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The best so far at LHR!
Heathrow Marriott (London)
Member Name: sarajackson
Heathrow Marriott (London)
Date: 10/05/03, updated on 10/05/03 (422 review reads)
Advantages: Bright modern building, Plenty of dining options, Good value for long stay parking
Disadvantages: Bland corporate rooms, No runway views!, Not much else
We booked direct taking advantage of the Park and Fly package which cost £120, which unusually for parking inclusive packages also included breakfast. This is fairly expensive for Heathrow but does include up to 3 months car parking, so it is good for when you are away for longer than the usual inclusive 15 days. Your car however is taken away by the hotel to an off-site car park, and brought back on your return. You can in fact purchase a room through ABC Holiday extras in the UK for less - £82 which includes 15 days car parking in the hotel's car park, which would be even better as you don't have to wait for your car to be brought back.
The Hotel is the newest at the Airport and is modern architecturally, with a large glass entrance forming part of the atrium and space-age style silvery-grey exterior walls. It is a pleasing addition to Bath Road, with the other concrete monstrosities. It is as convenient as any of the other Heathrow Hotels, all being afflicted with the necessity to catch (and pay for) the Hotel Hoppa to the airport. The only exception is the Hilton, linked to Terminal 4, but you pay for this convenience!
We dropped our car off at the Hotel two weeks before our stay, and this usually causes much confusion, and you are never confident that your car won&
#39;t be clamped when you get back!! This year it was quite organised and we just had to fill in a form with details of when we would want our car back, we handed over our keys and caught the Hotel Hoppa to the terminal.
When we returned, it was fairly early in the morning, about 9.30am, and so it was a lot earlier than the usual check in time. However we were given the key to our room, and we were happy to be able to go to sleep for a few hours. I am always surprised just how obliging all of the Heathrow Hotels are when you arrive in the morning and expect your room to be ready.
Our room, although in a bright modern building, was very traditional Marriott; claret coloured patterned carpet, floral bedcovers, traditional wood furniture and light walls. Everything was very comfortable and practical, but unlike the recently refurbished Le Meridien which has a very modern style, did not reflect the hotel's age. None of the rooms offer a direct view of the runways, rooms either being on the left or right of the building or having just an internal atrium view. From our room we had a partial view of one of the runways, but it can't compare to the Renaissance for plane spotting!! The room had all the amenities you would require, including hairdryer, iron and board, interactive TV, radio etc. The mini bar, in common with all UK Marriott properties, is automatically operated, so if you move any of the items you get charged for them, and also means you cannot use it to store any of your own items. I always find this a bit annoying - plus I happened to nudge a Mars Bar one millimetre and hey presto, it was on our bill! The bed in the room was comfortable and although you were aware of the aircraft, the room was fairly well glazed and so noise was kept to a minimum. I never mind hearing a slight rumble from the aircraft anyway - I like to be aware of being at an airport!! The air conditioning in the room was very poor, and no amount of mess
ing around with the control panel made any difference at all to the temperature in the room.
When we had caught up on some sleep we decided to get something to eat at the hotel. This is where the Marriott really overtakes the competition. The hotel has the most amount of restaurants of all the airport hotels we have stayed at. In the large airy atrium there is a bar serving light meals, as well as cocktails and drinks; there is also a more traditional 'pub' bar which is a much less attractive option.
A Mediterranean style Tuscany Ristorante is one of the two main eating venues along with Allies American Grille. It is quite unusual to find four options for food plus a good room service menu, and it was also nice to have two casual bar options which often is what you require after a holiday visiting lots of more formal restaurants. We chose to grab a drink and some food in the atrium lounge, and also decided to sample their Long Island Iced Teas. This is only the second time we have sampled cocktails at a Heathrow Airport, usually being dissuaded by the inflated prices - it is rather irritating to have to pay £9+ when you have been paying half that amount throughout your holiday! Here at the Marriott though I think the cocktails were about £6 so we were tempted, and the Long Island Iced Teas were very good. Even my husband who very rarely is tempted from his classic Martinis or Manhattans had to admit it was extremely good, and a generous measure. The food menu consisted of various sandwiches and light snacks - we both chose a sandwich, which were fairly unadventurous, but good nevertheless. One disappointment was that in the Lounge there was no table service, and common with the majority of English hotels, you had to order at the bar. I know with Marriott in the UK, this varies from hotel to hotel, but I can't help wishing that an American chain would set a good example and always provide this service!
t the next morning we were greeted by the friendliest breakfast attendant ever! It is unusual to be struck by good service at breakfast in particular where you find the staff often appear they need waking up too. By contrast our attendant took us to our table with a pleasant cheery manner, explaining in great detail how the breakfast service worked, and she left us with a smile on our faces. The breakfast selection was extensive, with fruit, yoghurts, cereals, cooked English breakfast and various fruit juices.
I would definitely stay at the Marriott again, if they continue to offer competitive parking packages. I wouldn't say the hotel quite lives up to the hotels we have often come from in Canada (although the cocktails did), but it was the closest we've got so far. A relaxing, enjoyable and service orientated night's stay - quite unique at Heathrow!
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