My review of the brand new Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road

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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.

The hotel website is here.

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.

Checking in

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!

My room

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:

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

It had a big king bed:

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

…. a corner sofa (perhaps a little too big for the room if I’m honest):

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

…. a decent desk:

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

…. 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):

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

…. and a huge shower, although no bath:

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

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:

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

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:

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

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.

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

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.

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

You can also eat in the bar, which I did:

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

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.

Holiday Inn London Heathrow Bath Road review

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.

Conclusion

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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Comments

  1. Neil P says:

    Does it have a car park? I often stay very close to LHR before using meet and greet parking.

  2. Lucas Young says:

    We stayed here just over a week ago, and we had the same issue with the points. I received the email saying my welcome points had been awarded before I’d even checked in.

    Only issue we had was that housekeeping kept knocking on our door despite extending the check out and putting a sign on the door.

    • RussellH says:

      We find this happens quite often – the points being credited first thing in the morning of the day of arrival. Also not unusual to be greeted with “I have already credited you with your extra points. Would you like a drinks voucher as well? (Stupid question.)
      I really think that some places do not really unstand the system – not as well as we do here on HfP!
      🙂

  3. Smeowrend says:

    ‘Let me be clear’

    Been watching too many Theresa May speeches Rob?

    • Lol, I noticed that too.

      Looks a cut above either a standard Heathrow hotel or a HI, which is sorta interesting, I imagine (perhaps wrongly) that airport hotels suffer more from being tested as a commodity that anywhere else and price would be king?

      Once you’re no connected/walkable you’re basically in that big bag of hotels that sit between in that part of the market. Search, dates, LHR, order by price no?

      • I think there are different markets. If you’re arriving at 10pm and leaving at 6am then price becomes more of a core driver. If you’re arriving at 2pm then you tend to want somewhere pleasant to work and/or relax and eat.

    • Haha ‘points means points’ 😀

  4. Looks pretty nice, very impressed for Holiday Inn! Might be time to give that phone camera lens a wee polish though Rob to avoid the ‘soft focus’ look 😛

    • It was done during compression – phone photos are so big, memory wise, these days that it would clog up our server at 4000 x 3000 or whatever they come out as. We shrink them to 350 x 250 so WordPress delivers them ‘as is’ without having to take time resizing them itself on the hoof.

      • Hmm that shouldn’t give the same effect and it only seemed to be an issue with some photos so my money’s still on a bit of a smudge, maybe from eating the snack they finally gave you 😛

        • Shoestring says:

          Raffles shall henceforth be alternatively known as ‘old Smudger’! 🙂

  5. xcalx says:

    “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.”

    When I was Marriott Plat back in the day Marriott paid $100 for failure to offer plat welcome gift. I hardly ever got offered the welcome gift at Preston Marriott, it was quite a little earner for me.

    Do Marriott still offer this for Plats.

    • xcalx says:

      Should add, the Plat welcome gift was on top of the free drinks and snack.

    • Nick Burch says:

      In theory they do, see https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/member-benefits/guarantee.mi then scroll down to “Guaranteed Platinum Elite/Titanium Elite Welcome Gift”

      However, actually getting a hotel that’s problematic enough to not offer you a gift to also honour the guarantee is, in my experience so far with it, rather tricky…

      In not entirely un-related news, the Marriott Lakeside Chalet, Mumbai is probably best avoided!

  6. Booked here at the beginning of April with 15 nights parking for £179.

  7. OT but IHG:

    When does IHG status expire? I was Spire in 2018, but I thought it was supposed to expire on 31 Dec.

    During 2018 I only stayed 10 IHG nights, did not renew Ambassador, and I have the free Creation card. So I expected to be Gold for 2019, but noticed my account still shows as Spire and just checked into my first IHG this year who acknowledged me as Spire (stay booked 2 weeks ago)

    • I’ve had the same. I think I may have been rolled over after 5-6 years of continual top tier – or it’s an error! I show as Spire online and got Spire benefits at Heathrow.

      • Colin JE says:

        Me too. Still Spire Elite, despite only 2 qualifying stays last year. I thought it was because I’d taken out Ambassador before year end, but perhaps it’s their IT?

        On another note, I always ask for the drink on check-in, as it’s worth way more than points, unless I can charge a drink back to work. Most times I seem to get the points as well.

        • That said … I told Marriott Berlin where I am now that I’d take the $10 F&B credit instead of 1,000 points as a welcome gift (£8 vs £5 value) but as I have lounge access and it is excellent – no real need to eat elsewhere – I’m not sure I’ll get the value now. May end up with $10 of overpriced mini bar chocolate …

      • David says:

        Shhh, let’s not shout about this, yeah?

    • Mark2 says:

      I stayed as SE last year with no stays and then only stayed one night, but am still ng as SE for this year.
      It is a shame that there are very few benefits.

      • My hubby is still showing Platinum Elite 2 years after having the Black credit card. We use my account as it’s Spire but we do an opinion survey on his account every so often to keep his 6k pts alive.

    • Brian says:

      A friend got an email congratulating him on retaining Gold, even though he hadn’t had a single stay in the previous year.

    • Gavin says:

      Gold via the credit card I’ve not held for 2 years. Rarely stay there but always welcome the free pint, they’ve usually given me the points in advance.

  8. Andrew says:

    Quote:- “I should say that the lift lobby is bizarrely dark.”

    This is happening more often with the introduction of LEDs. I like LEDs, they are great, but often so badly implemented. In shops, hotels and restaurants, I’m findng myself being blinded (at 6’3″) by being so close to the LED spots, but, ground level is completely dark.

    A colleague and I were visiting a client in rather plush West End offices, there were just three spots in the lift ceiling. By the time his 6’5″ frame, me and our tall client got in the lift and stood at a gentlemanly distance apart, the lift was in complete darkness as each of us had stood under the spot.

    • Some hotel rooms are also kind of difficult to brighten up if you need to see when it’s dark outside. They have bedside lamps and table lamps and maybe a ceiling light near the door, but nothing that lights up the actual room.

  9. Andrew says:

    I stayed here last week too, Spire Elite with an upgrade to a room that’s identical to yours Rob, but based on the view a level higher and much further back from Bath Road. It’s a long old walk from the lifts if you’re back there.

    I used the gym, which was fine but had a weird lack of mats for any sort of floor exercise.

    I was also surprised by the lack of soundproofing from the airport – it’s across the road from the northerly runway, and Heathrow was on easterlies that night, and it’s pretty much at the touchdown zone on the landing runway in this case, meaning the full noise of reverse thrust hits until 10.30pm and from 5am. I was somewhat amazed that a brand new hotel across the road from one of the world’s busiest runways doesn’t have extra glazing and other measures. For this, the Ariel is much better given its original building has been wrapped by another wall and windows.

    It’s very convenient though – the First Slough number 7 also goes from the Central Bus Station to across the road for free. It would be nice to have a convenient crossing to/from the westbound bus stop to avoid trudging through the grass verge though.

  10. Do you get the free drink/points offer if you stay at a HIE?

    • HIEs give elites 300 points or drink/snack as a welcome amenity, some don’t offer the choice but perhaps you ask like Rob did. Some (e.g. Cardiff Airport) give Spires a better choice of drinks than Plat but that isn’t standard (and doesn’t really change anything…)

    • 1nfrequent says:

      Yes – I have always done so but I think it’s 300 points (if memory serves).

      1F

    • Peter K says:

      Yes, but less points. What drink you can get depends on level of status.

    • Thanks everyone. I’m Platinum and I would take the drink over the miles. Stayed at CP at Heathrow last year with wife and daughter and the nice man on the desk gave me 3 vouchers -one for each member of the party. Nice little bonus.

  11. The restaurant really does look nice. Wouldn’t have pegged it as a HIX unless I’d been told. May give it a go next time I’m up. Thanks Rob.

    • It’s a HI not a HIX. If you think they are the same – then IHG’s branding consultants have a lot to answer for

    • It’s a HI!

      • Yep my bad 🙂

        So apart from free breakfast what’s the difference between the two brands? Is this the typical product of a HI room. Looks a bit more upmarket that some HIX.

        • It is typical of a new HI, yes.

        • the_real_a says:

          HIX is a very much more budget option, comfy bed and decent shower but not a lot more. Basic white walls and “dove” shower gel that is bolted to the wall. The breakfast is basic with only 4 hot items but its included in the rate for everyone.

        • The Lord says:

          Looks good to me. My only experience of HIs have been in the US and this looks a lot lot better

        • Lady London says:

          Holiday Inns are often older hotels in the US. So they can vary depending how well the owners or managers have kept up with maintenance. HIX’s tend to be relatively new in more places.

          I have a colleague who says all these new moderate-level hotels are ok for the first 2 or 4 years or so, then they get tatty… I think there’s always a risk of that. I personally prefer the old-style “Palace” hotels or City equivalents like the properties Fairmont has. New and plastic is, for me, for work.

  12. pablo says:

    IHG 10k points bonus for booking and staying in the next 60 days. Likely account specific:
    https://www.ihg.com/rewardsclub/gb/en/offers/promoreg/?offerCode=70148

    • Haven’t seen one of those codes in a while! IHG used to give these out like confetti 15 years ago and you could register regardless and for as many as you wanted.

    • RussellH says:

      “We’re sorry, this offer is not available to you. A list of current offers can be found on the IHG® Rewards Club Offers page. We look forward to having you as a guest.”

  13. Is hotel hoppa £5 or £6? this article says 5 while an EARLIER one about Staybridge Suites says 6…

  14. My partner and I were staying at the neighbouring Staybridge Suites and decided to have dinner at HI as it was raining cats and dogs outside and even a short walk to our favourite restaurants nearby felt daunting. The restaurant was very good both in terms of food and service, and moreover, you can add your bill to your room (even if you stay at SS) to earn more points or hit your spending target on food & drink.

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