Heathrow Airport might not be everyone’s preferred destination for meetings and events, but there’s no denying it’s a convenient location for delegates coming together from across the country and further afield.
The airport itself has no onsite meeting and event facilities but is at least ringed by hotels offering good accommodation and a multitude of convenient spaces for corporate hire. Many properties are located on the Bath Road along the north side of the airport and they, together with others in the area, are linked by frequent Hotel Hoppa bus services from the various terminals. All the big names are present in the area – including Marriott, Hilton, Park Inn, Radisson, Ibis, Travelodge, Holiday Inn, Thistle, Premier Inn, Sheraton, Crowne Plaza, Jurys Inn and Novotel – but read on to discover our pick of the bunch
THE FIVE STAR SPLURGE
Name: Sofitel London Heathrow
Address: Sofitel London Heathrow, Terminal 5, TW6 2GD
Tel: 020 8757 7777
This luxury option lies just a short stroll from Terminal 5 and features five-star facilities such as a Champagne bar, award-wining spa and ‘vitality’ pool, and gourmet French dining at the two AA rosette La Belle Epoque. Its 578 guest rooms and suites are fitted out to the usual Sofitel high-standard and its 45 meeting and event spaces have capacity for up to 1,300 delegates. The conference centre is Heathrow’s largest, with its own entrance, welcome desk, offices for rent by the hour or day, lecture theatre, ‘Inspired Meetings’ concierge service and underground parking.
THE BUDGET OPTION
Name: Premier Inn Bath Road
Address: 15 Bath Road, Hounslow, TW6 2AB
Tel: 0871 527 8508
Lenny Henry’s preferred hotel brand has three locations in the vicinity of Heathrow, but only its Bath Road property has meeting rooms for hire. It was refurbished several years ago and now has a large ground floor that comprises a reception area, Costa Coffee shop and Thyme restaurant and bar. There’s 30 minutes free wifi per day for overnight guests and limited parking. The hotel is one of just 15 Premier Inns with ‘Touchbase’ meeting facilities comprising several rooms for hire, hot desk facilities, break-out area and catering service.
THE T4 CHOICE
Name: Hilton London Heathrow Airport
Address: Terminal 4, Hounslow, TW6 3AF
Tel: 020 8759 7755
For convenient access to Heathrow Terminal 4, you can’t beat the Hilton London Heathrow Airport (not to be confused with its sister property at Terminal 5 which opened in 2011). This striking property, with a giant glass façade, is connected to T4 by a covered walkway (albeit not a particularly short one) and has over 2,590ft2 of meetings and events space. The largest of its 30 meeting rooms – the Heathrow Suite – can host up to 300 delegates theatre-style. There are nearly 400 guest rooms (including Executive options with access to an exclusive business lounge), there’s an outdoor terrace, a fitness centre, pool, bar and three restaurants serving Asian, Italian and international dishes.
THE PLANE-SPOTTERS DELIGHT
Name: Renaissance London Heathrow
Address: Bath Road, Hounslow, TW6 2AQ
Tel: 020 8897 6363
www.renaissancelondonheathrow.co.uk This four-star hotel not only has impressive meeting and conference facilities, but its location alongside Heathrow’s northern runway means overnight delegates can look forward to an impressive display of aircraft movements from the comfort of their bedroom if they’re so inclined. Over 100 of the hotel’s 649 guest rooms offer runway views, while other facilities include a health club, Duo restaurant and bar and a Starbucks. The largest of its 28 meeting and event spaces is the Accenture Suite, for up to 500 delegates. At the other end of the spectrum are four studio rooms for six people and numerous rooms for up to 25 delegates.
THE LUXURY RETREAT
Name: Stoke Park
Address: Stoke Park, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, SL2 4PG
Tel: 01753 717171
Stoke Park is seven miles northwest of Heathrow Airport but it might as well be a thousand such is its laid-back, tranquil setting. The luxury hotel, country club and spa is set on a 300-acre estate that includes 14 acres of gardens, a 27-hole Championship golf course, 13 tennis courts and award-winning health club. There are just 49 guest rooms and suites split between the grade I-listed Palladian mansion and the modern Pavilion building, and for dining there’s a choice of Humphry’s – with three AA rosettes to its name – the Italian San Marco restaurant and The Orangery. When the time comes to get down to business, there are ten function rooms to choose from plus, this summer, a 400-capacity marquee on the West Lawn. Meeting rooms range from the Polo Lounge for up to 12 guests theatre-style, to the Ballroom for up to 80.
THE LATEST ARRIVAL
Name: DoubleTree by Hilton, Heathrow Airport
Address: 745 Bath Road, Cranford TW5 9QE
Tel: 020 8564 4450
Hilton’s DoubleTree brand is expanding quickly in the UK and last summer saw its arrival at Heathrow. Located on the Bath Road, just beyond the eastern end of the airport, the former Ramada property has 200 guest rooms and an open plan bar and restaurant area with free wifi access. Its meeting and conference facilities comprise six rooms, accommodating up to 150 delegates, ranging from the 240ft2 Ash room to the 1,000ft2 DoubleTree and Elm suites.
HEATHROW AIRPORT INFO
Getting there: There are flights between Heathrow and around 15 destinations across the UK and Ireland, including Virgin Atlantic’s new ‘Little Red’ services to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. By rail, there are regular Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services from central London, or there’s the slower Piccadilly Underground line. Drivers arriving from the M25 should head for Junction 15 for T1 and T3 and Junction 14 for T4 and T5.