We first stayed at the Sofitel a few years ago and enjoyed the visit. This year, we again booked the Sofitel on our last night in London, since we had a 7:30 a.m. flight to the states the next day. This time, the experience was only average. The hotel could do with an update--our room's carpeting was dingy and stained. The room was dark, with inadequate lighting.
Our check-in experience was somewhat unpleasant. We arrived before the stated check-in time, and asked if we could have our reserved (and fully paid-for) room anyway. (The last time we had stayed, they had given us our room early without any fuss.) This time, the person at reception told us that he could let us have our room early if we were willing to pay an additional 20 British pounds. We declined, and asked if we could just stow our luggage until we checked in later. He told us that a room was available, and that we could have it if we just paid the extra money. We declined, and again asked about just stowing our luggage until later. He seemed reluctant to let us do that. I've never stayed in a hotel where they would not permit a guest to leave his or her bags until the room was ready. Finally, he told us we could just have our room, but that we should know that if we ever stayed there in the future, we would need to pay the additional 20 pounds. We stayed in four separate hotels on this trip, and it was the only one that insisted on enforcing the check-in time. Since the room was obviously available, I just don't see the point of alienating a guest for the sake of an arbitrary rule.
The room was nothing special, and did not even include a hair dryer or alarm clock--a very serious exclusion for a hotel catering to guests who might be leaving on an early flight.
We also had some issues with information provided by the concierges. We asked about transportation from the hotel to Terminal 1 (the hotel is at Terminal 5). The first concierge we spoke with only had a train schedule showing Sunday trains (we were leaving on a Saturday). He told us that he thought we could get a train as early as 5:07 a.m. on Saturdays. He didn't seem terribly confident, so we asked another concierge later. She said the trains didn't run at all that early, and that a cab was the only answer. (As it turns out, the 5:07 a.m. information provided by the first guy was accurate.)
This hotel caters to an international crowd of travelers who, conceivably, have other choices in hotels. They should step up their game: update their rooms (and include alarm clocks for those of us who need both a wake-up call and a clock); be more accommodating at check-in (regardless of the hour!); and be very well informed about how guests can get to other parts of Heathrow.
- 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