Five Star Virgin: Hotel Indigo London Paddington

Introduction
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse San Francisco
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class from San Francisco (SFO) to London (LHR)
Virgin Atlantic Arrivals Lounge London Heathrow
First Class on the Heathrow Express – is it worth it?
Hotel Indigo London Paddington
SkyTeam Lounge London Heathrow
Qatar Airways First Class from London (LHR) to Doha (DOH)
InterContinental Doha
Exploring Doha
Qatar Airways Premium Terminal Doha
Qatar Airways First Class from Doha (DOH) to London (LHR)
Crowne Plaza London Heathrow Airport
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London Heathrow
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class from London (LHR) to New York (JFK)
Andaz New York Wall Street
Conclusion
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I had booked the Hotel Indigo using a complimentary night certificate from Priority Club’s “Sweet Dilemma” promotion. Before my stay I noted that the hotel got excellent reviews despite having very small rooms. Fortunately this hotel books award nights into their “executive rooms,” which are supposed to be a bit larger. The real reason I went with the Hotel Indigo is that they had free wireless internet. That alone covers my roundtrip fare on the Heathrow Express, given what other hotels charge for internet in London.

The hotel’s exterior is quite nice, if not a bit unassuming (you wouldn’t think it’s a chain hotel, but I guess that’s the beauty of Hotel Indigo, they’re a bit different). While the lobby is tiny it’s well appointed, and I was promptly helped at check-in. I was told that I had a nice room on the first floor (which, for us Americans, is really the second floor). I was given a room key, internet access code, and discount certificate for the hotel restaurant (though I didn’t take advantage of it). I was also informed that the single hotel elevator was broken, so the bellboy offered to help carry my bags up the stairs, which I declined.


Hotel exterior


Hotel lobby


Stairs (only way to get to my room)

While the hallways were small they were nicely decorated, much like the room.


Hotel hallway

After a lot of luck with getting 1,000 square foot suites at hotels lately, I was a bit shocked when I first entered the room, given that it was tiny. I wasn’t expecting a massive suite, though this was an “executive room.” It quickly grew on me, though. More than anything else I was frightened by the fact that other rooms are substantially smaller than this.

The room was nicely decorated and didn’t show any signs of wear and tear, and even had a nice small patio right off the left side of the bed.


Executive room


Executive room


Bathroom


Shower


Patio

The bed was extremely comfortable, the internet was fast (which is rare when it’s free), and the shower pressure and temperature was good. What more could I ask for?

I was still in the final stages of recovery from a cold I had picked up the previous week, so I didn’t do a whole lot while in London. Since it was already late afternoon I headed to Paddington Station to pick up a power adapter (due to the snafu onboard my Virgin flight) and then walked around the Paddington area for about 30 minutes. Unfortunately my runny nose and the cold weather got the best of me, and I was back in the room by about 6PM. I actually conked out almost immediately, and got a good night of sleep, waking up refreshed and feeling healthy.


Area around Paddington

Check-out the following morning was prompt, and I headed back to Paddington Station ready for my journey to a new region of the world.

Would I stay at the Hotel Indigo again if I had a long transit in London? In a heartbeat. Would I stay at the Hotel Indigo if I was visiting London for a few days? Probably not, as there are lots of other great deals out there and better locations for doing the touristy stuff, especially on points for those with status. That being said, the revenue rates at this hotel are very reasonable, so if you’re actually paying for a rate at this hotel, it’s an absolute bargain. And the rooms are really, really nice, despite being on the small side. I’ll be back.

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Comments

  1. I’m heading to London this summer (and don’t have much in the way of points) so here’s hoping those great deals you mention materialize

  2. London rooms are generally small, especially in the touristy areas unless you are willing to shell out lots of $$$. I’ve been researching rooms and quite often the common review is “very nice place but the rooms are small!”.

    I don’t have high status with any hotel companies so I’m trying something a bit different and staying at some place called Base2Stay in Kensington. They seem to have a number of positive comments and provide free internet and a mini-kitchen which might come in handy since I’ll be there 5 nights.

  3. Looks nice! I especially like the patio (although I don’t smoke, so I’m not sure what I’d use it for). We might have to give this property a try on our next visit to London, although it’s hard to pass on the suite upgrade and club access on an executive room booking at the InterContinental Park Lane!

  4. Lucky, maybe you can help with this. I arrive at LHR at 9:20pm and fly out the next morning at 7:45am out of Terminal 1. Based on my research if I stay at one of the LHR hotels I’ll have to take this bus thing which doesn’t get rave reviews and seems to take at least 30 mins to get to T1. Alternately I could take the HEX into Paddington and stay at the Indigo, for instance, and might actually save time. What do you think? If I get through immigration quickly I could theoretically be at the Indigo around 10:15 or so. And then would have to leave at what, 5:30 or so for UA checkin for the 7:45?

    I guess the question is do I stay in Paddington or one of the LHR hotels? I wish there was a walkable one to T1. Arg.

  5. Scholar,

    Depending on hotel, there may be a way to get a free london transport bus instead of the 5 pound hotel hoppa. Have a look at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/heathrowterminals123-13970.pdf and note the heathrow free bus zone.

    We did this last month for the Sheraton Heathrow. We had to walk a couple of blocks (5 min) from the nearest stop, but it was well worth saving 20 pounds. Not only that, the buses ran more frequently than the Hotel Hoppa so we got their sooner.

  6. Interesting, thanks Ripper!

    Would you recommend staying out at LHR as opposed to taking the HEX into town? I find it hard to believe it is faster to go to Paddington than it is to take the Hoopa or the free bus, but maybe I’m wrong.

  7. Ack the Indigo is 188 pounds or 25k points. Pricey!

    I was hoping to see a buddy that night in London but those prices are quite high compared to the 60 pounds I can pay at the airport!

  8. Ben, Just caught this. Next time you’re here in London, there’s a pint w/ your name on it.
    Ripper is spot on re: free transport around LHR, if you want to spare the HEX rip-off. Hope all’s well!

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