I found myself needing a London hotel room anywhere in the capital.
With no need to stay centrally and Saturday night hotels costing a small fortune, I opted to stay in the west at Heathrow Airport.
The reason? A sub-£30 room at Premier Inn London Heathrow Terminal 4.
Premier Inn London Heathrow Terminal 4
This newly built hotel uses vacant space adjacent to Hilton London Heathrow Airport Hotel. It connects to Terminal 4 via a long covered walkway. Be warned as this walkway is indeed long. It took me 10 minutes to walk from the terminal to the hotel. The Hilton hotel was substantially more expensive on the night of my stay, but a sign at the walkway entrance implied that the hotel offers a buggy service to its clients. I had no such luxury at the Premier Inn.
As you get closer to the hotels, the walkway splits, with Premier Inn London Heathrow Terminal 4 clients heading one way and Hilton London Heathrow Airport Hotel residents going the other way. Work has begun on a new Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow T4 hotel, and this will add a third branch to the long white corridor. Staying here will shorten the walk to and from the terminal.
Entering the Premier Inn hotel, a member of staff at a desk greeted me and directed me downstairs one floor to check-in. The sky bridge opens onto the first floor, the usual bank of check-in kiosks and the Thyme restaurant is on the ground floor, and a covered car park sits underneath.
Room 417 is a good size, especially for solo occupancy. A tall double bed dominates the room and is finished with purple LED lighting along the padded headboard. A chaise lounge flanks the window, which overlooks a tiny courtyard and many other rooms.
A desk at the foot of the bed holds the tea and coffee making facilities, while wall-mounting the television helps to free up table space. A recess to the side looks like it was born to store large suitcases overnight.
The bathroom is plain and straightforward, with a shower head mounted over a deep-walled bath. Wall mounted toiletries are available, although each squirt of soap or shampoo is minuscule.
The room has a quiet air conditioning unit, and the bed was far more comfortable than that at Premier Inn Southampton West Quay. I had a quiet night’s sleep here and felt the price paid was excellent value for money, even with that hike from Terminal 4.
I left early to catch a National Express coach from Terminal 4 to Southampton, so did not have time for breakfast. It was available at a slightly more expensive price than the Southampton branch for what looks like the same set-up.
- The price of under £30 for a night was a bargain. I booked several months before travelling and got a great room rate. I suspect this might be a launch rate for the hotel and that £59 a night may soon become the starting price.
- The location close to Terminal 4 makes it a good choice before or after a fly-cruise. The Underground runs to all terminals (centrally for Terminals 1, 2, and 3) and the Piccadilly line runs right into the heart of London, through Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, and King’s Cross St. Pancras.
- The hotel has an on-site Thyme restaurant, which is handy for a lazy dinner or leisurely breakfast. Should you not fancy dining here, use an Oyster Card to travel for free around the airport Underground stations. Terminal 4’s eateries include Caffè Nero, Oriel French Restaurant and Bar, and Costa Coffee. Terminal 3 has a Pret A Manger outlet, Leon, and The Three Bells pub. Terminal 2 is home to Wetherspoon’s pub, The Flying Chariot. Alternatively, use your Oyster Card on the Underground’s Piccadilly line. Travel a few stops up to Hounslow for a range of restaurants and takeaways, although Hammersmith arguably has higher concentrations of restaurants near its Tube Station.
- Rooms are well-insulated from noise. I could not hear any aircraft from room 417, despite the hotel sitting only half a mile from the continuous stream of planes landing every few minutes on runway 27L.
- Rooms are comfortable and are a good size for solo travellers, couples, and families.
- The hotel reportedly has free WiFi although I did not use this.
- The hotel has paid-for on-site parking, but you will need to pre-book a space before arriving. If you plan to visit with a car, you should brace yourself for expensive parking charges. On-site parking, which must be pre-booked, costs £25 per day. The car park sits on the ground floor beneath the hotel and has a limited amount of spaces available. Slightly cheaper parking is available across the road at Maple Manor Hotel at £20 per day, but this also needs to be pre-booked. If you fancy forking out potentially more than your room rate, you can park at the Hilton hotel next door for an eye-watering £46 per day, payable at the machines in the car park. If you have the luxury of time on your side, you may want to consider official Heathrow Airport parking instead. For typically between £26 and £36 for an overnight stay when you pre-book, Long Stay Terminal 4 can provide an economical alternative, more so on longer stays. Catch the free transfer bus to Terminal 4, head to the Zone G in the Departures terminal and then walk along the white bridge to the hotel.
The not so good
- A view from room 417 into a small courtyard overlooking many other rooms means you will need to close the curtains for privacy.
- Prepare yourself for a 10-minute undercover walk to get to Terminal 4 from the hotel. Dragging suitcases in a panic as you make your way to the airport check-in desk is not the relaxing start your holiday needs.
Premier Inn London Heathrow Terminal 4
My one-night stay cost less than £30 when I pre-booked a month before my stay. Breakfast was an optional £10.50 a head for a buffet breakfast. Hotel details can be found here.
Which Heathrow hotels have you stayed in, and which would you recommend before or after a flight? Leave your top suggestions in the comments section below.
Disclosure: I paid in full for overnight room-only accommodation at Premier Inn London Heathrow Terminal 4. All opinions are my own.