Thousands of people pass Hatton Cross every day without ever getting an impression of the area. The Piccadilly Line London Underground rail splits into its two airport branches here, one servicing Terminal 1,2 and 3 followed by Terminal 5 and one branch servicing Terminal 4 and going back to the city via Terminals 1 to 3 after a decent stop. As I arrived in Terminal 2 late at the day and flew on British Airways to Newcastle the day thereafter, I went for one of the hotels next to this Underground station, the Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport, in late July 2019. Here is my review.
HGI Heathrow Airport – Location
In general, reaching the Hilton Garden Inn from the London Heathrow Terminals: the hotel is about a five minute walk away from the Hatton Cross Station served by the Piccadilly Line. Hatton Cross is still in Zone 6, like the airport, and is the first station after London Heathrow. However, the walk from the Underground Station to the hotel is a bit odd. The hotel is also hidden behind a major commercial building. Like many London Underground Stations, there are neither escalators nor lifts from train to street level.
The hotel is located in a very commercial area. There are no facilities like supermarkets around. I unfortunately did not manage to take some pictures due to rain, but the area is quite nice for plane spotting. Under typical weather conditions, the landing planes are flying very low over that area. In case you want to connect to the Heathrow Terminals from the hotel directly, there are shuttle buses. These are driven by an external party, booking terminals are in the hotel lobby. The one way fare at these machines is 5 GBP for an adult, 10.50 GBP for a family, one-way. Pre-booking via the website (!) and paying at the bus driver is more expansive.
Please note that Hilton recently opened another HGI Hotel, which is located right at Terminal 2.
HGI Heathrow Airport – The Room
For my stay in July, I had a one night pre-paid room. The hotel was very full, majorly caused due to weather-related flight cancellations. The rate was roughly 87 GBP. The room had an absolutely sufficient size – finally, you typically board an airport hotel, you aim to have a reasonable overnight, sufficient space for your luggage, good transport and food. The room serves it all – it offers sufficient space, it is even quite cozy. For international travelers, there are Central European power plugs at the workdesk, which is very handy.
The bathroom was overall functional and sufficient. I have to say, though, that the Hilton Garden Inn experiences I recently had in the US were significantly better in this part of the room. There was very little space to put something like your toiletry bag. The most negative point in the whole room was the shower, though. It had a very nice size – however, the floor of the shower was very slippery, so that I had to partially hold myself to prevent from falling. This is not acceptable, of course.
The overall room condition was average. The hotel seems to have a certain age and things are just run down. Not sure how well you can spot it on the third picture, but there was also a lack of exactness in the housekeeping. In my point of view, it was just still acceptable, though.
HGI Heathrow Airport – Breakfast
As I received the early morning message that my flight to Newcastle Airport has been cancelled, I unfortunately just had a short time at the lovely-looking breakfast buffet. They had quite a variety of items of all kinds. The waffle dough was a not ideal, maybe, but the overall presentation was really nice. They did not feel to be too ready, though that people come in for breakfast at 6:00 hrs opening time. For example, there was an egg dish position, which was not in use (yet). But overall, the start of the day looked really nice.
HGI Heathrow Airport – Services
The staff at check-in and check-out was very welcoming. They were already interested in my complaint about the shower at check-out. The internet connection in the hotel (complimentary) was absolutely fine as well.
The hotel offers a business center and a gym. The latter looked very nice – unfortunately, it was in use when I wanted to take pictures.
HGI Heathrow Airport – My View
I can’t really say that I had a bad time in the hotel. From an optimum rating, I decreased one notch for the general state of the room, which just needs some renovation. In the shower, I really felt to be in a dangerous and threatening situation, which finally leads to a result of 2 / 5 stars. If I had a bathtub room, the rating might have been higher, but that’s the crucial thing about any review: you don’t have to be excellent at any time, but just at the time of review. The hotel did well in many categories, but failed at least in one, which is quite central to me.