Where is it?
Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport is located east of Heathrow airport. The hotel is conveniently located less than five minutes walk from the underground station at Hatton Cross, which means the hotel is also easy to reach from central London. From the underground station you pass the bus station, cross the overpath and continue along the cargo buildings. You will find the hotel on the right hand side.
From Heathrow airport the Hoppa bus connects the four terminals to the hotel, but at 4.50 GBP/8 GBP return it is by no means free. Taking the underground one stop (two stops from terminal 4 and 5) will be far cheaper.
The arrival experience
The hotel used to be run by Jury’s Inn but was acquired by Hilton and rebranded into a Garden Inn. After a few months of renovations the hotel reopened in December 2014.
I had stayed in the hotel before and was very positively surprised by the facelift when I arrived around 9 pm in the evening. The lobby looks completely different and feels much more modern and inviting than it did before the renovation. I was quickly checked in by a friendly woman.
The hotel has 364 rooms in total and the room hierarchy is a rather simple one with “Queen rooms” (with a queen size bed) and “King rooms” (with a king size bed), both available with a sofa at a surcharge. There are also accessible rooms with a connecting door to the adjacent room as well as twin rooms with two double beds.
I had booked a Queen room and was assigned one with a sofa. If that should be regarded as an upgrade I am not sure.
The room had been completely refurbished with new fittings in olive green, a queen size bed, a sofa, work desk, TV and closet. Although not luxurious by any means the room was pleasant and had all the amenities needed.
The wall above the bed featured canvases from the aviation world. Very suitable for a hotel just a stone’s throw from the airport fence. The bed comes from Serta featuring their Suite Dreams bed.
The work desk was very spacious and also had a TV installed. Free Wi-Fi was offered in the room as well as in the public areas.
The bathroom was rather basic but featured a bathtub, a wash basin and mirror as well as the standard Hilton toiletries.
The hotel is located next to the final approach to runway 27L which is used with westerly winds (as is the case most of the case) when the aircrafts make the approach from the east over central London. Especially the rooms facing south provide a superb view for spotters and aviation entusiasts when the southern runway 27L is used for landings. During the morning you will then see widebody aircrafts from all parts of the world arriving. However the rooms are fully soundproof and the aircraft noise is not disturbing.
Food and drinks
A bar is available in the lobby offering alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, cocktails and spirits. There is also a bar menu with a limited selection of hot food, snacks and dessserts.
The restaurant is called Garden Grille and offers breakfast and dinner with lunch served in the Garden Lounge with an all-day bar menu.
There is also a coffee shop in the lobby run by Costa offering coffee, tea, soft drinks, snacks and pastries.
A small fitness centre is available on the ground floor with running machines and weights. A business centre is available nextdoors with desktop internet computers. Free Wi-Fi is offered throughout the hotel.
A small shop is also available in the lobby offering hot and cold drinks, coffee, chocolates and snacks as well as last minute travel goods such as toothpaste, shampoo and shaving kits.
The service was friendly and pleasant, pretty much as expected. However as the Garden Inn brand typically has a lower standard than standard Hilton hotels there is for example no bell boy to assist with luggage upon arrival. As a Hilton HHonors gold card holder there was no special recognition other than the fact that I got a room with a sofa.
Breakfast is available at 12 GBP served in the Garden Grille restaurant. A combination of continental and English breakfast with yoghurts, fresh fruits, bread and preserves, egg and bacon, sausages and some pastries. Nothing out of the ordinary but there was nothing missing. The food was fresh.
The main benefit of the hotel is the location with a very short walk to the underground station at Hatton Cross. This means one does not have to rely on the pricey and sometimes rather infrequent Hoppa bus as there are trains to both the airport and downtown London as least every five minutes during most of the day. Those with a few hours to spare in the afternoon or evening can also easily make a visit to the city centre. The journey to Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square takes around 45 minutes with no change of train needed.
The hotel is not luxurious by any means but the standard is reasonable and as for facilities there is nothing missing. The rooms are comfortable and the standard is good given that they were fully refurbished in 2014.