Often, if your flight arrives late, or leaves early it makes sense to stay close to the airport. Sometimes, though, hotels say they are “airport hotels”, when they are actually a long way from the airport.
That’s fine if they run a regular, free shuttle during all the hours that flights are operating. However, when you are staying there because of a late arrival or early departure, it is NOT really an airport hotel, if they stop running shuttles at 19:00. Or they don’t start in the morning until 08:30. Or they charge you for the shuttle. It definitely isn’t an airport hotel if they do not even run a shuttle!
Here is an idea of what, in Scotland, actually are airport hotels. They either have regular, free shuttles all day, free shuttles on demand, or are easy walking distance from the terminal. All information is correct as of October 2020.
Edinburgh Airport Hotels
There are four hotels on the airport grounds –
The Doubletree by Hilton
The Hampton by Hilton
The Moxy by Marriott
These three are all only 3 or 4 minutes walk from the terminal.
The Holiday Inn Express
This is a longer, 15 minute walk and also has a regular shuttle, but this costs GBP2.50 per person.
The following two budget hotels say they are airport hotels. They do not have shuttles, but they do have tram stops –
Ibis Budget Edinburgh Park Hotel
Premier Inn Edinburgh Park (Airport) Hotel
Both have tram stops very close by so it is possible to take a tram from/to the terminal. Make sure your flight times work with the tram times. The last tram from the airport leaves at 22:48. The first tram arrival at the airport is at 06:07.
Edinburgh Trams Timetable
The tram fare to and from the Airport terminal is GBP6 to/from anywhere in Edinburgh (price correct at October 2020).
The Edinburgh trams go to the city centre from the terminal. It’s just 30 minutes to the city centre, so staying downtown is a definite option, even if you fly in quite late, or out quite early.
Both the Edinburgh Park Ibis and Premier Inn have cheap rooms, a restaurant and bar, but are only 10-15 minutes from the city centre by tram. They offer a great, quiet and reasonably priced alternative to staying down-town, but not being far from the action, or from the airport.
We have a car rental branch only 200 metres from the Premier Inn Edinburgh Park, so it is easy to pick up a car the morning after you arrive in Edinburgh, or drop off a car the night before you fly out. It’s a quieter branch than the one at the Airport and the surrounding streets offer the opportunity to practice driving on the left before setting off on your trip.
The following hotels also describe themselves as airport hotels, but they do NOT have shuttles, or tram stops. They are between 40 and 60 minutes walk to the terminal, so a taxi is the only realistic way of getting to the airport.
Travelodge Edinburgh Airport Ratho Station Hotel
Premier Inn Edinburgh Airport (Newbridge) Hotel
A taxi will cost between about GBP12 and GBP15.
Glasgow Airport Hotels
Glasgow Airport has 5 real airport hotels, all a fairly short walk from the terminal, of between 4 and 12 minutes.
The Holiday Inn is closest.
The Holiday Inn Express
The Premier Inn
The Courtyard by Marriott
The Travelodge is farthest away.
There are other hotels, which are outside easy walking distance (2+ miles) and not on the airport property. However, the 5 hotels on the airport site are reasonably priced and usually have enough capacity to cater for everybody who needs a room.
Inverness Airport Hotels
There is only one hotel at Inverness Airport and it is so new, Google Street View shows a field with sheep grazing where the hotel now stands –
Courtyard by Marriott Inverness Airport
which is only 4 minutes walk from the terminal.
If you choose to stay elsewhere, then your best bet is a taxi to Inverness, 8 miles away. Alternatively, there are two small hotels in Ardesier, about 3 miles away. More chance of an early/late taxi in Inverness, probably.
The car rental branch in Inverness will meet and greet at the Airport and take you back to Inverness for the car, in normal working hours. When you drop the car, they will shuttle you back to the airport. Outside working hours, until 22:00, they will meet you at the airport, with your car, for a charge. Even with this charge, it is usually better value renting through us.
Aberdeen Airport Hotels
Aberdeen International Airport is the busiest helicopter airport in Europe, thanks to the UK oil industry being based in Aberdeen. There are also up to 20 flights a day to Norway and the Shetland Islands, the two other main centres in the North Sea, for the oil industry.
There are 8 hotels at Aberdeen Airport, all within 12 minutes easy walk of the terminal.
Holiday Inn Express
Moxy by Marriott
Courtyard by Marriott
Hampton by Hilton
While the oil industry is not firing on all cylinders, this would probably be a good time to get good prices at the airport hotels.
Prestwick Airport Hotels
Prestwick is also known as Glasgow Prestwick, but it is 50 minutes or more, to/from Glasgow centre.
Most airlines have moved their activities to Glasgow Airport, from Prestwick. However, there are always a few scheduled flights in from Spain, Portugal and Italy and it is sometimes used by the larger holiday companies for charter flights.
There are no hotels at Prestwick Airport. The closest is the Parkstone Hotel which is just over 20 minutes walk away. However, it is right on the sea shore and miles of empty sandy beach, so it is the best Airport AND Seaside Hotel in Scotland (actually, it is the only airport AND seaside hotel). The Parkstone is also just 200 metres from Prestwick Old Golf Course, one of a string of challenging and very special golf courses, along this shoreline.