This is my review of the new Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road hotel.
Last month we reviewed the new Staybridge Suites hotel at Heathrow which you can read here. Staybridge Suites shares a building with the new Holiday Inn Bath Road but the latter wasn’t open when I stayed.
Facing an early morning flight to Berlin, I thought I would come back and try the Holiday Inn. HfP paid for its own room, which was £79.
Getting to the Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road
Detailed instructions on getting to the hotel by free local bus are in our Staybridge Suites review. This is actually the nearest hotel to the Heathrow Central Bus Station at Terminal 2 and it is just a six minute ride on the U3 which stops opposite. There are also buses from Terminal 5 or you can pay £5 for the Hotel Hoppa which comes to the hotel door.
The lobby is very smart and you can see right through the building to the bar and restaurant. You can easily tell that this is a cut above your average Holiday Inn.
Check-in was quick and pleasant, with an upgrade given to me as a Spire Elite member to a King Executive Room. My prepaid room had not actually been charged in advance, which was the same situation as at the Staybridge Suites in December.
Only when I got to my room did I realise that I hadn’t been offered points or a drink and snack voucher as a welcome amenity. I went back to reception and was told that the clerk had assumed I’d want points “because everyone does” and had added them automatically. (When I checked my email, I had a confirmation showing 500 points added.) If you’re spending your own money or can’t expense alcohol, ignore the 500 points, only £2-worth, and take the pricey drink and snack instead. I ended up with both.
Before I go on, I should say that the lift lobby is bizarrely dark. You go through a set of double doors, which blocks light from the lobby, and then you only have a few spotlights in the life area. I actually checked to make sure the lights weren’t half dead, but they were all on. It is just odd and potentially a little unnerving for some people.
After my very spacious one-bedroom suite at the Staybridge Suites, it was a bit of a shock to walk into my standard sized Holiday Inn room. My last few hotel stays had all been suites or junior suites, either through upgrades or because we booked one to fit the kids in.
Let me be clear. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the room at all:
It had a big king bed:
…. a corner sofa (perhaps a little too big for the room if I’m honest):
…. a decent desk:
…. a coffee machine and, in the wardrobe, two bathrobes – presumable ‘executive room’ perks. There was also an ironing board in the wardrobe and a minibar, although it only contained two bottle of water, a Diet Coke and a Fanta! In retrospect I imagine these were free as an executive room perk but it wasn’t mentioned at check-in.
There was a very decent bathroom with Gilchrist & Soames toiletries (potentially upgraded as I was in an executive room):
…. and a huge shower, although no bath:
There is a ‘woody’ theme to the entire hotel which is a little retro but works OK. The wooden bathroom door felt a little out of place, perhaps because it was similar to the main room door.
Let’s not talk about the view:
Some rooms overlook the atrium and do not have an outside view. You’re not missing much if this is the alternative. You will NOT get this view at the Staybridge Suites as that is on the other side of the building.
Food and drink at Holiday Inn Bath Road
The food and drink offering is where the hotel really scores, in my view, and why I’d come back here. The designers have done a genuinely excellent job.
Note that I took these pictures in the middle of the afternoon which is why there is no-one about. It was busier later in the evening when I came down for dinner.
There will eventually be three areas. The cafe is not yet open but that is off to one side anyway. Under the atrium is an ‘all day dining’ restaurant’ which is Italian-themed. It is easy to mess up a cavernous space but the the seating had been cleverly arranged with partitions to still feel intimate:
The real wow factor came from the open kitchen in the middle of the atrium. There are also a number of bar seats available on the edge of the kitchen itself, so you can sit and watch your food being cooked literally right in front of you. This is something I generally expect to see in a higher end restaurant than a Holiday Inn.
The bar is equally impressive as you can see. A lot of the drinks appear decorative – the amount of Laurent Perrier Rose (£50 per bottle in the supermarket so substantially more here) on the display will keep them going for a few years, I imagine – but it looks fantastic.
You can also eat in the bar, which I did:
A good quality plate of fish and chips was £16 and I used my Spire Elite amenity voucher for a large glass of white wine.
As I had an early flight the next morning I didn’t stay for breakfast.
There isn’t much else to add. There is a fitness centre on the first floor but no pool and no Club Lounge. Internet was impressively fast – I had nine apps on my phone to update and it whizzed through them.
Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road is a high quality hotel. The bar and restaurant are on a par with the new Crowne Plaza in Terminal 4 and the room quality is close. The room could have been a little bigger and, although a lot of guests will be grateful for it, shoe-horning in the corner sofa may have been a mistake.
If you are going to be in the hotel for a full day, you might prefer a one-bedroom suite in the Staybridge Suites next door. This gives you a lot of extra space and, whilst the Staybridge Suites has no restaurant, you can take the five second walk to the Holiday Inn for dinner. You also get free breakfast at the Staybridge Suites. (For clarity, the two hotels do not connect internally. You need to walk out of one, take 10 steps and walk back in through the other entrance.)
For a short stay, where you don’t need the room space, the Holiday Inn Bath Road will definitely do the job. If you don’t want to pay the premium to stay in a hotel attached to the terminals, this is a very good choice.
The Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road website is here if you want to find out more.
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