Less Heathrow hassle at Radisson Edwardianby Roger St. Pierre
Seemingly oblivious to warnings of a possible double-dip recession, Central London hoteliers have been responding to their current high occupancy levels not by sensible pricing but by continuing to hike their rates to ever more stratospheric levels.
By the same token, if, like me, you have an early morning departure time, do you really want to tackle the M4 and M25 crush and run the risk of missing your flight?
I killed the proverbial two birds with one stone by opting for a park and fly deal at the plush but reasonably priced Radisson Edwardian Heathrow (0208 757 7903, www.radissonedwardian.com/heathrow). This gave me a comfortable pre-flight overnight plus seven days’ secure parking.
Set on the A4, parallel to the airport’s main runway and just a 10-minute taxi ride from Terminal One, this recently refurbished and upgraded property is part of a fast-growing group that’s under astute Indian ownership while flying the quality-assured Radisson flag. It offers a sensible, budget-easing solution to all that aggravation.
With 17 suites, 149 kings, 178 doubles and 115 twins, this meticulously appointed venue boasts a total 459 guestrooms. Rich deep-red-cherry woods are used throughout the property, creating a luxurious ambience while the appointments are of a grand hotel standard.
My room was spacious, with all the amenities I needed to make it serve as both office and sleeping quarters for the night. The bed was big and exceedingly comfortable.
The hotel’s ace card is its exceptional selection of dedicated meetings spaces, – some 38 of them in all, ranging from private rooms for four or five people right up to the massive pillar-less Connaught Suite ballroom that can seat up to 550 for a gala dinner in a classically sumptuous setting.
Besides offering full cooked breakfasts from 6 am daily – a godsend for those with an early-morning flight to catch – the hotel’s popular Brasserie restaurant provided me with a choice between a good value three-course buffet and a more expensive full à la carte selection of beautifully presented contemporary dishes. I opted for the rack of lamb. It was perfect.
There’s also a 24-hour business centre, a Pegasus health spa and 659 parking spaces. All rooms benefit from air-conditioning, round the clock room service, in-room safe, mini-bar, free modem and wi-fi access, personal phone number with voice-mail facility, trouser press, iron and ironing board, hair-dryer, free shoeshine and express check-out.
I enjoyed a thoroughly relaxing stay that set me up ready for a tiring long-haul flight to the USA.
The only downer is that, if your expense account does not run to a limo or a cab, the hotel has no bus of its own. I had to resort to the National Express airport bus, which runs every 20 minutes but then calls at three other hotels en-route to the terminals. As a result, to be safe, you need to allow at least an hour between hotel check-out and airline check-in.
You can take a virtual tour of the property at www.radissonedwardian.com/heathrow.