Living in Regina, I have a lot of experience with layovers. We just don’t have that many direct flights to places that I want to go. Usually, the layovers are fairly short. But, when I am travelling really far (like my recent trip home from Cambodia), it’s not unusual to have at least one really long layover. In this case, I had a 12-hour layover at the Seoul Incheon Airport as part of my two-day journey home.
I have been on enough overnight long-haul flights in my time to know that I need some kind of rest in between long flights, especially when facing a 9-hour overnight flight to Vancouver after the layover, and another six hours until I would get home by about midnight Regina-time. I don’t sleep well on planes, and have learned the hard way that if I don’t shell out for a room to lay down in when I need to, I am basically a zombie by the time I reach my destination. That doesn’t feel good.
So, when faced with my day-long layover in Seoul, I chose to reserve a room at the Incheon Airport Transit Hotel (also known as the Air Garden Hotel). For $100/CDN, I got a small but lovely hotel room for 10 hours. The hotel is well-situated right in the airport near gate 11, where there are also other amenities like free computers and wi-fi, lounge chairs and free shower rooms. When I got to the area after my flight landed from Cambodia at 6 a.m., I was extra pleased with my decision to reserve a room in the hotel, as every lounge chair and computer was taken (there aren’t that many). People were zonked out on hard chairs and benches all over the place. I was very thankful to be able to lie down in peace.
The room was a lovely surprise. Although small, it had a very comfortable bed and black-out blinds to help me sleep during the day. It also had a TV (and it was great fun watching Korean TV for a while), and a really nice bathroom. I was glad to bring my own shower amenities as they were pretty basic in the room (and I was expecting that). There is a restaurant right in the hotel, or you can choose any of the great food options in the airport close by.
For $100/CDN, I was away from the crowds and hustle of the airport, and I had a pretty great sleep. I didn’t have to go through airport security again, so I was able to stay in the room until about an hour before my flight, and I was totally refreshed and prepared for the rest of my journey home.
I highly recommend the Incheon Airport Transit Hotel. I also highly recommend making the choice to shell out a few bucks for a room when faced with a layover (planned or unexpected due to a delay). Your sanity and comfort really is worth it!