We arrived at London Heathrow to an empty arrivals hall on Saturday evening, after an uneventful British Airways flight from Barcelona. While immigration at UK’s airports is usually a breeze with an American passport, we ran into an immigration officer that seemed to want to take her time and issue us a hand written 48 hour allowances into the UK. This seemed a bit odd and time consuming given that she could’ve just stamped the passport and gotten on with her evening. This was especially true because there really wasn’t much stopping me from staying longer than 48 hours, if my flight were to be cancelled or something(Americans are allowed to stay in the UK for up to 6 months at a time). Anyway moving on now….
Introduction: Spring break in Spain
British Airways Club World DFW-LHR
British Airways T5 Galleries South Lounge @ Heathrow
The Westin Palace Madrid
Renfe Preferred Class Madrid-Seville
Renfe Preferred Class Lounge – Seville St. Justa
Hotel Alfonso XII Seville
Strolling through Seville
Sights and Sounds of Majestic Madrid
Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid Barajas
Iberia Business Class Madrid-Barcelona
The W Barcelona
Exploring Gaudi’s Barcelona
The Hilton London Heathrow Airport T5
American Airlines New Business Class LHR-DFW
HILTON LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT TERMINAL 5
POYLE ROAD, COLNBROOK, SL3 0FF, UNITED KINGDOM
TEL: +44-1753-686860 FAX: +44-1753-766400
Getting to the Hotel:
Getting to any of the hotels near Heathrow is an absolute pain in the neck. You either have to take the Hoppa bus (for ~5 GBP each way) or get a cab for around 35 GBP or in this case, whatever the driver deems suitable for his “troubles.” The Hoppa bus, of course, goes around to every single hotel in the perimeter of the airport and so the journey could be much the same as going to Central London or even more. We were personally quite tired this particular afternoon and so we elected to take the cab, which posed yet another problem because the driver would only accept cash. You will be happy to note that this is no longer the case and that all London cabs now accept credit cards (since October 2016).
The Lobby and Check In:
Anyway the ride to the hotel took 15 minutes, all in, and cost a rather hefty 35 GBP. I guess we were essentially paying for the driver to go back to the airport and find another ride.
The Hilton Terminal 5 is perhaps the modern and highly rated among the Hiltons near Heathrow. As soon as you walk in, you will notice that the interior of the hotel is quite modern and in line with the new Hilton hotel decor worldwide. Since the hotel costs 50,000 HHonors points on most nights, we chose to pay with cash on this specific stay. The room rates were 120 GBP including taxes, which is not bad for a fairly upscale hotel like this one.
The check in process itself took a matter of minutes, and we were handed the keys to our Executive Level King and Twin rooms (a so called upgrade for my dad’s Hilton Diamond Status). We were also offered complimentary breakfast, and lounge access owing to the HHonors Diamond status. We also proceeded to scheduling a cab for the following morning to Heathrow since you can never tell whether an Uber will be available for pick up in this area judging by the map.
Executive Twin Room
Our room was located on the fourth floor (same as the executive lounge) and looked fresh or newly renovated. The room was fairly spacious and featured two comfortable twin beds, a desk, and a big screen TV. Thankfully the restroom had a stand in shower with full glass door as opposed to a tub with one of those half glass separator (you know how the British do it). Altogether nothing spectacular, but just what was needed for a short stay: clean and modern accommodations.
Wi-Fi is free for Hilton Honors members, and was fairly fast throughout our stay. The room had an abundance of convenient outlets to plug into, including 120V outlets so that you don’t have to whip out that adapter. So it was altogether a very functional working space.
The Executive Lounge
The executive lounge was located on the fourth floor of the hotel and it was definitely one of the more modern and spacious spaces I had seen. The lounge is open from 6 am to 11pm daily and offers breakfast (6-10:30am), afternoon tea (3-5pm), and evening snacks (6 – 8pm). By the time I visited the evening snack service was over and so all that was left were some cookies, fruits, and sweet/salty snack mixes. There is a coffee machine in the lounge, which brews a few different types of hot beverages, which is very convenient.
Poyle Road, Colnbrook. SL3 0FF
One of the unique aspects of the Hilton Heathrow T5 is that the hotel has an Indian fine dining restaurant adjacent to the lobby. It was really convenient for us since my dad wanted to invite some family friends over for dinner. It seemed to be a pretty popular restaurant in the area judging by the reviews, and locals visiting the place. Service, food, and ambiance at the restaurant were simply spectacular thought it was definitely the food was definitely on the expensive side.
Breakfast at the Gallery Restaurant
Hilton Honors Diamond and Gold members get the option of having breakfast at the Gallery Restaurant, which is located a level above the main lobby and open from 6-10:30am. We were there particularly early the following morning, so the seating area was fairly empty and the food was just being setup. The decor and ambiance of the space is much like the fourth floor executive lounge:
The breakfast options were fairly plentiful and high quality for a Hilton and included continental options (eg. cereal, pastries, bread, fruits, yogurt) as well as more traditional English breakfast options. In the end it turned out that we really didn’t have time to have breakfast and so we had rush off to catch a cab to the airport.
When we asked if we could take out a few slices of bread because we were running low on time, the attendant went back to ask his manager if this was allowable. He came back with boxes and forms for me to sign stating that I was consenting to taking out food from the restaurant. Signing for everything we took out was a bit weird, but it was a nice jester by management to allow us to take breakfast on the go.
The Hilton Terminal 5 is a stand-up hotel for spending the night near Heathrow and checks all the boxes a hotel should. Service is prompt and courteous, rooms are spacious and modern, and breakfast is free for anyone with Hilton Gold or Diamond status. And then there is the added bonus of having one of the finest Indian restaurants in the area at your doorstep. I would not hesitate to return if I needed to stay near Heathrow for a night or two.
Given this, I do find one thing very annoying: the hotel doesn’t offer a shuttle service from the airport. Don’t get me wrong no hotel offers this service, but would it kill management to just charge guests and run their own shuttle service? I hate how the Hotel Hoppa bus ride can take around 45 minutes to get to the hotel since that could very much be the time it takes for me to get to Central London at times. If I were forced to take a taxi, I would rather just take the Heathrow Express to Paddington and avoid the negotiations with taxi drivers.
Have you stayed at the Hilton Terminal 5? What are your thoughts?
Stay tuned for my quick review of American’s new business class seat on the 777-300ER…….