Five Star Virgin: Crowne Plaza London Heathrow Airport

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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Unlike airport hotels in the US, airport hotels abroad often don’t have free shuttles. Case in point, the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow. I had to purchase a ticket on the Hotel Hoppa bus (and someone please fill me in as to how you pronounce the word “Hoppa” without sounding like a total jacka$$?), which was £4 each way. The ladies working the ticket desk clearly went to the Carol Beer School of Customer Service (see here), hardly uttering a word to me. The overly friendly, super-proud bus driver (no sarcasm there, by the way) more than made up for it, though.


Hotel Hoppa bus stop

I arrived at the Crowne Plaza shortly after 7PM and was promptly checked in by a friendly agent that thanked me for being a Platinum member. My rate was £50, so I was thrilled that I got upgraded to the club level with access to the lounge. The agent gave me an information sheet with all the details about the lounge.


Hotel exterior


Hotel exterior

The lobby has fairly low ceilings, but was nonetheless nice enough.


Lobby

The club lounge is on the fourth floor. Despite running into a really, erm, friendly guy when getting off the elevator on the fourth floor ending with him asking what room I’m in, I safely survived the trek to my room (see here for full details on that occurrence).


Fourth floor


Corridor

The room was nicely decorated, with a queen sized bed, desk, and a couple of chairs. My room boasted lovely views of, well, the parking lot, not that I was expecting the Eiffel Tower just outside of Heathrow.


Room


Desk area


Room


Bathroom


Shower


View from room

Internet is only free in the club lounge, so I headed there for a couple of hours to catch up on email, till the lounge closed at 9:30PM. The lounge featured free drinks and had crisps (don’t you love how bloody British I’m getting?) and pretzels on the counter, along with appetizer plates they brought out on demand. The guys working the club lounge were very professional as well.


Club

I even got this pretty nifty wifi code in the lounge:


Right back at ya!

I eventually made it to bed where I got a semi-decent night of sleep. The lounge is closed for breakfast on weekends, so those with club access get free breakfast in the restaurant. Despite arriving right when it opened at 6:30AM, the restaurant was packed, since this was the day after the Japan earthquake, and apparently ANA just about put up all their passengers and crew at the Crowne Plaza. The breakfast was quite good, though I wasn’t especially hungry, so just had some fruit.


Breakfast


Breakfast

I checked out at around 7:30AM and took the Hotel Hoppa bus back to Heathrow.

Overall I had a great stay. Most of the Priority Club hotels near Heathrow suck, and this one was actually quite nice. So if I had a future quick transit at Heathrow, I would probably stay here.

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Comments

  1. How long would you say it took to get from immigration to the hotel via Hoppa? How about on the return in the morning?

  2. @ Scholar in Training — The bus stop is right outside of the immigration hall, and runs every 20 minutes or so. The ride is 30 minutes, so it should be 35-50 minutes or so from the time you exit the terminal to the time you’re in the lobby.

  3. hey lucky man. And you have 40 000 posts in Flyertalk. Didnt you know there is a free shuttle to all the hotels…. man poor research on you man…$17 lost

  4. Hey Lucky, if the opportunity presents itself again, I believe a return ticket can be purchased for the Hoppa with a cost less than 2X the one-way fare. And on-line even cheaper.

    Thanks for the report – we always stay at the Sheraton, which overlooks a prison. The parking lot sounds nice! And it’s good to know about the plat club upgrade at the CP.

  5. I think @not so lucky is talking about London Transport. Busses run free near the airport, but you don’t get door-to-door service. Depending on which hotel and what time it is, I sometimes use them, sometimes don’t.

    http://www.heathrowairport.com/assets/Internet/Heathrow/Heathrow%20downloads/Static%20files/travel_around_Heathrow.pdf

    for the map and

    http://www.heathrowairport.com/assets/Internet/Heathrow/Heathrow%20downloads/Static%20files/Free_Travel_Table.pdf

    for the timetable.

  6. For £6 extra, I just get a taxi and go straight to the hotel.
    It’s 4-5 mins at most, and you’re there – Done!

    No waiting, no stopping at other hotels, no one else sticking chewing gum under your seat – nothing.

    Considering the Hoppa is £4, I think it’s a no brainer to pay a little extra.
    The chat along the way is often worth the extra!

  7. Hi there,
    been a follower of your blog for quite some time.
    this time I thought i’ participate.

    probably the best hotel @ heathrow is the hilton. especially if you are travelling Skyteam as it has a walkway from T4 directly to the hotel. always great service and the rooms are fantastic.
    the other great hotel is the Heathrow Marriott, it’s the “newest” of them all…

    but next time you are @ heathrow try out: http://www.berkeleypark.co.uk
    serviced apartments for less than a hotel room at the others if you are just staying for one night.. right behind the Ariel Holiday Inn

    and don’t worry about the “hoppa” – only Londoners can pronounce that properly.

  8. A manager at a hotel near LAX told me that customer satisfaction increased after they got rid of their courtesy shuttle. Why? If a customer has to wait 15 minutes for the shuttle, they’re upset at the hotel, and if they’re on the way to the airport then this is the last impression they leave with (which is exaggerated by the fact that they’re typically stressed about the flight even if they have plenty of time). On the other hand, if they wait 15 minutes for a taxi then they’re upset at the taxi company, and remain happy with the hotel.

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