Review: Crowne Plaza London Heathrow

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First off, I should point out that the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow isn’t a ‘romantic weekend away’ kind of hotel. It’s there for a purpose, which for the majority of guests will be accommodation before/after a flight from/to Heathrow. For those purposes, it does the job¬†well.

On this occasion I wasn’t travelling through Heathrow, but I was involved in a corporate event at the hotel. As I needed to setup some equipment the night before I made the obvious, sensible decision to book myself into the hotel overnight.

The hotel is generally VERY busy, and with it being an airport, of course the majority of guests have large quantities of luggage which make reception pretty crowded at peak times.

Fortunately, when I arrived mid-afternoon I was able to park quite close to the front entrance. The car park is vast, stretching all round the hotel. Despite the size, it filled up such that people were parking some distance away in the overflow (grass) car park.

I was also able to use the priority check-in desk on account of my IHG Platinum status, which meant I didn’t need to wait more than a couple of minutes.

Upgraded?

Well, I think so, but not to where I wanted to be ūüôĀ

My booking was for a Standard Double room, and upon check-in I was gleefully informed that I had been upgraded to a Deluxe Room. I did ask if there were any upgrades to club rooms available, but was told there were no available rooms on the club floor. Looking at the hotel website’s descriptions and photos, a Deluxe Room should come with lounge access, and my room looked a lot like a Standard Room.

The Room

I was on the third floor, and well away from the lifts, so the room was nice and quiet, albeit quite a walk from the lifts and stairs.

Crowne Plaza London Heathrow Bedroom
Room Overview

There was a really, very big desk in the room that enabled me to get some work done in the evening and could serve as a full time office.

Crowne Plaza London Heathrow Desk
I could have held a meeting at this desk

This was a simple but effective touch in the room. With power, light and plenty of natural light from the window, and generous surface area, this made working in the room viable. So often, I find myself struggling to re-home room service menus, hotel guides, kettles and TV’s, just to put my laptop down somewhere with a cup of tea at a safe distance.

The bed was extremely comfortable, and of course augmented by the standard Crowne Plaza magic potions that you spray on your pillows and rub on your wrists at bed time to help you sleep.

Crowne Plaza London Heathrow bed

 

Nothing remarkable here, just standard hotel room tea, coffee and chocolate. A bottle of water is always appreciated though.

Crowne Plaza London Heathrow guest bathroom

The bathroom aside from the bath/shower was nicely appointed with stone tiles, decent toiletries, and was well maintained and clean. The shower was not terrible, but a slightly leaky hose, and general tired appearance did detract a little from the rest of the bathroom. Nothing worth complaining about, but an easily remedied, minor detail that could have given a much more positive impression.

Facilities

As I was only staying at the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow for one night and had a busy schedule setting things up, I didn’t get chance to make use of the gym. The hotel’s website tells us that¬†there is a “…fully equipped gym, indoor 16-meters pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.”

Fully equipped is qualified as

  • Rower
  • Stair Stepper
  • Treadmill
  • Free Weights
  • Stationary Bicycle

That’s not what I’d call “fully equipped”, with the absence of any resistance machines or squat racks. However, consider that it’s an airport hotel and therefore not the place to regularly visit for your #gains.¬†For an overnight visit and somewhere to work off the pie and ale, it’s fine, which leads me nicely onto……

Food

Dinner in the hotel “pub”, Dr. O’Driscoll’s was perfectly pleasant. I opted for a steak and ale pie, and washed it down with a nice pint of ale. It was decent quality pub food. If I had stayed further nights, I might have tried the Indian restaurant which seems popular and well reviewed.

I had booked a breakfast-inclusive rate, so I knew that I would be able to enjoy the wide ranging buffet options. I met a colleague (who was not a guest) for breakfast, and had an entirely unintentional DYKWIA moment! We pointed out that my colleague was not a guest and was happy to pay for his breakfast. The maitre d’ consulted the guest list, and proclaimed,

“Ah, Mr. Perry as you are a Platinum member, we can offer a free breakfast”.

I made a mental note at that time, to ensure I alerted InsideFlyer readers of an actual benefit of IHG Platinum status!

The food served at breakfast was great with good selection of ¬†quality English breakfast items. A chef was also on hand cooking poached eggs and omelettes. There was also a selection of cold meats, cheese and fruit to suit overseas guests. (The fruit section had a label over it; “Healthy” which tickled me at lunch time when the profiteroles were underneath it.)

Lounge

This hotel has two! One for aircrew (who knows what goes on in there!) and one for general guests, the club lounge. Sadly I was not able to visit on this occasion, but have on a previous visit to the hotel. It was some time ago, and I recall I had given blood that day, so can’t say that I worked my way through a craft gin selection (or even if there is one available), but it’s a pleasant enough environment, stocked with a selection of drinks and snacks as might be expected.

Quality of service

Service was very good from the very helpful conferencing staff and concierge who helped out with all manner of logistics and requests for our event, as well as friendly F&B and reception staff throughout (special shout out for the maitre d’ at breakfast for making me look very important in front of a colleague!).

Crowne Plaza London Heathrow Summary

The Crowne Plaza London Heathrow a bit further from Heathrow Airport than most of the “airport” hotels, but there are transport options available. On the plus side, you don’t get the associated aircraft noise at this distance.

Overall, a perfectly pleasant business hotel, with good service and seemingly some actual IHG status benefits!

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