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Review of the new Holiday Inn Express hotel at London Heathrow Terminal 4

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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:

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Conclusion

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 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.)

Comments (52)

  • Dimitri says:

    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 booking.com.. That’s quite interesting..

  • 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?

    • Rob says:

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

    • Evan says:

      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.

  • Tom says:

    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

    • Peter K says:

      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.

    • Alex Sm says:

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

      • Evan says:

        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!