Review: Sheraton Skyline Hotel London Heathrow

Introduction
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Sheraton London Heathrow Hotel
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For reasons I won’t get into here, I ended up spending several nights at the Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow. Because, ya know, there’s nothing more glamorous than staying at a Heathrow Airport hotel for extended periods of time. Keep in mind that this is the hotel which is being purchased by Qatar Airways and being rebranded as the Oryx Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow.

The previous week I had stayed at the Sheraton London Heathrow Hotel, so I was curious to see how this hotel compared. It’s generally regarded as being quite a bit better than the other Sheraton, and is usually priced accordingly.

My rate was 89GBP (~130USD) per night, which I thought was a great rate for the “premium” Heathrow Starwood property. As a point of reference, the Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow is a Category 3 SPG property, making it 7,000 Starpoints per night (up until recently it was a Category 4 property). Given weekdays rates at this hotel sometimes, there are certainly circumstances under which it could make sense to redeem points for a stay.

Sheraton-Skyline-Rate

The Sheraton Skyline is literally just off the end of runway 27R, so it is very close to the airport. However, due to the cluster which is Heathrow, it can be a bit of a drive to actually get to the terminals. For example, a taxi from Terminal 4 to the Sheraton Skyline Heathrow costs 18GBP and takes about 15 minutes.

Anyway, I don’t know if the two Heathrow Sheratons are trying to compete with one another for ugliest exterior, but it sure wouldn’t surprise me. I think the Sheraton Skyline might just have the ugliest hotel exterior I’ve ever seen, though.

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Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow exterior

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Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow entrance

Fortunately it’s a completely different story once you get inside the hotel. I mean, it’s not the Four Seasons George V, but the inside of the hotel does feel “fresh” and renovated.

Once inside the lobby the reception and elevators to guest rooms are located to the right.

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Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow lobby

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Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow lobby

And to the left is the business center and a Starbucks (which is always good news if, like me, you’re caffeine addicted).

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Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow lobby

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Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow lobby Starbucks

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Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow lobby

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Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow business center

The check-in process was pleasant, and the associate that checked me in thanked me for being a Platinum member. I asked if any suite upgrades were available, to which she responded “of course we’ve upgraded you, to one of our lovely airport view club rooms.” That didn’t answer my actual question, but okay. šŸ˜‰

Once I was checked in the associate asked me to hold on so she could fetch the “SPG Ambassador” at the hotel. I guess her role is to welcome elite members. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not sure I exactly understand the point of that. After a longhaul flight I want to get to my room, sleep, and freshen up, and not have a superfluous conversation (don’t get me wrong, she did a good job at her role, I’m just not sure I see the point of the role, especially at an airport hotel).

The lifts were located right across from reception, and were oddly charming, thanks to lit “LIFTS” sign, and that they were clearly the original elevators from when the hotel was built.

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Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow elevators

The hotel only has three floors, each of which are huge. I was assigned room 3005, which was located off the elevator and to the left on the third floor.

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Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow hallway

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow room entrance

As you can see based on the below floorplan, I wasn’t kidding when I said each floor was huge.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow floorplan

The room was quite nice, for sure a huge step up from the Sheraton London Heathrow Hotel, which I had stayed at the week prior.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room

Once inside the room the bathroom was located to the left, while the closet and minibar were located to the right.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room entrance

The room featured a comfortable Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room

In the far corner of the room was a two-seat couch with a coffee table and ottoman.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room couch

Then opposite of it by the window was a desk with a rolling leather chair.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room desk

I really appreciated the fact that the desk had international adapters. In my opinion this should be a standard feature at airport hotels, though it’s pretty rare to see.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room outlets

A few feet from the desk was a chest with the flat screen TV on top of it.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room TV

Speaking of the view from the room, let me start by saying that I’m as much of an aviation geek as they come. So generally I go out of my way to request a room with a runway view. And the runway views here are spectacular, as traffic doesn’t get much more exciting than at Heathrow.

However, the hotel is extremely close to runway 27R, so during non-curfew hours you loudly hear a plane taking off roughly every 90 seconds. On one hand the sound of engines spooling up is sort of soothing to me, though on the other hand it really is loud. If your goal is to sleep — in particular during the day — you might want to request a room facing the opposite direction of the airport.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room view

Back near the entrance was the well stocked minibar.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room minibar

Above it was a kettle. I do love how it’s common to have in-room kettles rather than coffee machines in the UK.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room kettle

The bathroom was a decent size and functional, with a sink, toilet, and shower/tub combo.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King bathroom

The water pressure and temperature control in the shower were reasonably good.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King shower

The toiletries were brand standard for Sheraton, and there were two bottles of complimentary water in the bathroom.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club King room toiletries

The club lounge was located a short walk from my room, at the end of the corridor I was staying on.

The club lounge is open daily from 6:30AM until 11PM on weekdays (it only opens at 7AM on weekends), and requires key access.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge entrance

Physically it’s a gorgeous space and sort of feels like a living room, given that it has couches, comfortable sofa chairs, table-top seating, etc. It’s a very nice space.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge seating

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge seating

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge seating

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge seating

In the back corner of the lounge was a small business center with two PCs and a printer.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge computers

Frankly I was expecting it to be overcrowded since I assumed there would be a ton of Platinum members staying at a Sheraton at one of the busiest airports in the world. However, to my surprise it was actually quite quiet. On almost all occasions the only other people in the lounge seemed to be Qatar Airways pilots. They have six flights to Heathrow per day, and their pilots all receive club lounge access.

And at times the dynamic between pilots was fascinating to witness

The lounge had some basic snacks available all day.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge daytime snacks

There were chips, cookies, dried bananas, and dates.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge daytime snacks

In addition to that there were soft drinks, tea, and a coffee machine available all day.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge coffee/tea

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge coffee machine

The evening spread was available daily from 6PM until 8PM. While it wasn’t a dinner substitute, the quality itself was okay, certainly better than at the Sheraton Heathrow.

They had bilinis topped with a few types of spreads, which were decent enough.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge evening spread

Then they had beef skewers and sundried tomato and feta cheese tartlets.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge evening spread

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge evening spread

The dessert consisted of small slices of cheesecake and some fruit salad.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge evening spread

The daytime snacks were also available in the evenings, except the chips were also accompanied by three dips.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge evening spread

The evening spread seemed to be on a two day rotation, which I guess makes sense, since they assume no one would stay at an airport hotel for longer than that. šŸ˜‰

The breakfast spread was available on weekdays from 6:30AM until 10:30AM. It consisted of fruit salad, sliced fruit, cheese, muesli, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, cold cuts, cereal, toast, croissants, pastries, etc. There were no hot options, though as I’ve said in the past, I’m not a fan of hot food for breakfast anyway.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Club Lounge breakfast spread

One other thing worth noting about the hotel is that it has an excellent Indian restaurant located just off the lobby, called Madhu’s.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Madhu’s Indian Restaurant

It was absolutely fantastic, from the decor to the food to the service. And I guess you know it’s decent, since almost everyone eating there seemed to be coming from outside the hotel.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Madhu’s Indian Restaurant

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Madhu’s Indian Restaurant

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Madhu’s Indian Restaurant

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, there’s an indoor pool in the center of the hotel. That really seems to be a generational thing that I don’t get. Why is it that every airport hotel built in the 70s has an indoor “courtyard” pool of sorts?

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow pool

The hotel also had a standard Sheraton gym.

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Sheraton Skyline Heathrow fitness center

Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow bottom line

I was impressed by the Sheraton Skyline London Heathrow, and it’s certainly a step up from the Sheraton London Heathrow Hotel. While the hotel’s exterior may be the ugliest I’ve ever seen, the inside has been recently renovated and was quite nice. The club lounge was nice, the service was good, and the wifi was fast. And this hotel seems to be about 90% crew, so it makes for some interesting people watching as well.

Ultimately I wouldn’t hesitate to return to either Sheraton at Heathrow:

  • If the prices were comparable, I’d definitely choose the Sheraton Skyline Heathrow over the Sheraton Heathrow
  • If the price difference was more than 20-30GBP per night, I’d probably just slum it at the Sheraton Heathrow, though I guess it would vary somewhat depending on the circumstances of the stay

But ultimately Sheraton has a nice presence at Heathrow — I’m not sure why I’ve been avoiding these hotels for so long.

Now if only there were more hotels connected to the terminals or with complimentary shuttles…

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Comments

  1. I would love a room with that view! Did you manage to get work done or did you just looked outside the window all day long?

  2. How did you get the lower rate? BRG? The published lowest rate shown above is much higher. Also, the pool isn’t really indoors.

  3. @ Christian — The pool is indoors. There’s a roof about it (though it’s clear). The rate shown was for weekdays, while I booked a weekend rate.

  4. I have always gone into London during my lengthy layovers as I love staying at the Cafe Royal and dining at Gymkhana.

    But!

    I now must try this Sheraton just so I could sit in front of that window in a near hynotic trance while watching the runway traffic.

    Lucky, I am very sure that I am not the only one who is dearly wondering why you had an extended stay at an airport hotel.

  5. Interesting to see this review as i work in the office block next door as this hotel is the nearest coffee shop for us in the office i spend way too much time in there.
    And yes with an open 3rd floor office watching the aircraft take off from the runway is hypnotic and i will spend many a lunch break watching the aircraft movement.
    And their is a hotel bus that runs to the hotels down the strip but if you are like a friend of mine the head of HR for British Airways you have not been on a public bus in 20 odd years…

  6. Next time you have more than a few hours layover at Heathrow you need to hop on the 105 bus and get some real Indian food in Souhall. I’m sure the Sheraton’s was fine but I can guarantee that anything you have along the Uxbridge Rd will be far superior and a hell of a lot cheaper.

  7. When we stayed at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel in June 2014, we were able to take a regular red bus to/from the hotel and airport using the central Heathrow Bus Station, for free. There was no need for special arrangements. The bus stop was maybe 100 yards/meters from the hotel and the buses ran frequently, maybe every ten minutes or so. Just had to make sure you got on the correct bus, which was not hard to do as staff at both the central Heathrow Bus Station and the hotel were helpful in telling us which buses we could take. Believe this is a standard complimentary service for airport hotel guests so the hotels do not have to run shuttles to/from the airport.

  8. Skyline Sheraton has always been my favourite Hotel. I used to stay there in 1990’s while transiting thru Heathrow to other European cities. It’s quite surroundings was very soothing. I wonder if they still have the Airplane Model shop in their Lobby. You could always find a scale model of any Airline Airplane model in that shop. I wish they had the Indian food Restaurant at the Hotel at that time. Never stayed at the London Heathrow Airport Hotel.

    AKM

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