Sofitel London Heathrow T5

Discussion in 'Accor | Le Club Accorhotels' started by Wurm, Feb 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wurm
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    Wurm Silver Member

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    I completed a one-night stay at this hotel, choosing to stay here because of an early departure on British Airways. My overall impression, as it was was on two past visits, was very positive.

    Note: I made this reservation using my orphan Delta SkyPesos. I was short a couple thousand, so I supplemented the S/Ps with cash - this is IMO a great idea, allowing orphan points to be used for something (even if the redemption rate isn't stellar).

    Location: The hotel is connected via an enclosed walkwat to Heathrow's T5. From inside T5, you either take the elevator up from level 0 (Arrivals) or down from level 5 (Departures) to level 1 (Hotel and parking). Hint: You are able to roll your luggage cart all the way to the hotel's physical entrance - as soon as you exit the elevator on level 1 and turn right, there is an area to deposit luggage carts - don't use that one - instead, roll the cart all the way inside the hotel's automated glass doors, where a vestibule area has two ranks designed for the carts. From that vestibule, there is a short escalator ir elevator ride down one floor to Reception.

    Note: If arriving at another Heathrow Terminal, take the free Heathrow Express connector trains to T5.

    Reception: Flawless. Plenty of friendly, engaging staff ready to check you in. All details of my reservation were in place (including the Accor A-Club number, which I had inserted in the "special comments" section of the Delta Marketplace site). Baggage assistance was offered (but not used).

    Property layout: The hotel is laid out in a "cross-hatch pattern - six parallel buildings, connected lengthwise by central corridors. The two restaurants, bar, meeting rooms and spa entrance are also along the central corridor on the Reception level. Room numbering follows a form: Room 3204, for instance is located in Buidling 3 on Level 2. Central elevators are near reception (reception is essentially under Building 4, one nice thing is there is another elevator near building 2 so that those in Buildings 1 and 2 don't have to walk a long way to the lifts).

    [​IMG]

    Room: I was in a basic "Classic" room (26 sq m), done in darkish earth tones with generous use of wood for the tv and desk areas. The room is equipped with an extremely comfortable queen-sized beds (higher-category rooms get a king bed). The bed is dressed with very good-quality duvet and linens. Opposite the bed is a wall-mounted 32" LCD flat-panel TV set. To the left of the TV is a proper desk area. The desk area features a multimedia panel with things line an HDMI input (if you carry a laptop with an HDMI port, bring a cable with you to allow watching movies on the TV). The panel also has a USB charging port. which I used to charge my mp3 player. One other handy deskside feature is a 110v outlet, allowing direct connection of a US-style plug (especially useful if you forgot to bring your UK adapters). To the side against the window sits a comfortable leather comfortable chair and ottoman, well-placed for TV-watching. Room lighting is excellent (one of my sore points at other hotels), with pinpoint reading lights augmenting the general lighting.

    Storage is in a wood/marble module in the entranceway, opposite the bathroom door. The closet space is adequate, with good quality wood hangers. An iron and board are also stored here. Adjacent is a cabinet with a mini-fridge - each room gets two small bottles of mineral water, one still and one sparkling, placed inside the fridge (a placard notes that room service will set up the fridge as a pre-paid minibar on request - this is a brilliant concept: those who want liquor and snacks get the exact items they want, others (like me :) ) can use the fridge for Diet Cola and sandwiches from the Marks&Spencer Simply Food outlet on the T5 Arrivals level! [​IMG]

    Bathroom: The bathroom is good-sized and well-lit. There are both a tub and a glass-enclosed stand-up shower. Water pressure is very good - the shower head is not a true rainforest but still provides a refreshing spray. The toiletries are by Spa Therapy (good quality, but hair conditioner was not provided). Towels are oversized (bath towels are more line bath sheets), but only two are provided. (Note: the next room category, a king-bedded room, gets L'Occatine products, robe and slippers, and fluffier towels),

    Food and Beverage: My Delta Marketplace booking included breakfast in the Vivre restaurant, which serves a comprehensive buffet. Good quality, not world-class by any means (the other restaurant, Brasserie Roux, serves a separate breakfast). All the classic "Full English" options are there (kippers on request), as well as very good baked goods (as might be expected at a French chain). A very tasty dark sausage was the highlight hot dish for me. Service is friendly, however, the staff needs to pay a little more attention to empty cups (decaf) and water glasses. The cost, if not included in your plan, is £19.95.

    Checkout: Efficient and friendly, bill was accurate (internet at £15, good speed). Note; they should offer you the option to bill in either pounds or dollars (although they may forget to ask and "assume" that an American automatically wants the bill rendered in dollars). I didn't ask what the service fee was for this service, as I always want the local currency (my card charges only 1% international transaction fee, so I stick with that). If your chosen card has a high conversion fee, ask the hotel what their fee is - it may be less.

    Conclusion: The generally high (some would say usurious) rates are explained and mitigated by three things: location, location, location. The hotel, which opened with T5, is of a very striking modern design in the public spaces, and the rooms "work" and are comfortable, exactly what you want in an airport hotel. It is really nice not to have to deal with shuttles, Hoppas, free public buses, or cabs when getting to and from the airport terminal.
     
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  2. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    To me this is the worlds best airport hotel. And they are nice with the upgrades if you are Platinum.
     
  3. ShopAround
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    ShopAround Silver Member

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    I agree, I spent a night there in February and it was the nicest airport hotel I've ever stayed in (and the M&S Simply Food directly outside the hotel in the terminal was very convenient!).
     
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  4. IMH
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    IMH Silver Member

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    Would you be kind enough to elaborate? We'll be there for the first time later this year (and have Platinum). Thanks.
     
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  5. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    It's mainly because the quality of the hotel and restaurant is so good. The Sheratons AMS and FRA are also pretty good, but this hotel beats them. As for the Platinum card, I always get an upgrade with of course the free drink coupon(s). But it doesn't hurt to remind the front desk agent if they "forget" to mention you have been upgraded.
     
  6. IMH
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    IMH Silver Member

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    Thanks, stimpy. Sounds as though we should book a table at La Belle Époque rather than going for an M&S picnic.

    We usually stay at the T4 Hilton when we have to overnight at LHR, but this time we're both arriving and departing on T5 flights -- and the Sofitel was offering rooms for 102 GBP incl. :)
     
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  7. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Better than the Fairmont at YVR?
     
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  8. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    I have to admit that it has been many years since I was last at YVR and I don't recall an airport hotel there.
     
  9. TRAVELSIG
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    There is a very nice Fairmont in the terminal.
     
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  10. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    I just got an email from the two London airport Sofitels. The LHR property was apparently just awarded Best Airport Hotel in Europe from Skytrax and the World Travel Awards.

    The LGW property is offering 99 pound rooms Friday for the half-term break and the LHR property has a spa promo going on through November.
     
  11. TRAVELSIG
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    I have stayed quite a few times at the LGW property. It was formerly a LeMeridien. I think it was something before LeM however not sure. It is OK and for 99 GBP good value if you need to be at Gatwick. The Asian restaurant is very good for an airport restaurant in the UK- not run by the hotel though (I am not sure if you can sign to your room even). It is the best option at LGW and is directly connected to the North terminal (where BA flies from).
     
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