Review: OneWorld Extravaganza – Sofitel London Heathrow

Introduction
W Taipei
CX 401 TPE – HKG 77W J
CX 251 HKG – LHR 77W W
Sofitel London Heathrow
BA 572 LHR – MXP 319 Y
Hotel Villa Franceschi Venice
The Style Florence
St. Regis Rome
Le Anfore Lounge Rome
CX 292 FCO – HKG 343 J

Location 4/5 Service 3/5 Modernity 4/5 Little things 4/5 Meals 4/5 Overall 4/5

Our original plan was to stay at the aloft London ExCeL with lulu for the last four nights, but as lulu’s parents are British Airways flight attendants and they had to do two direct turns to Berlin and back, we chose to stay with lulu near the airport for the last four nights (lulu stayed at the aloft for the nights that I was hanging out with friends), and decided on the Sofitel London Heathrow, which has won a few awards on being the world’s best airport hotel.

Prices were over HK$2400 (US$310) a night, including taxes. Very pricey, but it was worth it (stay tuned). We didn’t include breakfast in our stay – we were eating at the airport, and lulu’s parents did morning turns in Berlin.

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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room Rate (pardon the date, this is a dummy booking)

As I’m Accor Classic, I received priority check-in and private duty free. The latter was useless, so I’m in the midst of upgrading myself to Silver or getting rid of any status (as I don’t really need priority check-in given the lines aren’t that long in all Accor hotels I’ve stayed in).

It’s awesome how people can go through the tunnel to the hotel through an underground walkway from Terminal 5. So many chain hotels use the Hotel Hoppa, which is always a mess. Unfortunately we weren’t coming from Terminal 5 (rather from a friend’s house over in Enfield), rather just departing from it, so coming in it was a moot point for us.

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Sofitel London Heathrow exterior

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Sofitel London Heathrow signage

We did use it departing Heathrow, though…

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Sofitel London Heathrow underground tunnel to Heathrow lights

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Sofitel London Heathrow underground tunnel to Heathrow

I have no idea why the atrium was branded as a Sofitel and not a W. The purple neon lights were borderline annoying (though they were awesome, I just don’t get why a non-W hotel would have them).

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Sofitel London Heathrow Atrium

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Sofitel London Heathrow Atrium

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Sofitel London Heathrow lift

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Sofitel London Heathrow Atrium from Lobby

The colours were calmer in the lobby. Always nice to step into a warm, welcoming lobby from a snazzy atrium (but to be honest I like both of the colour tones equally well).

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Sofitel London Heathrow Lobby

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Sofitel London Heathrow Lobby

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Sofitel London Heathrow Lobby Seating

There was some unpleasant signs that reminded me of the Heathrow T5 terminal…because those signs belonged to the Heathrow T5 terminal. Ouch.

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Sofitel London Heathrow Lobby Creepy Signs

There were views of the Terminal 5 tarmac.

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Sofitel London Heathrow Lobby Views

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Sofitel London Heathrow Lobby World Airport Award Plaque

Unlike the Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, the staff here were quite efficient (not especially warm, though…read on). They were extremely efficient with check-in. I was assigned room 4228.

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Sofitel London Heathrow Le Club Accor sign

I took the bubble elevator up to the fourth floor. While the decor of the hallways on the atrium side are snazzy and modern, the “exterior side” of the hotel – which includes the stairs – are Heathrow-themed and even dormy.

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Sofitel London Heathrow Atrium from Fourth Floor

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Sofitel London Heathrow hallway stairs

We eventually found our room. All the hotel rooms have a “2” as the second number in their four-digit number, probably for fanciness, as the hotel only has four floors.

The card slot fits in with the colour tone of the atrium then of the other side of the hallway.

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Sofitel London Heathrow card slot

Sofitel London Heathrow
Check-in: Monday, July 28, 2014
Room Type: Classic Room
Room Number: 4228
Stay duration: 4 nights
Check-out: Friday, August 1, 2014

While the room didn’t have beds made with 24kt gold or anything, it was really nice and well appointed, especially for an airport hotel.

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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room

The room also had a couple of chairs. The sofa chair was really comfortable, and the desk chair okay as well – though I was attracted to working on my bed over the desk chair, especially as I was using my phone and there were power ports next to the bed.

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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room Sofa Chair

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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room Desk Chair

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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room Bedside Desk Amenities

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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room Minibar and Safe

While bedside reading lights weren’t installed into the bed frame (like the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore), they were still there, which is a nice touch.

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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room Bedside Reading Lights

However, there were only two (free) bottles of water in the minibar.

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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room Minibar

There was english tea to make. I wouldn’t have given a crap…but it was Twinings branded. Mmmm…

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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room Twinings tea and cups

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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room Water Boiler

The toilet, while a bland white colour tone across the board, was functional and even had a separate shower/tub. Nice for an airport hotel.

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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room Bathroom Tub (it’s a shower/tub combo as well, which is strange, as there’s also a walk-in shower)
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Sofitel London Heathrow Classic Room Bathroom and Walk-in Shower
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Sofitel London Heathrow sink-side toiletries

The toiletries were The White Company branded. They were perfectly nice but there was no X-factor to them.

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Sofitel London Heathrow toiletries

So I found the room to be perfect for an airport hotel. It could compare with the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare, with a slight edge to the IC.

I found service only okay at best across the board. The staff were at no point rude, but they lacked warmth (I thought it was summer in London? Oh, nevermind…)

b4zaf

I didn’t have a chance to check out the breakfast spread, as I paid on a rate without. I’m sorry (I wasn’t even planning to write a report when I booked).

Overall I found this to be a solid airport hotel – definitely a nicer hotel than all others in London, but the service and a few other little things could be a little better across the board, in my opinion.

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