We used this hotel as a way station between landing and renting a car the next day. We picked it for its close proximity to the airport which limited any complicated travel into the city of London. Our game plan was to use the hotel to acclimate ourselves to the time zone while catching up on lost/uncomfortable sleep due to traveling (I was traveling with my elderly mother and this seemed like a good idea). We took the Hotel Hoppa bus to the hotel from the airport. I knew about the bus from the Travelodge website (I booked the hotel on the Travelodge site after a bit of research...there were two of us needing separate beds so I booked a 'family' room. There were two prices for all the hotels I booked for our trip...refundable and non-refundable. I went for the non-refundable price as it was substantial cheaper but I was a bit nervous that I might regret that...luckily I didn't! The Travelodge is pretty basic. A step up hotel would be The Premier Inn which we stayed at later in our trip...see separate review). I asked an airport information clerk where to go for the bus after landing and was easily directed to the right doors.
On a side note I pulled money out of a machine using my debit card after we landed at Heathrow. The machine charged no additional fees and offered a better exchange rate then the currency counter in Atlanta, where we left.
The Hotel Hoppa had a ticket counter/office outside where we paid for our tickets with our credit cards (we had notified our credit card/bank of our travel plans well in advance of our trip so we wouldn't experience any problems. I only used my debit card twice to withdraw 'walking around' money...all the rest of my charges were made on credit cards (CC). On the credit card front my mom had a swipe chip in hers and mine was a standard card....both worked fine). I am not sure if I could have used a CC if I went on the bus to purchase a ticket...people who purchased directly on the bus seemed to use cash. The ticket cost £4 something one way. The Hotel. Hoppa people will tell you what bus you need for the hotel. We took the one meant for The Doubletree with the understanding our hotel was directly across the street.
I miscalculated the time it would get through customs and pick up out bags so we arrived at the hotel around 10 a.m. I probably could have rented a car that day and headed to our final destination in Ludlow, England but my mom said she appreciated the hotel stay. I knew we were early but was hoping they had a luggage check so my mom and I could walk around a bit. Sadly they DO NOT have a luggage check area. The do have a dining area and my mom was happy to sit with her book and a cup of coffee watching the luggage while I went for a walk in the neighborhood (I went geocaching and looked for a restaurant my mom could eat at...she is vegan).
The hotel front desk staff were very nice and spoke to housekeeping to see if we could get into our room early. They did have an early arrival fee but we were happy to pay it. The room they made up was room 101 which they apologized was a room close to the reception door, which opens and closes a lot. We were just happy to get a room to sleep that we didn't even notice. We got into the room about 11:30 a.m.
It was a pretty 'no frills' room but it was fine for what we needed. I slept on a cot while my mom slept on the double bed. I was fine on the cot. The room does not have soap, shampoo, hair drier, etc. we needed a hair drier and iron and were able to check them out at the front desk.
We woke up a couple of hours later and my mom was ready to walk about a bit. We found a restaurant that had a salad, which my mom ate and I had a panini with chips (which are French fries...if you see 'crisps' those are potato chips). The area is by no means a site seeing area but seeing as how that wasn't our goal it wasn't a problem. We headed back to the hotel where we watched TV and ironed our clothes for the next day.
My travel adaptor was ill-equipped to handle my 450° flat iron so I had to resign myself to pulled back hair the entire trip. My mom had some travel curlers that worked well with the adaptor but they drew a lot less power. That is probably something you need to check. We were fine charging electronic devices on the adaptor (on a side note travel adapters are cheaper at a T.J. Max, Marshall's, or Ross then Walmart).
You do get 30 minutes of free wifi at the hotel and then it is £1 for a 24 hour period...which I paid.
The lady behind the desk told us to keep and ask for VAT receipts during our stay as the VAT (Value Added Tax) is reimbursable at Heathrow when we leave. That got us excited until I researched it a bit and the VAT is only refundable on goods that leave the country as opposed to services like hotels, car rentals and the like.
There were several 'market like' stores in the area where we purchased bananas and oranges for the morning as opposed to getting the hotel breakfast buffet that was not included with the room. The room did have a kettle with coffee and tea so that covered us for caffeine in the morning.
I left in the morning to pick up the rental car by using the Hotel Hoppa bus to go back to the airport. There were lots of folks waiting for the bus who used the hotel as a way station the night before flying out. There were lots of planes flying close overhead and we all commented on how remarkable it was that we never heard them in the hotel. So that spoke well for its insulating properties!
All in all the hotel staff was friendly, the room 'no frills' but comfortable with a kettle and TV. Not sure if the rooms had AC or not but it was comfortable temperature wise (our Travelodge in Ludlow did not have AC which is why I mention it). There were basic places to eat and do light food shopping in the area and it was easy to travel to and from the airport from this location.
- Also Known As:
- Travelodge Heathrow Central Hotel Hounslow