If you have an overnight or a very early flight the next morning, limited budget and want a hotel that is attached to London Heathrow Airport, Premier Inn London Heathrow Terminal 4 should be your default choice.
It is the only budget hotel that you do not have to lug your bags onto a bus or jump into an expensive taxi. Premier Inn is not a small dingy outfit; it is the UK largest hotel brand with more than 785 hotels. This Premier Inn is relatively a new hotel, opened in May 2017.
Premier Inn Heathrow Terminal 4, as the name suggests, is located by London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4. It is physically linked to Terminal 4. There is a fully covered walkway from the terminal to the hotel. From the underground tube (train) station, it took 11 minutes to walk and dragging a bag, point to point. From the departure floor, it took 6 minutes to walk. (Yes, we timed our walks – not fast, just leisurely.)
If you are arriving at Terminal 4 by underground tube, follow the exit sign and walk to the lift. Take the lift to the Departure floor, then walk towards the end of Zone F where the entry to the walkway is located. The hotel sign is quite small, hard to spot from the centre of the terminal. If you are arriving by flight into Terminal 4 itself, all you have to do is to make your way to Departure floor and walk towards Zone F.
Continue on the covered walkway and follow Premier Inn’s sign. The walkway is akin to a huge tubular tunnel. The same walkway also leads directly to three other hotels: Hilton Terminal 4, Crowne Plaza Terminal 4, Holiday Inn Express Terminal 4.
The room rate is what I loved most about this hotel. For this stay, I booked a family room and paid £29 inclusive of taxes. I have consistently scored £29 per night; the most I had paid was £49.50 per night. If you booked well in advance, these rates are usually available. Do not get fooled by some budget and premier hotels that tag on the word ‘Heathrow’. They are offsite from the terminals and you have to spend quite a bit of money and time to ride on cabs, or jump on a bus which is inconvenient if you have heavy bags.
Check-In and Lobby
After completing the walkway, I took the lift to the first floor where the Reception is located. You can either go directly to the Reception or to one of the self check-in kiosks. I used the kiosk; you would need your reservation number for the check-in. A billing receipt was issued and the room key card was dispensed from the machine shortly after.
The lobby itself is quite large, bright and colourful. Costa Coffee and Thyme Restaurant are located on this floor.
My bedroom was on the 4th floor. It overlooked another section of the Premier Inn. The bedroom was very spacious. It accommodated a large king bed (UK sizing), a big sofa sleeper and a long counter / working desk with lots of space in between. The room was pleasantly furnished, and was bright, aided by natural and artificial lighting.
The main bed itself was comfortable; the mattress was on the firm side. There was plenty of bedside lighting available. Power plugs were at hand on both sides of the bed but unfortunately, there was no USB chargers. If you do not like sleeping in total darkness, you can turn on the purplish nightlight, emitted from the top of the headboard.
Flooring was carpeted and quite comfortable to walk on. The window had blackout curtains.
Heating for the room can be adjusted via the wall mounted temperature controller. As it was winter, I did not test the air conditioning.
The countertop/working desk was well equipped. It had a kettle and coffee/tea making facilities, a VOIP landline telephone and a side lamp to boost the lighting. There were two power sockets towards the left side. It also had a built-in audio-visual connections (HDMI, RCA phono connectors, audio analog connector and USB play port). These features make it very handy to connect the laptop to the TV via the digital or analog connections as long as you have your own cables with you. A large LED television was mounted above the working desk and there were lots of channels (not the typical 4 or 5 channels usually available in budget hotels).
There was not much space for hanging out the clothes. There were only five hangers in an open cupboard. Close to it was the hairdryer.
The room was neither equipped with a safe nor a refrigerator. I did not recall seeing the iron and ironing board, but I am quite sure it can be requested from the housekeeping.
Free wifi was provided. You have to create an account and sign in. The speed was decent enough to browse and work. However, it did take a long time to download files. It took 30 minutes to download a 100MB file. Premier Inn does offer a supercharge speed (Ultimate Wifi) for an extra fiver.
While the bedroom was nicely furnished, the bathroom on the other hand, was very basic. There was no toiletry/amenity kit, not even a bar of soap. A generic liquid soap was supplied from dispensers mounted by the wash basin and another one by the bath tub. The toilet paper were not exactly friendly for use either. Despite all this, the bathroom was spacious, pleasingly tiled and very clean. The shower was also quite powerful.
Other Conveniences & Facilities
Coffee shop and restaurant are by the reception floor. Continental breakfast was priced at £8.50, while full breakfast was at £10.50. Car parking was also available at £16.50 per day, provided by a third party company.
Overall, it was a comfortable and peaceful stay and I gained a restful sleep. Both bedroom and bathroom were very clean and spacious (at least by European standards). Be mindful that it is no Hilton or Marriott and you are not paying their rates either. At £29-£50 for a good night sleep with the convenience of being attached to Heathrow Airport, in my view, it was a brilliant value and hard to beat.
Hotel Review: Premier Inn Heathrow Terminal 4
Sheffield Road, London Heathrow Airport, Heathrow, TW6 3FH, England
Last Date Stayed: 1-JUN-2019 (plus four times in the last 12 months)
Tip – How to travel from Premier Inn Heathrow Terminal 4 to Heathrow Terminal 5 Departure Level:
- Exit the hotel (use the lift, press for the level marked ‘Terminal’).
- Walk towards Terminal 4 using the covered walkway.
Time: 6 minutes’ leisure walk
- Once you arrive the Departure level in Terminal 4, walk to the lifts located at the centre of the terminal. (Note: There is a lift/elevator immediately after the walkway, but this one leads to Heathrow Express trains, NOT the London Underground trains.)
- Take the lift to the London Underground level and walk to the train platform.
- Take the train to Terminal 1, 2 and 3 station. There is no direct train from Terminal 4 to Terminal 5.
Time: 6 minutes’ ride
- Disembark at Terminal 1, 2 and 3 station. Change train here for Terminal 5.
(Changing train here is not a hardship. It is on the next platform, 5 seconds walk.)
- Take the train to Terminal 5 station.
Time: 5 minutes’ ride
- Once at Terminal 5 station, exit and take the lift to Terminal 5 Departure floor (Level 3).
From leaving Premier Inn Terminal 4 to reaching Departure level of Terminal 5, the total time was 24 minutes. Allow more time during peak hours (I was travelling off-peak hours at 10:30 am).
Nothing to pay. All travels within Heathrow area including transfers between terminals are totally free on London Underground trains, Heathrow Express, Heathrow Connect and the red buses. You must tap your Oyster Card to get the entry and exit barriers to open. If you do not have an Oyster Card, you can use your contactless credit card (as long as it has contactless payment symbol). Overseas credit cards work too. See London Underground website – paying for the fare.
Heathrow Free Travel Zone
Click here for a map of the free travel zone; map provided by Heathrow Airport.
You can also take the red bus from Premier Inn Terminal 4 to Terminal 5. Go down to the car park level. After the steps, head to the main street, turn to the right for the nearest bus stop. Overall distance is about 100m. The bus stops at several places. I have done this before and did not find it to be a time saver. It took about 30 minutes. Also be warned, if you think you will have an empty bus at 5 am in the morning, you will be very mistaken. It is packed with travellers and local people going for their early morning shifts.
You can also take the Heathrow Express train (also free). Once again, I have done it before and did not find it that convenient either. Heathrow Express does not run as frequent as the London Underground trains, and it also involves changing of train.
All considered, in my opinion, the London Underground trains are the most convenient and fastest.