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)
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
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.
The lobby has fairly low ceilings, but was nonetheless nice enough.
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).
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.
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.
I even got this pretty nifty wifi code in the lounge:
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.
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.