Airport hotels exist for a single reason. In the case of this one, it is to serve Heathrow. It is not somewhere you would normally stay if you were visiting central London or the rest of the UK.
Arriving by car (as usual) the hotel was easy to find (just off the M4) and there was plenty of space in the car park (not always the case with airport properties). As expected, the entrance area outside the hotel and the lobby was very busy. Lots of coaches, taxis, suitcases, aircrew and tourists.
But the lobby was large and well staffed and I did not have to wait more than about 30 seconds before I was at the front desk checking in. My IHG Rewards status was recognised and I was soon checked into an executive room on the 6th floor.
The room was clearly newly refurbished and the smell of fresh paint still lingered in the air. I do like the style they have gone for and the room itself was well thought out, of a good size and comfortable. The addition of a good quality bluetooth speaker in the room meant I could play some music from my phone and was a really nice touch. The WiFi (free because of my rewards club status) was average for a hotel like this (meaning you would not want to be streaming Youtube videos on it)
I ate in the Sampan Asian restaurant in the hotel which served up mainly Chinese and Thai food. The food was OK and whilst not the cheapest Chinese food I have, the price offered fair value and the service was good.
After dinner I first retired to the on site irish “pub” but the lack of comfy chairs (plenty of stools but few actual chairs) saw me relocate to the lobby bar. Here there were proper chairs but to be honest, you felt like you were sitting on the chair rather than in the chair. Eventually after watching the world go by (airport hotel lobby areas are always fascinating to observe) for a while, I retired to me room for a good nights sleep.
Breakfast was a fairly typical affair but had plenty of choice then before I knew it I was checked out and back in my car for a day of meetings in the Heathrow area.
Normally I stay in the Crowne Plaza when needing a hotel near Heathrow. Based on this stay, i would score the Holiday Inn to be just as good and at a much cheaper rate (I paid £100 including breakfast plus £10 for parking). I do understand that not all the rooms have been refurbished yet so would expect those rooms to feel tired and in need of some TLC. A stay in one of those rooms might have resulted in a very different review so make sure you get one of the refurbished rooms.
So a nice stay in a nice room with OK food and no drama. All in a hotel a few minutes from the airport.