What's it like? The largest Heathrow hotel, the Park Inn was once two hotels that were joined several years ago. Park Inn opened in May 2004 and is part ofthe Rezidor SAS group (other brands include Radisson SAS and Regent). I arrived late on a Sunday evening, and was surprised to find the lobby busy with people checking in. I later found out that due to adverse weather a lot of flights had been delayed, so several passengers were staying at the Park Inn to make connections the next day. Despite this,check-in was quick and efficient.
Where is it?One of the closest hotels to Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 3, it's the first stop on the Hoppa bus H2 service, which runs every 10 minutes from 0518 to 2310 from the terminals.
How many rooms? 880 (over five floors), of which 623 are standard rooms, 248 are executive rooms and nine are suites.
Room facilities My executive room was on the fifth floor overlooking the runway (there was almost no noise thanks to good-quality double glazing). All executive rooms are in wing 9 of the hotel, with standard rooms spread throughout the other wings. All rooms are bright and clean, if a little sparsely decorated, and have queen-sized beds, satellite TV with pay movie channels, and express checkout facilities. Other amenities include tea and coffee-making facilities, free mineral water, trouser press, iron and ironing board, hair dryer and safe. Wired internet access is available in all rooms (and wifi in some) – cards can be purchased in reception for £14 for 24 hours. Wifi access is available in the public areas at the same charge.
Restaurants and bars The hotel is undergoing a major extension that will add convention space(see below) and new restaurants and bars, due to open in early 2007. In the meantime, the hotel has set up a temporary restaurant, which resembles a wedding marquee. This might not sound ideal, but they have made the best of the space available, and it's undoubtedly better than reducing the catering facilities while the work is carried out.Presently the only other eating option is Pulse Café, Bar and Deli, a trendy café decked out in lime and white. Breakfast takes place in these two areas and when I was there, funky music was playing though the speakers (a little too loud for my liking). There was a good choice of fruits, cereals, hot buffet breakfast and cold meats, and extremely attentive staff. The hotel offers 24-hour room service, and as I had arrived late I ordered a club sandwich (£10.95) in my room – it was enormous and came with potato wedges and a side salad.
Business and meeting facilities The extended convention centre will add 2,000sqm of meeting space, and will include nine conference and meeting rooms – the area will also have its own entrance and reception. Until then, the hotel has a respectable 10conference rooms and 26 meeting rooms, for up to 200 people. There is also a business centre with all the necessary services.
Leisure facilities There is a 15-metre indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, sauna and spa bath,all free to guests. A Solarium is available at a charge of £6 for three minutes.
Verdict Convenient to Heathrow, with comfortable rooms and good leisure facilities. Next year the hotel will really come into its own when the new facilities open.
Prices Flexible internet rates for a midweek stay in early September started at £129, including eight days' parking.
Contact Park Inn Heathrow, Bath Road, tel +44 (0)20 8759 6611, parkinn.co.uk.