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“Excellent Service - Best location for Terminal 5” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sofitel London Heathrow

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Sofitel London Heathrow
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport, Hounslow TW6 2GD, England   |  
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Ranked #2 of 22 Hotels in Hounslow
Larbert, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Excellent Service - Best location for Terminal 5”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

I used points to pay for about 70% of the cost of a room that had club lounge access and used the tripadvisor voucher on this website for an upgrade.

Check in went smoothly and I was given an upgrade to a junior suite. The room was comfortable, especially the bed. There was even a TV in the bathroom.

We had room service and used the club lounge. Alcohol and food are served only at limited times though (in the lounge).

We managed a trip to Windsor via the Terminal 5 bus station before we flew the next day. The location is the best for terminal 5. Although other hotels have terminal 5 in their name they are not at the terminal. the Sofitel is.

Room Tip: 608 is excellent, there's a TV in the bath and a sitting area (sofa and armchair).
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SofitelT5, General Manager at Sofitel London Heathrow, responded to this review, July 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

I was pleased to read you found our room comfortable and enjoyed room service.

We are very proud to be able to offer a direct access via our covered walkway from Terminal 5 into our hotel, the walk in total should take a maximum of 7 minutes from the arrivals level with trolleys available to ease the journey. I am glad that you enjoyed the convenience.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Sofitel London Heathrow again very soon.

Anna Marie Dowling
Sofitel London Heathrow
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,498 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (563)
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Villa Hills, KY, USA
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Perfect place to stay between flights leaving from terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport.
Finely appointed room with very comfortable bed. Will always stay at this hotel when we connect through Heathrow. Staff extremely helpful & professional. Was our first time at a Sofitel and will most definitely book a Sofitel at other international travels in the future. A+

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Accorhotels.com

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SofitelT5, General Manager at Sofitel London Heathrow, responded to this review, July 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

I was pleased to read that you plan on returning to stay with us again. It is very important to us to ensure that we maintain to the Sofitel Luxury standards and always offer the highest level of service and I am glad to read that we achieved this while you were staying with us. The bed that you found very comfortable in your room is called “MyBed” and has been implemented into all our hotels worldwide, you can find more information on our website.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Sofitel London Heathrow again very soon.

Anna Marie Dowling – General Manager
Sofitel London Heathrow
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Washington DC
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Let me say there’s nothing “wrong” with this hotel but if you’re booking it for the supposed convenience, you might be as disappointed as we were. For convenience, luxury and service, the Sofitel turned out to be the farthest thing from what we expected and hoped for. (For us) it wasn’t convenient or easy to get to, we arrived starved only to find all the hotel restaurants closed in the middle of the afternoon, and we spent $158 to go to central London to find and eat possibly the worst sandwich I’ve ever had, instead of having a great sit down meal at the hotel followed by time at the hotel spa as we’d planned. It's also not up to the standard of the nice hotels that we've stayed at throughout Europe.
The staff was very nice (if not all that helpful in finding us a place to eat), I'm giving a poor service rating because of the problems described below, not because of individual staff members.
The inconveniences defeated the whole purpose for us choosing this airport hotel. It was not a four star experience and, in retrospect was extremely overpriced for what we received ($260+/night). If you want to know more, you can read on.
After a taxing international trip, the plan was for us to treat ourselves to an overnight respite at the end of the journey at a nice hotel/spa. We had less than 24 hours in London and decided to book one night at the Heathrow Sofitel believing it would be easy and quick to get to, that we wouldn’t have to make the trip into London (spending extra time and $), could enjoy a great sit down dinner at one of the great hotel restaurants, and then visit the spa, which is highly touted on the Web site. We’d have a good night’s sleep, get up the next morning and be on our way well-rested and happy.
When we arrived at Heathrow, starving and happy to be so close to our hotel and meal… it wasn’t so simple to find Sofitel (having not been there before). After walking around a bit, someone directed us to the Express train and explained (better than the Sofitel Web site did) how we needed to take the train from Terminal 1, where we arrived, to Terminal 5, and then find the hotel from there. (Meantime, getting around Heathrow with luggage requires finding and waiting for multiple elevators since baggage isn’t allowed on escalators. We’re doing a lot of walking.)
When we get to Terminal 5, somehow we get directed to go up an elevator that says “Sofitel” on floor “0” so we think we’re home free. (Thank goodness, because it’s already been a good hour+ since we got off the plane starving.) The elevator is automatic meaning we can’t control where it stops, but a recording says it “services all floors.” To our surprise, it passes right by floor “0” (Sofitel) and floor “1” and takes us to “floor 2 Departures.” All of us on the elevator are like, uh, what? So we get out on the wrong floor and wander around trying to figure out how to get to floor “0.” We ask some airport personnel where is Sofitel and one tells us that we have to go back to Terminal 3 (incorrect) but the other says it’s right “downstairs” and she points to some escalators (which we can’t take because baggage isn’t allowed).
We wander around, walking a lot and growing as weak as spaghetti noodles from hunger, and we find a different bank of elevators. This time our elevator does stop on floor “0” so, again, we think we’re home free! But we’re still not at the Sofitel. We follow signs a pretty long walk through the airport and go through some doors thinking “this must be the hotel.” But, instead, we need to drag our baggage onto an elevator again and then lug it what seems like a very long walk to finally arrive at the hotel. In all, I’m pretty sure it took longer, and that we walked farther, than if we’d just taken a taxi into London. But no matter, we’re about to have that nice sit down meal and time at the spa and avoid the London trip and cost.
Or so we think.
At check in, we’re now so hungry we decide to go straight to one of those great hotel restaurants before we go to our room. Hmmm which shall we choose? We ask the reception and are told, to our dismay, that the restaurants are “of course all closed because it’s Sunday.”
We’re so tired and weak and frustrated by now that we say, “there’s no place to eat?” and the receptionist says one of the hotel restaurants that serves international food will open for dinner at 6pm local time. That’s in two hours. We’re dying! We can’t figure out why a hotel that seems busy and has 600 rooms would close all of its restaurants on Sunday. Furthermore, they had no suggestions for how we could get anything to eat in the meantime.
So we go to the little hotel sundry shop and ask the young lady there if there are any restaurants at or around the airport. She says she doesn’t know of any but that maybe there’s an Italian restaurant in Terminal 5. So we make the long sojourn back from whence we came to the airport, Terminal 5.
There, and now feeling irritated and dragging around like puddles of pudding from hunger, we find no restaurants. We walk and walk and go up and down escalators. We ask someone who says the main food places are past security. Of course since we aren’t flying anywhere, we can’t get to the restaurants past security. We also can’t wait two more hours to eat.
Finally, we ask a man at the currency exchange if there’s a place to eat – we tell him that we’re starving and getting really anxious. He says the quickest thing to do is take the Express train to central London where there are plenty of restaurants. So we bite the bullet and do the very thing we intended to avoid by staying at the airport hotel: we buy two round trip tickets on the train to go to London to get something to eat. The 2 round trip tickets cost the equivalent of $134. But by now all we’re thinking is having a nice meal as quickly as possible.
We arrive at Paddington and see a couple of seedy looking restaurants that are full so we walk up the street. We pass KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway. We start thinking we should just eat at Subway but I’m so mad by now that I’m stubborn. I’m not going to pay $134 to come into London and eat at Subway. So we keep walking. A lot of restaurants are closed. We pass places that sell self-service baguettes, we pass really seedy, dirty-looking places, hookah bars, and finally we come to a Greek restaurant. We don’t really want to eat Greek food in London (plus, we just came back from Greece) but this is the first restaurant-ish option we see so we agree to go in.
When the host takes us to a torn up booth outside, we pass behind a counter where we see it’s absolutely filthy. We sit down and look at each other and are both thinking we can’t eat here. It’s really nasty. We get up and leave. We keep walking. More hookah places, self-serve baguettes, then we see Patisserie Valerie, which looks kind of normal and not dirty.
The menu is limited but we agree we just need to eat. There don’t seem to be any other good choices. We order a salad and a tuna club sandwich. At one point we’re the only ones there but it takes forever to get this food. By now, we’ve gone past all the stages of dire hunger: rejection, denial, acceptance… when the food comes it looks okay but I take a bite of my sandwich and the tuna tastes – “strong” – I guess you could say rotten. But I am seriously so hungry that I keep eating it. I know that’s disgusting but…
Anyway the salad looks okay but it primarily consists of four giant tomato slices and we come to discover the tomatoes are so hard, you can’t even stick a fork into them. I’m not kidding. We’re poking these tomatoes and trying to figure out what the h___? So we take a bite of the avocado on top, which looks okay, but it’s so far from being ripe that it’s hard and has no flavor. I’ve never tasted an avocado like that before. It’s inedible.
Since the salad belongs to my travel companion and she can’t eat it, I offer her a bit of my tuna club sandwich. She takes one bite and puts it back on my plate, making a face. I know what she’s thinking, but I don’t want her to say it, I just want to finish eating it.
We leave the restaurant and walk back to the train. Neither of us feels good. She says to me, “you know that tuna was bad.” I said “yeah, but I ate it anyway.” The sandwich cost the equivalent of $24.
We get back to Terminal 5, and since we are still hungry but kind of grossed out, we buy a pre-packaged to-go salad from a store at the Terminal then walk walk walk to get back to the hotel, get back on the elevators that won’t stop at Sofitel floor “0,” have to go all the way to floor “2” again, walk around to another elevator bank, get back to “0,” walk walk walk through the airport to the doors through the long corridor back to the Sofitel.
You can read my other reviews: I’m not a harsh reviewer. But we are so irritated by now – having no food options at the hotel on a Sunday afternoon, having to go into London when we wanted to avoid it, paying $168 for the train and rotten sandwich, and wasting the afternoon so there’s no time for the spa (if it’s even open on Sundays) that we agree to speak to the manager to give him feedback.
The manager, like all the people at Sofitel, was polite enough. He said he was sorry for our problems. He didn’t know the airport elevators didn’t stop at “0.” He didn’t think the hotel was hard to get to because “99 percent of the people have been here before and know where we are.”
As to why a big hotel at an international airport with no restaurants would close their own restaurants on a Sunday, he said “business is slow on Sundays.” Then he said that most British people just want tea on Sunday afternoons. I said “but this is an international hotel at an international airport, you aren’t just catering to British people, you have people arriving from all different countries and all time zones. Why would you just open one restaurant at 6pm local time on Sunday?”
We told him we never would have booked the airport Sofitel if anyone had told us there were few to none food options on Sundays at the hotel -- or even at the airport or nearby.
At this point, he said there IS some place in the hotel where we could have gotten tea all along. He says that place would have also made us some sandwiches. We told him that nobody told us anything about that when we inquired about food! Reception certainly didn’t mention that option when we asked. He apologized. We said that we’d had to waste the afternoon and spend all that money going into London, the very thing we meant to avoid by booking at the Sofitel. He said he was sorry and offered to buy us a drink, but we just wanted to go to our room.
We haven’t turned on a TV once on this trip to far and at this point we say “let’s just treat ourselves to a movie in the room and call it a night.” We go up another elevator and walk walk walk down a long corridor to our room.
This is nobody’s fault but we couldn’t get the TV to come on. We’ve been all around the world but this particular TV doesn’t turn on with the power button on the TV or the remote. So we’re trying to watch a movie but we can’t turn the TV on. We call and a technician comes up. He explains that the TV only turns on if you press a digit 1-9 on the remote control. I guess this is a British thing, but I’ve been here many times and never had this issue.
Anyhow, the technician leaves and we try to call up the movie choices but all we get is a message to call reception to get the movies turned on. So we call reception and they say “oh, we need a credit card for you to watch a movie.” (We had prepaid the room so didn’t leave a credit card when we checked in). At this point, we don’t want to walk back to reception. We both decide it’s not meant to be. The nice meal, avoiding the trip to London, the convenient hotel, the spa, the movie.. it’s all just not gonna happen.
The room’s nice, the bathroom’s great, the bedding is nice, it’s all clean. I never would have paid $418 for this inconvenient experience. Maybe none of this will happen to you. You won’t need to eat on a Sunday, you’ll know where the Sofitel is, the elevator will stop for you on floor 0. But this is what happened to me.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SofitelT5, General Manager at Sofitel London Heathrow, responded to this review, July 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

I was pleased to read that after you completely frustrating day at least you enjoyed our bathrooms and comfort of your room.

I am so sorry that it seems nothing went right for you during your stay with us recently. I apologise for an inconvenience and disappointment that it caused you and your travel companion.

Access to our hotel from Terminal 5 is by covered walkway and should take no longer then 7 minutes from the Terminal building into our reception area. Travel from Terminal 4 is on the Hotel Hoppa bus service which is a direct service and should take no longer then 10 minutes. Travel from Terminal 1-3 is via the Heathrow Express and the walk from the tube station to our hotel should take no longer then 10 minutes.

We are currently in discussions with BAA to ensure that we have increased level of signage for the ease of our guests to be able to find our hotel easier and faster and especially if it is a first time stay.

The life from the arrivals hall in Terminal 5 should bring you up to the covered walkway directly and I apologise that it did not seem to be working when you needed to use it.
We always want to offer all our guests a warm, personalised and informative service from our reception staff and indeed throughout the hotel. So I was disappointed to hear that you did not experience this during your stay with us. It is very important to us that we are consistent with Sofitel brand standards with particular focus on first impressions of the hotel and I will ensure that the front desk receives some training in this area. I apologise that reception did not let you know that you would have been able to have tea and sandwiches in our Tea Salon and this might have filled the gap before our restaurant opened at 6pm. Reception should have also offered you the option of our room service which also has a big selection of meals.

If you do return please can I ask you to email our Guest Relations Manager, Dallas Craik so that we can ensure we are well prepared for your arrival and ensure that your next stay goes smoothly.

I really hope to have the opportunity welcome you back to Sofitel London Heathrow again very soon enabling us to restore your faith in the hotel and our service and also to use our spa which you didn’t have time to do on your most recent stay.

Anna Marie Dowling – General Manager
Sofitel London Heathrow
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Glasgow
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

This must be the first time I have stayed in a hotel that is sponsored by a car company! The foyer looks more like a BMW showroom than a hotel.

This was a business trip and I was sharing a room but it was nice, clean and a good size. Breakfast was fine in the morning despite some strange scrambled eggs in cheese sauce (apparently American style?).

Anyway, no complaints really and an excellent selection of drinks in the hotel bar. The biggest win is being able to take the short walk to T5 - so handy!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SofitelT5, General Manager at Sofitel London Heathrow, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

I was pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay especially the convenience of our location to Terminal 5.

We are very proud to be able to offer a direct access via our covered walkway from Terminal 5 into our hotel, the walk in total should take a maximum of 7 minutes from the arrivals level with trolleys available to ease the journey.

Many guests often compliment the hotel for our breakfast, we always cater for the traditional breakfast menus however we do have many speciality breakfasts for your to try out for example the “American style eggs” you sampled, we also have an Indian style breakfast or Asian style breakfast and many more as well.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Sofitel London Heathrow again very soon.

Anna Marie Dowling – General Manager
Sofitel London Heathrow
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

The rooms here are very good, they are clean and comfortable and staff are so helpful. This is a perfect spot for an early flight and easy to get to all the terminals but especially terminal 5. Not the cheapest but well worth it.

Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SofitelT5, General Manager at Sofitel London Heathrow, responded to this review, July 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your wonderful review and recommendation to other Trip Advisor users.
I was pleased to read that you enjoyed our clean and comfortable rooms and our staff were helpful.

Our location is really the best for Terminal 5 (under 7 minutes from our reception desk) however we have easy access via Heathrow Express to Terminals 1-3 (under 30 minutes from our reception desk) and Hotel Hoppa bus direct service from our hotel to Terminal 4 (10 minutes).

I would like to take this opportunity to point you in the direction of our website where you will find many special offers especially if you book in advance.

We hope to welcome you back to Sofitel London Heathrow again very soon.

Anna Marie Dowling – General Manager
Sofitel London Heathrow
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofitel London Heathrow

Address: Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport, Hounslow TW6 2GD, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Middlesex > Hounslow
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Hounslow
#1 Business Hotel in Hounslow
#1 Romantic Hotel in Hounslow
#1 Luxury Hotel in Hounslow
#2 Family Hotel in Hounslow
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sofitel London Heathrow 4*
Number of rooms: 605
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Only Heathrow Airport hotel with direct access to Terminal 5 via a covered walkway and Terminals 1, 2, 3 / Terminal 4 via courtesy Heathrow Express/ Connect rail connection and only 21 minutes from Central London by train. Sofitel London Heathrow boasts 605 non-smoking bedrooms including 27 suites. All rooms include the famous Sofitel MyBed, plasma screen TV and double glazed windows (rooms facing outside have triple glazing). All bathroom include separate walk in shower and bath. For your meetings and events, the hotel's conference centre boasts 45 meeting rooms including three executive boardrooms, a tiered theatre and a main room for up to 1,300 delegates. The hotel Food and Beverage outlets include: La Belle Epoque - gourmet French cuisine with contemporary world influences; Vivre - with its open theatre kitchens, Sphere Bar, the Library Bar and the Tea 5 salon. Leisure facilities include the hotel's Zen Garden, a 24-hour Gym as well as a hydro suite with Vitality pool, sauna and steam room (chargeable). A hair salon is located on the ground floor. For travellers arriving by car, the hotel offers on-site underground car park as well as Park & Fly packages for up to 15 days. we do also offer transportation to and from the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel London Heathrow Hotel Hounslow
Sofitel Hotel London Heathrow
Sofitel Hotel Hounslow
London Sofitel

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