Situated in the heart of Istanbul International Airport is a little secret that perhaps everyone should know about. Thanks to Istanbul’s virtually exhaustive list of destinations, it might be that your connecting flight is more than just a few hours away. If you aren’t lucky enough to enjoy an airport lounge, or Turkish Airlines’ connection program that includes hotel stays for over 8 hours, YOTELAIR Istanbul International Airport is the perfect solution for those Transcontinental hops. 

We had a 9-hour layover in Istanbul Airport on a recent flight from London to Sao Paulo and rather than requiring a PCR test and having to go through passport control we opted for a more convenient option, situated in the airside area of the airport. 

Situated in the main departure concourse, where all the shopping and restaurants are situated lies an unassuming entrance nearby the Skyteam lounge. However, on entry you are greeted by friendly ‘Mission Control’ check in staff, a Komyuniti lounge and vending machines with all the basics you might need. 

In the Komyuniti lounge there is an ever-changing selection of food, which changes every few hours, reflecting the time of day. There’s also a wide range of drinks (both soft and alcoholic) which are available to those who have booked a room – or for those who simply just wish to pay for access. 

Don’t think you need to book overnight though, there’s the chance to get a room for as little as 4 hours. Which is perfect to get a few hours of shut eye, a shower and freshen up before your next flight. From the mind-blowing 280 rooms on offer Airside (with a further 171 landside) there’s a myriad of options available from simple yet functional Premium Queen rooms, to the lavish and expansive First Class King Junior Suite.

Although if you are looking to balance space and price, the Premium Plus King is a perfect option, and it’s the one we selected, with fantastic views across the airport’s Check In area (perfect for the avgeek in all of us). 

The room comes equipped with a firm, comfortable bed, swathes of space, a smart TV and a countless amount of USB ports situated everywhere from bedside tables to table lamps. The room also has a couple of chairs, a desk, a safebox and a powerful hot shower and toilet.

Once you are done playing with the mood lighting which has an infinite amount of settings, it is time to grab some sleep. The one thing that’s noticeable from the get-go is how amazingly silent the hotel is. You could virtually hear a pin drop, and thanks to the blackout blinds, it’s perfectly dark as well. 

One thing we’d recommend is calling reception and asking for a wake-up call. As we couldn’t trust our phones or ourselves to wake up on time for our connecting flight. But for those who have longer, or just can’t sleep, the Komyuniti lounge is the perfect place to also spend some time, with big comfortable seats, a never-ending selection of food and drink, and free super-fast WiFi. If you are staying on the landside of the hotel, there’s even a gym for the sportier among you. 

This quick airside stopover at YOTELAIR was a welcome stay and even with the hotels in Istanbul available to us as Business Class travellers with Turkish Airlines, was an obvious and convenient option that we would book time after time.

The Big Picture


Posted by:Jonny Clark

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