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The best London airport hotels: Where to stay for Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton

Simon Calder’s Travel

The joy of an early morning flight out of London – and the promise of a long day ahead to enjoy your final destination – is quickly shattered by the reality of a dash to the airport in the wee hours, often contending with public transport (if it’s even running at that time). Similar problems face travellers who arrive back late, having squeezed out every hour of a trip, only to find the post-holiday blues fly in to focus when facing the final leg of the journey home.

You can avoid all of this hassle with a stay at an airport hotel for Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City. Expect a leisurely pace before you reach the terminal – which is often around a five-minute walk away – and a chance to enjoy breakfast before you get through security. What’s more, the better airport-adjacent properties have gotten a lot more stylish, so you can expect a dash of flair to go along with the convenience.

These are the best airport hotels in London, according to Independent Travel’s experts.


Ibis Styles London Heathrow Airport

Distance from terminal: 15 minutes

A budget stay without the budget look
A budget stay without the budget look (Ibis Styles)

Now this is a budget hotel that doesn’t scrimp on personality. Overlooking Heathrow on the busy Bath Road (which runs parallel to the airport), even the lobby of this Ibis bulges with kooky design touches, from hot-air-balloon lamps to wallpaper festooned with clouds. Upstairs, the wackiness continues, with minibars that resemble air stewards’ trollies and animal-themed prints in the bathrooms. Amenities are sound, with a restaurant serving up decent comfort food (think burgers, lasagnes and bangers and mash) and helpful additions like printers for boarding passes, departures screens and a long-stay car park (at a cost) if needed. The breakfast buffet is functional and included in the cost of your room, and after that, you can take the shuttle bus directly outside to Terminals 2–5, which should get you there in around 30 minutes (taxis take half the time but are costlier than the bus fare).

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