What are the best IHG Rewards Club options at Heathrow?

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IHG is not short of hotel options at Heathrow Airport which is good news for anyone looking to boost their IHG Rewards Club points, redeem their points for a free room or benefit from their elite status.

There is even a dedicated IHG website for its Heathrow properties which you can find here.

There is a lot going on with IHG at Heathrow at the moment.  We reviewed the new Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express at Terminal 4 recently (click to see those) and we attended the relaunch of the Holiday Inn M4 J4 recently.  A new Staybridge Suites has literally opened this week (website here) and a Holiday Inn in the same building opens in January.  This will take the group up to nine hotels in and around the airport.

I sent an email around to a few people asking for their views on the best IHG hotels at Heathrow.  This is what we decided:

Best overall IHG hotel at Heathrow

The brand new Crowne Plaza London Heathrow at Terminal 4 is, in my view, the clear winner here.  It is a very classy operation, with the benefit of being directly connected to the terminal.  We reviewed the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow T4 here and a photo of my room is below – I also found the restaurant to be excellent.  The hotel site is here.  Note that the executive lounge is not open yet but is due in January.

crowne plaza heathrow terminal 4 bed review

Best budget IHG hotel at Heathrow 

The new Holiday Inn Express at Terminal 4 gets my vote.  What more could you want?   It is directly connected to the terminal, is brand new and you get free breakfast.  As an added perk you can cross-charge the bar and formal restaurant in the Crowne Plaza to your room if you don’t want to skimp all the way.  We reviewed the Holiday Inn Express Heathrow T4 hereThe hotel site is here.  This is a photo I took of a room:

Review Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel

Cheapest IHG hotel at Heathrow

If you main concern is cost whilst still earning IHG elite night credits, you can’t beat the single rooms at the Holiday Inn London Heathrow Ariel pictured below in its original 1961 glory.  I can see this getting a Grade II listing soon!  I can remember when the Ariel was available for £29, but you are more likely to be paying £50ish these days.

For a more modern property with free breakfast (and double beds for a similar price to a single at the Ariel), try the Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow T5A friend I questioned was very positive about the HIX T5, praising its ease of access from the M4, the excellent sound insulation and the ability to grab a snack from the M&S Simply Food in the petrol station across the road.

Ariel Hotel Heathrow

Best hotel for longer stays or ‘at home’ facilities

Let’s be honest, I’m not sure why you’d want to have a long stay at any Heathrow hotel.  However, the ‘so brand new it has only been open a week’ Staybridge Suites London Heathrow Bath Road looks like the best option if you do need to stick around.  All rooms here include a fully equipped kitchen and you can get a one bedroom suite for £100 on some nights.  As an added bonus, all guests get free breakfast too.  I will take a look at this in the New Year.

Staybridge Suites heathrow

Best IHG hotel for runway views

Whilst I have never stayed here myself, a friend recommends the rooms with runway views at the Holiday Inn London Heathrow T5 for any ‘aircraft enthusiasts’.  These cannot be requested when booking online but are often given as upgrades to elite members, apparently.  This hotel is not attached to Terminal 5, for clarity.

Holiday Inn London Heathrow T5

Best IHG hotel for families

If you don’t want to take two connecting rooms, there are a few options:

the Holiday Inn London Heathrow T5 has family rooms which contain a double bed plus two rollaway beds.  There is no free breakfast at Holiday Inn properties, however.

the new Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow T4 is the best value family option, especially as breakfast is free and it is connected to terminal.  You can get rooms with a double bed and a double sofa bed.

the Holiday Inn London Heathrow M4 J4 also has rooms with a double sofa bed which sleep four

for higher spenders, the suites at the new Crowne Plaza London Heathrow T4 sleep four people and come with Club Lounge access (once the lounge opens in January) which means free lounge breakfast

if you want a kitchen unit to prepare your own food for your family, the obvious (and only) option is the brand new Staybridge Suites on Bath Road, where the cheap one bedroom suites have a sofa bed in the living room.  Staybridge Suites hotels provide free breakfast.

the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow has rooms with two double beds, which means you don’t need to compromise with a sofa bed.  We stayed in one of these last year because the hotel also has a great pool (see next entry)

Best IHG hotel for leisure facilities

If you’re looking for an excellent swimming complex, I strongly recommend the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow which is on the north side of the M4.  I stayed here last year and my kids loved the huge pool complex.  I wrote this article on the best hotel swimming pools at Heathrow and the Crowne Plaza was the winner.  There is also a sauna, jacuzzi and a good gym.  The rooms are about to undergo a refurbishment and this will become the first Crowne Plaza to feature a new chain-wide room design.

Crowne Plaza Heathrow pool

Best IHG hotel if you want a funky lobby!

To be honest, the Holiday Inn London Heathrow M4 J4 did not get much enthusiasm from my panel.  However, I sent someone down there a couple of weeks for an event to showcase their new lobby and restaurant concept.  The old Irish pub has been transformed into ‘Terminal 6’ which is a surprisingly classy bar.

Our reporter said that: “With a mirror collage on the wall behind the bar and droplights hanging above it; this area provides a very cosy and comfortable place to unwind. Again, with a variety of seating with couches, bar leaners and a large TV for those unmissable games. I really enjoyed being in the space.”  See below:

Holiday Inn Heathrow M4 J4

Conclusion

There are eight IHG hotels at Heathrow Airport, and that will increase to nine when the new Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road – which shares a building with the ‘already open’ Staybridge Suites – opens in January.

Please chip in with your views in the comments and I will add in the best ones during the day.

PS.  To be honest, I would be tempted to add the Hotel Indigo just outside Paddington Station to the list!  You get the benefit of spending time in the city centre and, if you time it right, you should be able to get from the hotel to Terminal 5 within 30 minutes via Heathrow Express.

(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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Comments

  1. Which hotel (IHG or other) would you recommend for a Heathrow T3 early morning departure?

    • The M4 HI is pretty quick to T3 but then the CP and the bath road properties wouldn’t take a lot longer. All of those are under 10 minutes in a taxi I’d say. If you are taking the Hoppa I guess it would depend on the route which I’m not an expert on so I’ll let someone else comment…

      • Just saw you are not stuck to IHG – that opens up a world of possibilities – there’s a Park Inn on Bath Road that is right by the tunnel to the terminals, but must be another 15 hotels within 5 minutes of there that would be good options, some with great runway views if that’s your thing (Sheraton is best for that I think).

        If you want luxury consider the Sofitel. It’s attached to T5 so not the closest but the train to T3 is free and no hassle at all and as well as being the nicest hotel you’ve got the facilities of T5 basically on site as well.

    • If we’re talking after Jan, the new Hilton Garden Inn at the terminal.

    • In oder of convenience, without a taxi:

      1. New Hilton in the Central Terminal Area (I think it’s attached to T2, but obviously walkable to T3)
      2. Atrium Heathrow (opens March) or Hilton Garden Inn, both at Hatton Cross tube (first tube ~5am)
      3. Any of the T4 walkable properties (Hilton/ IHG/ Premier Inn) + free train in the morning
      4. Any of the dozens of Bath Rd hotels (eg the new HI/ Staybridge mentioned above) – free bus (check the stops) or Hoppa

      If you don’t mind a taxi, that opens up all the other hotels in the further reaches of the M4, but avoid anything with T4 or T5 in its name.

    • Hilton Paddington and HEX?

      • Hilton Garden Inn at Hatton Cross is also an option but tube doesn’t start until 6ish I think – although plenty of buses from the bus station outside Hatton Cross tube.

        • Felix Flyer says:

          Piccadilly line commenced just before 5 am, certainly on Mondays. Stayed at the Ramada Hounslow last Sunday night (not great but wanted to stop my points expiring). Caught a tube from Hounslow Central at 05.20 to T4 and that wasn’t the first to leave. Is Hilton GI in the free bus zone at Heathrow? If so that is my preferred option and use it frequently for the Bath Road properties.

  2. RussellH says:

    Holiday Inn Express London – Heathrow T5
    It is in Slough, nowhere near T5

    Stayed here twice. First time must have been shortly after it became an HIE, as most reviews referred to some other brand. Was a good deal as only 10 000 points, while cash prices were over £100. But we had had to wait for 40 mins or so for the Hoppa, then realised just how far it is from T5. A long wait after an evening flight from ARN. But it did seem OK.
    Second time March this year. Delay to our incoming flight from MAD meant we missed our connection to NCL and had to stay in London. BA sent us (and many others) to Holiday Inn Express London – Heathrow T5. Everyone checking in seemed to have BA vouchers. Staff did not seem to give a toss. We had dinner vouchers too, but the food was dried out and only edible because I was really hungry. Hotel was, of course, quite correct in denying us any IHG recognition, but something would have been nice.
    Having been expecting (and paid for) the rather nice DT at NCL, this was a real let down. Bed seemed to be tiny and we had to get up far too early to trek back to LHR, check in bags again etc. etc. Breakfast typical HIE style – fills you up, but not particularly nice.
    Overall, not a nice experience. I assume that BA has a contract with the hotel for stranded pax at a price that does not make the hotel much money, but gives them a base income. They have no interest in making you feel at home
    Bus stop outside the hotel if you want to go into central Slough.

    • Agreed – the HIX T5 is the worst hotel I’ve stayed at this year. The place was rammed and they omitted to tell me that the Italian restaurant is closed certain nights of the week (the website doesn’t mention this either), so the main restaurant looked like feeding time at Butlins. Eating from M&S at the petrol station across the road is fine for some, but not my thing. I also found that the staff couldn’t give a toss. Sums up this place.
      When I complained to IHG they simply responded ‘it’s a budget hotel, try somewhere else next time’.

  3. OT any one know when the Hilton at terminal 2 is due to open? Thanks

  4. Lady London says:

    Wondering if UK Staybridges including this one, will continue the tradition of a free wine event for guests on some weeknghts?

  5. I’ve only stayed at the HI T5 once and that was to hit an accelerate offer. Following that stay I’d only stay again if there was nothing else available at a reasonable price. What is useful is to book parking at the NCP at the Hilton T5, this includes free Hoppa tickets and the HI is only a short walk. Also, there is a pub called the Ostrich which is pretty decent about 10 minutes walk away.

    Not far from the HI Ariel is a pub called the Pheasant which is fairly decent too, always busy which is usually a good sign.

  6. OT but IHG
    Has anyone had the free night voucher for spending £10,000?
    If so, how long does it last for please? and how easy was it to use?

    • Need to book within 12 months (can’t remember if you need to stay within 12 months or not), vouchers shows on your IHG account when you log in, there is a separate booking process but basically you can use it wherever there is reward availability.

      • Don’t need to stay during 12 month validity period however effectively becomes non-refundable after that point, before then if booking canceled it just reappears in account.

        Free night clearly highlighted on IHG and extremely easy to book with identical availability to general rewards nights as you say.

  7. O/T – Does buying IHG miles stop existing points from expiring after 12 months? No status as mainly do Hilton stays, but don’t want to lose existing points with IHG.

  8. Memesweeper says:

    T5 HIX is in the middle of nowhere – the trick is to forget the hoopa and use a local bus. Regular enough even in the very early hours. Not TfL though so be prepared to pay.

    I actually like the Aerial. Close to some noisy runway manoeuvres if you like that kind of thing (you can close the window if you don’t) and a free tfl bus to any terminal I think. Great place even if a bit shabby!

  9. So, my partner and I did a few stays at LHR hotels (not dodgy “mattress runs” often promoted by some here, but proper mini-breaks for IHG Accelerate or pre-flight stays for early morning flights). Our verdict:

    HIX T5 – stayed twice, low prices (£40-45 a night), a very modern and nice hotel, next to a picturesque village with a couple of pubs, amazing running/jogging options around the Queen Mother reservoir with planespotting just overhead, a short bus ride to Runnymede with its Air Force memorial and upscale dining options in nearby Egham. Windsor and Eton are also close. RECOMMENDED.

    HI Ariel – stayed twice. Very close to Heathrow itself and original in design but this hotel is DREADFUL. So old and shabby, doors and furniture are falling apart. Breakfast (paid!!) was underwhelming. NOT recommended.

    HI M4/J4 – stayed two nights very recently. The hotel is ‘yuge’, it’s really massive. Difficult to access from airport by public transport though. Starbucks in the lobby is ridiculously expensive (like 50-75% upmark to C London prices). Terminal 6 looks good. The area should look nice in summer – they have a small mini-park outside with lots of outside furniture. Rooms were good as well. Lots to explore nearby: Harmondsworth with its famous barn, new Harmondsworth Moor Park built by BA (at least something good this airline does!) on a former landfill site, a few nice local pubs and restos. RECOMMENDED in principle.

    Next much anticipated stop for us – the new double hotel of SS/HI on Bath Road when it opens with brilliant transport and planespotting options.

  10. the old crowne plaza has age restrictions for the club lounge.

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