Don’t Forget One Minor Detail About IHG’s New Hotel at London Heathrow

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I can still vaguely recall my first ever mattress run from nearly 10 years ago. You might guess that it took place at an IHG hotel, as the hotel chain has run some pretty mattress run worthy promotions over the years. Indeed it was, and since I was a London resident at the time, I chose to quickly check in to the Holiday Inn Ariel near London’s Heathrow airport, en route to my flat after a flight. Let’s just say that I was pleased to not be spending the night…

If you’ve stayed at any of IHG’s hotels near Heathrow airport, you’ll know that your options are pretty poor.  You have the dire or inconveniently located…

More recent additions to the IHG portfolio include two hotels whose names should be referred to the Advertising Standards board, as “Heathrow T5” suggests that they are a convenient stroll to Heathrow’s Terminal 5. (hint… not really!)

But FINALLY IHG has managed to open some new hotels that are worthy of consideration, with a Crowne Plaza and a Holiday Inn Express located at Heathrow’s Terminal 4. Terminal 4, however, isn’t particularly convenient for those travelling from BA’s Terminal 5. But the new joint Staybridge Suites / Holiday Inn located on Bath Road certainly IS convenient for both Terminal 5 and Terminals 2/3.

The Staybridge Suites has now opened, with its Holiday Inn twin to open in a couple of months. However, before you rush off to book this hotel with its “evening socials” of complimentary drinks and canapes, you might want to keep in mind this minor detail…

For a one-night stay near Heathrow, you might not mind earning 500 or so points instead of the 1000 you would earn at a Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn Express, especially since Staybridge Suites offers free breakfast to all guests. But if your IHG promotion consists of double points, then the Staybridge “penalty” would be doubled…

Although I somewhat understand hotel chains offering fewer points for “extended stay” hotel brands, that doesn’t mean that I like it! A dollar spent at a Holiday Inn should earn the same number of points as a dollar spent at a Staybridge Suites hotel. What do you think?


  1. Andrew H says

    There is a direct (free) bus from T4 to T5. You don’t have to go back to T1/2/3 via tube just to get back to T5, which can be slightly annoying.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Nice. I’m so used to the free city buses along Bath Road that I’ve never thought to check the other way round.

      Of course, paying an in-terminal rate premium for a hotel at the wrong terminal might not make much sense anyhow…

  2. Bob says

    You’re a bit harsh on the Ariel. It has a good bit of history and the premium rooms are warm, refurbished and comfortable. The 423 bus gets you to T5 and back quickly. Central – there is a bus every 10 minutes. It is one of the few good ones at Heathrow in terms of cost > good night’s sleep > quick access to T5, T3 and T2. HI T5 is walkable from T5 in 20 minutes. That’s another goodie. Hilton T5 an extra 10 minutes walk if you have time to make use of lounge plus premium rate.

    • Bob says

      When I say bus – I mean the complimentary local bus service. Hilton Garden Inn is also a good option via tube – but I find this more time consuming than walking to other hotels or one along the 423 route from T5. Crown Plaza is effective in my opinion if you are T3/T2. You pay £1.50 for the bus – it takes 3 minutes, then a 3 minute walk. Return journey is a 6 minute walk then 3 minutes.

      • Andrew H says

        I am in agreement with Bob. There are free bus services all around Heathrow, and even for the hotels that are too far out, you can still find a cheap bus if you do your research. The Hotel Hoppas don’t come into the equation, and are, IMO, one of the great cons of Heathrow Airport.

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