Aerotel, London Heathrow

THE HOTEL: Owned by the Plaza Premium Group, this in-terminal hotel is located in the arrivals area at Heathrow Terminal Three. Just a two-minute walk to departures, the 82-room hotel is designed for those looking for some-where to crash either before or after a flight, or while waiting for news of a delayed or cancelled flight. Booking hours are flexible: you can stay the night or for a few hours (minimum six hours).

THE CHECK-IN: The check-in and check-out procedure is designed to be speedy. A one-man reception desk ensured I was checked in swiftly and shown to my room on the first floor with the minimum of fuss. Guests can check in and out around-the-clock. Aerotel is located in an area with a lot of footfall, but access felt very secure.

THE ROOM: My Solo Plus room was certainly compact, but perfectly comfortable – even stylish. A double bed with an extremely comfortable mattress filled most of the room. There’s a choice of firm or soft pillows. There was also a TV and hangers attached to the wall (no wardrobe), a kettle and tea bags. The bathroom was of the size you might expect to find on, say, a cruise ship but the showers were hot and powerful and toiletries by Urban Skincare. The room was air-conditioned and very quiet.

THE FACILITIES: There’s a ‘Library Lounge ‘on the second floor which serves as a small common area, with comfy seating, newspapers and books. Open 24 hours it has free tea and coffee, snacks and an impressive selection of hot food such as salads, curry and pasta. There are drinks, including bar items, and it serves full-English breakfasts. There’s also a TV and a flight information screen. Plaza Premium Lounges are available in both Arrivals and Departures.

THE VERDICT: I had an early morning flight from the same terminal and Aerotel provided the perfect overnight solution. The rooms make clever use of the limited space and the ‘soft lighting‘ is designed to provide a sound night’s sleep. The next morning, within an hour of my alarm wake-up I had showered, enjoyed breakfast and was through security and sitting airside. The only slight downside was that I stayed a couple of weeks after it opened and signage to the hotel was not obvious.

THE DETAILS: Aerotel, Terminal Three, Heathrow Airport. Six-hour, nine-hour and 12-hour overnight stays start from £50.

Reviewed by Steve Hartridge (2020)