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Accommodation : Hotels

Name: Sofitel London Heathrow

Related: Heathrow, London, Sofitel

Location: United Kingdom

The Sofitel London Heathrow connects directly to Terminal 5 via a walkway and is the only 5-star hotel at Heathrow Airport. It offers a number of bars including a Perrier Jouët bar and the Sphere lobby bar, and restaurants including La Belle Epoque which has been awarded 3 AA Rosettes and is London Heathrow’s only fine-dining restaurant.

We chose to stay at the Sofitel London Heathrow because of their new parking-inclusive package. Their ‘Park Stay & Fly’ includes 4 / 8 / 15 days parking and an overnight stay and is bookable via the Sofitel website or via the hotel reservations team.

Our arrival was simple. We followed the signs to the Sofitel and then to the mammoth sized parking area underneath the hotel itself. From the parking area we took a lift to the main reception where we checked-in.

The hotel itself has an impressive and busy entrance with orchids and fountains. The rooms above are split into 6 wings adjoined by open-air walkways that sit under massively high glass atriums. Hotel rooms either look outwards to the airport or inwards over a part of the hotel, for example, some rooms overlook the restaurants, others the marble foyers and reception areas. Our room (room 6108) looked out to the roadway coming into the airport. Since none of the rooms look onto the runway or planes, there is little to choose between the inward facing and outward facing rooms.

Room
The room was pretty standard for an airport hotel, all be it with plenty of space, upgraded finishings and amenities, and superbly quiet quadruple glazing (double glazing, then a gap, then double glazing again). The blackout curtains were excellent and the bed was large so it was easy to get a good night’s sleep. The black marble bathroom (see pictures below) had a walk in shower, bath with TV screen in the wall and offered ESPA toiletries.

For the night we were staying, the room price came in at around £170 including taxes for the standard classic room (26 m²/277 sq.ft) with a queen sized bed and £255 including taxes for our luxury room (32 m²/341 sq.ft.) with a king bed and Club Millésime lounge access. All rooms come with free Internet access.

Gym
There was also a spacious 24-hour fitness studio, with free access for hotel residents which I didn’t try.

La Belle Epoque
La Belle Epoque (pictured above) is the best restaurant in London Heathrow. The food is outstanding, the staff are both kind and seem to be incredibly proud of the amazing food they are serving. The price for the “Menu Degustation”, at £59 per person for 7 courses (plus £35 per person for an optional wine pairing) is outrageously good value. Highlights included the poached Scottish lobster with tempura frog’s legs (sad for the frog but superbly tasty for me!), the delicious confit of Norwegian sea trout and the Granny Smith apple mousse at the end which seemed to have absorbed the flavour from a thousand apples. If you are doing an overnight stay at London Heathrow a meal at La Belle Epoque meal is simply a must do. In fact, plan a trip to Heathrow specifically to eat here, I guarantee you will be impressed.

Club Millésime Airport & Hotel Lounge
Club Millésime airport & hotel lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 is a landside airport lounge. It is located in the Sofitel hotel and reached by a walkway from the main terminal.

What made our room interesting is that it included Club Millésime Lounge access. Guests at the Sofitel in a luxury room or suite automatically get access to Club Millésime. Guests in standard rooms can upgrade to use the lounge for £75 per person. This lounge was a Priority Pass lounge for a while but is no longer available with your Priority Pass.

The lounge isn’t big, with seating for around 40 people, but it provides a space to relax and includes internet access, food and drinks. The complimentary continental breakfast (06.30-10.30) was a decent spread with a buffet choice of scrambled egg and sausages, smoked salmon, breads and jams, cereals, fruit, berries, yoghurts and smoothies, as well as juices, coffees and teas from a machine. I can’t comment on the afternoon tea (15.00-16.30), as I did not experience it. In the evening (between 17.00-22.00) there was a good selection of beers (bottles of Peroni, Asaki and one other), wines and spirits. The food offering was not huge and served on very small plates, but there was just about enough to fill you up with noodle vegetable dishes, chicken skewers, fried fish, greek salad, cheese, biscuits and nuts.

It is worth mentioning that the Sofitel is the best luxury airport hotel for all terminals at Heathrow. For example, the most convenient hotel for terminal 4 is the the Hilton which is connected to terminal 4 but it is somewhat dated. If you chose to stay at the Sofitel instead, you could then take the free bus from bus stop 7 to terminal 3 which takes about 15 minutes. The Sofitel is also the best airport hotel for terminals 2 & 3. The only other option for terminal 3 are the Bath Road hotels, which are a pain to get to. Your best bet is again to stay at the Sofitel at terminal 5 and then take the Heathrow Express trains which are free for travel between Heathrow central station (terminals 2 & 3) and Terminal 5. There is a train every 15 minutes. Frequent London Underground trains also run between the terminals but the transfer is only free if you use a Transport for London Oyster card.

Finally, if you are waiting about between flights, you can book a room at this Sofitel for day use only. This currently costs £130 and gives you a room from 08.00 – 18.00.

Sofitel London Heathrow

Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.

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