Stay at the airport, in the terminal!
I booked an early morning flight to get back home from Istanbul(to JFK) in November, 2021. I thought it would be better to try and stay at an airport hotel to make the morning less stressful and get a little more sleep. Most airport hotels are located within a 10 minute shuttle ride from the terminal, but some airports have hotels right on their property and some even right inside the terminal(sometimes called transit hotels). A transit hotel may even offer rooms for just an hour or two.
You can stay for two hours in Beijing's hourly hotel located right in the terminal for about $70. A company called Minute Suites offers small rooms with couches and shared restrooms with showers at these USA Airports: DFW/ATL/CLT/BWI/LGA/PHL/BNA.
Beijing Transit Hotel
Some full service hotels at/on property USA Airports:
JFK - TWA Hotel recently opened in Terminal 5
Detroit - Westin Hotel inside the Delta terminal
Dallas - Grand Hyatt - Inside Terminal D
Orlando - Hyatt Regency - Inside Terminal
Tampa - Marriott - Inside Terminal
Minneapolis - Intercontinental - Inside Terminal 1
This website covers ALL sleeping options at ALL airports around the world! https://www.sleepinginairports.net/airport-hotels.htm
Sometimes people get stuck at the airport....a tough situation in a foreign country,
Istanbul - Yotel - Inside Terminal
Dubai - Dubai International Hotel - Inside Terminal 3
London - Yotel - Inside Terminal 4
Paris - Yotel - Inside Terminal 2E
Bangkok - Miracle Transit Hotel - Inside Terminal, 4th floor
Hong Kong - Regal Hotel - Inside Terminal
Internationally, you can find all kinds of weird transit hotels. I wound up booking a hotel called Yotel, which has two locations at Istanbul Airport.
One is landside (accessible to departing travelers before going through security, or arriving passengers after going through security/immigration. The other is airside (only accessible to those who have a ticket departing). I was traveling during the pandemic and I wasn't sure if I would be able to access the airside hotel, so I booked the landside location to avoid any issues. Security was very high, due to the virus, and the prior history of the airport. Everyone had to line up outside and go through several screeners and checks before being let into the terminal building.
Once I got inside, I quickly saw the Yotel sign. Before heading over, though, I walked around the airport to see what options I had for food, drinks, and shopping. I arrived around 6pm and would soon be eating dinner. After exploring every corner of the airport(landside) without going through security to the airside, I was happy to check-in to the hotel. To my surprise, the hotel was fairly large with 171 rooms and massive hallways. The design is very cool, resembling a spaceship both in the rooms and the public areas.
Some rooms have no windows or a window that overlooks "the guts" of the airport, as was my room. My view was of the indoor back area of the airport. The hotel had a restaurant and lounge area as well as a gym. The room was large and clean, and I got a kick out of the whole experience. I did think the price was too high(about $150), but the convenience was worth it in this case.
Note that airport hotels that are not on airport property are often much cheaper and have free shuttles. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express upon arrival late at night in Dubai for about $39. I had to wait for the shuttle, but was also able to walk to the train station the next morning for a quick ride to my next hotel in the city. I did not want to try and travel into the city late at night after the trains stopped running, and also did not want to spend a lot for such a late arrival(around midnight)...kind of a waste.
Always check the shuttle schedules for airport hotels, as they may only run until a certain time or only so often. As always, I recommend Google Hotels for your search. Below, we have a search for hotels near Dubai's airport under $50. You can further filter this to only include the highest rated hotels under $50, or hotels that have a pool, etc. I can see my Holiday Inn Express is just $19 for this date!
Waking up in the airport(or close by) when you have that early morning flight can be really nice and save a lot of time. Be sure to check with hotels that have shuttles to see how often they run, how late they run, and where to find it. Compare costs and consider traffic and time of day.
Be sure to be prepared for your flight by knowing what time you need to be at the airport and plan accordingly. Staying at the airport eliminates the chance of missing your flight.