|Heathrow Airport London is the busiest international airport in
the world. Around 35% of its passengers are transit passengers,
i.e. passengers that are just using London to make connections.
Just one reason why there are nearly 40 airport hotels at
Heathrow serving the local demand for overnight stopovers.
For many of these hotels the businessman with an expense account
is their bread and butter. This article seeks to address the
leisure traveller, providing a guide to getting value for money
locating a bed at Heathrow.
We'll start off by dividing the hotels into three categories.
There are the large 4 and 5 star chain hotels like Hilton,
Radisson and Sheraton aimed at the businessmen, typically
charging $US200 during the week, half that at weekends. Then
there are the 2 and 3 star hotels, again mostly chains, like
Comfort Inn, Ibis and Premier Travel Inn, aimed at the leisure
traveller and the businessmen on a budget. These will typically
charge just over $US100 during the week, about $US75 at
weekends. Lastly, there are the small independent local hotels,
mostly family owned who offer cheap 'bed and breakfast' style
rooms. These have the cheapest accommodation.
Room rates can seem good value, especially at weekends when the
businessmen are away and everyone deep discounts to fill beds.
However, beware, what the hotel doesn't get in room rates
they'll try and get out of you in other ways.
There are no hotels in the central passenger area where
Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are located, though there is a hotel linked
to Terminal 4 on the south side of the airport - the expensive
Hilton Hotel, not for most leisure travellers. This means a bus
transfer, and unlike most international airports there are no
complimentary hotel transfer buses. The airport authority
provides 'Hoppa Buses', mid-size buses that run every 10-20
minutes on fixed routes to Heathrow Hotels. At 3 GBP per person
per journey, thats an extra $US20 for a couple staying at a
Most hotels will charge anything from $US10-$US30 for breakfast,
and at most hotels there isn't viable competition outside the
front door. Dinner is similarly expensive and entertainment is
largely limited to an expensive bar.
So, tips for the leisure traveller trying to economise. Look for
a hotel on the Bath Road, this is the northern perimeter road of
Heathrow Airport and the main hotel strip. Public buses run more
frequently than the Hoppa Buses along the Bath Road into
Heathrow Terminals, and they're free. (The fees from the Hoppa
Buses are part used to subsidise the free local buses). The Bath
Road is the only location where you can escape your hotel. There
is a pub serving meals, 2 McDonalds, a bowling alley, a small
supermarket and an Italian Restaurant that can provide
breakfasts, snacks and meals on the Bath Road. There are also 24
hour public buses running to local towns Kingston and Hounslow
for entertainment. Taking the above together, the benchmark for
the leisure traveller is the Ibis and Premier Travel Inn hotels.
The other local option is to consider local Bed & Breakfast
hotels. These do not provide an airport transfer but many are on
the periphery of the airport on a bus or underground route.
Their room rates are similar to the budget hotels but this
includes a hearty breakfast and the transfer is still cheaper
than the Hoppa Bus.
One other option is to forget Heathrow altogether and overnight
in Central London. The Heathrow Express takes just 15 minutes to
London's Paddington Station and there is lots of cheap
accommodation around the station. You'll certainly have a more
entertaining evening in London than at an airport hotel, and at
a similar overall price.
To find out more detail about the topic of this article:
Hotels Near Paddington Station London
About the author:
Bob Handford is an expert about his city, London and is the
owner of the website London Hotels Toolkit
that aims to provide practical information for independent
visitors to London. You can contact Bob direct at the web site.
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