I had business meetings in the West End, and flight schedules and financial issues dictated that I had to do a quick in-and-out; fly in one evening, do my meetings the next morning, and then double back to Heathrow and fly out that evening. They were very important meetings, and I needed a certain level of comfort to rest and prepare – I simply wasn’t going to spend that night in the usual grunge of cruddy London accommodation. I spent a few hours on the internet looking at reviews and was in a suitable state of despair when a friend (who doesn’t know London) suggested I just stay at the airport hotel. I scoffed at the idea at first, but the more I thought about it the more I realised it made sense, so I took the plunge.
I had a fantastic room, with all the comfort you would expect from an international standard hotel. And the Heathrow Express was utterly smooth – a lot of people don’t appreciate just how this has changed accessing the airport from London. Getting to Heathrow used to take half a day - now it is 15 minutes from Paddington. Thanks to all of this, my meetings went well. Obviously it would be ridiculous to stay at the Sofitel if you were a tourist, simply because getting to and from town is very expensive, but the Heathrow Express makes using this hotel in my kind of situation perfectly doable.
The Sofitel is obviously not cheap, but it is excellent quality. I paid a stiff 180 quid, not including a (very overpriced) breakfast – but you could easily pay nearly that much for something in central London and end up moaning about how bad the hotel is. At least with the Sofitel, I got my money’s worth. One tip to save money is to take a pass on the restaurant, and get your meals at the M&S food store at the entrance to the airport.