Holiday Inn London Heathrow Terminal 5 Review

Updated on August 16, 2019
Eurofile profile image

Liz and her husband have stayed in many hotels and like to share their experience to help fellow travellers make informed hotel choices.

Front of Holiday Inn London Heathrow Terminal 5.
Front of Holiday Inn London Heathrow Terminal 5. | Source

Why We Chose This Hotel

You would be forgiven for assuming that we opted to stay in the Holiday Inn Heathrow Terminal 5 because we were using Heathrow Airport, but that was not the case. We chose to stay here for two reasons.

First, because we were visiting a relative in west London. It takes 30–50 minutes to drive just under 17 miles to the Westfield shopping center, Shepherd's Bush. Parking is reasonable and the tube network gives access to central London.

Traveling west, it takes just over 20 minutes to cover the 7.1 miles to Windsor Castle. The royal link doesn't stop there. The hotel was originally opened by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh in 2001.

Our second reason was that Holiday Inn Heathrow Terminal 5 had a reasonable points-redemption rate.

If you plan on using Holiday Inns, or any other hotels in the IHG (InterContinental Hotel Group) brand, it is worth joining the IHG Rewards scheme. Membership is free. You collect points, which can be redeemed against hotel stays and other rewards.

Note: Holiday Inn London Heathrow Terminal 5 should not be confused with Holiday Inn M4 Junction 4 or Holiday Inn Ariel.

Windsor Castle.
Windsor Castle. | Source

First Impressions

Exterior

There was no mistaking the brand of the hotel with its logo on the front wall and the Holiday Inn flags above the entrance.

The four-floor building was set back a little from the road, behind a low wall and a block paved area, where cars could drop guests off at the entrance. Barriers to the left marked the way into the underground carpark. This was a very secure area with an automatic metal grille beyond the barriers. The building was tastefully designed with a gabled frontage in the middle and a columned entrance. No space was wasted with the top floor windows jutting out from the tiled roof.

A hedge and trees shielded the hotel from the road. There were handy bus stops on either side of the road. A bench was protected from the English weather by a pitched roof on the side nearest the Holiday Inn.

Note: There is a charge for using the car park. Previous guests have suggested leaving your car in nearby residential streets, but I was impressed by the security of the hotel car park.

Interior

Curved automatic doors opened to reveal a bright lobby area with a marble floor in shades of beige and brown. The open plan, well-lit area had a bright, fresh contemporary feel to it with low sage seating to the left and modern shelving decorated with assorted items. The curved reception desk was towards the back wall, slightly to the right.

Beyond reception, there was a bar area along the back wall with Starbucks coffee featuring prominently. High wood chairs were by the bar, but there was also more comfortable seating available in the open-plan lobby. In the other direction, there was an area with a computer and printer at a work station.

Lifts round to the left were key-card operated for extra security and access to guest-room floors. These were big and very clean with bright, shining chrome and marble interiors. Wide corridors on the upper floors were decorated with the same beige flecked wallpaper as the bedrooms and striped carpeting in peach, light brown, turquoise, off white, brown and cream with dark blue edging.

Check-in and Welcome

While we were traveling in from London Stansted airport, where we had spent the previous night in an airport hotel (it's a long story), we rang Holiday Inn London Heathrow Terminal 5 at 10.30am to find out if, by any chance, our room might be ready. I thought this was a little optimistic, but I was surprised to find, after a friendly greeting, that it was.

Pro Tip

If you are ahead of schedule, it is worth seeing if you can check in a little early. If the room is free, most hotels are only too happy to facilitate an early check-in, because, once there, guests might add extras like food and drink to their room bill. This is especially true of hotels located near airports, where it's likely that some guests will have checked out early in the morning.

We checked in at 11.20 am when we were pleasantly surprised to find that, due to my husband's Spire Elite brand loyalty status at the time, two complimentary breakfasts had been added to our booking. We have rarely experienced this with IHG, although Hilton Hotels give complimentary breakfasts to Hilton Honors members of Gold and above status.

Lobby of Holiday Inn Heathrow Terminal 5.
Lobby of Holiday Inn Heathrow Terminal 5. | Source

Our Room

The Layout

A wide, medium wood door opened into the short corridor of room 225. On the right, a white door went into the bathroom. The bedroom area was beyond, with a wardrobe backing onto the bathroom, bed on the adjacent wall and further furniture opposite. A central rectangular triple glazed window overlooked the front of the hotel.

Decor

The room was fully carpeted, similar to the corridor, in a striped pattern of peach, light brown, turquoise, off-white, brown and cream. Walls were decorated with cream wallpaper running up to white coving at the edge of the ceiling and the wall behind the bed was covered in a beige flecked wallpaper. Full-length net curtains and light and dark beige curtains ran along the whole of the external wall.

A wide black framed River Thames/London skyline black and white sketch with patches of green hung on the wall above the bed.

The bed was on a grey base. Bedding consisted of white sheet and pillows, white striped duvet and a runner in beige, dark turquoise, lime green, and white.

Furniture

The furniture was of a medium colored wood. Beyond the mirror, on the left wall, there was a tall narrow unit with two doors, containing an ironing board, trouser press, and an iron. Tea and coffee-making facilities were on a shelf at the top of the unit. The lid had to be open for the kettle to work.

All the furniture had chrome handles. The curved desk had solid wood sides and a central drawer. Beyond it, towards the corner of the room, there was a wooden unit on castors, containing a fridge.

Seating consisted of a dark brown vinyl swivel office chair on a chrome base with castors and an armchair in light turquoise with wood at the end of the arms.

The double bed base on castors was set against a wall-mounted curved medium wood headboard, with curved side panels, which provided the backing for freestanding bedside units consisting of a drawer with a shelf below.

The large fitted wardrobe area was split in two. Half of it was shut behind two sliding doors. concealing a shelf across the top, hanging space with 8 hangers and two shelves on the right. The other half was open with a carpet on a shelf and around the wall behind, forming a fixed suitcase stand. The area below was split between two drawers and a small cupboard. The rest of this area had wood paneling to the sides and back.

Electrical Items

There were two power sockets below the tall mirror, a single and a double socket below the desk and a double socket between the bedside cabinet and the wardrobe near the floor. Two cream up lighters were on the wall opposite the bed. Either side of the bed there was a cream-shaded bedside lamp on a beige stem with a chrome base. There was a chrome anglepoise desk lamp. A hairdryer was mounted on the wall to the side of the desk.

A medium-sized flatscreen Samsung TV was on top of the unit towards the corner of the room.

There was a safe in the wardrobe.

Additional Items

A bowed shape tall mirror, framed with medium wood was on the wall opposite the bathroom door. This matched the shape of the mirror set above the desk. A perspex leaflet rack on the wall opposite the bed contained the TV remote control.

The pillows had labels of firm and soft in keeping with the Holiday Inn pillow menu policy. A telephone was one side of the bed and a notepad and pen on the other.

Thoughts on Our Room

The room was of average size, but comfortably furnished. We realized how much noise the triple glazing shut out when we went outside. Inside we wouldn't have known we were near the busiest airport in the UK. On a previous stay, we had watched the planes lining up to land from our room on the other side of the hotel.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bedroom.TV and dressing table.Wardrobe area.Towards the main door.
Bedroom.
Bedroom. | Source
TV and dressing table.
TV and dressing table. | Source
Wardrobe area.
Wardrobe area. | Source
Towards the main door.
Towards the main door. | Source

The Bathroom

Decor

Walls were covered in white marble effect rectangular tiles. Grey marble effect floor tiles flecked with silver were laid in diamond shapes and there was a small doorstep into the bathroom. A marble effect grey flecked top ran along the left wall, curving out around the inset sink and continuing around the corner as a shelf above the WC. The shower curtain was in an off white square pattern.

Fixtures and Fittings

The white oval inset sink to the left had a full wall mirror behind it. A shaver socket was on a nearby wall. The marble top had an inset tissue holder and further along, a toilet roll holder. A white WC faced the door. To the right, the white bath had a non-slip surface. The fixed shower above had separate controls. There were a grab rail and a chrome soap dish, as well as a towel holder high up at the end and a washing line which could be hung over the bath. Halfway down the wall, there was a chrome rail with a shower mat on it. The double thickness shower curtain hung from a chrome rail.

Toiletries and Towels

A plastic tray on the marble top contained two shower gels, two soaps, and two tumblers. There was a bath mat, two hand towels, and two bath towels, all of good quality.

Overall Thoughts

Though maybe not the most modern and spacious bathroom, it was spotlessly clean and had all we needed for a one night stay. In an age when some hotels are installing shower rooms, it was good to have the option of a bathtub in the room. The only issue we had was that the bath was slow to drain. When we mentioned this at check out, the manager was quick to make a note to get maintenance to take a look.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sink area.Bath.
Sink area.
Sink area. | Source
Bath.
Bath. | Source

Breakfast

The Layout and Decor

The open-plan restaurant area was to the right of the lobby area. The serving area was located towards the back and in the corner. Behind this, there was an orange painted wall with blackboards on one side and wooden doors in the middle into the kitchen. There was a heated hot buffet area on a central plinth. The base was decorated with small silver tiles and there were white painted cubby holes and a black top. Chrome lamps/heaters hung low over the hot food on black spiral cords.

The cold buffet was in a chiller and cereals, juice and bakery items were on a wooden table. The restaurant area had wooden paneling and shelving in sections, decorated with plants in containers. Walls were covered in a beige/cream paper.

Square and circular light wood tables on chrome plinths were arranged in the space between the serving area and the front windows. Seating was a mixture of high banquettes in a lime vinyl covering and turquoise and grey padded high back chairs with wooden legs.

Floor coverings were varied. The servery area had white rectangular tiles laid at an angle, there was a wooden floor area and also a centrally carpeted area in a beige and brown stripe.

The restaurant was well lit with spotlights in the ceiling, chrome up-lighters and natural light from the tall windows, which were decorated with pull-down white square patterned blinds.

Food

A limited selection of cereals was available in green bowls with wooden scoops. The choice was cornflakes, rice crispies, Weetabix and granola.

Fresh fruit salad consisted mainly of apple with a little pineapple and melon. There was a bowl of plain yogurt and a few cartons of flavored yogurt. The rest of the cold section contained a selection of cheeses, Edam, brie, camembert and cheddar, and cold meats, turkey, ham, and salami.

The juice section had cranberry, orange, and apple as well as spring water.

There were plenty of ketchup containers near the hot plates. The hot selection consisted of hash browns, tomatoes, baked beans, Cumberland sausages, fried eggs, scrambled egg, bacon and black pudding.

The bakery section had a toaster near a wooden container of sliced white and brown bread. There were also croissants, muffins, and pain au chocolat. There was marmite and a selection of jams, butter, and margarine.

Our Experience

The area was very busy on a Sunday morning. The selection of cereals was a little disappointing, as was the composition of the fruit salad. The butter and margarine had melted due to being near the hot toaster (a common occurrence in many hotels). Had we paid for the meal, the above would have been valid points, but having paid nothing, we couldn't complain.

English cooked breakfast.
English cooked breakfast. | Source

Breakfast Food

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The Mini Gym

Layout and Equipment

The gym was located in a meeting room, with mirrors covering the walls and a grey/black striped carpet on the floor.

Equipment consisted of a treadmill, a bike, a low bike, a rowing machine, weight resistance area, two benches, one with a weight bar, a large selection of weights and a mat. There was also a water dispenser with cups, hand gel, and towels.

My Experience

With time to spare before checking out, I asked at reception about access to the gym. I was given a keycard with instructions to take the lift to the basement. The card worked in the first of two doors, but not the next into the gym. The receptionist was helpful. She advised me to ring before going down again and she met me at the door. Even she had trouble getting the keycard to work.

The lights seemed to be on an automatic timer, as they went off after 30 minutes, which was a little disconcerting, but thankfully they soon came back on.

I was disappointed not to find a cross-trainer there, but I was fortunate to have the area to myself. 'Mini' is an accurate description of these facilities, but it was adequate for my purposes. Any more than two people and it would feel crowded.

Priorities

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Location

For those traveling by air, the Holiday Inn Heathrow Terminal 5 is located 1.6 miles northwest of Terminal 5. It takes 10 minutes on the Hotel Hoppa (H59/H57) bus to the hotel from Terminal 5, 20 minutes traveling in the opposite direction. A further 10 minutes takes you to Terminal 4. Free shuttle trains link Terminal 4 and 5 with Heathrow Central Station (near Terminals 2 and 3).

For those, like us, traveling by car, the hotel is located a few minutes south of the A4 Colnbrook bypass, which is the main road from the west into London. It is 6 minutes (1.6 miles) from junction 5 of the M4 and 6 minutes (3.4 miles) from junction 14 of the M25, London's infamous orbital motorway.

A
Holiday Inn London Heathrow Terminal 5:
Old, Bath Rd, Slough SL3 0PH, UK

get directions

B
Heathrow Airport Terminal 5:
Terminal 5, Longford, Hounslow TW6 2GA, UK

get directions

C
Heathrow Airport Terminal 4:
London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 4, Longford, Hounslow TW6 3FB, UK

get directions

D
Heathrow Central Station:
Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3, Longford, Hounslow TW6 1RU, UK

get directions

E
Westfield, Ariel Way London:
Ariel Way, Shepherd's Bush, London W12 7GF, UK

get directions

F
Windsor Castle:
Windsor SL4 1NJ, UK

get directions

Final Thoughts

Staff were friendly and helpful throughout our stay. We were able to check in very early and the unexpected complimentary breakfast was a bonus. Our room was comfortable, clean and well-soundproofed from the planes. As we went to breakfast we met a very friendly cleaner, who chatted away and offered us anything we wanted from her trolley, giving us a handful of tea bags and milk cartons and telling us to just ask later if we needed any more.

Since the 'Independent' newspaper went online-only we have become accustomed to not getting a free newspaper on Sundays in Holiday Inns as the 'i' newspaper is only available Monday–Saturday. We were pleasantly surprised to find complimentary copies of the Sunday Times available for guests at breakfast.

When we mentioned the slow-draining bath to the staff at check out, they were quick to waive the charge for parking.

Whether you are looking for an airport hotel or a base to explore London and Windsor, I would recommend Holiday Inn London Heathrow Terminal 5. Taking into account the facilities and, above all the service we received the hotel deserves a very good rating. For this reason, I have given it 4 stars.

4 stars for Holiday Inn London Heathrow Terminal 5
Holiday Inn London Heathrow Terminal 5.
Holiday Inn London Heathrow Terminal 5. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Liz Westwood

    Comments

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      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        2 weeks ago from UK

        Thank you for your comment, Chitrangada. Although they are in the same Holiday Inn brand, I have yet to come across two identical hotels. Whilst working within the brand standards, each hotel has a slightly different character. The link with royalty was interesting.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        2 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

        A well written article and those who might be traveling to this beautiful place, would be benefitted by your wonderful review. Your pictures and descriptions are very helpful. Enjoyed going through yet another interesting and useful article of yours.

        Thanks for sharing.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        2 weeks ago from UK

        Thanks for your comment, Kenna. The hotel is on Hoppa bus routes, which link it with terminals 4 and 5. There's a free shuttle train from these terminals to Heathrow central station to access transport links.

        We have previously flown in, stayed at another airport hotel for 2 nights and taken trips into London from there on public transport.

      • Kenna McHugh profile image

        Kenna McHugh 

        2 weeks ago from Northern California

        I never thought of staying at an airport hotel. The way you present it sounds like a wise move. I am curious if there is alternative transport to and from the airport. In big cities, I take light rails, trains, and buses. That way, I don't have to consider the cost of parking.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        3 weeks ago from UK

        Thanks for your comment, Thelma. We were very happy with this hotel. There's a big choice of hotels near Heathrow. We tend to check on brand websites and price comparison sites to make sure we find the best deal.

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        3 weeks ago from Germany and Philippines

        This is a good review. I might travel by plane to London and I will need a hotel near the airport. Thanks for sharing this article. Very informative.

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 

        3 weeks ago

        Thank you for the rundown of the situation in London and its papers.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        4 weeks ago from UK

        Thanks for your comment, Robert. This is one of the most secure hotel car parks I have ever used. Like any other big city, London has areas where crime can be a problem. I became aware of it when my husband checked reviews for a budget hotel closer to the centre of the city. Guests complained of cars being broken into in the car park. Increasingly hotels are using cameras in car parks mainly to ensure only guests park there, but also as a security measure.

        The Independant broadsheet newspaper started publication in the 1980s. It strove to break the mould by being independant in its views rather than taking a particular political stance. Later a shorter tabloid version, the 'i' was produced. It was cheaper and many hotels supplied it to their guests apart from a Sunday when only the Independant was produced. Within the past few years the Independant has ceased paper publication and gone online only. The Times is more detailed and more expensive. Personally I find the 'i' suits me well.

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 

        4 weeks ago

        Another detailed article. You mentioned about security. Is there a crime problem in London? You get the "Independent", how does it compare to "The Times of London"?

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        Thank you for your encouraging comment, Bridgette. I hope that by sharing our experience I can help other travellers.

      • Bridgette Crowe profile image

        Bridgette Crowe 

        5 weeks ago from Morrow

        I really appreciate your attention to detail. So much detail and yet you kept it interesting and broke it down for a nice, smooth read.

        No doubt if I were to travel your reviews would be top priority.

        Beyond excellent!

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        Thank you very much for your encouraging comment, Maxwell. I write about hotel experiences in the hope that it will help others who are considering making a booking.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        Thank you for your comment, Lorna. I was pleased at how good a base this hotel was. It is within easy reach of so many interesting places and of course very convenient for anyone in transit through Heathrow airport.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        Thank you very much for your comment, Linda. I have a backlog of reviews to write, so there should be more hotels in the UK to come. My next project is on Spain, as I am tackling them in the order we visited.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        Thank you for your comment, FlourishAnyway. The triple glazing worked very well. We have had problems in the past with road noise at some hotels. But the road outside this hotel was quiet, as other more recently constructed roads take most of the traffic. You would never know, inside the hotel, how close you are to a busy airport.

      • Lorna Lamon profile image

        Lorna Lamon 

        5 weeks ago

        Very informative article with great photos. Sounds like a good base if you are planning a short trip - convenient location.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

        The inside of the hotel looks lovely. I think I would feel very comfortable there. It's interesting to read a review of a British hotel. As usual, you've created a very useful article for travellers.

      • mxkamlongera profile image

        Maxwell Kamlongera 

        5 weeks ago

        Great review, Liz! Your attention to detail is marvelous and shows a clear love and attention to what you do! Keep up the great work, I enjoy reading your reviews on accommodations!

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 weeks ago from USA

        Noise was my chief question but that doesn’t seem to be an issue. Your descriptions make a person seem like they are right there.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        No bother at all, Bill. Thanks for commenting. This isn't the worst exterior I have seen. There are quite a few flat roofed nondescript concrete block Holiday Inns in buildings dating back to the 1970s. Thankfully, whilst little can be done about drab exteriors, in recent years there has been a programme of internal refurbishment. Bright modern open lobbies are on trend at the moment.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        Nice review, Liz! The exterior is a bit drab, but I like the bright colors and modernization inside. Another lovely journey with you. I hope I wasn't too much bother as a guest. :)

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        Thank you for your comment, John. Holiday Inn is one of the most recognisable global hotel brands. It has stood the test of time since it first appeared on the scene over 65 years ago. I like the story of how the brand name came from the Bing Crosby film title as a joke.

      • Rock_nj profile image

        John Coviello 

        5 weeks ago from New Jersey

        Thanks for providing your thoughts about your stay at Holiday Inn Heathrow Terminal 5. It is a very informative article.

        I stay at Holiday Inns often when travelling. I will keep your helpful review in mind when I'm traveling to London.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        Thank you for your comment, Pamela. This area is a good base for taking a trip into London or exploring Windsor and the surrounding area. It is also well-placed with the surrounding motorway network for accessing other parts of the UK.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        Thank you for your comment, Linda. At least with a global brand like Hilton or IHG, they have brand standards so you know roughly what to expect. We once had a disappointing stay in an independent hotel near Gatwick airport. Whenever we have flights booked we prefer staying in a nearby hotel. It avoids the worry of getting stuck in traffic on the way, especially if you have an early flight to catch. This is the second time we have used an airport hotel near Heathrow for getting into London.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        I liked the colors and design in your room. Also, free breakfast is also a plus. Overall it sounds like you enjoyed your stay and the location worked well for you. This is another well-written article that fully describes this hotel. I would love to visit that area.

      • lindacee profile image

        Linda Chechar 

        5 weeks ago from Arizona

        The Holiday Inn rooms look very nice, decent meals and a work out facility. Hotels at the airports are so convenient when you have an early morning flight. We had been to Paris, hopped off the Eurostar and spent the night at the Heathrow Hilton. The next morning it was easy to get to the international terminal and headed home.

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