Review: the Hilton Garden Inn hotel at Hatton Cross, Heathrow
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This is my review of the Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport hotel at Hatton Cross.
We last reviewed this hotel back in early 2017. It recently underwent a renovation so I thought it was time for another look.
Why stay at the Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow?
The hotels at Heathrow Airport generally force you to make a choice.
Option 1 is to stay at the Sofitel Terminal 5, Hilton Garden Inn T2/T3, Aerotel T3 or one of the many Terminal 4 hotels. You will be directly connected to the airport, and pay a premium.
Option 2 is to waste your evening and your money on the slow and expensive Hoppa Bus (£6 one-way, currently only running once per hour per terminal) between the terminals and a cheaper hotel. You can also take the free local buses but, in general, this is a lot of faff – especially at night or with luggage.
There is a third way – the Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow. This hotel, formerly a Jurys Inn and still managed by them, is just outside Hatton Cross underground station. There are two advantages of staying here:
You get there a lot quicker if arriving by tube – you get out at Hatton Cross before the airport. Other hotels require you to travel to the terminals, head to the bus station and take a Hoppa Bus. You would save around 30 minutes.
In the morning, you walk back to the tube and take the one or two stops to the terminals. There is no need to wait for a Hoppa Bus and the tube fare is less than the Hoppa fare.
I booked in using the £55 ‘day use’ rate. I had plenty of time to see the hotel in daylight but was not there overnight.
What is a Hilton Garden Inn?
I have stayed in two Hilton Garden Inn hotels now and I still have no idea! I have been in far worse ‘mainline’ Hilton properties.
In general, a Hilton Garden Inn seems to fit in the (small) gap between a Hampton and a Hilton. The lack of free breakfast, unless you have Hilton elite status, is a key point to note compared to a Hampton.
Getting to Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport
It only makes sense to pick this hotel if you are arriving by tube, due to the time saving. The route is not exactly glamorous. It is also NOT signposted.
You exit Hatton Cross tube by the doors to the right. Do NOT go left into the bus station:
Head to your left and walk past the bizarre Atrium Hotel Heathrow which we reviewed here:
The hotel is visible on your left behind the warehouses although you don’t see any signage until you get nearer. There is a back door you can use to enter to save a few seconds walking round.
Check in was swift. My Hilton Honors Diamond status was acknowledged and I was offered my two free bottles of water as an amenity. As a Diamond I was also due 750 Hilton Honors points or a free breakfast. The hotel was still serving breakfast when I arrived but I took the points.
There was little they could give me in terms of Diamond upgrade although I got a top floor room with a view over a field full of horses. This is the same sort of room I had in 2017 which is either a coincidence or Diamond policy.
Rooms at Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport
The refurbishment of the hotel has not been total. The reported spend was only £4 million. The bedroom area was totally unchanged from my 2017 stay:
…. with the same desk:
The bathroom had been transformed, however. The old ‘shower over a bathtub’ look with a 1970’s style sink had gone. Toiletries were upgraded from Peter Thomas Roth to Crabtree & Evelyn (although comments below from people who use them more than me imply it is actually a downgrade).
Here is the 2017 look:
This is what you get today:
The bar and restaurant
Where this hotel really shines is in the public areas, which is a good job as there is nothing else within easy reach. The hotel makes an effort to keep you occupied.
The ground floor has changed completely, although everything is still in the same relative position.
Here is new look ‘Jack’s’ bar, which is currently the only place you can eat. The main restaurant is not open after breakfast but the bar opens at noon.
The Costa Coffee stall, which was usually not manned anyway, has gone. There is now casual seating which sprawls out of the restaurant and bar, and is handy at the moment as it allows greater distancing.
The hotel also has a shop, which has been substantially upgraded since my last visit. There is a lot of choice here – sandwiches and cold snacks, proper ready meals which can be microwaved, lots of toiletries, bottles of wine etc. It is probably the biggest selection I’ve ever seen in a UK hotel.
Whilst I didn’t visit the gym, comments below suggest that it is now very impressive following refurbishment.
Should you stay here?
All in all, I remain impressed by the Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport at Hatton Cross. The recent refurbishment is definitely an improvement.
Whilst the hotel is usually cheap, it is classier than, say, a Holiday Inn Express. Whilst there is nothing going on nearby, the bar, restaurant and shop will keep you going.
If you are heading to Heathrow by tube, the Hilton Garden Inn is far more convenient than any of the hotels which require the Hoppa Bus.
If you are arriving by cab or Heathrow Express it is a different story. You will need to get the Hoppa (or take the tube to Hatton Cross) and the hotel is no more convenient than any other option – although you will have an easier trip back to the airport in the morning via tube if you stay here.
You can read our full series of London airport hotel reviews here.
The hotel website is here if you want to book or find out more.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (March 2023)
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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)