This week I had to go to London area again for a two-day training so I spent another night in Novotel Heathrow. This was my third visit in this hotel.
The address is M4 - J4 Cherry Lane, West Drayton, Middlesex, UB7 9HB. (www.novotel.com) It is easy to get there from M25, M4 once you get out from the constant traffic jam. It is really close to the motorway and the satnavs navigate you there without problem. There are no signs that help you get there, so you just have to look around and you will discover the logo of the hotel.
The hotel has a gated parking area which is large enough to find parking places even when the hotel is about fully booked. The parking area is next to the hotel but as the bus stop is right in front of the hotel the parking area is gated and for the night the gate is closed so it is a bit harder to get access to your car.
The building is not very special from the outside but is very nicely lighted for the evenings. The main interior area looks very nice. The reception is on the left, in the middle is the bar and on the right is the restaurant. There are 2 separate rooms available in case you have an event organised in the hotel. You have to book them in advance though.
The reception is always busy but they work quite fast so it doesn't take too long to get your card key to your room. The staff is polite and very helpful. There are 178 rooms on the 3 floors, the hotel is wheelchair friendly. I was always lucky to get a room looking inside the hotel so I found the hotel really quiet. Although it is very close to the airport and to the motorways I haven't heard the noise of the traffic at all.
The Elements Restaurant and the bar of the hotel are very nice too. There are some really delicious dishes on the menu. I like their Caesar salad and they have a pasta dish with pesto, spinach and cheese that I liked a lot. They have daily offers as well. As I noticed the staff is changing quite often but all of them were really polite and helpful.
The hotel has swimming pool and gym as well. To be honest, by the time I arrived to the hotel I wasn't really in the mood to do any exercise, I was happy I could pop in the restaurant to have a quick salad before they close.
The rooms look almost exactly the same, the pictures on the wall are different though. As I was alone in a double room I found it comfortable but for two they may be a bit small. There is separate bathroom and toilet in each room. The bathroom looks really nice and it is clean and modern. I liked the shower, it offered two shower head options plus there is a chance to bath as well if you prefer soaking in a bath.
There was a kettle, tea and coffee available in the room plus mini bar with decent selection of drinks and treats (chocolate and crisps).
There is a desk in the room ready for your laptop to work. They offer Internet and TV packages for about 15 pounds per day. I was tired enough not really willing to watch my laptop any more so I skipped this option.
The TV - it was a Philips - was quite basic with 5-6 channels set up only. I haven't found anything interesting to watch so it took me 2-3 minutes to try the huge range then decided to switch it off. This was a bit disappointing to be honest.
The room was clean, the bed was very comfortable and the bed linen very soft. I was fast asleep last time and got up relaxed. I went down to have breakfast at 7 in the morning and a huge range of food was already available. The staff was very kind again. There is both Continental and English breakfast available. The range is really large and the food is fresh and delicious.
When you check out you get your card key back which can be used at the exit from the parking area. Last time when I went to my car I noticed that one of my tyres are flat so I had to call AA to change my tyre. The receptionists were really helpful and provided me with an extra card to the AA car for free.
I have to mention that all the time I wanted to get back to the motorway it was quite difficult to find the suitable way as there are some huge and really busy roundabouts right after the exit from the hotel and it is quite difficult to find the right lane.
There is a bus stop right in the front of the hotel so getting to Heathrow airport is really easy. Cabs are available as well.
And to mention the prices... Apart from the special offers the price varies between 60-120 pounds per night which I think is quite a lot of money and in some packages the breakfast is not even included. As the company I work for has an agreement with this hotel I don't have to pay for my room, meals and parking so I can't tell exactly how much the company was charged for my stay. You can book rooms online on the Novotel's webpage, or at some agencies like www.booking.com.
I think Novotel Heathrow is quite a nice four star hotel. I am not overall impressed by it but I think it is a nice hotel. I have been in more elegant four star hotels for less money though. The staff was very kind, polite and helpful. The bed was comfortable. The room and the hotel overall was clean. The food was delicious. I wasn't satisfied with the TV and the room might be a bit small for two but everything else was really good.
I am sure there are other information that might be useful for some, I recommend checking their website if I missed to mention something. The website is www.novotel.com.
I stayed at the Novotel Heathrow Airport in September 2010 for one night, prior to flying off to Cape Town. The reason I chose this hotel was that it was close to Heathrow and that the price was right.....just £55 on Lastminute.com - although I note at the moment that it is now listed as being £98. Because I literally just wanted a hotel that was clean, inexpensive and near to the airport, choosing a chain hotel like Novotel seemed like a safe bet.
The Novotel is about two miles or so from the terminals at Heathrow Airport - and sits directly off of the M4. There is a carpark at the hotel, but if you are a paying guest, then you are provided with a free pass in the morning. Transportation to all terminals at Heathrow is provided by the Hoppa bus service. No Heathrow based hotel is allowed to provide complimentary transfers and so the Hoppa bus system is the next best thing - although it cost £4 per person which I thought was a little expensive for a shared scheduled bus service. However, the transfer was on-time and comfortable and it took about 15 minutes to Terminal 3. It drops you literally right outside the Departure Terminal.
The foyer of the hotel is nice and quite relaxing - although, being a chain hotel, understandably, there was nothing unique or distinguished about it. It was aimed at being functional for short term guests...but it was more than adequate for a one-night airport hotel. One thing that was a little strange was to see people in swimming costumes and towels in the foyer.....which I soon realised that this is because the entrance to the small swimming pool is actually in the foyer - and there is no other way for hotel guests to enter the pool area. This seemed poorly designed and did infact put me off taking a dip as I didn't want to trapse through reception in my swimming costume!! Having said that, it was nice and unusual to have the option of a swimming pool at an airport hotel.
The check in was very efficient and the receptionists were pleasant and polite. I did have to wait in a small line before I was dealt with, but the line seemed to move quickly. The reception staff were very happy to explain the Hoppa system and to advise on the correct time to leave for the airport. They also set a wake up call for us and made a restaurant reservation at the hotels restaurant.
Our room was small, but adequate for a one night stay. If we were staying longer, I would probably want a larger room because there wasn't much storage and there wasn't really anywhere in the room, other than the bed, to relax. The double bed in the room was perfectly comfortable and had extra pillows and blankets should I want them. The room also had air-con which worked but it was fairly noisy - although we got used to it quickly. There was a small narrow desk with a desk chair - although there wasn't a lot of room to sit at the desk because of the bed being in the way. The room also had internet access (which you had to pay for), a mini-bar and tea and coffee making facilities. The bathroom was basic, but also adequate, with a small bath and shower over the bath - and a WC.
The hotel restaurant is situated in the foyer - and I have to say that upon entering the restaurant I was dubious about what the food was going to be like. I felt like the restaurant had a cafe feel to it....almost like a canteen feel to it....and so I didn't have very high hopes. However, I was very pleasantly surprised because the food was well above average. I had the fillet steak and it was actually good quality and cooked to perfection! There was a good range of wines on offer also - and I was very happy with the selection.
Next to the restaurant is the bar - which is a pleasant place to sit. It has sofa type seating, or stools at the bar, and they serve spirits and wine. My friend wanted a cocktail and unfortunately they didn't do cocktails, but there was all of the usual suspects on offer.
All of the staff we encountered were friendly and helpful and I cannot complain about the service we recieved.
For an airport hotel, this is pretty good. I think the Heathrow Sofitel is better - but its also more than double the price - and so I think the Novotel has become my Heathrow hotel of choice.
Novotel are a hotel chain run by Accor (a French hotel group), they have hotels worldwide in all manner of locations. Cities, out in the country and on resorts. They cater to all markets including families although their main clientele does tend to be business people.
The rooms are well equipped with all the usual amenities you would expect to find in a mid range hotel suite besides the obvious of bed, wardrobe etc: Internet access, mini-bar and air conditioning amongst them. Novotel hotels are well equipped so if you do not want to venture out after your long journey you can have a meal at their onsite restaurant, maybe a drink at the bar, simply sit and relax by the pool. or if you still have energy to spare a work out at the gym might be more your thing.
That is the chain in general now I want to review this particular hotel. I am doing this from the point of view of a manual wheelchair user with very limited upper body strength as that is who I am.
Firstly if arriving by car this hotel is incredibly easy to find as it sits on the junction of one of the main hubs off the M4 motorway very near to Heathrow airport. There is a substantial car park which is chargable but if you stay overnight you get to park free via a pass when you check out.
There is fantastic level access, easily managable by your average wheelchair user. The gradient is not so steep that you fear tipping backwards. The doors, if memory serves me correctly, are electric so no having to wait for some kind person to let you in. On entry there is a large carpetted Foyer with a seating area and public toilets to your right. (Be aware that the toilets are in a tight corridor so larger wheelchairs may struggle to turn in the space). There is also an open plan restaurant and beyond this, still on the same level, is the bar. If you are looking for somewhere to have a party they have a large hall available within the main hotel.
Check-in was easy, we were given a ground floor room with easy fire exit credentials. The room and bathroom was neat, tidy and clean. However, it did not have much in the way of disabled aids. You would certainly need upper body strength or your carer to get into and out of the bath. I feel this could easily be rectified by putting in a wet room in lieu of the traditional suite. One thing did please me is the disabled room also had the sofa bed which means if you are disabled with children then you do not have to compromise on your needs as you do in some other hotels by forgoing a disabled room for a family room.
Unfortunately, I did not sleep well due to the bed feeling tilted and as the hotel was full we had to manage but the staff did apologise and did sort out some discount for us. I could not bathe the next morning due to the afore mentioned bathroom but as we were only staying the 1 night this was not too much of a problem. We had breakfast (included in the room price) at their sunny restaurant, which was enjoyable and the food was good.
Overall this is not the best hotel I have stayed in but the staff were great and the positioning for access to Heathrow is pretty good.