Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: the new and weird Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is our review of the new Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel.

Over the Summer, big changes took place at the huge Park Inn hotel at Heathrow Airport.

If you ever drive to Heathrow Terminal 2 or Terminal 3, you will know the Park Inn.  It faces the roundabout where the huge Emirates A380 replica sits, just before you enter the tunnel.

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

The hotel was basically split into two.  Part of it became the Radisson RED – see the website here – which I am reviewing today.  The other, larger, part became a Radisson (NOT a Radisson Blu, but a Radisson – a brand usually only seen in the US).  The Radisson website is here.

The old Park Inn had 895 rooms.  The new Radisson RED has 258 rooms whilst the Radisson has 637 rooms.  This means that that the changes are fairly cosmetic as there has been no attempt to knock rooms together or otherwise change the configuration.

Why open a Radisson RED in an ugly 1960’s low rise building?

I had absolutely no idea what Radisson RED was doing there.  Radisson RED is meant to be for the cool kids, a cross between a Moxy and a Hotel Indigo, with funky bedrooms in converted historic buildings.  I don’t think the words ‘hip’ or ‘funky’ could ever be used to describe the old Park Inn building. 

I had to investigate, so I checked in. Let’s see what I found.

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

Getting to the Radisson RED at London Heathrow

Whilst, in theory, close to the terminals, you can’t walk there.

Regular readers will know that I refuse to pay £6 each way for the Hotel Hoppa shuttle bus, which in any event is only running once per hour at the moment from each terminal.

From the Central Bus Station at Terminal 2/3, jump on a 105 or 111 bus, both of which leave from the same stand. After a couple of stops you will pass the hotel on your left, and see an Esso garage approaching. Ring the bell and jump off – the stop is announced as Nene Road. It is only about 90 seconds walk back past the garage and through the car park to the reception. Local buses are free within the airport boundary so do NOT touch in with a payment card when you board.

First impressions …..

….. were mixed. The cheap Radisson side has smart white cladding:

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

…. whilst the posh / expensive / trendy etc Radisson RED side looks ugly as hell:

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

They have built this rather funky entrance, although when I arrived the effect was ruined by a group of German tourists on a Rosamund Pilcher tour sitting on it and smoking:

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

Checking in

This was odd. When I have stayed in dual branded hotels in the past, they have either been totally separate (eg Staybridge Suites and Holiday Inn at Heathrow) or at least had fully separate receptions (Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express at Terminal 4).

The Radisson and Radisson RED share the same reception. At no point during check in did the clerk mention which hotel I was in. It was a standard check-in and I was told my room was off to the left. Had I been in the cheaper Radisson part, I would have been sent to the right.

Was my status respected?

No. At no point was my Radisson Rewards Gold status acknowledged. I should have been upgraded, but given that I received a ground floor room facing directly into a wall, I will guess that I wasn’t. Given that I doubt the hotel was even 15% full this was impressive.

What is actually different between the two hotels?

It’s just …. weird. Everything – literally everything – is shared.

Only one restaurant is currently open for both hotels. The swimming pool (yes, it has a modest pool, far too small in reality for an 895 room hotel) and gym are shared. There is no lounge or special perks if you are in the RED side.

There is, on the cheap Radisson side, a large area with 4-5 vending machines, one of which even dispensed hot meals. I wasn’t told about this – I’m not sure if only Radisson guests are told, although anyone can use it.

I want to stress the lack of difference because, on the night I stayed, the Radisson RED was almost £40 more expensive than the Radisson:

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

Whilst I was in the hotel, I felt that I had been robbed. Why had I paid £39 more than guests on the other side?

My feelings have softened a little since I was there. RED rooms are, on paper, bigger than Radisson rooms (30 square metres vs 23 square metres). They are certainly better decorated, as we will come to in a minute.

If I was in a standard hotel and it was selling bigger and better decorated rooms for £39 more than standard rooms then that would be totally normal.

I also have no problems with Crowne Plaza Terminal 4 charging more than the Holiday Inn Express Terminal 4 – and that hotel mixes rooms from both brands on the same corridor. I think it is the lack of a separate reception and separate restaurants for each brand that made me feel I overpaid by going RED.

The rooms at Radisson RED London Heathrow

I had been given a ground floor room overlooking a wall, despite my Gold status. This meant that light was poor and I struggled to get decent photographs. There are two PR pictures higher up the page and they are a fair representation, although my room was smaller.

The bathroom was equally smart, with a grey / brown marble. The picture above the loo was of a typewriter, which was …. interesting. Toiletries came in squeezable non-plastic sachets, which was a novelty. There was only a shower – no bath.

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

In the bedroom there was a good sized desk with some more artwork above it:

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

However nice the room looked, it was let down by implementation. There was a cupboard for a minibar, but when I opened it ….. it was empty. I don’t mean the minibar was empty. I mean it wasn’t there.

There was the usual tea and coffee tray. However, there were no mugs. I had been given two paper cups instead. Classy. The coffee sachets were Tchibo which does not exactly justify a £39 room premium.

The public areas

The hotel does look good, I have to say. Remember that you get to see all this irrespective of whether you book the RED side or the cheaper Radisson side:

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel


Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

and (yes, they put a car in the lobby):

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

‘Hope and Glory’ restaurant

The owners have also put a lot of money into the refurbishment of the bar and restaurant. Unfortunately, their love of ‘bare bulbs’ lighting means that my photos were ruined, so here is a PR shot:

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

This is NOT your usual hotel ‘club sandwich’ food. The list of mains is:

  • Superfood buddha bowl
  • Fresh herb falafel
  • Avocado on toast
  • Caesar wedge salad
  • Glorious cheeseburger
  • Beetroot and kale
  • Bucatini alla norma

There are also four stone baked pizzas to choose from, which is what I chose:

Review Radisson RED London Heathrow hotel

The second restaurant is currently closed. I was not in the hotel for breakfast as I had an early start at a Virgin Atlantic press event in Terminal 2 (report to follow).


It is now two weeks since my stay and I still don’t know what I think.

In terms of the rooms, restaurant and public areas, the Radisson RED is probably the most attractive hotel at London Heathrow. I know that’s a fairly low bar, but it does look good.

The hotel then ruined it by ignoring my elite status, giving me a room looking into a wall which blocked all my light, failing to supply a minibar or proper cups and – fundamentally – failing to justify the chunky price premium compared to the rooms on the other side of the reception desk.

Realistically, the hotel needs to separate the two hotels better. At the very least, there has to be something extra for RED guests. Whether that is a private lounge, a free mini bar, free breakfast or …. whatever ….. it needs something to create differentiation.

You can read our full series of London airport hotel reviews here.


You can book the Radisson RED Heathrow here and the Radisson Heathrow here.

How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards (June 2022)

Radisson Rewards does not have a dedicated UK credit card. However, you can earn Radisson Rewards points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.

These cards earn Membership Rewards points:

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:3 into Radisson Rewards points which is a very attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 3 Radisson Rewards points.

Even better, holders of The Platinum Card receive free Radisson Rewards Gold status for as long as they hold the card.  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

(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.)

Comments (71)

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

  • Paul74 says:

    Just getting to the end of a three night stay at the Radisson Collection Stockholm. Got a suite upgrade with a decent view so no complaints.

  • Olly says:

    I have only had a handful of stays in hotels during Covid but all brands are offering pretty much the same, I presume it is Govenment advice, (although I have got the impression of using the situation for penny pinching). Not much of anything and basically a room to sleep in and a paper bag of tea/coffer and takeaway cups, with the odd bar also serving limited bar food. For that reason I don’t think hotel reviews are of much benefit at the moment not showing them in the norm. As for acknowledgement of status, I agree that it would have been nice to hear what happened had Rob reminded them he was Gold. Some people just don’t like mentioning room upgrades at check in, so it could be argued by him not mentioning it gives a good insight of a hotel’s policy.

    • flyforfun says:

      Hmmm. Hilton Bournemouth had china cups and metal cutlery in the rooms. Restaurant was open and the ground floor bar. Gym and pool were bookable.

      • Rob says:

        All 4 hotels I have visited in the last 10 days in the UK have had china cups.

    • Lady London says:

      i think I would have politely queried are they recognising status – after checking in and before mussing the room.

      I will take a bet the hotel is only opening one set of rooms along that windowless side due low throughput during Covid – or that will be their excuse.

      It would have done them more good in terms of customers choosing to stay again, if they did make better rooms available.

      I dont do “no windows” and would generally tell a hotel of any level that I do not wish to be in a room with windows onto a wall. They can choose if they want me to stay again by their response.

      The restaurant offering sounds good – if anyone tries it please report back if the menu fulfils its promise !

      • PJJ says:

        I tend to print off my booking and have CONVENIENTLY attached a printed copy of my status card. I don’t like asking so this gives them a reminder

    • Harry T says:

      I’ve stayed in multiple hotels across several countries since the covid shenanigans began, and I’ve always had decent glassware and proper mugs. The China at University Arms, Cambridge is particularly nice. Glassware is the best at Augustine, Prague.

  • RussellH says:

    Info re closing of Sunday Times Travel Magazine.

    A lot of comments here when this was first announced, particularly from people who had just renewed.
    Letter just received this morning saying that the balance of the sub will be refunded no later than 1 November.

    • RussellH says:

      Sorry, this was meant to be in the chat thread!

      Will post it there now.

  • Colin JE says:

    Thanks for the review Rob, really interesting what you found and somewhat puts me off using that Radisson, especially given the price. I guess that’s what reviews are for!
    I stayed at the Staybridge three weeks ago and the rooms/kitchens were fully equipped with (clean) china and glass.
    I’d switched to Staybridge after the CP T4 had contacted me because they were closed. Bizarrely, they offered to move me to a Hilton or the Leonardo ( I think), neither of which were IHG. I assume they were owned by the same co. I must say I’m sold on Staybridge. Free breakfast being served in adjoining HI, though it was a bit basic.

  • AlanC says:

    Proper cups at hilton Glasgow, doubletree Glasgow , Edinburgh carlton and Hilton gateshead recently

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    Why do hotels give you the worst variant of the room you booked even when obviously empty? Happens all the time! I’ll accept it when full, and with only various credit-card linked statuses to my name, I’m never expecting an upgrade beyond the room I booked (and am therefore happy with) but it’s surely obvious that if nearly empty you give out the floor/room that isn’t next to the smelly bins and doesn’t have its view purely of the roof aircon units? Whether I complain about it or not it is a serious black mark against a hotel as it’s an active choice by them to give a much worse quality of stay than they could have; much worse than an unintentional slip-up.

    • Lady London says:

      +1. My view entirely and ensures I won’t return to that hotel again.

    • Dave says:

      Some hotels aren’t cleaning the empty rooms so often and waiting for the number of dirty rooms to build up before getting housekeeping back in again.

  • Mark says:

    The opening of the first section (now Radisson) section of the hotel was covered by Pathe News

    • Rhys says:

      Whole different world! Even that roasted piglet at the end being carved up – you don’t get that any more!

      • Lady London says:

        Germans have that on buffets a lot. Tends to make us a bit squeamish though.
        Even though we all know perfectly well where port comes from.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Electronic doors that open *automatically* Eh? – la de bloody dah!

  • cinereus says:

    “Rosamunde Pilcher” not “Rosamund Pilcher” (and no I didn’t know that without Googling).

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.