Review: Minute Suites DFW

Introduction: Mexico City, Really?
Using The Cross Border Xpress
Review: Tijuana VIP Lounge
Review: Aeromexico Salon Premier Tijuana
Aeromexico 787 Business Class Tijuana to Mexico City
Review: Las Alcobas Hotel Polanco Mexico City
Hot Air Ballooning Over Teotihuacán
Visiting Teotihuacan
An Evening Of Lucha Libre
Floating Around Xochimilco
Day Trip To Coyoacán
Exploring Mexico City’s Historic Center
Dining At Dulce Patria
Palacio De Bellas Artes & The Ballet Folklórico
Mexico City: Andrew’s Thoughts
Review: Minute Suites DFW


In the last two posts of this trip report, our friend Andrew B will be sharing his experience on the trip to Mexico City. Yes, this is the same Andrew who won the trip to Helsinki several years back — we’ve been friends ever since. This whole trip was his idea, so it’s only fitting he write the final installments. Below are his (typically hilarious) thoughts.

Recently I went on an amazing weekend trip to Mexico City with Tiffany and her husband. On the way back, I had a very brief overnight in Dallas: my flight from Mexico City arrived at DFW at about 9 pm, and my flight to DC left the following morning slightly after 5 am. I wanted to maximize my sleep, since I planned to work the following day.

For a while I’d been very curious about Minute Suites, which offers rooms for short stays inside security in Terminal D at DFW Airport (they also have locations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and at Philadelphia International Airport).

I really wanted to like Minute Suites for two reasons: one, I think it’s a really great concept; and two, Ben was very skeptical about the whole thing and I was dying to prove him wrong for once.

A few years ago I stayed for a few hours at Yotel in Terminal 4 of London-Heathrow Airport, and I loved it. The design was brilliant, and the room (or “cabin”) was small but very comfortable.

I was expecting a similar experience at Minute Suites. Unfortunately, I learned that comparing Yotel to Minute Suites is akin to comparing international first class to a trip on the Megabus.

The trouble started when I went online to book a room. They have a web-based booking system, but I found it confusing and cumbersome. I wanted to book an overnight stay from 9 pm to 5 am. So, was I supposed to select the “8 Hour Overnight” option or the “Check in 9 pm Check out 5 am” option? Was there a difference?

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Minute Suites website

I was also surprised that the total was $140, not including taxes. The suites do not have private restrooms, and if you want to take a shower, you have to pay extra.

Out of curiosity, I checked for hotels in the area and found that there were decent options within a couple miles of the hotel for about $100 including taxes. All of them were willing to throw in a free shower. But I thought the convenience of Minute Suites would justify the extra cost and body odor, so I booked it.

I was a little short-sighted in my thinking.

I probably didn’t save much time by choosing accommodations that were past security. Since I was connecting from an international flight, I had to re-clear security to get back into the terminal anyway. By the time I arrived at the Minute Suites entrance, it was about 9:30.

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Minute Suites DFW

When I arrived, I saw a sign saying that all the suites were sold out for the night, which made me glad I’d booked ahead.

I was surprised that only one person was working in the entire facility. She was responsible for everything from checking guests in to cleaning the bathrooms. She charged my credit card (I was actually a little shocked that there was a hotel tax – is this really a hotel? There’s no bed!) and led me to my room.

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Minute Suites receipt

She also asked if I wanted pillowcases. I said sure. I asked where the restrooms were and she said they wouldn’t be cleaned for another 15 minutes but I was welcome to use one in the terminal.

The room was about the size of a typical office cubicle. I would say it totaled around 40-50 square feet. My first impression was that the couch looked like something you might find in a hospital waiting room.

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Minute Suites “suite”

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Minute Suites “suite”

I thought maybe it opened into a bed, since the cushion on the bottom appeared to pull out. After some rather strenuous maneuvering, I figured out that I was wrong. It does not turn into a bed. The cushion on the bottom pulls out, but does not pull up to be level height with the rest of the couch.

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Minute Suites “suite”

Unfortunately, learning this lesson was very painful: when trying to pull the bottom cushion out, I stubbed my toe. I’ll spare you the gross picture (though I did send it to Ben, and I’m pretty sure he lost his appetite).

The room had a nice TV with a lot of channels. You could use the TV like a computer, as it came with a keyboard and internet access. This doesn’t seem terribly necessary, as I would think most people would have their own computers these days.

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Minute Suites “suite”

I wanted to connect to the wifi using my own laptop. There was a book in the room with information, including the wifi password. Unfortunately, it did not work. I tracked down the employee and she gave me the correct password.

Now let’s talk about the “bedding.” There was a single 100% polyester blanket from JC Penney’s Home Collection. (What are the odds that it’s laundered after every stay? Probably about as likely as the CEOs of Qatar Airways and Delta announcing that they are marrying each other.)


Minute Suites bedding

There were no sheets or anything else between me and the plastic-type material that the sofa appeared to be made from. The prison-grade pillowcases were so rough and uncomfortable that I almost wondered if someone was playing a cruel joke on me. But there was no Candid Camera host in sight.

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Worst pillowcases ever

Hilariously, the information book says that the items in the room are in high demand. I understand that they don’t want people stealing their stuff, but let’s not pretend that someone is actually interested in buying your well-used blankets and the strangers’ skin cells that probably inhabit them.

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Minute Suites menu

Bottom line

if you don’t have lounge access and want a quite place to do work for a little while, this might be a viable option.

I do not think this is a setting where a person can fall asleep easily, so I wouldn’t recommend it for short naps, much less overnight stays. I also think that the price charged for this type of accommodation is sort of outrageous. If the sofa and bedding were much more comfortable, I could see this being a decent value at around $90-100 for the night.

As it stands, if you’re looking for an overnight, choose a local hotel. If you need to catch a quick nap, head out onto the tarmac and lay down on the runway: you’d get a better rest there than I did at Minute Suites.

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Comments

  1. thanks for the review. place sounds like an absolute dump! what a joke. i had a moment of regret a few months back heading to grand hyatt, i rarely visit dfw, when i saw minute suites I assumed i was missing out on some local airport hotel that could’ve saved me a chunk of coin. felt like an idiot having blown 300+ on my pre-paid rate at grand hyatt….and now I don’t!

  2. If the room comes with little husky puppies I’ll gladly take one back home for $25. Maybe ten puppies, “pets” doesn’t appear to come with a number restriction. The other options on the menu thing don’t represent nearly as nice of a value, though. 😛

  3. The price is ridiculous! Jesus, for 140 I expect a decent room at a full service airport hotel

  4. I’m glad you took one for the team – I always wondered what that place was like. Since I live in the DFW area, I’ve never had a need to use the facility, but have considered it when a flight was departing super early in the morning.

    For that price, I’d take the Hyatt Place at DFW, just south of the terminals.

  5. That sofa looks just like the chairs we have in our hospital! Ours do make into a flat bed, but it’s a rather tricky maneuver that involves pulling up the edge at just the right angle. If you overestimate the angle, the whole thing comes off the roller tracks and I have to make a sheepish call to someone in maintenance. I’d bet these are the same “beds”

  6. Completely disagree.

    I recently stayed at the same Minute Suites at DFW and found it quite adequate.I only needed to stay for a scant 5 hours, though, so my price wasn’t as steep. However, I had 2 blankets in my room and used one to cover the vinyl mattress and the other as a top covering. I had absolutely no problem falling right to sleep. Plus, the pillow cover had no impact on me. Yes, it was that same hospital-grade “fabric” you had, but it did the job.

    I think the biggest plus for me was that I had connecting domestic flights, so clearing security was not an issue and I absolutely valued the ability to pop in, snag some sleep and a shower, then pop over to my gate without the rigamorole of taking an airport shuttle and re-clearing nonsense TSA lines. Plus, I enjoyed that I could lock my suite and not worry about my luggage being stolen because I’m sleeping in the terminal.

    I *do* have lounge access and could’ve showered in the Admiral’s Club, but I shudder at the thought of spending 5 hours on the floor at DFW, constantly worried about someone stealing my stuff or watching me snore, slack-jawed and drooling.

    Ultimately, I got exactly what I paid for and was quite happy with it for a 6-hour overnight layover and the much-needed 5+ hours of sleep. Hotels in the area were not nearly as convenient and were much pricier. If you have a longer layover, then this is probably not an ideal option. But I don’t think you gave it a fair shake given that you were trying to compare it to off-airport hotels *and* you had a decently long layover. Not a particularly objective review, tongue-in-cheek and cliched writing aside.

  7. Note that the facility in PHL does not feature showers at all. This is a particular bummer since the ACs also do not have showers. Coming off the QR DOH-PHL flight and not having a chance to shower before my connecting flight is suboptimal. I would gladly use a Minute Suite shower facility if it were available. I guess people from PHL don’t value showering as much as the rest of us. 😉

  8. The pricing seems about right. Factor in travel time, cost, and general inconvenience of finding your way to an offsite hotel in a safe area, the convenience of intimidate availability has value. From a product perspective, I’m impressed to see that they’re charging as such.

    If a traveler doesn’t value that immediate availability, they can find a $90 a night hotel. I’m able to sleep behind a locked door pretty soundly laying down on some kind of bed/cushion, so my requirements might be lower than others’.

  9. agreed that Yotel LHR is very nice. a shame this isn’t something more like it. Ryan, thanks for note on PHL’s lack of showers, as I did not know. but doesn’t surprise me as the PHL location is in a hallway between terminals that was not demolished/renovated when pieces of the terminals themselves were (the PHL United Club is in another such hallway and suffers mightily from space constraints and lack of ventilation). anyhow, not such a loss as there are a good handful of reasonably priced hotels nearby – Marriott is within airport property, and many other mere feet off of it (I’ve learned to go for hotels with Island Avenue addresses, closer to terminal than the other streets).

  10. Wow this looks horrible. Like the place Josh Brolin’s character Joe Doucett was locked up in in Oldboy.

  11. Hilarious! Looks like minute suites didn’t like this post…sent someone here to make up BS and trash the OMAAt poster. See: Adam. Classy!

  12. I wish i had read this review before i booked. This place is totally overpriced and tiny! And no bathroom, have to use the airport terminal public bathroom. So regret my overnight stay there! Also i discovered they delete all negative comments from their facebook page. They are such a rip off, even their name is misleading as it is in no way a “suite”. Go to a hotel, this place is a JOKE!!

  13. Thanks for your feedback! Our team takes all things into consideration when striving to improve our guests experiences. We would like to clarify that all of our rooms, blankets, day-bed sofas, and amenities are cleaned in between each use. Our founders are actually Doctor’s themselves and take pride in having a clean facility for our guests. Please feel free to contact the company for any further questions or comments at info@minutesuites.com

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