After a trip from Africa and deciding not to get out of Dubai International Airport and get a day tour of the city, given the 18-hour layover, we thought staying put in the airport to catch some sleep was a better idea.

So we booked a night’s (and day’s) worth of stay at Dubai International, conveniently located at the airport’s Terminal 3 where our Emirates flight is expected to land.

Besides the customary booking process, I received an email from the customer support asking for our flight schedule. It made sense to me since guests check in times depend on their arrival time at the airport. When I was then told that there will be someone to meet us at the airport, I thought that was extra special because we did not have to navigate on our way inside the airport. Having a guide is important because not all paths lead to the hotel; others lead to the exits and for security purposes going back is not allowed.

Indeed when we arrived, an Indian staff holding my name written in a sign, waited for us which made us feel special. After showing our onward boarding pass, the man led us to the customs wher our hand-carry luggage was screened. It should be noted that as we need to change clothes and use our toiletries, we packed them in our hand-carry bag.

The check in process was very smooth, no queues, and while the huge size of the airport hotel made walking longer, the room waiting for us was worth the price and effort to get there.

The room has all conveniences of a typical hotel. Clean, spacious and equipped with all amenities a weary traveler may need: complimentary fruit platter, bottles of water or a big bed. More importantly the surrounding was quiet and very suitable to catch up on your sleep. No wonder we had 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep after a soothing warm shower.

To those worrying that airplane movements and passenger noise might get in the way of a sleepy guest, worry no more. The hotel is quiet even on the outside, so inside is even more conducive to rest and relaxation.

After a well-deserved rest, we walked around Terminal 3 looking for places to eat. Thankfully, many restaurants are open when we got out — not sure if they were open 24 hours a day — and did not have to hurry, knowing that our boarding gate is just around the corner and all we had to do was show up with our luggage and boarding pass.

Checking out? As this is an airport hotel, there’s no need to leave the room at the usual 12ish standard hotel policies stipulate. You can stay as long as you want. Be advised though, as the Indian guide said, we can leave the room 30 minutes before take off.

Hotel attendants were efficient. Need more fruit platter? They arrive earlier than I expected. Check out process? Hassle free. The smiling staff at the counter, the hotel attendants and housekeeping crew were equally corteous.

Instead of taking chances at the reclining chairs to catch sleep amid noisy surrounding, get a quality sleep at the hotel.

Highly recommended!