- Introduction: Four Times Across The Atlantic
- Review: ITA Airways Business Class A350 (MIA-FCO)
- Review: ITA Airways Lounge Rome Airport (FCO)
- Review: Prima Vista Lounge Rome Airport (FCO)
- Review: ITA Airways Business Class A320 (FCO-CAI)
- Changing Terminals At Cairo Airport: Still Complicated
- Review: EgyptAir Lounge Cairo Airport (CAI)
- My Rough Night At Cairo Airport, Made Better By EgyptAir’s Osama
- Review: EgyptAir Business Class 787 (CAI-CDG)
- Review: Sheraton Paris Airport (CDG)
- Review: YOTELAIR Paris Airport Priority Pass Lounge (CDG)
- Review: Air France Lounge Paris Airport (CDG)
- Review: New Air France Business Class 777-300ER (CDG-JFK)
- Review: Hyatt Regency JFK At Resorts World New York
- Review: AA & BA Greenwich Lounge New York (JFK)
- Review: AA & BA Soho Lounge New York (JFK)
- Review: AA & BA Chelsea Lounge New York (JFK)
- Review: Amex Centurion Lounge New York (JFK)
- Review: British Airways Lounge Newark Airport (EWR)
- Review: New British Airways First Class 777 (EWR-LHR)
- Review: Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel (LHR)
- Review: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London Heathrow (LHR)
- Review: Amex Centurion Lounge London Heathrow (LHR)
- Review: No1 Lounge London Heathrow (LHR)
- Review: Virgin Atlantic A330neo Upper Class Business Class (LHR-MIA)
- Is Virgin Atlantic’s Retreat Suite Worth It?
For the last hotel stay of my review trip, I spent a night at the 710-room Renaissance London Heathrow. I had arrived in British Airways’ 777-300ER first class from Newark, and was departing the following day in Virgin Atlantic’s A330-900neo business class to Miami.
Heathrow has endless airport hotels, so why did I select the Renaissance? Well, I feel like staying here is almost a rite of passage for avgeeks, as the hotel is known for its runway views. However, that’s just about the only exceptional thing about the hotel. The property is otherwise perfectly serviceable, but I’d only recommend specifically seeking out this hotel if you really love airplane views.
Booking the Renaissance London Heathrow
For the Sunday night I was staying, the Renaissance Heathrow Airport was running 107 GBP (~130 USD) all-in. That seemed reasonable, so I ended up just paying cash for my stay. As a point of comparison, the hotel would have cost 28,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. I value Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each, so in this case paying cash was the better deal.
Renaissance London Heathrow location
Typically the most important factor for me with an airport hotel is location. I’m willing to pay a premium to stay at a hotel that’s connected to a terminal, and doesn’t require a taxi or shuttle. In this case I made an exception, since I was intrigued by the runway views of the Renaissance Heathrow, plus the hotel was much more reasonably priced than the properties connected to terminals.
The Renaissance Heathrow is located toward the east part of Bath Road. That puts it closer to Terminal 2 & 3 than to Terminal 5. Airports at Heathrow don’t have their own free shuttles, but rather the (paid) Hotel Hoppa offers service here.
Personally I ended up just taking a taxi from Terminal 5, which cost under 20 GBP. That offered huge time savings compared to taking the Hotel Hoppa but having to wait, make multiple stops, etc. A taxi was also cheaper than Uber, for whatever reason.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that taxis at Heathrow don’t mind making local trips, because if they’re assigned these kinds of trips, they get to cut the queue when they return to Heathrow. This is in stark contrast to some other airports, where you’ll get chewed out by a taxi driver if you request a short ride.
The following morning I took an Uber to Terminal 3, which cost just 10 GBP.
Renaissance London Heathrow lobby & check-in
The Renaissance isn’t about to win any design awards from Architectural Digest. The property is five stories (including a basement level), and it’s quite sprawling, given that there are over 700 rooms with so few floors.
Given how big the hotel is, I was expecting that there would be a queue at reception. Instead there wasn’t even an associate at check-in. After waiting for a minute, someone finally appeared.
The person checking me in was friendly, though advised me my room wasn’t ready (which is fair enough, since it was just after 10AM). I asked if any room was ready, as I was happy to have a different bed type for my short stay, I just wanted to maximize my time in a room. Sure enough, she managed to find a twin room with a runway view, so that worked great for me. She also explained the hours of the club lounge, and the hotel’s other features.
With a key in hand, I headed to my room. The lobby has plenty of comfortable seating, though I found the design to be a bit random.
Renaissance London Heathrow guest room
I was assigned room 2218, on the second floor. Fortunately there are lots of handy maps on each floor, because otherwise you could easily spend half of your stay trying to find your room.
The Renaissance Heathrow was last renovated in 2015, which is probably what you’d expect from looking at the property. The design isn’t terribly outdated, but also isn’t cutting edge.
Rooms at the Renaissance Heathrow are marketed as being 247 square feet (23 square meters), so they’re on the compact side. However, my room didn’t feel uncomfortably small. Upon entering the room, the bathroom was to the right, while a closet and the minibar setup was to the left.
The room had two twin beds, which I found to be extremely comfortable. The mattresses were soft, and the pillows substantial. I guess one benefit of having two beds when traveling alone is that you get even more pillows!
The room had a small chair and side table by the window.
Then across from the beds was a desk, as well as a TV on a stand.
The minibar area had a kettle with instant coffee and tea, as well as two bottles of water.
There was also an empty mini-fridge.
The bathroom was also quite compact, and had a sink, toilet, and a shower and tub combo. The only bizarre thing was that there was only a single towel in the bathroom, which seemed stingy… hopefully that was a fluke?
Toiletries were in wall-mounted containers, and were from TokyoMilk.
Wi-Fi in the room was fast and free, and the room also felt quite clean. As you can probably tell, there’s nothing special about this room… except the view. OMG, what an epic runway view! You’re so close to the departure point for runway 27R, and as an avgeek I found this view to be unbeatable.
One thing to note is that the runway view rooms here are noisy. I don’t even want to blame the hotel for having bad sound insulation, but rather I think a lot of noise is almost unavoidable if you’re this close to a runway.
As someone who sleeps with a loud white noise app on, this didn’t bother me one bit, since I find the sound of airplane engines to be quite soothing. But if you’re a light sleeper and bothered by this, then you may want to avoid a runway view room. Do keep in mind that Heathrow has very few arrivals and departures overnight, so this isn’t a major issue from late at night until the morning.
Renaissance London Heathrow club lounge
The Renaissance Heathrow has a club lounge on the third floor. You can access this either by booking a club room, or by being a Bonvoy Platinum member or above. As a Bonvoy Titanium member, I received complimentary access to the lounge. I appreciate that the lounge is open 24/7, so that you can come here any hour of the day or night to grab a cup of coffee or a soft drink.
The club lounge is a long and narrow room, and architecturally isn’t a terribly inspiring space. There are tables, a few couches, and some high-top seating.
The one thing that makes this lounge absolutely epic (I mean, sort of) is the views. I sat here for most of the day working and enjoying the views of all the planes taking off. I also wasn’t the only avgeek, as throughout the day I saw several people sitting here for extended periods, with lots of commentary about which planes were landing, etc.
While the lounge has amazing views, you’ll definitely want to manage your expectations when it comes to the food selection.
Coffee, soft drinks, nuts, and cookies, are available all day.
I arrived at the hotel right at the tail end of breakfast. The selection was exceedingly basic, and consisted of cold cuts, pastries, bread, cereal, fruit salad, and orange juice.
Then in the evenings there was a happy hour, with free drinks and snacks. Once again, the selection was very limited. The self serve options included bread, crackers, cheese, and cake.
In addition to those options, each guest was brought a pre-made plate, which… didn’t look terribly appealing to me.
Alcohol was also available from the server in the lounge. There was the choice of two white wines, two red wines, and three beers (Budwesier, Miller, and Coors). I just had a glass of white wine, which was at least a generous pour.
The attendant in the lounge was friendly. I felt bad for her, as there was one jerk in the lounge who essentially chewed her out about how bad the beer selection was. Talk about misdirected frustration.
Renaissance London Heathrow gym
The Renaissance Heathrow’s gym is on the basement level. It had decent equipment, but also wasn’t particularly large for a 710-room hotel.
Renaissance London Heathrow restaurant & bar
I didn’t end up visiting any of the food & beverage outlets on property (beyond the club lounge), though there are three options to choose from, all on the lobby level.
There’s Market Garden Restaurant, which serves breakfast and dinner daily, described as offering “seasonal European dining in a casually elegant atmosphere.”
Then there’s Bar Eleven, which is quite a large bar serving drinks and meals from midday until late.
Lastly, the Renaissance Heathrow has Cafe Cha, a coffee shop serving a variety of drinks and light snacks. Unfortunately it has fairly limited hours, and is open from 6AM until 3PM.
I’m happy I finally had the chance to check out the Renaissance Heathrow, since I’ve seen so many pictures and videos of airplanes over the years that were taken from this property. The Renaissance Heathrow is a totally run-of-the-mill Heathrow Airport hotel, and there’s almost nothing special about it… except the views, which are awesome.
If you like plane views, by all means check this property out. If you don’t like plane views, only stay here if it’s the best value for your stay.
Would I stay at the Renaissance Heathrow again? While I enjoyed the plane views, in the future I’d probably once again prefer a property connected to the terminal I’m departing from, like the Hilton Garden Inn Terminal 2, Hilton Heathrow Terminal 4, or Sofitel Heathrow Terminal 5.
What do you make of the Renaissance Heathrow Airport?