I had to meet somebody off a plane at Heathrow Airport early in the morning; so I decided to spend the night at an airport hotel rather than leave home before dawn. I chose Doubletree by Hilton because it offered a room with breakfast for £60 - a very good deal. The overnight parking was also only £11, and I was able to park my car right outside the main hotel entrance. A bonus.
This is a rather small hotel, compared to other airport hotels, and all the better for it - no crowds of people blocking the hotel lobby with suitcases; no long queues at reception. The check-in procedure was very pleasant and efficient. I was immediately given a warm chocolate chip cookie - a really delicious, if odd, Doubletree trademark offering. There are trays of the things in special compartments beneath the reception counter. Amazing. If I were working at reception, I would find it impossible to resist them.
My room was certainly the cheapest type in the hotel, but it was fine and not minuscule by any means. It had everything, except for a minibar, that one could need - a trouser press, a safe, a TV with all the main channels, coffee & tea making facilities, free bottled water, and a keyboard for use with the internet (at a price). The room had adjustable air-conditioning, which seemed unnecessarily complicated to operate (with a timer ? that made no sense to me at all). The bathroom was immaculate, modern and seemed more upmarket than one might expect for the price of the room. The bath itself was wide, long and deep (and attractive), and there was unlimited hot water. So full marks for the bathroom.
I had decided to order an Indian meal from a local Indian restaurant for delivery. So I asked reception whether I could have a plate and cutlery. Of course I could. All very pleasant. I wanted to order a pint of lager from my room to go with the meal when it came, but I noticed that the room service menu had a minimum charge (of £10, I think); so that put an end to that idea. Also I presumed that to order some ice would also cost £10, if I wanted nothing else, and so didn't even try. I suppose I could have gone to the bar downstairs and got what I wanted.
It was only when I got into the king size bed that I discovered a raised ridge or lump running down the centre, which I first mistook for a protruding spring, but which was due to the fact that the bed was made up of two single beds pushed together. Normally 'zip and link' beds are fine, but in this case the join was not at all seamless. This was a bit disappointing, but as I was alone, it wasn't a big deal, as I could choose to sleep on one half of the bed or the other. For a couple, though, it could have been more annoying. Another minor irritation was a strange rumbling noise, rather like distant thunder, that came from somewhere. It was definitely very much in the background; so didn't disturb me. Perhaps it was connected in some way with the air-conditioning.
I did not have much time or appetite for breakfast, but it seemed good. Freshly squeezed orange juice, good sausages (quite rare in a buffet breakfast), a thermos of OK coffee and a spread of hot and cold breakfast foods to satisfy just about anybody. Checking out was as painless as checking in. I asked the receptionist if she could check to see whether my friend's flight was expected to be on time or whether it was delayed. Again, this request was dealt with pleasantly and efficiently.
I can understand the reason why there are no minibars or anything at all to buy in the rooms. It is to save on administration and housekeeping costs and to be able to offer quality accommodation at a very low price. £60 for bed & breakfast is exceptional value in a hotel of this quality. If you are looking for a swimming pool and fitness centre or spa, then this is not the hotel for you. If you are looking for a modern and comfortable hotel without such frills at a very competitive price, then this would be an excellent choice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- For a warm welcome, stylish contemporary comfort and a convenient location just ten minutes from London Heathrow Airport, check-in to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London Heathrow Airport hotel. Enjoy a famous DoubleTree cookie on arrival at this Cranford hotel. Catch-up with friends or colleagues over a drink in the bar, or order a meal in The Brasserie where fresh produce is showcased in innovative dishes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada London Heathrow Hotel Cranford
- Ramada Hotel London Heathrow
- Ramada Hotel Cranford
- Hounslow Ramada
- Ramada Hounslow