10 great places to cool your jets at an airport hotel

Getting there is more than half the fun if you stay at the next generation of airport hotels, revamped to make a night near the runways more fun. Peter Greenberg (petergreenberg.com), travel editor of NBC'sToday show and author of the upcoming Don't Go There! The Travel Detective's Essential Guide to the Must-Miss Places of the World (Rodale Books, $17.95), shares his favorite new airport hotels with Kathy Baruffi for USA TODAY.

The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Vancouver, British Columbia

"The cool thing about this hotel is its location: inside the U.S. departures terminal," Greenberg says. "As an added bonus, if you're going fishing, they have a 'fish valet' to store your catch." All guest rooms have floor-to-ceiling soundproof windows. Views include the North Shore Mountains and airport runways, as well as partial views of the Pacific. 604-207-5200; fairmont.com/vancouverairport

Hyatt Regency Orlando International AirportOrlando

"The cool thing about this hotel is that the bellman actually meets you at baggage claim, and you can't really get stuck in traffic on the way to the airport: You're already inside the terminal," Greenberg says. The hotel is great for families, particularly if they have a late-night arrival or early departure. 407-825-1234; orlandoairport.hyatt.com

Sofitel London HeathrowLondon

"The recent opening of this hotel changes the definition of what an airport hotel can be," Greenberg says. To wit: world-class spa, fine dining, lobby bar, tea salon and state-of-the-art rooms, including the Imperial Suite with Swarovski crystal fixtures and lights in the bathroom. The Sofitel, connected to Terminal 5 by footbridge, is also convenient to central London via Heathrow rail service. sofitelheathrow.com

Aloft Philadelphia AirportPhiladelphia

"If I'm going to be stuck in an airport hotel, give me a 42-inch plasma TV," Greenberg says. Aloft adds a new twist in style to the Philly market. The lobby, which opens into a backyard patio and pool, is like a giant living room with people using laptops, chatting or playing pool. Grab-and-go food, from healthy meals to cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, is available. 877-462-5638; alofthotels.com

Kempinski Hotel Airport MünchenMunich, Germany

A soaring glass-covered atrium with towering palms greets guests as they step into the ultra-modern, light-filled space of this luxurious hotel. The Fit & Fly Spa and pool are available for day-trippers as well as overnight guests. Ditto for the fine dining. Choose from the Thai-Mediterranean-inspired Safran restaurant, Charles Lindbergh restaurant or Lobby Café. "For once, an airport hotel in Germany that doesn't force-feed you pretzels and beer," Greenberg says. www.kempinski-airport.de

Grand Hyatt DFWDallas-Fort Worth

"Wine pairings at an airport hotel? Who knew? Even better, they've got a really decent restaurant," Greenberg says. Dine at the Grand Met and sit at the chef's table near the show kitchen. Peruse a virtual menu with a touch screen that lists ingredients along with pictures and other information, such as chef recommendations for wine pairings. The hotel is integrated into the airport. The chic interiors, with soothing and calming color schemes, were designed to balance the stress and frenzy of plane travel. 972-973-1234; grandhyattdfw.com

Westin Detroit Metropolitan AirportDetroit

"Don't be surprised if you bump into a wedding party at this hotel — they all flew in for it," Greenberg says. "That's right, the airport hotel has become a wedding destination." Hotel guests also have entrée to 90 shops and restaurants in the new McNamara Terminal. 800-937-8461; westin.com/detroit

Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National AirportArlington, Va.

"If you're tired of the drama at the terminal, no problem. Across the street from this airport hotel is the Arena Stage, with great regional theater," Greenberg says. An underground walkway connects to 125 shops and restaurants, and a Washington, D.C., Metro (subway) stop is less than a block away to take you into the nation's capital. All rooms have just been renovated. 703-413-5500; crystalcitymarriott.com

Hilton Chicago O'Hare AirportChicago

"You don't have to be a guest to buy a day pass to the health club of this hotel and work out if your flight is delayed," Greenberg says. Or feast at the hotel's Gaslight Club, a retro steakhouse with aged prime meat brought to the table for your selection. New, allergen-free rooms with hardwood floors, pure cotton linens and in-room air purifiers also are available. 773-686-8000; hilton.com

Radisson SAS Airport HotelOslo

"Two redeeming things about this hotel: You can swing your way through 32 virtual golf courses at the fitness center and take a day trip into Oslo," Greenberg says. Hop aboard the high-speed Airport Express at the nearby train stop and get into the center of Oslo in less than 20 minutes. Or relax in the hotel's solarium, then head for the hotel bar with its views of the runway. gardermoen.radissonSAS.com