Airport hotels often fall back on just a couple of features – namely, location and a wake up call for paranoid flyers. But why shouldn’t they aim higher? South Korea’s Nest Hotel Incheon makes a case for design-led airport accommodation that offers much more than convenience. The striking box-like exterior stands alone, breathtaking with the broad blue sky behind it. Rooms face the Yellow Sea, where you can watch planes take off and set down, and local anglers try their luck on the rocks. Then there’s the library/cafe, infinity pool and The Platz, a tasteful contemporary restaurant that serves a crowd-pleasing mix of western and Korean dishes.
A 10-minute drive from Incheon International Airport, on the South Korean island of Yeongjongdo. Shuttle buses travel to and from the airport every hour, from 6am until 10:45pm.
There are 10 types of rooms, from a standard twin to a panoramic patio suite, all offering views of the sea or the mountains. Interiors are modern with a minimalist Scandinavian design and a palette of blonde wood, navy, grey and white. Beds are oriented toward the window so you can watch the sun rise from a nest of plump pillows. Aesthetes will appreciate the black Zojirushi ice bucket and sleek white kettle from Recolte, both premium Japanese brands.
Food and drink
There are two eateries, main restaurant The Platz and The Kunst, a lounge serving drinks and light meals. The former has floor-to-ceiling glass windows and tiered seating to make the most of the view, as well as an excellent breakfast buffet with a wide selection of international and Korean dishes. If you decide on room service, the beef bulgogi comes beautifully presented on a wooden tray with accompanying banchan.
For business travellers
Nest Hotel has two auditoriums for meetings and conferences. The Baum Hall is ideal for up to 600 people and the Stein Hall can accommodate 200. The latter is equipped with an AV system and can be partitioned to create smaller spaces if necessary.
For wellness travellers
A gym with exposed concrete walls is well-equipped (it even has a boxing ring) and open 24 hours. The spa has a shared Korean-style bath and, outside the hotel, there’s an infinity pool (guests are charged an additional fee to use it).
Best for: Business travellers
Number of rooms: 370
Rates from: $161 per night
Wi-fi: Fast and free
Parking: On site
Address: 19-5 Yeongjonghaeannam-ro (Wunseo-dong), Jung-gu, Incheon Metropolitan City, 400-340
Telephone: 82 32 743 9000