Our “layover” in England on our way to Turkey clocked in at 23 hours, 20 minutes, thus necessitating a night in a hotel in London. The thought occurred to us to splurge on a fancy hotel in the city, but given that a) we had already planned a drive out to Stonehenge and Salisbury, thus meaning not much time in the hotel anyway, and b) I absolutely, positively wanted to avoid driving a car into central London, we decided to just grab a hotel near Heathrow. The Doubletree had a relatively reasonable AAA rate advertised, and it was an easy drive to an from the airport, which sealed the deal.
DoubleTree by Hilton London Heathrow Airport
- 745 Bath Road, Cranford TW5 9QE, UK
- Features: free WiFi, business center, on-site restaurant, foreign currency exchange, executive lounge, fitness center, limited parking (£11 per day)
Approximately 3 miles from Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 4, and 5 miles from Terminal 5. Airport shuttles are not provided, but you can take the “Hotel Hoppa” bus (H7 from Terminal 1/2/3 and H56 from Terminal 4/5) for £4.50 each way. An Uber from T5 runs £10-14, perhaps a little less from T1/2/3. If arriving by car, take the M4 and follow the signs to Heathrow Terminals 1/2/3/4. At the A4, turn left, which is Bath Road. Proceed approximately 3 miles, and the hotel is on the left. To access the parking lot, turn left at The Avenue (the street right after the hotel), then turn left again into the lot. NOTE: only 65 spaces are available, so plan accordingly if staying during peak periods.
Date of stay: June 25, 2015
First, my apologies in advance for the lack of photos in this review. I had taken numerous photos of both the inside and outside of the hotel. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find them; I either got a little happy with the delete button on accident, or I imagined taking them in the first place. In addition, both Prita and I were dead dog tired by the time we arrived back in London; we really didn’t want to do anything except sleep, and so we didn’t get a chance to explore the hotel in depth. So, you’ll have to do with a shorter than normal and mostly written review.
After the drive back from Salisbury, we arrived at the hotel about a quarter to 9 in the evening. I worried about finding a place to park, but there was no need. There were still plenty of spots available. I guess not many guests bring their own cars. A self-service coffee machine can be found at the door to the lobby, in case you want to grab a cup before going out for a walk.
The lobby corridor is a tad narrow due to the bar tables lining one side, making things a bit clunky if you’re carrying oversize luggage. Eventually, though, it opens up into a large, bi-level bar area to the left, with the restaurant, 745, in the corner downstairs. I’m not a real fan of the 60s/70s-style square-shaped, lime green furniture. (Update: looks like the hotel recently modernized the furniture.)
There was no line that time of the evening. The cheerful desk clerk checked us in quickly and sent us on our way to our room – and of course, my wife and I were each presented with the DoubleTree signature chocolate chip cookie. I was impressed with the size of the room; it was large by European standards. The only item missing in comparison to most American hotels is a full-size closet, though there is a wardrobe with space for luggage across from the bathroom.
There is also a desk and chair to the left of the bed in the first photo, which didn’t make it into the picture. There are several plugs at the desk for charging multiple electronics. However, I wish there were one or two on the nightstand. The most important thing we wanted after not much sleep during our flight over and a full day of touring was a big, comfy bed, and the room delivered in that respect. I was out cold in maybe 10 minutes after lying down. Jet lag, unfortunately, had me wide awake at 2:30 in the morning. So I flipped through the multitude of channels on the satellite TV to try and get back to sleep. I eventually did a couple of hours later.
The bathroom has kind of a half modern/half old school look, with a bowl-style sink and a cavernous bathtub, a pleasant surprise given that I’m used to seeing shower-only configurations in Europe.
I’ve read various posts on the internet complaining about the speeds on the free, standard internet at Hilton properties, though it was adequate here during our stay. I didn’t do anything more than some basic web surfing, but it didn’t seem any slower than it does at home.
I did have one major complaint about the room, and that was the climate control system. No, it’s not because there’s a funky keypad that’s difficult to figure out. It’s that it’s a timed system that only allows you to keep it on for a maximum of 4 hours at a time! I assume this is an energy saving measure due to high electricity prices in England, but this is seriously irritating. Fortunately, it was a pleasant night the day we were there, and so A/C really wasn’t necessary. But I’d hate to have to wake up every four hours to turn it back on. One way I fight jet lag is to not get up unless absolutely necessary until morning. That would make it pretty much impossible.
As mentioned earlier, we were at the hotel only to get some sleep before our flight to Istanbul the next morning. Therefore, we didn’t take advantage of any of the facilities. 745 is a full-service dining room across from the lobby serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prices looked fairly reasonable, at generally £10-20 per main course. I had to chuckle just a little when I saw that the “chef’s special” was South Indian chicken curry. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given how ubiquitious Indian food is in England these days.
Bath Road is a major thoroughfare through the area. Thus, there are a variety of both fast food and full-service restaurants within a mile or so of the hotel if you’d rather go elsewhere. The Hounslow West Tube station (Piccadilly Line) is approximately a mile and a quarter to the east. If you want to make a trip to the city, the trip takes roughly 50 minutes. If I had to complain about something, it would be the lack of a free airport shuttle. Then again, none of the “airport hotels” around Heathrow seem to offer one.
- Short Uber or bus ride to the airport; several shops and restaurants within walking distance
- Spacious rooms
- Convenient access to the Tube
- Friendly, helpful staff
- Chintzy system that shuts off the A/C after 4 hours
- No free airport shuttle
- Limited parking if you’re arriving by car
I’d say the DoubleTree is a perfectly adequate if unspectacular airport hotel. We were frankly too tired to sample all the bells and whistles. But as a hotel for a couple of jet lagged travelers to get some rest before a morning flight, it met expectations.
Note: this post is part of my multi-part trip report series about our trip to Europe in June/July, 2015. Read the trip report introduction for an index and background about our trip.