The Sofitel London is the only on-site hotel at Heathrow Terminal 5, and is easily the best and most convenient place to stay before an early check-in or if arriving late at the airport.
The Sofitel London is the only on-site hotel at Heathrow Terminal 5, and is easily the best and most convenient place to stay before an early check-in or if arriving late at the airport. The food and amenities are first class, meaning you can treat a stay here as part of your holiday!
Cathy and I sometimes arrive on the mid-afternoon flight and depart early the next morning, so staying at the Sofitel saves us valuable time after a long transatlantic crossing.
The Sofitel London is in a great location, and has direct access to Terminal 5. Linked by lifts and a walkway, it takes two to three minutes to get from the reception area to check-in.
Very conveniently, there is also an underground car park that can be accessed directly from the airport approach road. Hotel guests can park while they are away, but I do suggest you check the parking rates with the hotel, as they can vary.
The Sofitel London has an unusual design; the building is arranged in a series of rectangular glass atriums, which are divided by the main accommodation blocks. This means that most of the rooms—there are 600 in total—look out over an internal space rather than external views. This makes for a quiet space, but it does mean there are no opening windows and you have to rely on the air conditioning for fresh air. It also means that the foyer is very large, and there’s an open, expansive feel to the public areas.
Service and Amenities
I found the service at the Sofitel London to be quite pleasant. The front desk and staff members were generally well-trained and friendly, and check-in is almost always a seamless and efficient experience. The hotel boasts three restaurants (more on those later), a small bar, a free onsite fitness centre and a full spa with a large Jacuzzi, sauna, massage and beauty treatments and a separate hair salon. Access to the spa is available for £25.
While the rooms have a slightly bland, decidedly corporate décor, they have plenty of space and room to work or relax. The bathrooms are a little compact, but have all you need for a night’s stay, and are spotlessly clean.
As you might expect in an upmarket, French-run hotel, food is a priority, and the main Belle Époque restaurant serves serious cuisine in a contemporary setting. The space is graced by a water feature and leather banquettes, with plenty of space between tables and slick professional service.
Dishes, sometimes infused with an “Asian twist”—such as roast cod with miso and marinated squid, or Thai-spiced wild mushroom pie – are very well-cooked and presented immaculately. There’s also a less formal brasserie, Vivre, where breakfast is served, a tea lounge, plus the Perrier Jouet champagne bar, and the small cocktail bar Sphere.
All in all the Sofitel London is a great place to recover from a long flight or to get a jump start on an early departure from one of the world’s busiest airports.
For Andrew, travel is so much more than just learning history or taking photos. Rather, the value of travel is witnessing a lifestyle, bonding with locals, and gaining rich cultural experiences. That’s why he founded the Luxury Wanderer; a place to share itineraries, offer advice, swap stories, and foster a like-minded community of curious travellers.