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Which Heathrow Airport hotels are walkable from the terminals?

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Which hotels at Heathrow Airport are walkable from the terminals, and don’t require a bus ride?

Whilst you are virtually guaranteed to be paying more to sleep within Heathrow Airport, you can’t argue that it is the easiest option.

The ability to walk from your room to the check-in desk in a couple of minutes is fantastic – no-one wants to be messing about with buses at 6am. You can even nip out, check in your luggage and then pop back to the hotel for a leisurely breakfast.

Which Heathrow hotels are walkable from the terminals?

Remember that, unlike many big airports, Heathrow has banned dedicated hotel shuttle buses. The only way to your hotel is by a public bus – which is no longer free – or the expensive Hotel Hoppa shuttle service. Each Hoppa route stops at multiple hotels and can be slower than (and is 4x the price of) the local buses.

Don’t think that the taxi drivers will be keen to help you either. Many queue for hours to get a fare from Heathrow to Central London, although there are rules to allow them to re-enter the queue higher up. Because Heathrow is not in Central London, black cabs have no legal obligation to take you.

You could try an Uber or similar but that won’t be cheap due to Heathrow fees. The one time I got an Uber at 5am from the old Crowne Plaza to Terminal 5, it cost me £20. This was before Heathrow started adding its £5 drop-off fee.

What are the onsite hotels at Heathrow?

We have reviewed most of the onsite hotels at Heathrow. You can see all of our London airport hotels reviews – covering Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, London City and, erm, Southend – here.

Let’s run through the options for staying directly at Heathrow airport.

Because transferring between Heathrow terminals can be more painful than getting a bus from a Bath Road hotel, especially with luggage, I only recommend staying at a hotel in the terminal you are using.

Heathrow Terminal 5 hotels

There is only one hotel in Terminal 5 – the Sofitel (website here).

This is a genuinely luxurious five-star hotel, one of the smartest airport hotels in the world. You will pay for the privilege, of course.

We reviewed the Executive Lounge here, back in the day when it was part of Priority Pass (it isn’t any longer) but we have never reviewed the hotel itself.

Top tip: the Sofitel HeathrowTerminal 5 is often discounted via lastminute.com’s ‘Top Secret Hotels’ section. This article explains how to find it.

Which Heathrow hotels are walkable from the terminals?

Heathrow Terminal 4 hotels

The great news is that Heathrow Terminal 4 is hotel central. The bad news is that Terminal 4 will be closed until at least 2023, based on recent discussions with one of the airlines which uses it.

There is no value in staying here whilst the terminal is closed. However, for future reference, your options are:

  • Premier Inn London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4website here, review here. This hotel can offer fantastic value for money.
  • Crowne Plaza London Heathrow T4website here, review here. A very impressive and relatively new four star hotel.
  • Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow T4website here, review here. This hotel shares the same building as the Crowne Plaza and you can cross-charge. All Holiday Inn Express guests get free breakfast too. If you don’t mind a slightly blander room, the smart money stays here, takes the free breakfast and enjoys the same bar and restaurant as Crowne Plaza guests.

All of these hotels are on the same covered walkway from the terminal, and there is very little in it when it comes to distance.

Heathrow Terminal 3 hotels

No hotel offers a quicker walk to your plane than the Aerotel in Terminal 3’s arrivals hall.

We reviewed Aerotel Heathrow here and the website is here.

It is a smart and modern hotel, but most of the bedrooms don’t have windows. You don’t really notice when you’re inside, however, and if you are arriving in darkness it doesn’t make any difference.

Which Heathrow hotels are walkable from the terminals?

Heathrow Terminal 2 / 3

Finally, the newest hotel on this list is the Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow Terminal 2/3, reviewed here. The website is here. An image is above.

This hotel is a bit more of a faff to reach, requiring a walk through the short stay car park if you are coming from Terminal 2. Terminal 3 is a little further away. The hotel is decent though, with a rooftop bar.

(Heathrow Terminal 1 has been closed for some years, hence the lack of hotel options there.)

Other options for a bus-free Heathrow hotel

If you are determined to avoid the buses but want other options, try these hotels.

The Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport at Hatton Cross, review here, is 3-4 minutes walk from Hatton Cross underground station. This is the station before the airport, and the trains will drop you at the terminals within minutes. Check the time of the first train if you are departing early. The website is here.

Be aware that the walk to the Hilton Garden Inn isn’t the easiest and not recommended with heavy suitcases. Depending on the route you walk, you will encounter a footbridge and a spot with no pavement.

The other hotel at Hatton Cross is the Atrium Hotel Heathrow, reviewed here. This a new but slightly bizarre hotel, seemingly aimed at the Indian wedding market. If you don’t know the area, it is easier to find than the Hilton Garden Inn – you can’t miss its bright blue facade as you exit the tube.

Note that Hatton Cross underground station does not have an escalator or lift, although there are not many steps.

Finally, consider the Hilton London Paddington hotel – website here. This may be the best of both worlds – you can sleep in the city centre, inside the railway station – but, timed right, you can leave your room and be at Heathrow Airport within 25 minutes via Heathrow Express.


Hotel offers update – May 2022:

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Comments (101)

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  • Nathan says:

    I just checked in to the Hilton garden inn terminal 2 I fly tomorrow night at 8pm so I called the hotel before booking to check I can leave my bags there for a few hours after checking out as I have to go into London tomorrow afternoon before returning to Heathrow to catch my flight.I have now been told when checking in today that it is not permitted to leave my bags at the hotel for a few hours after checking out due to security reasons.Not impressed as I now can’t go into London and must hang around Heathrow all day after specificly calling the hotel before booking to make sure this was possible.

    • manilabay says:

      Not ideal! Which airline are you flying? If they have earlier flights in the day, you may be able to check your luggage in early – I did this with SAS in October.

      • Nathan says:

        I’m flying to São Paulo with BA so will go to terminal 5 in the morning to ask if I can check my bags in early but then I still have two bags to take in the cabin so really need to get the hotel to store them or I can not go into London.If it is their policy not to store bags then ok but they should not be giving out incorrect information when people enquire before deciding if to book.

    • Rich_A says:

      If they told you you could store bags, they should honour it.

      There’s a luggage storage place in the terminal. Speak to the manager, and tell them you expect them to cover the bill for that. That might change their mind.

      BA early bag drop for status/ premium cabins I think.

      • Nathan says:

        Thanks I have gold with BA so can then at least check in my big bag but will push the hotel to honour my request as they did say yes originally when I called.

      • Nathan says:

        Fortunately someone at the hotel granted my request and apologised for the check in receptionist at the hotel giving me the wrong information when checking in.You can indeed leave bags with the hotel for storage as long as you are flying later that day apparently although no proof of that was requested.

        • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

          Yes they’re incredibly fussy on thus. I had to sign some sort of waiver myself before they’d store my bags for the day. But it always feels hit and miss whether they’ll say yes.

  • HPN-HRL says:

    If I want to stay near (but not at) Thistle for an overnight transfer, can I still use the pods (by paying for the pods at the Thistle)?

  • Londonsteve says:

    It’s slightly absurd how awkward it can be getting from the terminals to airport hotels at Heathrow. This sort of thing should be foolproof and, arguably, free if the hotel is marketed to guests as an airport hotel. I can imagine it does more harm to Heathrow’s commercial prospects as a transit airport by people actively avoiding Heathrow because of the cost and inconvenient of the Hotel Hoppa than if they simply ran the service free of charge and collected a contribution from all the hotels they serve. Instead, they see fit to rob passengers for a patchy service that takes too long. Arguably, particularly at some of the smarter properties, customer expectation would be a shuttle bus at their disposal within a short time of expressing a wish to be transferred to the terminal rather than something akin to a public bus that does a tour of the grimy local environs while calling at a ton of hotels en route. Heathrow airport clearly doesn’t care much about the commercial prospects of the airport hotel operators.

  • Tim says:

    I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn a couple of weeks ago and the walk to Hatton Cross was fine with a small suitcase, but I wouldn’t want to do it with heavy luggage or in really bad weather. They really want you to take the rip-off Hoppa bus which only comes every half hour (if you’re lucky – apparently it often turns up late or not at all!). Gatwick is so much easier!

  • Tracy Atkinson says:

    I am now needing to re think my planning. We are flying into t5 need to stay over night and fly out of t3. Family of 4 inc 2 grumpy teens
    Have booked Hilton garden, but it looks like I can’t use public transport to get there!
    Why is there no clear information about travel around the airport and to the airport hotels??
    This is proving the hardest part of my 3 week road trip to plan

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