The Hilton Heathrow T4 has a fond place in my memories as I used to live nearby and be a member of the gym many years ago. It was in my days before I really started on luxury travel. I remember meeting a friend for a gin and tonic and thinking how sophisticated it was in the hotel. Certainly better than my grotty local pub!
I have stayed there are few times, the rooms are also fairly recently remodelled. Now they have completely redone all the public areas and the fitness space. I was invited to stay to review the newly upgraded property.
Location and price
This is really the only negative you could find about the hotel. Even pre-Covid, the connections with T4 have always been a little slow with no direct Heathrow Express services. However, given that the Sofitel is now a quarantine hotel, there are no T5 hotels on site. The only options now are the Aerotel in T3 or the Heathrow Garden Inn at T2. The walk with luggage from T2 is pretty long to the Heathrow Express. By the time you have done that, it is just as quick to get to T4. And the Hilton is definitely a nicer property.
The other ways to get here are an Uber which is expensive from T5 due to the Heathrow charges and could be around £20! The Hoppa bus is the best option if you have luggage and don’t want to take a normal bus. This is now free for hotel guests and runs hourly from T5 to the Hilton T4. Otherwise, the 482 or 490 bus will take you to T4, which the Hilton is attached to by walkway. If you are coming from London, the bus also stops at Hatton Cross tube, 10 minutes by bus from the hotel.
I took my car to the hotel and then drove myself to the airport the next day and parked with FHR. They represent various meet and greet services. I usually use MBW or Star Parking, both of which pick the car up from the short-term parking and deliver it back there. So a week is costing me £55 with the current 25% off.
The hotel is currently one of the best-priced options at Heathrow for the standard of hotel. You can usually get it from £90, and even a Junior suite like the one I had is only around £150 on quiet days. If you are a Diamond member, it’s also great value with the lounge replacement. (see below). It’s probably slightly closer than many of the Bath Road options.
The hotel was very quiet. I drove up to drop my luggage off as the car park is up a set of stairs to reception. I was allowed to leave my car by reception while I checked in and looked after my luggage. The receptionist was helpful, and assistance was offered for my luggage to be taken to the room. The lounge is not currently open, but they explained the process. The lounge is normally very good there, which you can see from my previous review.
One of the things I like most about the hotel is the vast atrium that the reception and restaurants sit in. If you have been in an airport or plane for a long time, it always feels great to be somewhere so open and airy. The new decor looked very contemporary and upmarket in reception. There is now also a large central food and beverage area with a bar/cafe and a more formal restaurant.
I was upgraded to a Junior Suite, but I have stayed in the normal rooms on previous visits. The rooms here are modern, and the aviation geek loves the room number signs with the planes. Also, each room has a real airport feel to it with the illuminated maps on the wall.
The room felt very spacious and would be perfect for a longer layover or if you wanted to work. The desk area felt spacious, and there were plenty of sockets at desk level for charging.
There was a lot of storage space in the wardrobe, which is probably unnecessary in an airport hotel, but it also had all the essentials such as an iron and morning board and robe with slippers. I liked that there was plenty of mineral water supplied and in glass bottles too. Everything appeared very clean, but there were some individually wrapped wipes as well for extra peace of mind.
It felt more like a proper suite than a junior suite given the available space, although it didn’t have a door between the lounge and bedroom area. The room overlooked the atrium, so it was quiet. I have always liked the coffee/mini bar area in this hotel as it’s easy to access and looks stylish. It’s always good to have a proper Nespresso machine when you have a 5 am start, as I did!
The bed was not too firm for me, which I found in some Hilton’s. However, they seem to be all moving to the Hilton bed, which I find comfortable. The main things I am looking for in an airport hotel are a comfortable bed, a quiet room and a socket next to the bed. The Hilton T4 delivers on all those fronts.
There was both a normal socket and a USB next to the bed on both sides and simple to use light switches. I always want a room where I can control the temperature as I like a cold room to sleep in, and there were no problems with this at the Hilton.
Next on the wish list is a decent shower to wake up with or refresh after a long journey.
The bathroom felt very modern and had a large walk-in shower with a raindrop shower or a more traditional one if you preferred. This is the same in the standard rooms as well.
I liked the large vanity unit, so you could just dump your washbag on it without unpacking it on a quick stay. Toiletries were plentiful, and the standard Hilton Crabtree & Evelyn.
The room itself was a little on the dark side in the evening, but the bathroom was well-lit enough, which is important. There was even a magnifying mirror for shaving, which you don’t always get in airport hotels.
Here is what a standard room looks like:
It has the same desk, bathroom and minibar but when I last visited there was not a Nespresso machine in these rooms.
Food and drink, including Executive Lounge substitute
I ate at the café because the restaurant is only open in the evening. The cafe menu has a good choice of healthy or more naughty treats and feels modern.
The OXBO cafe/bar is very smart, and I like the effect of all the greenery.
There’s a good mix of seating areas, whether you just want to grab a drink or go for more of a formal sit-down meal.
I sat at one of the tables since it was very quiet when I was there.
I decided to start with the cauliflower fritters. Fritters seem easy but have eaten enough bad ones, but it is the sign of a decent restaurant if they are good!
These were pretty much perfect. The batter was thin and crisp with a nice hint of spice. However, you could still taste the cauliflower, and it retained just the right amount of firmness. The accompanying tomato chutney added a little hint of sweetness which worked well with the cauliflower.
One of their signature dishes in both the restaurant and the bar is the burger, so I thought I had better try it. I really liked the sound of the rarebit topping as something a bit different. Boy, was it enormous!
The brown ale rarebit was indeed the dish’s highlight, with the oozing hot cheese smothering both beef patties. I also liked the smoked tomato chutney, which offset the rich cheesiness! I had swapped my regular fries for the vegetable version and was pleased to see they were still crisp on the outside.
This is the fancier dining place at the hotel which overlooks the lake. The booths with the luggage-inspired seats looked fun!
The menu has both the dishes I tried plus a wider selection of more sophisticated choices:
Executive Lounge substitute
As the lounge is closed, the Hilton is offering a very generous alternative. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the options, but my friend @flylikelinz supplied these images of the choices. Between 6-8 pm, you can order any of the drinks listed, plus whatever you fancy from the selected snacks, including those great cauliflower fritters!
I was getting up very early, too early for the main breakfast. However, they do room service even at very early hours of the morning but with cold food. Room service is delivered in 15-minute slots, so it’s best to be cautious with timings in case it arrives right at the end of the slot. I had just ordered a muffin and yoghurt. The muffin was actually delicious, very moist, and packed full of pieces of apple.
The Hilton Heathrow T4 now also offers a bespoke Family Experience for travellers below the age of 12. Children enjoy a Kids Welcome and a dedicated Kids Breakfast experience and the Kids Menu. In addition, the hotel has kids’ amenities available upon request.
Sadly the pool has now been replaced with more meeting space, but the gym and changing rooms have been refreshed. There is also a business centre available which is very handy for printing all those documents you now need to travel!
It was quite a while since I had last stayed here and I was pleased to see that not only had the public areas been improved, but the rooms were just as good as before. Moreover, the addition of the OXBO restaurant and cafe gives a choice of a proper meal or more of a casual drinks and nibbles environment, perfect for an airport when you could want either!
Given the great price of the hotel, it is one of the most modern and comfortable hotels near T5 (the Hilton T5 is not open for bookings).