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Review: Hilton London Heathrow Terminal 4
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I’m not a fan of Heathrow Airport, especially when it comes to transiting and having to spend a night near the airport. The issue with Heathrow hotels is that the airport is so spread out, and a vast majority of Heathrow hotels aren’t in any way connected to the airport or within walking distance. On top of that, they don’t ordinarily have shuttles. That means you’re either stuck taking a taxi (which will piss off the driver given that they’re hoping for a fare into the city) or wait on one of the Hotel Hoppa busses.
I’m also primarily loyal to Hyatt and Starwood. Hyatt doesn’t have a presence near Heathrow, while Starwood has two properties — the Sheraton and the Sheraton Skyline. The Sheraton is almost comically bad, though at least is usually reasonably priced. The Sheraton Skyline is quite nice, though can be pricey on weekdays.
All of that is a tangent, because in this case I made the same decision I always do when departing out of Terminal 4. There’s one hotel connected directly to Terminal 4, and that’s the Hilton Heathrow. The walk between the terminal and hotel takes about five minutes, so the benefit of that more than outweighs staying at a Starwood property. Of course that assumes you arrive or depart from Terminal 4, which I was doing in this case.
I booked a pre-paid rate of ~97GBP (~140USD) per night, which wasn’t all that cheap, but also wasn’t terrible. I should also note that I reviewed this hotel several years back, though figured it was worth reviewing again, given that the hotel has since been renovated, and it has also been a few years.
My Finnair flight arrived at Terminal 3, and from there I cleared immigration and then headed to the Heathrow Express station, where I took the connector train between Terminal 3 and Terminal 4. It runs every 15 minutes, and I must have just missed the most recent train, since the sign indicated it would be 15 minutes.
The train ride itself took just a few minutes, and once at the Terminal 4 station I took the elevator up to the terminal, which lets out on the check-in level.
Immediately across from Heathrow Express elevators is the entrance to the walkway to the Hilton.
It’s a fairly quick walk between Terminal 4 and the hotel, and every few hundred feet there’s a sign indicating how much longer the walk is. I usually do it in under five minutes.
It’s worth noting that while the walkway is covered, it’s not heated or “indoors,” so make sure you have temperature appropriate clothing.
The walkway lets out at the side of the entrance of the hotel, which has quite an impressive exterior.
As far as Heathrow Airport hotels go, this one probably has my favorite design. It has an open air atrium and is generally quite bright, despite London usually being a gloomy city.
It was before 10AM when I arrived at the hotel, so I informed the agent I realized I was early, but wanted to see if a room might be ready. She said my room wasn’t ready yet, but then another lady came up behind her to look at inventory with her. As it turns out, the lady helping me was being trained. The lady training her said that if I was okay with an interior facing room they’d have one ready for me right away. Works for me!
I was also informed I’d receive access to the club lounge as a Hilton Diamond member. I didn’t bother asking about a suite upgrade, since I figured I was lucking out enough by being able to check-in early. I paid for my stay using the Citi Prestige® Card, which offers triple points on hotel purchases and no foreign transaction fees.
It’s also worth noting that with the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card you get Gold status for as long as you have the card, which comes with complimentary breakfast, and club lounge access if available. If you spend $40,000 on the card per year you also get Diamond status.
I took the elevator up to the fourth floor, where my room was located. The views of the atrium are pretty awesome from the walkways connecting the sides of the hotel.
I followed the signage towards rooms 401-446, which was where my room was located.
Upon entering the hallway I turned right, where my room was the second one on the right.
I loved the airplane art next to the room numbers.
The rooms at the Hilton were recently renovated, and while they’re on the small side, I find them to be extremely comfortable and well designed.
The room had an entryway with a mirror on the right and the bathroom on the left.
The room itself featured a king size bed, a lounging chair with a side table, and then a desk with a flat screen TV and rolling office chair.
While I loved how light the duvet was, the bed itself wasn’t all that comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t uncomfortable, but rather just the Hilton brand standard. I’ll never understand why Hilton doesn’t create a brand standard bed, like Westin or Sheraton.
There was a large closet to the side of the bed closest to the bathroom, with a safe, ironing board, etc.
Across from it was the rather snazzy minibar, which had a glass top with the non-refrigerated items lit up.
Then below that was the mini-fridge with drinks.
The TV and desk were on the same table. There was an extremely bright light on the desk, which I quite appreciated as it helped with staying awake while working.
Hilton Heathrow executive room desk & TV
I also appreciated that the desk had some built-in international plugs, so there was no need for an adapter.
The bathroom was small but functional, with a sink, toilet, and walk-in shower with a glass shield.
Water pressure and temperature control in the shower were great, which I always appreciate.
The amenities were from Peter Thomas Roth, as is the Hilton brand standard.
As the associate mentioned to me at check-in, my room had an interior view. I don’t know why, but I sort of love interior facing rooms. As a kid I used to be obsessed with hotels that had atriums, so maybe it’s that side of me which loves it.
I thought the room was lovely all around. My one complaint was about the internet. While the speed was fine, it disconnected every time I wasn’t using my iPhone, so I had to enter the wifi code almost every time I used my phone. That’s quite annoying.
The Hilton’s club lounge is located on the ground floor, right across from the reception desk. You have to use your key to access the lounge.
The lounge itself is a fairly nice space, though as an aviation geek I sort of wish it were higher up and had views of the airport. But I get why they put it on the ground floor, because on a higher floor it would have come at the expense of some rooms.
On the far right of the lounge are some couches facing a TV, in the center of the lounge are communal tables, and then on the left side are dining tables.
My favorite feature of a club lounge is access to water, soft drinks, and coffee all day. The Hilton has a fairly high quality espresso machine, and they even had to go cups, which is a big win in my book.
Breakfast in the lounge is served from 6:30AM until 10:30AM. Since I’d be leaving the hotel before 6:30AM the following morning, I figured I’d check out the breakfast spread the moment I checked in, since it was only 10AM.
The spread itself was quite decent, with fresh fruit, cold cuts, cheese, veggies, etc.
There were also hard boiled eggs, as well as scrambled eggs, sausage, baked beans, etc.
Then there were several types of toast, cereal, pastries, juice, and water.
Apparently there’s soup and some other snacks available from 12PM until 4PM, though I didn’t have the chance to check them out.
Then in the evening the happy hour was from 6PM until 8:30PM. The lounge was packed during this time, and every seat was taken. Part of that might be that the hotel was completely sold out due to the snowstorms in the US, which caused a lot of flights to be canceled.
In terms of hot food, the evening spread consisted of some Indian vegetarian snacks and chicken wings.
Then there were a few types of veggies, mini-bagels with salmon, and some sort of odd crackers with spread.
Then there was also a cheese board
There were glass jars with two types of trail mix, along with two types of brownies.
Hilton Heathrow executive lounge evening happy dessert
There was a decent selection of self serve alcohol, including liquor, wine, and beer.
All things considered the club lounge is quite good for an airport Hilton, though it’s also not an especially soothing environment, given how busy it gets. That’s fine by me, given that I mainly use lounges for the water and coffee, anyway.
My sleep schedule at the Hilton Heathrow was a bit odd. I was only on a four day trip and was flying for most of that time anyway, so didn’t really care what time schedule I was on. I ended up sleeping from 12PM until 6PM, and then again from 2AM until 4AM.
At around midnight I got quite hungry, and the hotel only has a limited overnight room service menu. So I ordered a cheese pizza and a bottle of sparkling water. While not especially healthy, it was tasty. 😉
Hilton Heathrow midnight room service
The following morning I left the Hilton at around 5:15AM, excited to finally fly Air India!
Hilton London Heathrow bottom line
While Hilton isn’t my favorite hotel chain, the Hilton Heathrow is extremely convenient if you’re arriving or departing at Terminal 4. Being able to walk to/from your flight rather than having to take a taxi or bus can save quite a bit of time and money.
Beyond that, the Hilton Heathrow is also a fairly nice hotel, with recently renovated guest rooms, a fairly nice club lounge, and helpful staff. This continues to be my “go to” option if I’m arriving or departing from Terminal 4.
Do you have a favorite Heathrow Airport hotel?