It’s been a busy 12 months or so for Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) at Heathrow. Last year the group opened a dual-branded Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express property attached to Terminal 4 (for a review of the Crowne Plaza click here), and in January it unveiled a Staybridge Suites property on Bath Road between Terminals 2 and 3, and Terminal 5.
It’s part of another dual-branded development, adjacent to a newly-opened 433-room Holiday Inn hotel.
What’s it like?
For those readers not familiar with the Staybridge Suites concept, IHG describes it as “a home-like, upscale extended stay with a feeling of community”.
The extended stay part is fulfilled by facilities including a communal laundry and in-room kitchens (more on both of these below), and Staybridge looks to instil a sense of community at its properties by holding social evenings (on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays between 1830 and 1930 in the case of this hotel), where guests can mingle and have a free drink. Rooms also have a Social Board, with details on special dining offers, and events going on in the local area.
The Staybridge Suites property is the smaller of the two hotels in this dual-branded development, with a total of 190 suites. Reception is to the right as you enter the building, and two members of staff were on duty when I arrived at around 1700 on a Saturday afternoon. Past reception is a 24-hour pantry, which offers snacks, toiletries and a range of ready meals, and past this is a business centre with several terminals and access to a printer.
There is no restaurant or bar at the hotel (the adjacent Holiday Inn offers both), but there is still a large amount of public space on the ground floor, including The Den, a room which can be used for guests looking for a bit of privacy, and which can also be used for small meetings of up to ten people.
The breakfast area features a mix of dining table, booth and picnic-style communal tables – a hot and cold breakfast buffet is included in the rate and is served between 0600 and 0930 (I was leaving on a early flight on the Sunday morning so didn’t get a chance to sample it), and guests can also grab a free tea or coffee from this area throughout the day.
Finally, past the breakfast area is a lounge / TV area, which connects onto an outdoor terrace, and is where the social evenings take place.
Where is it?
On the Bath Road, in between Terminals 2 and 3, and Terminal 5. Hoppa shuttle bus H4 serves the hotel from Terminals 2 and 3 every 15 minutes (between 0400 and 2300) with a transfer time of around ten minutes, while the H53 operates to and from T5 (again every 15 minutes between 0400 and 2300) with a transfer time of around 25 minutes.
For information on free public transport around the airport, see our guide to the Heathrow Free Travel Zone.
Suites are split into two categories – 145 studios, and 45 one-bedroom suites. There are also a few studio-cum-suites (including room 505 where I was staying), which have a floor-to-ceiling shelving unit housing the TVs, which splits the living area from the bedroom without there actually being a wall.
Some suites have views of the runways at Heathrow, particularly those on higher floors – I was staying with my four year-old son, who insisted on moving a chair to the window and staring out through the (triple-glazed) windows at aircraft taking off and landing.
All rooms have king-size beds, and amenities include a sofa, coffee table, 43-inch TV (one-bedroom suites have TVs in both the living area and bedroom, cupboard with plenty of hanging space, safe, collapsible laundry basket, iron/ironing board, and hairdryer.
There is free wifi throughout the hotel, and I was very impressed with the number of plug sockets in my room – at least 18 in various handy locations, some of which also had USB ports.
Kitchens are all pretty much identical throughout the property, and felt well-built and fitted out, with a Bosch microwave, Breville kettle and toaster, two induction hobs, fridge with freezer compartment, dishwasher, washing up basin, and what seemed like plenty of glasses, mugs, cutlery, plates and saucepans for an extended stay.
Studio suites have a breakfast bar at the end of the kitchen with two chairs, while one-bedroom suites have a separate round dining table with four chairs.
Guests also have access to a communal laundry room with washing machines and tumble dryers, as well as a locker room, where items that are not needed during stays can be stored (to free up more space in the suites). Rooms are serviced daily except at the weekends, although this can be requested.
Most bathrooms feature walk-in showers with rain shower and normal shower attachments – selected rooms have bathtubs with showers, and some of the one-bedroom suites have separate bathtubs and walk-in showers.
Instead of the increasingly-maligned individual bottles of toiletries, guests get large Gilchrist and Soames bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body lotion – makes sense given the extended-stay focus of the property, but also from an environmental point of view.
Restaurants and bars
The adjacent Holiday Inn property has a large restaurant and bar area in the atrium past reception, with Hi! Pizza offering a good range of pizza, pasta and meat dishes cooked in a central theatre kitchen. For more details see the restaurant’s separate website at hipizza.co.uk.
Next to this is a sports bar with pool table, and a cafe is also set to open in the same area in due course.
The Holiday Inn has a total of six meeting rooms, the largest of which can accommodate up to 40 people.
The Den at the Staybridge Suites property can also be informally booked for small meetings, space depending.
The hotel shares a fitness centre with the adjacent Holiday Inn, with 24-hour keycard entry systems from both of the hotels at either end of the gym.
Facilities include treadmills, exercise bikes, free weights and rowing machines.
A good addition to IHG’s rapidly growing portfolio of properties at Heathrow – there are now nine hotels in the vicinity of the airport under the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites brands.
Suites are well equipped for long stays, and added facilities such as the laundry and locker rooms are welcome.
Best for Extended stays where kitchen and laundry facilities are required
Don’t miss The views from some rooms of aircraft taking off and landing
Contact Staybridge Suites London – Heathrow Bath Road, 276a Bath Road West Drayton, UB7 0DQ; tel: +44 (0)203 962 5999; ihg.com