I needed a day room at London Heathrow’s airport to nap and freshen up between some flights. The Hilton connected to Terminal 4 via covered walkway looked convenient, as it is just this hotel and the Sofitel that don’t require a bus/taxi to get to. With an indoor pool, fitness center, club lounge, three restaurants and a bar, it offered more than I needed. So I booked a room and emailed my flight arrival details to the hotel so they’d have a room ready when I arrived.
After arriving at Heathrow Terminal 5, I took the elevator down to Heathrow Express which offers free transfers between Terminals. Terminal 5 is the only Terminal at Heathrow that requires switching trains to get to Terminal 4, where the Hilton is located. Signage is easy to follow once in the terminal. The transfer took a total of 25 minutes, although I was lucky enough to get right on the train before it left.
The lobby is large and bright, with the Executive Lounge located directly inside.
Here’s a view of the check-in desk and lobby from above.
I handed over my documents sleepily, but the check-in agent frowned at her computer. She only had a room ready that had 2 twin beds, even though I had booked a Queen. She said I could wait, but didn’t have an estimated time for when the room would be ready. Visions of slumber immediately disappeared from my head, as I considered the possibility of sitting in the lounge for an hour or two. Nope, that wasn’t going to work.
Since the hotel had received my flight information and knew when I would be arriving, I was surprised that the room wasn’t ready. I asked politely if perhaps she had a club room or suite available now, and she went in the back room to consult with a colleague. After a few minutes, she came out smiling and said they could offer the Presidential Suite. I said that it certainly wasn’t necessary but that I appreciated it.
I was handed the key to room 570, and headed upstairs to the 5th floor. Once I got to the room, I was surprised to see rooms on either side since I figured the Presidential Suite would be separated a bit, but put the key in the door and went in. Nice room, with the bedroom separated from the living room by french doors.
The desk area was convenient for charging electronics.
Not a very exciting view, but there was no noise transfer.
The room appeared to be a Jr Suite instead of the Presidential Suite. I couldn’t confirm, because there was no floor layout on the back of the door. Not that it mattered though, since there was one big bed as I had booked.
In the corner there was an interesting chair, which looked to be a tiny sofa by the way the pillows were arranged.
The bedside lights were easy to switch on and off.
The bathroom was located through a separate door in the opposite corner from the head of the bed.
There was plenty of room, and everything was clean.
To enter the separate full sized shower it required a big step up. A big improvement in my opinion though from the European style step up tub/shower combo.
The whirlpool tub looked clean, even though I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to try it out this visit. There were also lots of towels, which I appreciated. Often at hotels I’ll find 3 full sized towels, which is 1 towel too short in my book when two people stay in the room. This one had three by the tub, three on the rack for the shower, and two in the shower. And they were huge once unfolded. I’ve never seen such large towels at a Hilton.
The shower, tub, and sink all had separate arrays of toiletries, which were by Peter Thomas Roth.
Since the room was a suite, there was also a separate door leading from the bedroom directly to the public hallway.
A safe, ample closet space and shelves completed the room.
After settling in, I prepared for a good rest and turned all the lights off. Then noticed that the french doors leading to the bedroom didn’t close all the way. Since it was daytime a stream of light shone in straight on the bed. I got up and tried to adjust the doors but it was no use. They were misaligned at the top. Oh well. Getting back into bed I noticed the frame was creaky. I drifted off to sleep.
Sometime later, I woke to the sound of a door slamming. A minute later, it slammed again. And again. The sounds came from the same direction. Then there was loud talking, right outside the room. Opening the door, I caught an employee in mid-shout, and asked her if there was an access door close by that staff members were frequently going in and out of. There was. I hadn’t noticed earlier, but the floor’s housekeeping entryway for carts was right there. She said they’d be quieter, and for the next hour or so it was like a graveyard. Ahh, sleep time. But then I heard, “EEEEEeeeeeeee!” A loud alarm was sounding, maybe through those doors. After a minute it was silenced, but the slamming door started again, with more talking. It wasn’t a restful sleep.
When checking out of the hotel, I suggested that perhaps they shouldn’t use that room as a day room. Usually housekeeping is done around 3pm so it would be fine for nighttime, but not for those trying to sleep during the day. The hostess genuinely sounded concerned and apologized for the issues.
In the future, I would consider staying at this hotel. The room and bathroom were nice, and it was just luck of the draw that since my original room wasn’t ready I got a noisy location. I don’t think the experience will color my view of the hotel overall. But I would also stay at the Sofitel to compare.