Please read my profile for my biases.
I had a nine hour layover in Heathrow due to the fact that the morning plane I needed takes off just after I land. While I have access to the BA lounge, nice as it is, I was eager for another option in order to better spend those nine hours.
I remembered reading about Yotel a few years ago, so this trip I decided to check it out.
Yotel is a chain that rents small, cabin-like rooms by the hour, for around £10/hour. At Heathrow they are located in Terminal 4. I was landing in Terminal 3 and needed to leave out of Terminal 5, so since I needed to change terminals in any case, so I decided to give Yotel a shot.
Note that it is outside of security, so this does require going through passport control. I got upgraded on the flight so I was able to use the Fast Track lanes which only took a few minutes, but if that isn't an option for you take the normal queue lengths into account when planning your stay.
Once through security I followed the signs for the Heathrow Express train. There is a free service between terminals, and after a short wait I took the ~5 min trip to Terminal 4.
The Yotel is easy to find, just follow the signs. From the train take the elevator to departures and find the escalator across from Gate Area E (more between E and F to be exact). Head down and the entrance is next to the restaurant at the bottom.
Entering the Yotel reminds me of Space Mountain at Disney World. Narrow, futuristic corridors with glass walls and doorways visible in the distance. The automatic kiosks were out of order (I'm not sure if they ever worked, actually, or if they were just for display) so I walked down the short hallway to "Mission Control".
I was offered coffee or tea (I wanted neither since I was here to sleep) and the check-in process was rather painless. They had my reservation and didn't require any other form of payment, so right at 08:00 I had my key with a checkout time of 13:00.
The room was about what I expected. I had reserved a premium cabin which comes with a double bed. While I've never been on a cruise ship I can imagine this is what an interior cabin would look like. The bed was in "couch mode" which left a small amount of room to maneuver. It faced a wall with a coat rack, a television, a small fold out table and a folding chair. Along the back wall was the bathroom with a sink, toilet and shower. There were lots of small shelves as well as power outlets with both UK and European plugs.
I only had a small backpack with me, but with the bed lowered it was a tight fit. While there is room under the bed to store things, you would need some advanced planning if you were trying to manage this with a large or even standard case (i.e get everything out you need and place it on the "couch", store luggage underneath, then covert to a "bed"). Nothing too traumatic, but something of which to be aware. The size of the room made taking pictures difficult.
I did need to speak with the hotel staff. I noticed that there was no toilet paper in the room (luckily I noticed this before it was necessary) and also the room was rather warm. There are no climate controls in the room. Instead, there is a vent in the ceiling with cool air that you can open or close. Mine was rather open to begin with but I ended up removing it completely to get some airflow over the bed so I could sleep.
Everything else in the room is pretty self-explanatory, but there is a little booklet with more details if you need it. Two buttons on the side table next to the bed raise and lower it, and there are controls for lighting on a panel on the bed itself.
The biggest complaint I have is that it could be a bit noisy. It made getting to sleep difficult. I did manage to get about four hours of sleep before my alarm went off, and I took a quick shower and then checked e-mails on the free wi-fi.
It was hard to rate this hotel. In fact, I went through quite a number of other reviews to see what others thought of the pros and cons of staying here. It's a solid 3.5 stars but I had to choose either a 3 or a 4.
I went with a 3 due to the issues I had with the temperature in the room, the noise, and the fact that the toilet roll dispenser was empty. Plus, if I had to honestly compare the Yotel experience with other hotel experiences that rated a 4 start review, it came up short. But it is pretty solid for what it is, and it does prevent you from looking like the couple in the picture who were trying to sleep in the British Airways lounge.
If I have a similar layover in LHR again, you can bet I'll seriously consider the Yotel option.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- YOTELAIR London Heathrow is inside Terminal 4, located moments away from arrivals, departures, Heathrow Express and underground stations. There are two types of cabins - standard (large single) and premium (double) - both equipped with en-suite bathrooms, free WiFi and a flat screen TV (free-view channels). Also free hot beverages available at Mission Control. Services available include 24-hour food and drink delivered to your cabin in 15 minutes. The best thing - you can book just a few hours or overnight. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com so you can book your YOTELAIR London Heathrow Airport reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Yotel London Heathrow Airport Hotel Hounslow
- Yotel London Heathrow Airport Hounslow