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LHR 36-hour Stopover - Where to Stay

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exceladdict

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Hi All, hoping to ask for some advice from those more experienced around LHR.

We plan to arrive LHR early evening, Terminal unconfirmed (but likely T5), and then depart LHR early morning, +2 days from T4.

For the point of making it easy to get to and go through customs between 5am and 6am, Mrs Excel & I have resolved to stay near the airport. Then we're thinking to catch a LHR>City train early and return late on the day in the middle to try to explore London without carting bags around, and avoiding a very early train/taxi ride back out to LHR on the outbound day.

I'm therefore wondering:
- From someone who's visited before, does this sound wise?
- Are hotels 'in the general area' going to be convenient, or do I need to cough up for the Hilton at T4?
- If there's any other LHR-newbie-mistakes I can be aware of in advance and avoid :)

Thanks in advance and please feel free to direct me elsewhere if any questions have already been answered!
 

Mal

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The area around Heathrow is pretty grungy really with limited food and sightseeing options. All of the 'Airport' hotels are close (bus trip usually and London buses are free up to a certain distance from Heathrow too http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/Heathrow/Downloads/PDF/travel_around_Heathrow.pdf), or there is the paid Hotel Hopper bus service.

I've never stayed at an Airport hotel at LHR, so am not the best person to advise which one to choose, but if the budget and time permits, why not consider the Hilton at Paddington or another hotel at Paddington? You're 20 mins away from Heathrow by Heathrow Express (or 30 mins via the slower/cheaper stopper service).
 

Homer

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On my very first visit to London as a solo traveller I only had a 24-hour stopover but it was still plenty of time to head into a hotel near Buckingham Palace and spend a full day sightseeing. LHR is close to London, London itself is quite compact and it's very easy to walk/tube around. So for a 36-hour stopover I wouldn't even consider an airport hotel. Get in amongst it and soak it up!
 

RooFlyer

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I wasn't going to post here, as its been a while since I did a LHR hotel, but I have to disagree with Mal on several fronts.

A number of self described 'airport' hotels are no-where near the airport, at least time wise. The last time I tried a '(relatively) cheap-ish LHR hotel' it a) wasn't cheap and b) wasn't close to the airport and necessitated an anxious wait for a crappy minibus in the morning, with multiple pick-ups along the way! Never EVER again.

For me it would be the Hilton, sorry, or at least one of the 'majors' geographically close to the terminals with their own shuttle service if possible (ie not a shared hotel pick-up). LHR has enough hassles so I would try to eliminate them wrt hotels there.

I've stayed at the Paddington Hilton and thank God it was the client's idea and they were paying. :shock: :shock:. I've also stayed at the Mercure Paddington next door and it was disgraceful, but for different reason. Check Trip Advisor! I've found the Heathrow Express to be less and less 'Express' these days, with my trip out before last being accomplished at what would be described as a trundle, and the last trip out having the scheduled service cancelled without notice and a wait and very crammed trip following.
 

amaroo

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I'm another that would be heading into the city. I'd focus on seeing/enjoying London - not the time you have to arrive at Heathrow.
 
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Anna

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If your budget doesn't stretch to Hilton T4 or the Sofitel at T5 (which would be my picks), there is another Hilton which is a 10-15 minute minibus shuttle ride from T5. It is fine apart from Hilton doing their best to give the impression it is "at" T5, which it isn't, in the sense that you can't walk to it. There are several other major chain hotels in that vicinity on the same shuttle route but I can't remember which ones sorry.

Indigo at Paddington is a good pick if you decide to go into London. Very close to the HEX, 5 minute walk to tube (Central line IIRC).
 

cgichard

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You could always average your costs: Sofitel at T5 to get a good night's sleep after the long-haul flight, and Yotel at T4 for cheap minimal accommodation after jaunting around London and spending your money and to be on the spot for your early start. Using the left luggage facility would cost too much for that length of time (no lockers at Heathrow) but you might prevail upon the Sofitel to hold bags for you once you've been a customer there.
 

TheRealTMA

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Another vote for not staying at LHR. I'd buy a return ticket on the HEX and get a hotel in town.
Definately agree on staying in London. All LHR hotels we've tried seem to be more in the "older english hospitality" style :) and have been quite poor, nowhere near the airport with reliance on shuttle bus to get to and from. (Haven't tried the new Sofitel.)

I'd get the HEX into London then taxi to hotel then explore London so you have the full time in London and choice of London hotels from your favourite area.

Then book a car from Just Airports London Airport Taxi | Airport Transfer Service in London for early pickup the morning of travel. About £33 London to Heathrow. we've found them to be very efficient and avoids recent uncertainties of HEX in getting there on time.
 

exceladdict

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Thanks all for the candid advice, will definitely reassess and try to find somewhere in London to stay. Glad to hear it's not too crazy going back and forth from heathrow.

Please feel free to add any other thoughts or hotel recommendations in the city :)
 

dajop

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Another +1 for avoiding the Heathrow "airport hotels" - other than those genuinely on airport- as shuttle/bus transfers eat up a lot of the time saved by staying nearby, I vowed not to do again. Another option if budget is a concern would be look at staying at Hounslow Central. It's very close to airport via tube (10mins) and easy to get to central London. I once booked I think an Accor hotels property there but ended up canceling and stayed in central London as prices dropped substantially in the week or two before I was due to stay.
 

knasty

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Sofitel T5 is fine. Great if you have an early departure from T5.
 
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