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Who won ‘Best New UK Airport Hotel 2019’ at the Head for Points Awards?

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Over Christmas and New Year, we are unveiling the winners of the inaugural Head for Points Travel & Loyalty Awards.  Today is Day 7 and we have moved onto the hotel awards, which in general were much tighter votes.  We are looking at which was the best new airport hotel opened in the last 12 months or so?

The Head for Points Travel & Loyalty Awards 2019 are a great opportunity to recognise the cream of the crop when it comes to UK premium business and leisure travel. A lot of the areas we are covering, such as airport lounges and travel credit cards, are ignored by other awards because they are too niche – but for our readers, they are very important and appreciated.

Over 4,500 HFP readers voted over three weeks in November. There were 12 categories in total. As well as giving an award to each category winner, we are also giving out a number of ‘Editor’s Choice’ awards for products and services which we personally admire.

Each winner will receive a trophy which we will be presenting at a special dinner in January.

What is the best UK Airport Lounge

Today we are announcing the winner of ‘Best New UK Airport Hotel 2019’.

This isn’t a category I can imagine us offering every year.  The 12 months from Autumn 2018 to Autumn 2019, however, saw a surprisingly high quantity of high quality properties opening, especially at London Heathrow.

The winner is….

Crowne Plaza London Heathrow Terminal 4

This was a closely fought race, with Crowne Plaza – with 34% of the vote – just seeing off Hilton Garden Inn Terminal 2 which got 30%.

The real winner, of course, is Arora Group, which owns both the Crowne Plaza and the Hilton Garden Inn.  For good measure, it also owns the hotel which came third – the new Holiday Inn Express in Heathrow Terminal 4, attached to the Crowne Plaza.

I should also give a nod to the other two shortlisted hotels, Staybridge Suites Bath Road and the Aerotel in Terminal 3 Arrivals.  We have reviewed both properties and, in different ways, each has a lot to recommend it.

There weren’t many ‘write in’ entries here from people who disagreed with our shortlist.  Hampton by Hilton Bristol Airport got numerous votes although it actually opened in 2017.  The Moxy’s at Heathrow (opened April 2018) and Edinburgh (opened 2019) were also mentioned enough times to make me think they are worth a review at some point.

Crowne Plaza Heathrow Terminal 4 Best New UK Airport Hotel

I agree with the readers on the winner, however.  I reviewed the Crowne Plaza back in November 2018 and had an excellent stay.  Taken together with the Holiday Inn Express, it was the largest UK hotel to open in 2018 and the largest IHG property to open anywhere in Europe.

One benefit of having a Holiday Inn Express in the same building is that the Crowne Plaza has had to invest in impressive rooms to stop guests trading down.  As you can see, they are very classy.  The little things that matter were all there – individual reading lights, USB sockets by the bed, a variety of pillow types, a robe in the wardrobe etc.

crowne plaza heathrow terminal 4 Best New UK Airport Hotel

There was also a good sized desk complete with power sockets and a decent light.  Wi-fi was free and of excellent quality, as you’d expect from a new build hotel.  Most importantly, sound proofing was outstanding.  (Until you stay here or in the new Hilton Garden Inn, which virtually sits on the tarmac, it is hard to explain how good it is.  I couldn’t hear a thing in either property when I stayed.)

crowne plaza heathrow t4 Best New UK Airport Hotel

The good news is that you can enjoy the bar and restaurant at the Crowne Plaza even if the rooms are outside your budget.  You can stay at the Holiday Inn Express, in the other half of the building, and cross-charge drinks and meals from the Crowne Plaza facilities.  The rooms are not as impressive, of course, but you would also get free breakfast.  It is also a very short walk – via a covered tunnel – from the Premier Inn Terminal 4.

crowne plaza heathrow terminal 4 Best New UK Airport Hotel

As I wrote in my original review, the meal I had at ‘Urban’ was the best I could ever remember having in an airport hotel:

crowne plaza heathrow t4 Best New UK Airport Hotel

Congratulations to Crowne Plaza Heathrow Terminal 4 and its owner Arora Group, who will be joining us at our winner’s dinner on 13th January.  Tomorrow we ring in 2020 with your votes for ‘Best Hotel Loyalty Scheme’.

Comments (58)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Roberto says:

    Nice enough hotel but was pretty much £70 dearer than the Premier inn when I compared prices for my next booking.

    I enjoyed my stay there in July ( courtesy of Ba and a delayed flight ) but find it hard to justify a 300% increase over the PI practically next door.

  • Gregor says:

    As far as I can tell, if you want the runway views (should you care about such things) you have to stay in the HIE part of the complex – which I have several times and found it to be excellent. I’m certainly not complaining about the situation, but it would seem that the designers decided that the more premium CP customers aren’t bothered about an airport view?! BTW, how does the hotel prevent CP customers slipping round to the HIE side for the free breakfast?

    • NigelthePensioner says:

      By asking your room number before being seated usually.

      • Froggitt says:

        Being seated? Its an HIE ffs

        • Gregor says:

          Indeed. As it’s an unpoliced free for all I guess they’re relying on the honesty of CP folk not to slip in and help themselves…

          • Froggitt says:

            After staying a night in the Airport Hotel of the Year, there’s nothing better than sneaking into an HIE for brekkie, filling your plate with rubberised egg and fruit cocktail mush in sugar syrup.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Same as they do in all HIE properties – they make it utterly inedible so only the most hardened of HIE even go there

  • NigelthePensioner says:

    “The real winner, of course, is Arora Group, which owns ……” Sofitel T5

  • Craig says:

    It was an absolute bargain during the last IHG Points Break, 15000 for a night.

  • RussellH says:

    I agree that the LHR Moxy is worth a look if the price is right.

    £40 / night is what clinched it for me, and the buss stop TO the airport is outside the door. Not free, though.

  • Neil Donoghue says:

    I really thought the Premier Inn was going to win this one! I just stayed on Christmas Eve for £28.00 and thought it was incredible value. Despite Spire & Diamond status, staying at Heathrow only has one purpose for me and that’s to catch a flight at a silly hour of the morning! Based on 9 hours of sleeping, I think paying £3 an hour is great value.

    • Rich says:

      Agree. It’s a notch above many 4* dumps, and any hotel where you can walk to the terminal is worth its weight in gold.

      Just a shame it’s T4.

  • Rich says:

    +1 for the Moxy.

    Not always the most convenient (bus to T123 or Hounslow West, cab or Hoppa for other terminals) but it’s a really stylish hotel with pleasant communal area and clean, comfortable rooms. And something I’ve never seen before: a light under the bed which comes on when you get up to go for a pee!

  • Justin says:

    Having stayed in the HIE sore I don’t understand why anyone would stay in the CP side of this hotel. The HIE rooms are plenty spacious for what most people will be staying for before or after a flight, the room I had was facing T4 apron and was bigger than most rooms I’ve stated in at Premier Inn LGW N and the Premier Inn T4.

    Food and drink options are open to people staying on both sides of the hotel and believe me I saw plenty of people from the CP helping themselves to the free breakfast, which again given that it is £18 for the full breakfast the HIE one is more than adequate before a flight or trip to the lounge.

    As a IHG Platinum I was offered drinks AND points which was brilliant although that may have been a one off, I didn’t even have to ask for a snack at the bar to go with it, as was served at the same time unlike many IHG properties.

    • aston100 says:

      There seems to be inconsistency with various IHG hotels / franchises regarding the welcome drinks and/or points. I’ve been to places that have given both; a place that also gave a club biscuit on top; a couple of places who had to be reminded of the welcome amenity.

      • aston100 says:

        Also, I seem to recall I receive more welcome points at Holiday Inn than at Crowne Plaza.
        Last few visits to both have confirmed this, despite the various CP properties always costing more (money or IHG points) than the HI properties.

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          It’s down to motivation. The theory is that CP core guest profile has different motivations to core HIE guests and therefore needs to be incentivised differently.

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