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Back down to earth with a bump
Sheraton Skyline Heathrow (London)
Member Name: sarajackson
Sheraton Skyline Heathrow (London)
Date: 26/07/03, updated on 26/07/03 (201 review reads)
Advantages: None, None, None
Disadvantages: Shabby public areas, Poor dining options, Dated feel to whole hotel
We paid £85 for room only at the hotel, including up to 15 days car parking. This was booked through ABC Holiday Extras. I did e-mail the hotel beforehand to ask what price they could offer us for a night including parking, but they said they could not match the price and advised us to book with ABC. I would have thought it would be worthwhile for them to deal directly with the customer! The price was fairly representative of the Heathrow hotels. We had stayed already at the Marriott, Renaissance, Le Meridien, Radisson and Hilton, but we were still curious what the Sheraton would be like, never having stayed at any of the hotels in the chain before.
We dropped off our car prior to our trip, and we were not delayed very long while we advised the receptionist that we had parked our car and would be staying a week later. Sometimes this causes confusion, and I can't say I was totally convinced that they realised exactly what was going on!
The outside of the hotel, in common with the majority of the Heathrow hotels, looks pretty bleak, perhaps even bleaker than most. The whole style seems to reflect the era when they were built, and as a result everything looks very very dated and ugly. The low building with pink stone boxy façade, small windows and with bold blue signs is frankly architecturally awful! Maybe it's just me, but I find the name somewhat misleading - 'Skyline'. If I hadn't seen pictures of the hotel beforehand I may have expected a hotel with lots of floors, that you may get a good
We went into the hotel to check in, where we found the check in pretty confused. First of all our booking could not be found, then a booking with the incorrect address was found, and the check in clerk seemed pretty unconcerned that this wasn't actually our booking. After a while we were given our room key and made our way a few steps to the lift. The main lobby is quite large, with shiny polished floor, and a large seating area just inside the business-like revolving doors. First impressions aren't that bad, but you definitely don't get the impression this is a great hotel. The décor looks a little dated.
However the first main fear that the hotel may be in need of a little TLC, came when we entered the (very small) lift. This was extremely old fashioned, very creaky and rather grotty. On leaving the lift, the corridors similarly did not have a particularly new feel to them, and were rather dated too, decorated in a green colour.
Our room was of average UK hotel size, a big culture shock after Dubai, and was comfortable but not in any way luxurious or impressive. The inoffensive geometric beige carpet and dappled light green toned wallpaper left us underwhelmed. The bed covered in a green gingham cover with mismatched shiny green valance followed the green theme, finished off by stripy green curtains with unecessary box valance. The room had a beech wood TV unit and desk and chair, along with a a sofa in a navy patterned fabric with contrasting red cushions. There was also a gold rimmed metal coffee table with glass top, adding to the already contrasting style of the room. Everything was OK ? no more no less; slightly better than a Travelodge.
The bathroom was of average size, with marble topped vanity surface. The walls were covered in a candy striped wallpaper, and I was happy that the bath had a hand held shower, which is always a welcome addition, if like me, you like being able to wash
your hair without having a shower too!
The only view we had was an internal one, and I wished I'd requested a runway facing room, but I hadn't realised that there were some rooms on the front until after I had checked in. The view was of the Sky Bar which is housed in the inner courtyard, and is also the location of the swimming pool. The bar is stated as being a trendy place for locals to visit, but I am guessing this was only the case about 20 years ago, when the faux tropical bar and pool may have been a little appealing. The view was not as bad as some you may get, and we have had, overlooking dustbins etc, but was actually quite depressing in its own retro kind of way. Although we had an inward facing room, we still noticed that the hotel wasn?t particularly well soundproofed, and the light that shone from a large gap under the door was also quite distracting when you were trying to sleep. Whenever I woke up I thought I had left a light on. The room had the benefits of the usual in room amenities, although there was no iron and board.
The hotel has a restaurant, Sage, and an adjoining bar, as well as the aforementioned Sky Bar. It also has an American themed Sports Bar. As is always the case when we return from our travels, we did not fancy a formal restaurant meal, and hoped to grab a snack in the restaurant bar. We first sampled the cocktails in the Sky Bar, which had a 2 for the price of 1 offer on at the time. The cocktail menu was a little disappointing, as it seemed to be sponsored by Smirnoff and so had a limited appeal, and none of the hotel signature cocktails that usually make a cocktail menu. The cosmopolitan I had was passable, but I certainly wasn't tempted to have another!
We then attempted to have a snack in the bar, but were told that they did not serve food, and were directed to the American bar. You can imagine what this is like ? American road signs and memorabilia on the walls. The obl
igatory red checked tablecloths that every American theme bar in this country must have (and that I have not once witnessed actually in the US!). The menu seemed fairly appealing, if relatively expensive, and I decided to order the chicken satay (which was actually a starter) and a side order of fries. My husband ordered a pizza. The service was fairly good, but the food was not. The chicken satay looked most unappealing and was caked in a dusty coating. It was obvious that the dry synthetic spices had been used instead of a marinade, and the result was quite revolting. The size of the dish was enormous, and would have been far too huge for a starter. The restaurant was also full of families with children and then so all in all the end result was far from the relaxing end to a holiday that we try to achieve.
We noticed that the hotel was deadly quiet while we were there, and I am pretty sure that most of the rooms must have been unoccupied. Why in these circumstances it didn't occur to the hotel to allocate us one of the slightly better rooms baffles me. It always seems to e the case that in this class of hotel upgrades are like gold dust and they seem to think giving you something for nothing is just not done. A better hotel would (and does) realise that treating a customer well will probably encourage them to return. We really did feel that the hotel couldn't care less.
I definitely would not return to this hotel. It falls into the poor category of Heathrow Hotels. The cost is usually £10 to £15 more than staying in the nearby Holiday Inn Ariel, and although we have never stayed there, we enjoyed a really nice bar meal there once. The service was not particularly good at the Sheraton, and I would be put off staying at any of their other hotels. I thought the whole hotel needed a big refurbishment programme and the dining establishments need bringing up to date. Compared to the Marriott where the choice of restaurants is r
eally good, and you feel that it is at least trying to be a luxury hotel, the Sheraton is a big disappointment. For the same price or probably less I would stay at any of Le Meridien, Renaissance of the Marriott Bath Road. In fact when we had another overnight stop at the airport this June, it was the Marriott that I was happy to return to.
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