Hotel Review: Holiday Inn London Heathrow T5 


When originally planning the trip, we only had a couple of days in London, so it sounded like a good idea to add another day at the end of the trip to finish anything else we wanted to do in London. Eventually, we spent 4 days in London already at the beginning of the trip, spread out amongst the Marriott Park Lane and the Hyatt Regency London – Churchill. So, we figured it was better to stay near the airport now rather than go all the way to the city and spend on cabs or train which could be a lot of money in itself.  

Our choice of the Holiday Inn was straightforward as it helped Ajay tick off a task in his Accelerate and we did find one close Heathrow Terminal 5. There are actually 4-5 of them across Heathrow.  Getting to the Holiday Inn was quite easy for us. Hotel Hoppa runs between Heathrow Terminals 2,3,4 and 5 with stopovers at nearby airport hotels like the Holiday Inn, Premier Inn, Renaissance and many others. Since we had to head back to Terminal 5 next morning we bought ourselves a return fare for 9 GBP/ 766 INR each. 

Holiday Inn London

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Hotel Exterior

Hotel Lobby 

The bus ride took approximately 15 minutes to get us to the hotel and we were dropped kerbside. We took our suitcases and headed straight to the front desk to check-in. There was huge confusion at this hotel, given we spent at least 45 minutes to check in. We almost took another Ajay’s room and got a room with a view of the airstrip. Later, when the hotel realized the goof-up, then we were conveniently assigned another room. 

While Ajay was going through this harrowing time, I was waiting for the mix up to get over. In the lobby, they had a Starbucks Coffee outlet, joined in with a small restaurant-cum-bar for dining.  

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Starbucks cafeteria in the lobby

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Dining area at the lobby level

On the other side of the reception was a reading room cum a lounging space. Space was done up in cool blue and lime furnishings, however very functional. There was also the facility to use the space around the corner for work.  

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Reading room at the lobby level

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Workspace at the lobby level

When the whole check-in mess was sorted, the reception staff had to recreate the reservation in their system and then asked us if we wanted points or a drink as our IHG Rewards Club gift. The check-in agent said 500 points, however, those never got credited to the account. A lesser amount did.  

When we finally had our key cards, we tried operating the elevator with the key card. It was one of those old style ones where you need to insert the key card into the slot and once the there is a green light you press your floor button. When it did not work three times, I went over to the check-in agent who made a face and insisted that I did not know how to operate the card. She finally muttered something under her breath and kind of used her master key to get us going, but not without a snub under her breath loud enough for us to hear.  

The Room 

Once all this was sorted we headed up to our room which the hotel manager told us was a large room with a nice view. Our room was at the end of the corridor, with a view of the backyard instead.

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Hallway leading up to the room

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Floor Map

There was a queen size bed, a day chair by the window, a work desk that had a mirror fixed above the table. I imagine that it was supposed to serve the dual function of being a work cum a dressing table. The odd thing was that all the plug points were beneath the table. Considering we had to put multiple electronics to charge bending down and fixing things in the socket every few hours turned out to be very inconvenient.  

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Standard room

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Work desk

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Plug points on the floor under the work desk

Other facilities in the room included a flat screen television, an empty refrigerator, a kettle with a selection of tea and coffee and an iron board. The room had some heavy woodwork which was quite outdated and had scratches.  

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5 : Room television

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: In-room facilities

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Room amenities

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: View from the room

The bathroom was basic with a head shower and the amenities were provided by the mid-range Essential Elements brands.  

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Bathroom amenities

Overall the room was basic, though a little bit of refurbishment would be nice. Internet was provided via vouchers, and we most of the time stuck with our own wifi connectivity. 

Holiday Inn T5 coupons for internet

Holiday Inn T5 coupons for internet

Location: 

The Hotel is about 3 kilometres from London Heathrow airport and easy to reach through shuttle bus services. It is located in a peaceful neighbourhood in the village of Colnbrook and besides a few restaurants, there is nothing really to do in walking distance of the hotel. 

Holiday Inn London - Heathrow T5

Holiday Inn London – Heathrow T5: Hotel neighbourhood

It’s not very convenient to travel to Central London from here. One has to take a bus to Terminal 5 and then get on a tube from there that easily takes over an hour and a half. We spent the rest of the day gallivanting around in Central London. When we got back in for the night, we did not feel like pizza in the hotel bar, so we walked across the road, and found a Thai joint which got us a lovely Thai meal for two, albeit not a fancy one, for a very reasonable price.

The hotel would sell you a ticket for the Hotel Hoppa if you don’t have one already, so the reception could help you with that.

Wallet Effect 

A one night stay in a standard room cost us 60 GBP/ 79 USD/ 5,000 INR. 

Bottomline 

If you don’t care about customer service and are looking for an airport hotel then I’d say for a sleepover close to the airport it’s a reasonable choice of hotel. Surprisingly, our experience at the Holiday Inn Express in Dublin where we spent just a night was far better than this one. Or maybe the Irish are just more friendly people

The Pros

+ Location

The Cons

- Agents are clueless usually
- Service sucks

Rating

Comments

  1. If you have to go to central London then I have always felt it is worth it to stay in central London hotels even if it is just for one night including the cost of the heathrow express rather than to stay in these airport hotels sans service and proper connections to central London. These hotels are more for incase you dont have to head to central London and just a need a sleepover from a late night arrival to an early moring departure at heathrow.

    • @Deepak, agree. however, simple calculation, that Heathrow express x 2 plus the cost of staying in central London being double from the airport, would have added more not less to this particular stay. I had a 7:15 appointment at Elemis so I was not leaving central London at 5 am to get back to the airport.

  2. Apart from poor service & poor product, here are some more reasons to AVOID this hotel:

    The £9 / person Hoppa charge would add a hefty amount if 2 people stay in a room

    No breakfast included

    The IHG Accelerate promo is designed precisely to encourage such sub-optimal spend.

    • @Jack this made sense this time around: a) the 18 GBP was still okay as compared to the other HI in the area. Breakfast not needed as it was going to be at the Concorde Room anyways. The rest of the IHG Accelerate was done in this case, so no problem to pick it up as we went along.

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