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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.

Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross Heathrow review

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:

Review Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross Heathrow

Head to your left and walk past the bizarre Atrium Hotel Heathrow which we reviewed here:

Review Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross Heathrow

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.

Review Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross Heathrow

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:

Review Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross Heathrow

…. with the same desk:

Review Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross Heathrow

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:

Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow Airport Hatton Cross review

This is what you get today:

Review Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross Heathrow

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.

Review Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross Heathrow

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.

Review Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross Heathrow

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.

Review Hilton Garden Inn Hatton Cross Heathrow

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.


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Comments (64)

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

  • TP says:

    Slightly strange walking route, although understandable if you had large luggage. If you exited Hatton Cross to your left instead, walked over the bridge (or crossed the road underneath if less risk averse) and followed the pavement you’d get there slightly quicker and without the crazy road noise on the way.

    Also I believe the only fully updated rooms at Hatton Cross are the King rooms. Bathrooms have been updated across the Queen rooms, but the Kings definitely have been refurbished to quite a nice standard.

    I have also been finding that this hotel is starting to ‘upgrade’ people with status on arrival to a King, which isn’t usual (I believe) for the Garden Inn franchise. I’ve regularly booked their cheapest room at £35 and been given their King, which is a nice bonus considering the different in room decor.

    Also worth noting the gym has been extended and has all new equipment that even budget gyms don’t have! Changes a lot for a quick workout pre/post flight if that’s your thing also.

    FYI- I’ve stayed a total of 43 nights there this year.

    • Rob says:

      It’s surely impossible for the bridge to be quicker because it is a totally straight line via my route? You save 200 steps on the bridge and the curved and partially unpaved road.

      Thanks for the other info. 43 nights is impressive / scary but they are clearly doing something right.

      • Matty says:

        Bridge side, but crossing the road and not using the bridge, is 0.272 miles. Turning right and walking alongside the Great South-West Road, is 0.285 miles.

        Turning right appears more direct because it is in a straight line but you double back on yourself when you reach the hotel – you pass that small annexed building to your left and then turn left again to enter the hotel reception. You’ve effectively passed the hotel as you cross the zebra crossing by the annex then you walk half of the length of the hotel again as you turn back.

    • ECR says:

      I have stayed there regularly as a Diamond since it became a Hilton Garden Inn and they have nearly always ‘upgraded’ me to a King room so I don’t think it is a new policy. I’m usually only there overnight and don’t really notice much difference between the Queen and King rooms, but it is nice to be ‘upgraded’ all the same. I believe from what I have read online that there are a few very tiny Queen rooms, but I’ve been lucky never to have been given one of those.

      I’ve walked both routes to the hotel and don’t really consider one better than the other and will often vary it for a change. For someone who is not used to staying in the hotel Rob’s suggested route is probably more straightforward.

      Well done on getting it for £35 that is a real bargain. The cheapest I have usually ever got is just under £50. It is often in the £50-60 price range although I have paid over £100 on some occasions.

  • John says:

    This hotel always gives both breakfast and points to status members

    • Tony says:

      Why would you need to take the Hoppa if arriving by cab? Why would you not just take the cab direct to the HGI? Also you could have mentioned that the HGI is in the Heathrow free bus travel zone so there’s no need to use the over priced Hoppa in any case.

    • Kevin says:

      No it doesn’t. Sometimes, but not always.

  • ChrisC says:

    If you use the tube to get to/ from a terminal then you do need to pay as Hatton Cross isn’t in the free trip area. Personally I’m willing to pay that rather then get the TFL bus even if they are free.

    Rob if you exclude the HH points aspects is there any difference between staying here and the Atrium hotel?

    • Richmond_Surrey says:

      Hatton Cross is in free zone. There’s also local bus stop in front of the hotel. I stayed here number of times and always took a room with airport view.

      • ChrisC says:

        The TUBE isn’t in the free zone and I started my comment by saying
        “If you use the tube to …”

        As I said I’d be prepared to pay the £ 1.70 / £1.50 (off peak) tube fare to avoid the bus especially with luggage

        • John says:

          The tube is more of a faff with ticket barriers and lifts/escalators. But the bus is slower – unless the tube is having one of its regular delays with a 20 minute service

    • Alan Wan says:

      I have stayed here a few times recently. Breakfast is buffet albeit someone dishes out the hot food items behind a plastic screen.

      Regarding eating out, Hounslow West is one stop on the tube and has a few decent curry restaurants (and a KFC). I also had food delivered one night via JustEat.com

    • Rob says:

      Rhys did our Atrium review – I’ve never been. In truth probably not except that you need to cross the main road.

    • Rhys says:

      Yes, the Atrium is a bizarre hotel (albeit it with a pool!). https://www.headforpoints.com/2019/09/24/review-atrium-heathrow-hotel-london/

  • DANi says:

    To be honest…I’ve stayed at the HGI and it’s great, but have now switched to the premier inn attached to T4 and walked down the tube corridor to the Crowne plaza for dinner and drinks..best of both..a budget spotless room and a great evenings food and drinks…

    • Yuff says:

      My go to Hotel for T5 is the T5 Hilton mainly for the parking.
      With the infrequent hoppa service and the T5 Hilton closed is there another viable alternative?
      I potentially have an early Sunday morning flight on the 18th October if the trip isn’t cancelled and need a hotel for a night plus 6 days parking.
      Have plenty of Hilton and IHG points and diamond and spire ambassador. Also have all the Amex offers.
      Thinking crowne plaza and using the £60 off £250 spend and having dinner. 2 adults and 13 year old daughter travelling.

      • memesweeper says:

        The HGI has (or had) park-and-fly rates. It’s a sound choice and the tube to T5 is a breeze.

        I think the IHG hotels on Bath Road do park-and-fly rates, and you can get the local bus easy enough, just allow sufficient time. CityMapper app is your friend.

      • Geoff says:

        The Hilton at T4 does park/fly options and is a free bus to T5. Currently says temporarily closed but showing availability for 17 Oct.

        • lcylocal says:

          I’m not sure the HGI Hatton Cross offers park and fly any more. I think the best bet usually is the Hilton London Heathrow (aka Hilton T4) – which does seem to be open, I think it is just the Hilton T5 which is closed. I assuming the TfL buses which stop at T4 are still running but you would be well advised to check given the terminal is closed.

          Have stayed at this HGI a few times. I think the times it really makes sense is if coming out on the tube after work ahead of an early flight the next day. First tubes are normally around 5am and if you have a Travelcard minimal extra travel costs. I’m not sure it would make as much sense for an overnight layover or ahead of a big holiday where I would probably be stretching the budget and booking the Sofitel. For those kind of stays lack of a bath not really an issue.

  • Michael C says:

    Grr…yet another in the trend of removing baths and replacing them with bath-shaped showers!

    • Yuff says:

      +1 😄

    • Andrew says:

      Don’t mind showers instead of baths.

      It’s these silly short glass panels that result in water pishing all over the floor that annoy me.

    • MKB says:

      +1

      My heart sinks when you open the door to a “refurbished” hotel room and discover the bath has gone. One of the pleasures of travel is being able to enjoy a long hot soak, something I never seem to have time for at home.

      My other bête noire is the bathroom door replete with translucent glass. When sharing a room, the last thing my partner wants is light streaming into the bedroom during my middle-of-the-night toilet visit.

  • Kevin says:

    Whilst some of the bathrooms have been refurbished, this is not the case in all rooms. A small number (I think the double double rooms) still have the older baths.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Fingers crossed it’s a slow refurb.

      I’m glad the old bathrooms have been replaced they had really aged.

  • Andrew Hay says:

    There’s also a lovely Green Man pub just the other side of that field with horses you had the view over, which serves good food if you fancied eating outside the hotel!

    • AJA says:

      +1 for The Green Man. Used to be my Friday lunchtime haunt when I worked in the nearby trading estate on the other side of the Atrium hotel.

  • Zz says:

    I know it’s COVID times, but breakfast quality here was truly appalling. The hotel is currently serving breakfast to order with items charged individually. A bacon roll which was listed for something like £7 consisted of a stale bun, a lettuce leaf and cold “bacon” that had been cooked 3 hours ago. Yoghurt was listed for a couple of quid and was a small pot provably purchased for 3p. Fortunately was diamond so didn’t pay, but feel sorry for anyone that has.

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