I wasn’t ready for my latest trip at all and a combination of irregular (and public) buses, a genetic inability to cut it fine at the airport and an eye-wateringly early flight were combining to mean a 2am wake up. No one wanted that.
Without much thought, a last-minute hotel was found at the terminal, damp clothes were hastily rammed into hand luggage and I lost my one evening this week with Peter. Overtired, but placated with a very nice sandwich I got on the bus to Gatwick at 8.30.
The surrealism generated by snoozing on public transport and waking up at near-deserted terminal is worthy of Dali. Quite how, dreamlike, I was all of a sudden in clean, soundproofed little cocoon, illuminated by soft purple lighting and being beckoned by a billowy duvet, almost eludes me. But it was that simple. There was no lengthy check-in process, no one wanted my passport, address, marital status. Only my surname and checkout time. And I was in. Cabin 16. They call it a first class experience and I imagine this is what travelling first class on Emirates is like. I wouldn’t know but it was so effortless. Everything you need is at your finger tips but the thing you most need, a good and uninterrupted sleep, is what it does best. I was reluctant to leave. I can testify to the joy an overtired suitcase dweller feels when confronted with that level of comfort, simplicity and sleep opportunity. I wonder how many other customers choke up when, braced for hassle, faff and annoyance, they are slipped a room card and wished a good sleep.
It allowed me the strength to deal with the horrors of Gatwick at dawn, the queues, the Ikea-style forced march through Duty Free and the inept service staff at breakfast.
Full marks to Yotel. I recommend it to anyone with an inconceivably early flight from Gatwick, an over-night connection or a small baby (they rent rooms by the hour).