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Review of the new Holiday Inn Express hotel at London Heathrow T4

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This is my review of the new Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel.

Or, to be more accurate, a quick overview.  Yesterday I reviewed the new Crowne Plaza London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel (click here), which is where I spent the night, but I got a tour of the Holiday Inn Express.  Both hotels share the same building and, interestingly, share many of the same facilities.

This poses an interesting question for potential guests.  The Holiday Inn Express is around £35 per night cheaper than the Crowne Plaza.  The rooms are totally different in design and, whilst the HIE rooms are smaller, they are not so much smaller.  More importantly:

both hotels share the same main bar (there is also a separate bar / casual dining restaurant on the Holiday Inn Express side)

guests at both hotels can eat at the excellent Urban restaurant, even though it is nominally on the Crowne Plaza side

guests at both hotels can use the Crowne Plaza lobby level cafe

whilst the hotels have separate reception areas, they use the same bank of lifts and the hotels are not separated by floor.  Each floor contains both Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza rooms.

Holiday Inn Express guests get free breakfast in the Holiday Inn Express restaurant, whilst breakfast in the Crowne Plaza restaurant for their guests is £17.95 (traditional English) / £14.95 (continental) for adults with children 3-12 half price

The only area that is strictly out of bounds to Holiday Inn Express guests is the gym, which is only for Crowne Plaza residents.

Review Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel

Even if you are looking for a ‘classy’ experience, I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to save £35 plus the cost of breakfast by staying in a Holiday Inn Express room.  You can use the saving to have a few drinks in the smart shared bar or to put towards a good meal in the Urban restaurant.  You can read more about the bar and restaurant in my Crowne Plaza Heathrow T4 review here.

You should also read my Crowne Plaza T4 review if you want to know the options for getting to and from other Heathrow terminals.

Back to the Holiday Inn Express Heathrow T4 …..

Access to the hotel is via the gangway from the Departures level of Terminal 4.  The same gangway also leads to the Hilton Terminal 4 (reviewed here) and the Premier Inn (review), but the new Holiday Inn Express is the nearest.

Here is a typical room I was shown:

Review Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel

As you can see, there is noting to complain about there.  Everything is brand new, the bed is a decent size and there are plenty of sockets.  There is also a chair and a small work table, with an adjacent plug:

Review Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel

The only major difference to the Crowne Plaza rooms is the lack of a formal desk.  You get a kettle with tea and coffee, as you do in the entry-level Crowne Plaza rooms – you only get a Nespresso machine in a ‘business’ room at the CP.

Review Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel

Heading into the bathroom, everything is spick and span.  There is less room around the edges of the sink than in the Crowne Plaza but that isn’t a major niggle.  Toiletries are from dispensers in standard Holiday Inn Express style.

Review Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel

The shower is also perfectly acceptable – it is a sign of how good ‘budget’ hotels are these days that the facilities are better than many of us have in our own homes.

Review Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel

This ‘hidden’ iron and ironing board is also a useful touch – the mirror is on the other side.

Review Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel

Here is the same shot of the lobby that I used yesterday in my Crowne Plaza review:

crowne plaza heathrow t4 interior

This is the ‘Holiday Inn Express side’ of the lobby, although guests at either hotel can wander around all of the facilities without issues.  This is the bar which also serves food.  I can imagine that some Crowne Plaza guests looking for a less formal meal than offered at Urban will end up here.

Review Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel

This is looking off to the side – the free Holiday Inn Express breakfast buffet is served down here.  It was late afternoon when I took these pictures so I didn’t photograph the food.

Review Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel

I though this newspaper spread was a nice touch, especially for solo travellers – although perhaps they over-ordered China Daily …..

Review Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel


I was very impressed by the Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4, as indeed I have been by all of the recent HIE hotels I have seen which use the new ‘Generation 4’ design scheme.

The co-location with the Crowne Plaza offers the best of both worlds here, with high quality but low(er) cost rooms and the ability to use the more upmarket CP bar, restaurant and lobby cafe if you want to eat or drink well.

For cash, rooms are typically £75 midweek (free breakfast included) at the moment, compared to £110 (room only) at the Crowne Plaza.  Redemptions are 20,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night compared with 30,000 points at the CP.

The next Heathrow openings which are directly connected to the terminals will be the Hilton Garden Inn Terminal 2/3 – which has the same ownership as this hotel, Arora Group – and, unless the project has now been scrapped as is rumoured, the Aerotel inside Terminal 3.

The Holiday Inn Express Heathrow Terminal 4 website is here if you want to find out more or to book.  The Crowne Plaza website is here for comparison.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. Do we have any idea when the new Hilton Garden Inn will be opening up reservations? (I know it opens in February, but I’m hoping to book a night with my HHonors points sometime soon.) Grear review – the Holiday Inn Express looks to be one of the nicest I’ve seen!

  2. John Smith says:

    Too many EE whores in the airport hotels.

  3. I can’t understand why anyone would consider paying twice as much as Premier Inn for a similar standard hotel.

    • It works both ways – last night the premier in. At lgw was £5 dearer than the adjacent Sofitel…

      • Nigel the pensioner says:

        But the Sofitel at LGW is an atrocious example of the brand. Why on earth they dont rebrand it goodness only knows. Its simply awful imho.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Also owned by arora. Strange they can be so good at Heathrow and so bad at Gatwick.

        • LGW hotel started life as a Meridien … changed in 2004 when Arora bought it and got a 15 year franchise for the Sofitel brand. Wonder will we see any changes next year ?
          At least they revamped the suites in the last 12 months.

      • Gatwick is very much an LCC / charter airport and geared more to that market. LHR is geared more to flag carriers and the business market – its also the home of the national flag carrier.

        Those flying out of Gatwick are often doing so because there is very little or no choice for the destination – they are also less likely to be paying top $$$ for their travel.

        In other words, at LHR they need to try more than they do at LGW – at least for the moment – once they become established at LHR, lets see just how shiny shiny things are kept.

    • Except it won’t be. 12th December, picked at random – £65.50 PI room only, £72 HIX with free breakfast and IHG points and better facilities due to access to the CP bar, cafe, restaurant.

      • But surely the CP bar and restaurant are open to anyone anyway?

        • Obviously, but not the same as having it 30 seconds from your room vs a 5-minute walk.

        • @Rob for the purpose of this conversation it’s largely the same, it’s not like 5 mins and 30 mins

          • Nah … no-one ever leaves their own hotel to take a walk to a totally different hotel just to have a beer in a bar that is nicer than the one in their own property!

    • Depending on how your Accelerate offers fall, an extra night in a HIX (or whatever abbreviation we’re using now) could get you a free night at an Intercon!

    • Points it!

    • Agreed, had a flexible booking at the Premier Inn for next year at £40, just checked HIX and it’s £85 on the same night so won’t be switching unless it will get me lots of points in an Accelerate promo.

  4. Rob – great review thanks. The Holiday Inn Express is now definitely on my list for Heathrow. Useful to see something better than the Premier Inn for not much more.

  5. Nigel the pensioner says:

    Its almost becoming a race to mediocrity at LHR with all these low cost brands popping up. I recall when the Radisson Edwardian was 5* and was an excellent place to stay. However lack of high calibre management decisions and poor investment has let it slip to join its neighbours up and down the Bath Road.
    As I sit in our suite at the Sofitel T5 waiting to go for breakfast, I thank Accor for not letting standards slip here. I shall continue to give them my money and earn their points until they take their eye off the ball – and that doesnt look like happening any time soon!
    New chef in the Belle Epoque too….Mark Lawton ex of The Ritz and Ramsey’s Hospital Rd branch. Absolutely stunning food with the usual amazing wine list courtesy of J and B. No, i shant be using any of these new generics – how would you choose one? Perhaps the Marriott would be the best because you can take the parking pod to T5…….and that’s quite fun!
    OT has anyone else experienced the delights of a beer outside the Green Man pub at Hatton Cross in the Summer? You can almost sign your name on the tyres of an A380 as it lumbers right overhead!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      The reality is these are used by business customers and not many corporate policies stretch to sofitel prices.

      For the leisure customer Sofitel is a great way to start a special holiday but reality for most is you stay in one before an early flight and you’re just after somewhere cheap and cheery before you head off to your proper holiday.

    • Not all about you and what you want though is it – the hotels at LHR that is. Plenty of people want this price point in the market even if you don’t.

  6. For T5 the new IHG hotels at Bath Rd. ie the HI and the Staybridge will be much more interesting , supposed to open January 14.

  7. I’m looking forward to the new HGI at T2 though with the same chain running so many, it’s not like they’ll compete on price. A rooftop bar overlooking the runway will be worth a visit I’m sure.

  8. Concerto says:

    Nice little mini review from Nige above. I loathe Accor so much that I would sooner take a bunk in the local hostel rather than give them any money. As for the new Crowne Plaza in today’s review, couldn’t you simply slip into the HIX breakfast area and have breakfast there?

    • I presume they check your room number and that this will show which hotel you are staying in!

      • I’ve always had room number checked at HIE/HIX before. Same with Hiltons when going for free brekkie from status.

      • Maybe but if you just go straight to the breakfast buffet and sit down you could always say you didn’t know

    • Lady London says:

      @Concerto better make sure you don’t visit the Qantas lounge and bar in T3 either, then, as Accor run the lounge for Qantas.

  9. I hate this “generation 4” design with no desk.. How expensive would it be for them to put a small desk there?

    Also, HIX advertises itself as a 4 star hotel on That’s quite interesting..

  10. Lady London says:

    I think I might stay at the Premier Inn and wander across to Urban for dinner.
    Wonder if Urban does paid breakfast?

    • It does, £17.95 full English, £14.95 continental, kids half price.

    • Have you stayed there yet? It’s clean and pleasant(ish) but a bit basic. We were fighting over the two very mean pillows on the double bed. I’d definitely try one of the IHG ones next time – hotels that is not pillows.

  11. Nigel,

    If all you want is a bed before an early morning flight (and why else would you stay at an airport hotel?) then a Premier Inn or equivalent is perfectly acceptable. I’ve stayed at that T5 Sofitel and it’s fine. But I went to the M&S shop in T5 and bought some food and a bottle of wine for 20 quid – the same in the Sofitel would have probably set me back 60.

    What we really need is a cheaper hotel adjacent to T5. T4 now has 4 walk-to hotels and T5 only has one.

    I generally avoid the ones on Bath road because they don;t have free shuttles

    • Mrs K and I like to start a holiday in the most relaxing way possible. Often that means staying the night before in a hotel by the airport and thus a bit of luxury) good ambience is nice. Often we’ll turn up early-ish and have a meal at the hotel or locally.

    • With so many buses running along Bath Rd DIRECTLY to terminals, you don’t need a shuttle

      • Whilst slating Nigel above for hotel snobbery, I have to say that I draw the line at buses – but that’s very much a personal issue!

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