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“Looked promising but terrible staff and bad hotel practices”

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Sofitel London Heathrow
Ranked #2 of 22 Hotels in Hounslow
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed July 26, 2011

We stayed at this hotel while transitting between Dublin and India and needed somewhere convenient to spend a night. I chose the sofitel as I had stayed at several hotels of this chain through the world (the one in Sydney is fantastic!) and I preferred it to many other chains. I have to say this one did not come up to scratch for me. It looked promising and the staff seemed nice initially but things were just a little off. We stayed at a junior suite to give my daughter a little running around space. While larger than an average room, it was just a big L-shaped room rather than the 2 rooms you would expect while booking a suite. At 350 pounds a night, this seems a little unfair but still it was comfortable and the bath was lovely.

At check in, I mentioned that we definitely needed the room till 6 pm the next day and asked the staff to confirm that this would be done. The lady at reception was most casual and told me to call in later with the request. I told her that I would rather it were done and recorded immediately and asked her to bill me for the extra hours we would spend right away. Despite this, when I rang the next morning to confirm we would have the room till 5, I was told that we would have to leave at 12 or 1 pm at the latest. I was extremely upset as we were to get on a 10 hour flight to India that night and it was important that my toddler was well rested before. After lots of quibbling with unhelpful people at reception, we asked to talk to the manager and explained the situation. She did eventually extend our stay but I was unhappy that iI had to go through the whole grind to get there.

Something else that really upset me was that on 3 occasions in one day, staff would knock or ring and then enter right away! Once I was undressed! I don't think it's okay for hotel staff to enter just after knocking! This is rude and inconsiderate.

The room service staff were rude to my husband, did not have most of what we ordered and took ages delivering the food that did come (cold and borderline unpalatable). I can only imagine they must be short staffed and disgruntled!

Some other points of annoyance- our key cards were disabled at noon though we were staying till 6 and I had to wait in the lobby a full 20 minutes with a screaming toddler in my arms while staff refused to help me recut my key. I went up to a free counter only to be informed by staff that she was serving checkin. There were no people checking in at that moment and she still refused to help!

The one nice person we encountered in the hotel came up and gave my daughter a little teddy bear to stop her screaming. Very nice man and I'm so grateful to him. The rest of the staff could learn a thing or two from him.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank VLRLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10,246 - 10,252 of 11,384 reviews

An Accor traveler
Austin, TX
2
Reviewed July 26, 2011

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank An Accor traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed July 26, 2011

Stayed here prior to flying to Canada, location is great leave your car in the under ground car park stay in a comfortable room then walk across a link bridge to terminal five. Bed comfortable and the food good in the restaurant, however came back from a walk to find someone else trying to get into our room with a card key which worked. Went to reception and told them that a second occupant had been allocated the room. The receptionist almost treated it as a joke and offered no real apology or compensation, problem resolved the gentleman concerned was extremely embarrassed and offered us dinner on him, a nice gesture which in my mind should have been offered by the hotel management. On checking out in the morning was presented with a bill from the Tea room which presumably was the other guys and I refused to pay.
Sofitel you have a great hotel but you need to address your security as this situation could have been more embarrassing for all not to mention third parties having access to your belongings and valuables.

Room Tip: Double lock your door when in occupancy
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank chefdave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
An Accor traveler
Sydney
1
Reviewed July 25, 2011

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank An Accor traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
A TripAdvisor Member
Fountain Valley, CA
1
Reviewed July 25, 2011

Very good location, convenient for overnight transfer. Room is very quiet and won't hear any noisy from airport operation or airplane noise.
The only negative is bathroom counter is too small.
This is the best hotel in the area and is very easy to go to center of the city.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled on business
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Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2011

As soon as you step off the elevator from Terminal 5 you recognize the wonderful welcoming fragrance- the rooms are always crisp clean and comfortable ( and costly). The front desk staff is however not very warm or welcoming and there is little in the hotel that makes you want to hang out in the public areas or dine in the restaurants.
Bathrooms are gorgeous with a deep bathtub and a nice glass enclosed shower. Its time to switch out the Crabtree & Evelyn La Source toiletries to something more interesting and more reflective of the high end cost of staying here.
It would be nice if the hotel provided an easy to read card that directs the traveler to the correct terminal using the various otransportation ptions ( its pretty confusing getting to terminal 4 using the Heathrow Express).
The room #s are quite confusing ( its a combination of multi numbered wings on each floor and can be confusing for the jetlagged traveler).
Check in and out can be slow, I was 3rd in line and they sent me down to the Club entrance to check out, I had to carry my bag up the stairs to get to the desk- I should have stayed in the original line - it went faster. Free Time and Newsweek Magazines are a nice touch at the Concierge Desk.
Overall plush hotel that needs to dust off their customer service manual - travelling is difficult - its alwatys nice to get a warm greeting upon check in!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Lisa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2011

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ArchieWp
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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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 > Greater London > 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Hounslow
#1 Spa Hotel in Hounslow
#1 Romantic Hotel in Hounslow
#1 Luxury Hotel in Hounslow
#2 Family Hotel in Hounslow
#2 Green Hotel in Hounslow
Price Range: $172 - $381 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel London Heathrow 5*
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 bathrooms 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 - 3AA Rosette restaurant serving gourmet French cuisine with contemporary world influences; Vivre - with its open theatre kitchens, Sphere Bar, the Le Bar Parisien invites you to experience classic and trendy cocktails, as well as Champagne selection, and the Tea 5 salon serves delicious cakes and lunch options. 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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