3 Spots for Sleeping in Ottawa Airport

The lack of adequate facilities for layover passengers to get quality sleep significantly impacts the overall experience at Ottawa Airport (YOW). Despite being the sixth busiest airport in Canada, handling over 5 million passengers annually, the airport lacks innovative compact sleep solutions favored by travelers for their flexible pay-per-use pricing as well as affordable pricing.

This Guide to Sleeping at YOW provides details on the lack of nap pods and designated rest areas equipped with comfortable chairs and dimmable lights. It includes alternative free sleeping spots within the airport and suggests a few nearby hotels for consideration.

Sleeping in Ottawa Airport

Overview

Ottawa Airport (YOW) offers a mixed sleep experience for travelers. Some rate it poorly due to the airport’s policy of closing security checkpoints at night, which limits fliers to landside facilities.

Those who manage to catch some sleep have a few spots to recommend. The green leather couch next to the baggage claim area in Terminal 1 and the couches along the windows in the same terminal are among the most favored.

These spots provide some comfort, but travelers often report noise disturbances from crew activities and cleaning staff, especially in the early morning hours. Cold drafts from doors opening can also be an issue, particularly near the baggage claim.

Despite the airport’s cleanliness and efficient transportation services, it’s wise to come prepared with earplugs, sleep masks, and extra layers to combat the noise and cold.

There are 24/7 amenities like a small Tim Hortons, but it offers limited food options. Overall, while some travelers find these sleeping spots tolerable, others struggle with the noise and environmental factors impacting their sleep quality.

Ottawa Airport Hours Of Operation:

Ottawa Airport operates 24 hours a day, but overnight access is limited to landside facilities as security checkpoints close around 11:00 PM and reopen at 4:00 AM.

Travelers with overnight layovers should plan accordingly, opting for comfortable spots like the green leather couch near baggage claim or the couches along the windows in Terminal 1. These areas can be noisy and cold, so earplugs, sleep masks, and extra layers are recommended.

Ottawa Airport Lacks Sleeping Pods:

Ottawa Airport currently lacks sleeping pods, which significantly impacts its appeal for travelers seeking an in-terminal budget and comfortable rest during layovers. Sleeping pods offer numerous advantages that YOW currently misses out on, such as the flexibility of booking with hourly options, allowing travelers to choose precisely how long they need to rest.

These pods provide the convenience of being located within the terminals, eliminating the need to leave the secure area of the airport. Unlike benches or couches, sleeping pods offer an actual bed to rest on, enhancing comfort and sleep quality.

They are typically available 24/7, ensuring that passengers can access them at any time, regardless of their flight schedule. Additionally, sleeping pods are often affordable, providing a cost-effective solution for travelers needing rest. Without these amenities, passengers at YOW must rely on less ideal options like the green leather couch near baggage claim or the couches along the windows in Terminal 1, where noise, cold drafts, and lack of privacy can significantly impact the quality of sleep.

Read our Guide on What is a Sleeping Pod?

Benefits of Sleep Pods Missing at YOW

  1. Privacy and Quiet: Secluded spaces shield travelers from noise and disturbances.
  2. Comfort: Ergonomic designs provide a more comfortable resting area.
  3. Controlled Environment: Adjustable lighting and climate control ensure optimal rest conditions.
  4. Security: Lockable compartments securely store belongings.
  5. Power Outlets: Conveniently charge devices while resting.
  6. Flexible Booking: Pay-per-use options match layover times.
  7. Cleanliness: Regular cleaning ensures high hygiene standards.
  8. Reduced Jet Lag: Proper resting environment helps manage jet lag.
  9. Convenience: Strategically located within the airport for easy access.
  10. Additional Amenities: Features like Wi-Fi, entertainment, and wake-up services enhance comfort.

Drawbacks of Sleep Pods

  1. Cost: Pay-per-use can be expensive for budget travelers.
  2. Limited Availability: High demand can result in limited availability during peak times.
  3. Space Constraints: Pods can feel cramped for some travelers.
  4. Accessibility: May not be easily accessible to all passengers, particularly those with mobility issues.
  5. Maintenance Issues: Pods require regular maintenance to ensure functionality and cleanliness.
  6. Privacy Concerns: Despite being private, some travelers might feel uneasy in enclosed spaces.
  7. Noise Isolation: Pods may not fully block out airport noise.
  8. Booking Hassles: Online booking systems can sometimes be unreliable.
  9. Additional Fees: Extra amenities like Wi-Fi might incur additional costs.
  10. Location Limitations: Pods might be located far from other necessary facilities like restrooms or food outlets.

Best Sleep Location in Ottawa Airport – Free Alternatives to Nap Pods

Green Leather Couch Next to Baggage Claim

  • Location: Baggage Claim Area, Terminal 1
  • Pros: Comfortable leather benches, 24/7 Tim Hortons nearby.
  • Cons: Loud due to crew presence and proximity to the exit, cold gusts of wind from doors opening.
  • Pro Tips: Bring earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to mitigate the noise from the crew and carts. Carry a travel blanket or extra layers to stay warm against the cold drafts from the doors.

Couches Along the Windows

  • Location: Near the Windows, Landside Area, Terminal 1
  • Pros: Lots of comfy couches, police presence for added security.
  • Cons: Small, open airport can lead to ambient noise, especially from cleaning staff.
  • Pro Tips: Choose a couch further away from high-traffic areas to reduce noise. Plan to sleep before 4:00 am when the cleaning staff becomes more active. Having a sleep mask might help with the lighting.

General Airport Seating

  • Location: Throughout Terminal 1
  • Pros: Clean environment, quick-moving lines, excellent transportation services.
  • Cons: Some complaints about airport staff behavior and potential discrimination incidents.
  • Pro Tips: Use seating near quieter areas, such as near less busy gates or corners. If you encounter any issues with airport staff, document the interaction and report it to airport authorities. Being polite and compliant can sometimes ease the experience.

My thoughts on Sleeping in this Airport:

Ottawa Airport offers a few reasonably comfortable spots for overnight stays, particularly the green leather couch next to baggage claim and the couches along the windows in Terminal 1. Noise levels, cold drafts, and potential issues with airport staff may impact overall sleep quality. Cleanliness and efficient transportation services are notable positives. Travelers should prepare with earplugs, sleep masks, and extra layers to enhance their rest experience.

Review of YOW Sleep Quality:

Pros of Sleeping at Ottawa Airport (YOW)

  1. Comfortable Seating: Several travelers highlighted the green leather couch near baggage claim and the couches along the windows in Terminal 1 as comfortable spots to rest.
  2. Clean Environment: The airport’s cleanliness was frequently praised, providing a hygienic place for travelers to rest.
  3. Security Presence: A visible police presence added a sense of safety for overnight sleepers.
  4. 24/7 Amenities: The availability of a 24/7 Tim Hortons, offering basic food and beverages, was noted as a convenience.

Cons of Sleeping at Ottawa Airport (YOW)

  1. Noise Disturbances: Many travelers reported frequent noise from crew activities, cleaning staff, and early morning operations, disrupting sleep.
  2. Cold Drafts: Cold drafts from doors opening, especially near the baggage claim area, were commonly mentioned as an issue.
  3. Lack of Designated Rest Areas: The absence of sleeping pods or designated rest areas equipped with comfortable chairs and dimmable lights significantly impacted sleep quality.
  4. Bright Lighting: The bright lighting throughout the airport made it difficult to find a dark, quiet corner for rest.
  5. Limited Comfortable Seating: While some spots were comfortable, the lack of specifically designed sleep areas meant options were limited and not ideal for extended rest.
  6. Restricted Airside Access: Security checkpoints closing overnight limited travelers to landside areas until they reopened, affecting the quality of rest available during these hours.
  7. Lack of Sleeping Pods: The absence of sleeping pods, which offer privacy, adjustable lighting, and comfortable beds, significantly reduces the airport’s sleep score.
  8. Lack of Hotel Inside YOW: Lack of hotels within the airport further exacerbates the challenge of finding a comfortable place to rest.
  9. Limited Food Options: Only basic 24/7 food offerings available.
  10. Early Morning Activity: Increased noise and activity when security reopens at 4:00 AM.

Alternative Sleep Options to Consider: Hotels Near YOW

Here’s the table of the 15 best hotels close to Ottawa International Airport (YOW), sorted from closest to furthest:

Name of HotelDistance from AirportAverage RatingReview Highlights
Fairfield Inn & Suites Ottawa Airport0.8 miles4.5Highly recommended with excellent service and spacious rooms.
Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport0.9 miles4.5Excellent place to stay near the airport with great amenities.
Days Inn by Wyndham Ottawa Airport1.3 miles4.0Very close to the airport with free shuttle service, friendly staff, and clean rooms.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Airport1.4 miles4.5Excellent value with top-notch service and many extras.
Hampton Inn by Hilton Ottawa Airport1.5 miles4.5Good spot near the airport with a 20-30 min drive to downtown Ottawa.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ottawa Airport1.5 miles4.5Super calm and perfect for rotational workers, very quiet rooms.
Ramada by Wyndham Ottawa On The Rideau1.7 miles4.0Official stop for early flights with comfortable accommodations and good service.
Rideau Heights Inn2.1 miles4.0Clean and comfortable with friendly staff and relaxing outdoor seating.
Residence Inn by Marriott Ottawa Airport3.3 miles4.5Enjoyable stay with spacious rooms and excellent service.
Best Western Plus Ottawa City Centre5.4 miles4.0Friendly and helpful staff, comfortable rooms, and updated gym facilities.
Residence & Conference Centre – Ottawa West4.8 miles4.0Basic rooms with essential amenities and a good price point, though some rooms may have unpleasant odors.
Alt Hotel Ottawa6.9 miles4.5Excellent hotel with courteous staff, clean rooms, and great location.
The Business Inn & Suites6.7 miles4.5Convenient location, comfortable bedding, and great amenities for business travelers.
Cartier Place Suite Hotel6.8 miles4.0Great location for events, with kitchenette and comfortable rooms.
Courtyard Ottawa East6.9 miles4.5Exceptional service with engaging staff, clean rooms, and good amenities.
Hampton Inn by Hilton Ottawa6.9 miles4.5Clean and spacious rooms with free underground parking and a variety of breakfast options.
Hampton Inn & Suites Ottawa West6.8 miles4.5Spacious and spotless rooms with modern amenities, gym, pool, and hot breakfast.
This table highlights the best nearby hotels with detailed review insights, helping travelers make informed decisions about their stay near Ottawa International Airport.

Get details of our top recommended hotels near YOW Airport with Free Shuttle and Parking.

Budget-friendly Hotels Near YOW:

Here’s a table with the 10 cheapest hotels close to Ottawa International Airport (YOW), including their distance from the airport, average rating, price, and review highlights:

Name of HotelDistance from AirportAverage RatingPrice (USD)Review Highlights
Rideau Heights Inn2.1 miles4.0$109Clean and comfortable with friendly staff and relaxing outdoor seating.
Adam’s Airport Inn2.7 miles4.0$109Very friendly, clean, and quiet place to stay near the airport.
Courtyard Ottawa East6.9 miles4.5$93Exceptional service with engaging staff, clean rooms, and good amenities.
The Business Inn & Suites6.7 miles4.5$110Convenient location, comfortable bedding, and great amenities for business travelers.
Best Western Plus Ottawa City Centre5.4 miles4.0$131Friendly and helpful staff, comfortable rooms, and updated gym facilities.
Hampton Inn by Hilton Ottawa6.9 miles4.5$118Clean and spacious rooms with free underground parking and a variety of breakfast options.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ottawa Airport1.5 miles4.5$138Super calm and perfect for rotational workers, very quiet rooms.
Alt Hotel Ottawa6.9 miles4.5$138Excellent hotel with courteous staff, clean rooms, and great location.
Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport0.9 miles4.5$109Excellent place to stay near the airport with great amenities.
Hampton Inn by Hilton Ottawa Airport1.5 miles4.5$139Good spot near the airport with a 20-30 min drive to downtown Ottawa.
This table provides a selection of the cheapest nearby hotels with detailed review insights, helping travelers make budget-friendly decisions about their stay near Ottawa International Airport.

Parting Word on Ottawa Airport Sleep and YOW Sleep Pods:

Ottawa Airport may lack sleeping pods, but there are still several ways to catch some rest while waiting for your flight. You have the option of sleeping in rest areas inside YOW or at nearby hotels.

Inside YOW, some of the top spots for grabbing a nap include the cozy green leather couch near the baggage claim area and the inviting couches along the windows in Terminal 1. While these areas offer a bit of comfort, be prepared for occasional noise and cold drafts. For a touch of relaxation, try the rocking chairs in the departures area near the large windows, perfect for a short break.

These nooks, although not designed for sleeping, are praised by travelers for their relative comfort, access to power outlets, and proximity to restrooms.

For those seeking more privacy and luxury, nearby hotels provide excellent alternatives. The Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport and Fairfield Inn & Suites Ottawa Airport are both conveniently close, offering comfortable rooms and complimentary shuttle services. The Hampton Inn by Hilton Ottawa Airport, located just a short distance away, provides a perfect sanctuary with its superb amenities, making it ideal for travelers arriving late at night or departing early in the morning.

So, while YOW may not have sleep pods, there are still plenty of ways to rest and recharge before your next flight.

FAQs

Does YOW Have Designated Sleeping Areas?

No, Ottawa Airport (YOW) does not have designated rest areas or sleep pods. There are rocking chairs located in the departures area. These chairs are typically found near the large windows, providing a comfortable spot for travelers to relax and enjoy the view while waiting for their flights. Travelers often have to rely on finding comfortable spots such as the green leather couch next to baggage claim or the couches along the windows in Terminal 1 for rest. These areas provide some comfort but are not specifically designed for sleeping.

Does YOW Have Sleeping Pods?

No, Ottawa Airport (YOW) does not currently have sleeping pods. The absence of sleep pods, which typically offer flexible pay-per-use features, custom booking periods, and affordable rates right within the terminals, significantly reduces the sleep score rating of YOW. In the official website blog, there are no indications of upcoming plans to install the nap pods in this airport.

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Image of Nathan Kip Rotich

Nathan helps travelers find the most comfortable sleep setups during layovers, from cozy airport hotels to futuristic sleep pods. His insights aim to transform layovers into rejuvenating sleepcations, offering travelers an alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable benches.