need for your Yotel stay in your carry-on including toothbrush, toothpaste, change of clothes, and any other essential toiletries. Note that Yotel Amsterdam does have many items to purchase or borrow at Mission Control.
I’m so glad that I was able to stay at Yotel Amsterdam during my 10 hour layover. Sure, sleeping in the terminal is a cheap and easy option, but I knew I wouldn’t be truly rested if I did that. My stay at Yotel Amsterdam left me feeling fully refreshed AND it helped me overcome my jetlag!