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“Poor Service and misleading parking deal” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Sofitel London Heathrow

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Sofitel London Heathrow
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport, Hounslow TW6 2GD, England   |  
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Ranked #1 of 21 hotels in Hounslow
Axbridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Poor Service and misleading parking deal”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2008

We booked this hotel for one night before taking a flight. We chose it specifically because the website offered parking + room deals and because the website advertised secure underground parking on site. When we arrived at the hotel, we parked in the underground car park only to find that we couldn't access the lifts to the hotel. We struggled up 3 flights of stairs with our cases, and arrived in the lobby to be greeted by a member of staff who said "why didn't you use the lift?". When we explained he just shrugged and there was no offer to help with our cases.

Check in was shambolic. They had an address in Bahrain on our account, despite me having booked directly with their website, and when I said I had no connection whatsoever with Bahrain they seemed shocked. I now see another reviewer who experienced the same problem. The clerk's remedy was to manually amend the check in slip (not to use the computer system). No mention was made of the parking when we checked in, but as I'd specifically booked the 4 day park and fly deal I assumed all would be well.

We ate in the Vivre restaurant, which we found rather souless. We waited ages for our bottle of wine, which eventually arrived when we'd had already got our main courses. Quality of food was OK, but 6 chips to accompany a burger seems rather meagre. They were stacked nicely though!

The room was lovely, only gripe being that the window looked out onto an internal atrium, so no natural light. We'd requested a room away from the lifts so we'd get minimum noise disturbance. They gave us a room far away from the guest lifts, but right next to the service lift, which clanked away all night! Nice touch - and not very thoughtful.

In the morning we received not one but three alarm calls, none of them at the right time.

When we went to check out, I asked about getting the car park ticket validated on our return, to be told that I should have notified the check in clerk that we were on a park and fly deal, and should have handed my car keys over. Surely the clerk could see the terms of our booking when she checked us in, and surely the customer is always right? Not at this hotel. I explained that we had not been asked for our keys, and that I had only booked the hotel because of their much heralded secure underground parking. I did not want my car to be moved off site and that was why I had chosen the hotel. I asked to speak to a manager, but no one was available. It's worth saying too that the car park was practically empty and we pointed this out to the clerk, who was unimpressed. So we had no choice but to hand over our keys. I emailed the hotel while we were away and asked for their assurance that our car would be delivered back to the hotel in time for our return. I also raised the points about their web site and the fact that the park and fly deals don't mention that your car will be moved offsite. I am still waiting for a reply to my email.

On our return, the car was at the hotel and a reception manager took our bags out to the car. Still no apology for the confusion though.

I have no intention of staying at this hotel ever again.

  • Liked — Very nice room and bathroom
  • Disliked — Chaotic service and misleading parking deal
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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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
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Suffolk
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2008

Everything perfect, service polished and efficient (in contrast to others' comments), great menu (try the pizza!). Short easy stroll through covered walkway into T5. I will always stay there for T5 in future. Use Meteor valet parking too.

  • Liked — Right next to Heathrow T5
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Paris, France
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2008

I stayed here after a late meeting in London so that I could catch an early morning flight from Terminal 5. The location for Terminal 5 is brilliant. In the morning I left my room at 05:40, used express check-out, and was through security and in the BA lounge in Terminal 5 by 06:00 - and the security queues were long!
I found the hotel just a bit too minimalist though. There is longish walkway to the hotel from Terminal 5 which is rather featureless. The public areas are all very minimalist with the use of granite and stone everywhere. I felt it lacked warmth and atmosphere. It is in an odd location being surrounded by a multi-storey carpark and access roads. No major views that I could see.
Check-in was OK. The receptionist was slightly over-friendly insisting that I would need a wake-up call in the morning since I would sleep so well in my king-size bed. I assured him that I had an alarm clock.
The room numbering is odd as stated by other people. My room had a window facing onto an internal walkway - so natural light and I had to keep curtains closed or else people would have been looking in . It was a very pleasant room with granite tops to all the furniture. Limited channel choice on TV without paying for extra options. Bed was comfy but still managed to wake up in time for flight. Bathroom well appointed with separate shower cubicle. Did not like the toiletries at all (personal taste).
I ordered room service which came in 30 mins. Very good quality food and wine. Had a drink in the bar which again was soul-less but had a good range of wines by the glass.
If I was flying out of Terminal 5 I would certainly use this hotel again but it did not live up to the hype BA gave it. The Sofitel at Gatwick is much nicer than this one.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Architecture and lack of window onto the outside world
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2008

I had a lovely experience at the Sofitel Heathrow hotel. The front end staff were friendly and very efficient and I was made to feel very welcome.

Certainly one to recommend!

  • Stayed November 2008
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Folkestone, Kent
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2008

First the good - the room was lovely, we got a free upgrade to an Executive King having booked an Executive Queen. The shower was lovely, toiletries were posh and nice, bed very high (had to jump a bit!) which I loved, and we got a great night's sleep with almost zero noise.

Now the not-so-good. When we arrived they had some other person's contact details on my reservation and were really surprised when I said it was wrong. They wanted to swipe a card before giving us our room key, which is fine, but wouldn't take my debit card - they would only swipe a credit card, which was annoying.

Check out was similarly confused and annoying. In particular I was annoyed that the room card I signed on check in had my room rate at £129 but then at check out they add in more than £20 in taxes that brought it to just over £150. I was then more annoyed to find that when I asked for my car park ticket to be activated that was another undisclosed £15 that I had to pay down in the car park.

I then walked to the lift to the car park (the ONLY lift to the car park) and the receptionist suddenly told me it was broken. I was all alone with lots of luggage (my husband took an early morning plane leaving me his luggage to take home). She just said "Take the stairs". Luckily I happened upon another staff member when I was struggling on the stairs who immediately helped me down to the car.

The final straw was that all the car park pay machines were broken! The receptionist hadn't told anyone and there was mass confusion. Eventually I found a lady who clearly from her uniform worked in the spa, and she ran off across the car park for me and ran back to say it was ok to pay at the gate.

Overall, I loved the room, liked most of the staff (away from reception who were awful) but I hated the hidden charges. If they were upfront about what they charged I would have felt less ripped off at the end of the stay.

  • Liked — comfy bed
  • Disliked — hidden charges
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2008

I was a Hilton T4 fan but am now firmly a Sofitel T5 fan. So very handy to T5 and ultra modern in design. Very comfy beds, separate shower to bath (stayed in a deluxe room) and staff all eager to please (probably because it's brand new). Local taxi's don't have a clue how to get to it though so if you need to order a cab do so through the hotel concierge (signage is poor).

Stayed October 2008
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london
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2008

What a great hotel. Get in there now before it gets really busy.. staff are over the top in trying to help - don;t always get it right though... new hotel sure they'll catch up with demanding traveller.. Best value at Heathrow but again suspect prices will increase when everyone gets to know about it, beats the Hilton and the Marriott hands down - both look faded in comparison... And cheaper - especially on food and drink.

  • Liked — really comfortable beds
  • Disliked — ziltch
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sofitel London Heathrow

Also Known As:
Sofitel London Heathrow Hotel
Sofitel London Heathrow Hotel Hounslow
Sofitel Hotel London Heathrow
Sofitel Hotel Hounslow
London Sofitel
Address: Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport, Hounslow TW6 2GD, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Middlesex > Hounslow
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Hounslow
#1 Family Hotel in Hounslow
#2 Business Hotel in Hounslow
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel London Heathrow 5*
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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