Review: How is the Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel?

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This is our review of the Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel.

We first looked at this hotel in 2017 when it opened and Anika stayed there.  I had never stayed myself, however, and an early morning flight from the airport – coupled with a good value £88 rate – tempted me to book in.  I was also tempted by the offer of £75 cashback on £250 of Hilton bookings, which appeared on my Amex Gold card offers page last week.

My last Hampton by Hilton stay was also at a UK airport – my review of Hampton by Hilton Exeter Airport is here.  This is a very similar hotel, although substantially larger with 357 rooms.

In general, I am a big fan of Hampton by Hilton.  I know it is cliched, but they do usually have all the things I want (modern design, a down to earth menu of comfort food, free breakfast, free wi-fi, desks in the rooms) and none of the things I rarely use (room service, laundry etc).

The hotel website is here if you want to book or learn more.

Where is Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport?

One of the key selling points of the Hampton is that, like the Radisson Blu on the other side of the terminal, it is directly at the airport.  You don’t need a shuttle bus.

This being Stansted, of course, nothing is quite as simple as it seems.  The good news is that it only took me seven minutes from the doors of my train to the hotel reception, and if I’d not taken pictures and knew immediately where to go it would have been five minutes.

However, once I’d taken the lift to the terminal departures hall, I was required to walk outside – partly uncovered – and take a lift back down so I was level with the railways tracks.  There is then a covered walkway, but one which is uncovered from the sides – it won’t protect you from rain if the wind is blowing it sideways.  Don’t expect a simple, level, fully covered stroll from the terminal to reception.

You can get a feel for what I mean here – the hotel is on the far left of the picture and I am standing at the far left of the terminal:

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

but finally I made it:

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

The lobby area is very similar to one in Exeter, and in a good way.  There was this welcome sign:

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

which partners with this motif outside the lifts:

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

The ground area is neatly zoned.  This is the far corner by some meeting rooms and is the best place to work quietly at a table:

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

You then come to the bar area:

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

and:

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

and:

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

with a restaurant at the back:

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

In terms of pricing, the restaurant is around £17 for a main.  It is nothing to scare the horses – BBQ pork ribs, seabass fillet, curry etc.  There is a £4.95 kids menu.  The restaurant is open from 6pm to 10pm.

There is also a separate bar menu served when the restaurant is closed with a modest list of burgers (around £14), salads (around £11) and paninis and pizzas (£10-£15).  In the evenings you can eat in the bar from the restaurant menu.

I should mention that my evening meal was a total disaster.  When I went down around 7pm, I was told that due to ‘issues with the kitchen’ they could only supply food from the bar menu.  This meant that my Diamond amenity of a free appetiser from the restaurant menu (worth around £6) was forcibly swapped for a bag of crisps or chocolate bar.  Thus, I got to eat my first Double Decker bar in about 30 years.

The chicken burger I ordered for £13.95 was shockingly bad.  The grilled chicken was so tough that on numerous occasions I was struggling to cut it.  The chips were ok though …..  I’ve no idea what the ‘issues with the kitchen’ were but they clearly seemed linked to an inability to have anyone on the premises who could cook.

There is also a fitness centre on the ground floor.  When I popped my head in the door there were four people using it, which was a surprise.

Rooms at Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport

Let’s take a quick look at my room.  My Hilton Honors Diamond status got me a room on the 6th floor (out of 7) which overlooked the airport.  This allowed me to see the aircraft parked up.

Here is my biggest gripe:

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

As you can see, there is very little window space.  The windows are basically slats and the bulk of the wall is just that – a wall.

This may be due to soundproofing requirements on a low budget build, because it certainly wasn’t 100% silent.  You might ask what I expect being a few metres from a runway, but the truth is that recent airport hotel openings such as the Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow T2 (review) have jawdroppingly good sound proofing.  I get more aircraft noise over my house in West London than I did in that hotel.  The Hampton’s soundproofing isn’t terrible but it isn’t state of the art either.

The room looks better from the other angle:

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

There is a decent sized desk with two plug and two USB sockets, plus a kettle with tea, instant coffee and UHT milk.

The bathroom was spotlessly clean and exactly what you’d expect for this sort of hotel – no bathtub, a single sink, toiletries in large containers bolted to the wall.  It was perfectly fine.

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

How is breakfast?

Everyone gets free breakfast at Hampton hotels, which is a key benefit of staying here.

Breakfast is served from 4am to 10am, or 11am at weekends.  You can’t argue with that.  I went down around 7.30am and it wasn’t too busy.

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

It is done in the standard Hampton style.  There is a decent selection of hot dishes, pastries, fruit (not the best selection) etc.  Everything is self-service, including coffee.  You can either perch on a stool with your food or carry it over to the restaurant.

Review Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel

The only thing that I found a bit odd was that the buffet was set up in two identical u-shaped areas.  Because of the way you enter the dining area, you don’t see the second one immediately.  This meant that everyone was getting their food in one area whilst the adjacent area – where I took my photographs – was literally deserted.

Is the Hampton Stansted worth a visit?

This wasn’t a totally pain-free stay.  As well as the low quality evening meal, I had a loo which was badly behaved and didn’t like to flush!  However, if you assume that these are isolated incidents which won’t impact you, I think you will like the Hampton Stansted.

The public areas and rooms look good, albeit bigger windows would have been nice.  The free breakfast is better than you may expect.  The bar and restaurant are perfectly pleasant places to pass an hour.

I paid £88, booked four days in advance, although it obviously jumps around a lot from day to day.  I won’t argue with that, especially as I will pick up a chunk of Hilton Honors points too.

The Hampton by Hilton Stansted Airport hotel website is here if you want to book or find out more.

Hampton by Hilton Stansted review

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(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. Are you sure Hamptons don’t do laundry? I’ve used laundry service in some Hampton hotels. I’ve not tried it in the airport hotels though

  2. Bosco79 says:

    Who eats a chicken burger with a knife and fork?

    • Someone eating a chicken burger that’s too tough to bite into, I imagine…

    • Have you never been to Byron, Gourmet Burger Kitchen etc? Metropolitan liberal elite have been using cutlery with £10+ burgers for years ….

      • I have a bag in the car with plastic cutlery for when eating McDonald’s.
        Otherwise it’s so difficult to get rid of the smell from one’s hands!

  3. LetBAgonesbe says:

    I would like to point out that when we stayed there 6 months ago and had the “pleasure” of eating in the restaurant it was shockingly bad too.

    Because they know that people will eat there anyway and that you will not walk back to the terminal, they don’t have to make an effort.

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Poor Rob. The food is so indigestible the loos can’t cope with it either. No further details required.

  4. Stanstead is an awful place. No idea how it always seems to rank ahead of luton in the worst airport polls.

    • Matthew says:

      It’s actually spelt ‘Stansted’.

      The hotel is usually 20,000 Hilton points which isn’t bad to be fair if you have a early morning flight.

      Nice shot of my workplace in picture 2! 😉

    • I’d choose Stansted over Luton any day

  5. memesweeper says:

    4am breakfast start? Excellent ! Why don’t all airport hotels do this.

    • Hot food starts at 0600

      Many airport hotels do start at 4am

      Hilton HEL starts at 0330

      • It do at HEL and you can also get a takeaway bag from midnight onward. The 10.00 stop though is tight, alas more hotels are doing it.

      • RussellH says:

        DT at NCL statrs at 0430. But when we went down last year at 0415 (0530 checkin deadline) they were more than happy for us to raid the breakfast buffet, provided carry-out bags and found some orange juice still waiting to be put out.

  6. Did you not claim on the 100% guarantee?

    For those issues, they would normally comp the stay.

    • Not going to fight them over a tough burger and tricky to flush loo!

      • Lady London says:

        Any reason you didn’t ask for a room change?

        From pictures and description I would avoid this hotel even though I like Hampton. It’s clearly not being run properly. The Radisson gets some unenthusiastic reviews but I think I’d give that a try sooner than this Hampton.

  7. Interesting re your Diamond benefit issue. I had a similar problem. Ordered an appetiser, waited over 20 min (this was almost at midnight), then told the member of staff that took my order was wrong and I should only have been given a packet of crisps (so interesting they still seem to be offering an appetiser). Staff also incredibly slow at checkin with massive queues. I complained to DD, hotel never replied so ended up with a BMG cert!

  8. Jacqueline says:

    I think you may have been unlucky with the room. I stayed last May and I’m pretty sure I had a window. Agreed location is good but my stay was rather enforced on me due to the time of my flight out. EARLY.

  9. Having stated at the Hampton at STN on many occasions, I can also add that the reception staff are amongst the most glum people I have encountered at any hotel. Everything else TVs this Rob has written I would agree with.

    • I thought the staff were good actually.

    • RussellH says:

      The staff are the one thing that the HIX in Central Newcastle has over the Hampton. Room and breakfast at Hampton far superior, as well as nearer to Central Station.
      But the staff mostly seem to have been trained in the Soviet Union, even if they are far too young for that to be possible.

  10. Precisely the same review that I would give liverpool airport Hampton. Evening meal also shocking, breakfast is actually better in the premier inn.

  11. We have stayed there a few times as it very convenient for a early flight, it’s close enough to the car park to pop back with the things you don’t need before you fly. Always had a decent size window so I think you must have just been unlucky. Breakfast distinctly average but very useful to be free so you can grab a coffee and toast at 5am.

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