In June 2022 we flew to Uganda on Brussels Airlines, and as the flight time was 6.50am, we stayed overnight at the only hotel with direct links to terminal 2 – the ‘Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3’.
Six months later, we found ourselves taking the same flight, but onwards to Freetown, Sierra Leone. However, this time, we booked much earlier, and instead of paying £282 via Booking.com, our ‘King Guest Room with High Floor’ was a more reasonable £188 with free cancellation up to five days beforehand.
The check in was smooth and quick and having provided a credit card, we were told we could just drop our key into the key box and a receipt would be emailed to us. Our spacious 10th floor room had runway views, king size bed with good quality bedding and all the amenities you’d expect from a four-star hotel including huge flat screen TV, safe, empty fridge, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, tea and coffee making facilities, occasional table and chair, desk and chair.
The bathroom was light and bright with a walk-in shower, plenty of white fluffy towels and Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries in large refillable containers. However, because of our departure time at 4am, many amenities remained unused as we chose to have an extra 30 minutes in bed rather than showers.
The Runway Bar on the 14th floor opens at 5pm, and although there are no draught beers, we enjoyed a bottled King Cobra which came with complimentary nuts before moving onto a bottle of Pinot Grigio (the cheapest white at £30) and a dim sum platter at £15.50 – a steamer basket with six steamed dumplings stuffed with green vegetables sat on crisp Chinese lettuce and garnished with a small side salad of peppers, spring onions and shredded carrots. With a spicy sweet chilli dipping sauce they were excellent.
It was interesting watching it get dark and see the lights of four planes constantly in a row ready for landing – the menu told us a plane lands at Heathrow every 45 seconds. However, despite being in bed by 7pm, we slept undisturbed due to the blackout curtains and soundproofing until the alarm went off at 4am.