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

I finally got around to reviewing the Sofitel at Heathrow Terminal 5 this year – see here. It was impressive, although the furnishings are looking a bit dated, and I stayed there again a few weeks later when I found myself on an unexpectedly early Terminal 5 flight.

Which Heathrow hotels are walkable from the terminals?

Heathrow Terminal 4 hotels

The great news is that Heathrow Terminal 4 is hotel central with options for all budgets.

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.

The YOTEL hotel which used to be in Terminal 4 is closed.

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.

Note that, if you have Hilton Honors Diamond status, you do not AUTOMATICALLY get free breakfast at a Hilton Garden Inn. HGI is the ONLY Hilton brand where a Diamond has to opt in to get a free breakfast. You must change your ‘MyWay’ benefits option 24 hours before checking in.  The default MyWay option is to refuse the free breakfast and award you 750 bonus points – which I’d value at £3 – instead. Hilton Garden Inn hotels do not offer upgrades to elite members of Hilton Honors.

(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. This trip is now free. 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 (EDIT: comments say this is closed for long term repairs) 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. This hotel is currently unbookable – I don’t know if it went bust or has been taken over by the Home Office.

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

Readers have previously recommended the Staycity hotel which is directly opposite Hayes & Harlington station. Hayes & Harlington is an Elizabeth Line stop between Paddington and the airport. This is not currently bookable and appears to have been taken over by the Home Office.

A slightly off-beat option is the Thistle Heathrow Terminal 5 hotel which we reviewed here (website here). This is a very dated but cheap hotel. The reasons we mention it is that the POD driverless monorail from the airport car park to Terminal 5 operates from behind the hotel and you can ride it for £7 per person each way.

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 or within 35 minutes via the Elizabeth Line.


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Comments (108)

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  • IslandDweller says:

    Small pedantic point about buses. There is a free bus between T4 and T5. The H30 (runs every 20 minutes or so). Was formerly only an early hours service but now runs from 0315 to about 2300, amended service pattern just commenced

  • AndrewT says:

    We stayed a few times at the Premier Inn at T4 and with a bus its pretty quick to T5.. rooms are fine and very often managed to get it dor £39 a night. Can get a coffee downstairs to go, which works for us.

    Also stayed at the Holiday Inn at T4, its exactly as described and ticks many boxes.

    The other half works for BA, so we often travel from Hatton Cross (staff car park) and then just stay a night in T4 and take the bus next day to T5.

    • Philip says:

      I came here to say the same. If you’re leaving from T5 then the Premier Inn T4 isn’t a bad option. There are local buses every few mins and it’s only £1.75.

      • Grimz says:

        I am staying here for a terminal 5 flight. Can I not take the Heathrow express for nothing?

        • EXPAT says:

          If you take Elizabeth line it’s free or Tube though you will ha e t change trains at Hatton Cross just cross the platform

  • EXPAT says:

    Recently I took a bus from T5 route 81 to Premier Inn about 2 stops cost £1.75 and drops you right outside . Next day took bus 81 from across the road to Heathrow Terminal 5 bus station and Then I Think a 490 or 482 to Heathrow Terminal 4 bus station cost me £1.75 for the two buses I think you can take 3 bus in 90 minutes check tfl website for details There is also free tube and Elizabeth line connections between terminals. PLEASE ENSURE WHEN USING OYSTER CARD YOU TAP IN AND OUT EVEN IF GATES ARE OPEN AS YOU’LL GET A £5 CHARGE FOR INCOMPLETE JOURNEY THEN HAVE TO GO TO AN UNDERGROUND BOOKING OFFICE TO GET RESOLVED. Also be aware it costs around £6 to go from Hayes and Harlington to Heathrow on Elizabeth Line, apologies for any incorrect info

    • conspicuous-capybara says:

      Just to clarify: You can take unlimited TFL bus journeys within an hour of tapping in on your first bus and you’ll only be charged £1.75. Quite handy.

    • Grimz says:

      What premier inn do you mean?

  • EXPAT says:

    Bus from Heathrow T5 to Premier Inn T5 costs £1.75 Route buses have low floors for easy access

  • EXPAT says:

    I had 1 really heavy suitecase 26.5 Kg and I managed to get from Premier Inn Terminal 5 to Terminal 4 via Terminal 5 bus terminal just check which bus stand

  • EXPAT says:

    Also Premier T5 has a machine to weigh you cases by lifts on The Ground floor costs you all of £1 i think per case

  • TP says:

    The bit about black cab drivers not being obligated to take you to a local hotel is incorrect. Rules apply throughout London (not just central London).

    According to https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/taxis-and-minicabs/taxi-fares?intcmp=4223 “Unless they have a good reason not to, drivers must accept any hiring up to 12 miles (20 miles if starting at Heathrow Airport) or up to one hour duration, if the destination is in Greater London.”

    It being a short trip is not a good reason and the majority of Heathrow hotels are in Greater London (a notable exception being the Hilton T5). If a taxi driver unreasonably refuses a trip you can threaten to report them to TfL.

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