Overnighting at London Heathrow Airport
Our Malev flight to Odessa, via Budapest, departed London at 7:50 a.m. We had to spend a night at an hotel in Heathrow and the only hotel that is within the Heathrow Airport terminals is the Hilton. Much as we loved the idea of having direct access to Terminal 4 via a covered walkway, £115 for a brief night’s sleep was a bit pricey. With a bit of research, I managed to find a deal at the Renaissance Heathrow Airport at £65.
Apparently Heathrow hotels, and there are many of them, are not allowed to offer free complimentary shuttles. However fixed route “Hotel Hoppa” buses operate to several hotels and it costs £4 per trip, no matter how close or far your hotel is along the route. What is not well publicised is that there is also a free local bus service linking nearby towns to all the terminals. These buses are free as long as you get on or off the buses on the perimeter roads of the airport, which is where many hotels are. Even if you went past the perimeter roads, the maximum fare is £2.00.
We decided to give this free bus transfer a go and it worked very efficiently. Some of the services run 24/7 so there’s no problem if your flight is an early one as ours was. We were leaving from T5 and managed to explore this new terminal. It is huge and impressive and our only issue is that there are no trolleys to be had. It’s not very passenger friendly as there’s usually quite a bit of distance to be covered when you’re getting from point to another. Anyway, this Heathrow experience was much than any others that we had in the past, so that’s a positive.