by Anna Sutton in Cool Travel on Wednesday 11 March 2009

What’s with Airport Hotels? Due to foolishly booking a 6am flight, I recently had the dubious honour of my first Airport Hotel experience, and it just so happened to be in an industrial suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. Or, more specifically, the Airpark Business Centre. When my friend and I pulled up in the taxi, we found that the ‘hotel swimming pool’ was not set amidst a verdant tropical garden, as suggested by the website photos, but was smack bang in the middle of a deliriously circular roundabout. It was a strange sight: a suburban swimming pool and spa surrounded by newly potted palm trees and a safety fence, looking out onto a vista of shiny Japanese cars, the industrial estate looming bleakly in the distance.

Every room in the place overlooked the pool, so if you even bothered going down there, all eyes would be on the bits you try to hide. There were actually two well-coiffeured women dining poolside in bikinis, living it up for all it was worth. It brought to mind that memorable closing scene in Todd Solondz’s film Happiness. But the only thing passing over my three story balcony was my Domino‚Äôs pizza crust.