Introduction: Journey To Kazakhstan
Review: Korean Air First Class 747-8 Vancouver To Incheon
Review: Nest Hotel Incheon Airport
Review: Asiana Business Class Lounge Incheon Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class 767 Incheon To Almaty
Review: Ritz-Carlton Almaty
Review: Air Astana Lounge Almaty Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class A321 Almaty To Astana
Review: Marriott Astana
Review: Air Astana Lounge Astana Airport
Review: Air Astana Business Class 757 Astana To London
Review: Sofitel London Heathrow Terminal 5
Review: United Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: United First Class 777 London To Los Angeles
My flight from Astana arrived at Terminal 4 at around 5PM, while my flight to Los Angeles the following day was departing from Terminal 2 at around noon.
Most Heathrow Airport hotels aren’t especially convenient, given that most of them aren’t connected to the terminals, and also don’t have a free shuttle service. This is probably because of how disconnected the airport’s terminals are.
There are two hotels connected directly to the terminals at Heathrow — there’s the Hilton Heathrow Terminal 4 (which I’ve reviewed before), and the Sofitel Heathrow Terminal 5.
For this stay I decided to try the Sofitel Terminal 5, even though it was sort of impractical, since I was neither arriving or departing from that terminal. Still, I was curious to try what’s supposedly Heathrow’s most luxurious hotel, and wanted to try accessing their club lounge using Priority Pass.
With that in mind, upon arrival at Terminal 4 I headed to the outside roadway to hop on the free bus between terminals. I was told that either bus 482 or bus 490 would take me to Terminal 5, and they both left from bus stop 7. That bus ride took about 15 minutes.
Upon arriving at Terminal 5 I entered the arrivals hall and turned left to follow the signage towards the Sofitel.
The hotel was in the same direction as the car park.
Once I passed through the double doors I took the elevator up to the Sofitel.
The Sofitel is connected to the terminal by a series of long indoor walkways, and altogether the walk took about five minutes, though I tend to walk pretty quickly. The walk wasn’t without some excitement, as I chronicled in a previous post.
At the end of the series of connectors I found myself in a multi-story room, with interior facing hotel rooms on each side. I took the escalator down a level, and then turned right towards reception.
The reception area was quite busy, and they didn’t seem to have any sort of queue system, so it was quite disorganized.
The line moved fairly quickly, and within about five minutes I was checked in. The process was efficient, and the associate informed me that I had been upgraded from a classic room to a superior room. Funny enough the two other people checking in next to me were informed of the same upgrade, based on what I overheard.
For what it’s worth, my rate at this hotel was ~250USD. While not cheap, other hotels were pricing out similarly.
My room was located on the first floor, so I took the elevator up. The Sofitel is huge, with over 600 rooms. The “wings” of rooms are all parallel to one another, with the a long hallway that’s perpendicular to the “wings” connecting them all. My room number was 3128, which meant I was in the third wing, on the first floor.
It was quite a haul to get to my room, and based on how long the hallway was, it seems like it was even longer of a walk for others.
After walking down the hall I turned left, and then my room was almost at the end of the hallway and on the left.
The room was advertised as being 300 square feet, though felt small. There was an entryway with a closet and coffee setup on the right and the bathroom to the left.
There was a kettle along with some tea and instant coffee. However, I was really underwhelmed that there was no complimentary bottled water.
The room featured a fairly comfortable king size bed, along with a chair with ottoman in the corner, which was a good place from which to work.
The room had a view facing the interior of the hotel, and there was a walkway right outside of my window. As a result, I kept the curtains closed for my entire stay, since people could otherwise look right in.
Across from the bed and chair were a desk and a flat screen TV.
The desk had well placed outlets, which I appreciated. Unfortunately the wifi in the room was excruciatingly slow, unusably so. This is completely unacceptable at a business airport hotel in a country like the UK, in my opinion.
The bathroom was back towards the entrance, and featured a walk-in shower, a toilet, a sink, and a bathtub.
The water pressure in the shower was pretty bad.
Toiletries were provided by ESPA, as is the norm at many Sofitel properties.
The one thing I was curious to test out at this hotel was the fact that their executive lounge, Club Millesime, belongs to Priority Pass. I didn’t pay for a club room, but rather tried to get in with my Priority Pass card. Typically Priority Pass lounges are at airports, so this is sort of an interesting extension of the program.
I wasn’t sure if this was technically only intended for non-hotel guests or what. I did have a same day flight, so I figured it was worth trying out.
I headed to the guest relations desk (located across from the reception desk) with my laptop bag and presented my Priority Pass card. The friendly associate swiped the card and had me sign. She asked if I needed a shower, as Priority Pass members also get access to the spa. I of course declined. She then escorted me to the club lounge, and explained I could stay for up to four hours. She seemed to notify the lounge attendant I was there through Priority Pass, presumably so I didn’t overstay my welcome.
This was a super easy process, and it seems that this Priority Pass benefit can also be used when staying at the property.
The Sofitel club lounge is located on the ground floor, just a short walk from reception.
Unfortunately the lounge has no natural light, so if you’re tired and trying to stay awake, the lounge’s dimmed lighting doesn’t help. The lounge is on the small side, though wasn’t really overcrowded.
The food and drink selection was towards the back of the lounge.
I arrived during the evening happy hour, where complimentary food and drinks were available. There was a table with several types of self serve wine and liquor.
On one hand I was impressed by the variety of wine on offer (they had more than one white and one red)…
…on the other hand Beefeater isn’t exactly premium gin.
The food spread was a bit underwhelming as well, not even as good as what you’ll find at the Hilton, which isn’t saying a lot. I’ll let the pictures of the food speak for themselves, since I’m not sure what some of the things were (nothing was labeled).
I worked from the lounge for about an hour, and then went to bed early. I was in London the same night the first presidential debate was happening, so I set my alarm in order to watch the debate at 2AM. That lasted until about 4AM. My flight was at noon though I couldn’t fall back asleep. So shortly after 5AM I decided just to go to the airport already and lounge hop, so I could get pictures of the Star Alliance lounges before they filled up later in the morning.
Terminal 5 is connected to Terminal 2 by the Heathrow Express, so I headed to the arrivals area of Terminal 5, then followed the signage towards the Heathrow Express, and then took the five minute ride to Terminal 2.
The whole transfer took a bit over 20 minutes.
Sofitel Terminal 5 bottom line
Ultimately the reason to stay at this hotel is if you’re flying into and/or out of Terminal 5, since it’s the only hotel connected to Terminal 5. Other than that I can’t really recommend this hotel, and don’t think it’s worth paying a premium for (and don’t really consider it to be more luxurious than the Hilton).
The wifi was unusably slow, the club lounge spread wasn’t impressive, and the rooms weren’t much more luxurious than what you’ll find at other Heathrow Airport hotels.
On the plus side, at least I was happy to find out that Priority Pass lounge access works at this hotel even when staying there (at least that was my experience).
Do you have a favorite Heathrow airport hotel?