The Best Hotels Near London's Heathrow Airport

The likes of Orson Welles and Charlie Chaplin have stayed at the Great Fosters, near Windsor
The likes of Orson Welles and Charlie Chaplin have stayed at the Great Fosters, near Windsor | Courtesy of Great Fosters / Expedia
Jo Fernandez-Corugedo

Take the pain out of catching the plane with a night before you fly in one of these smart hotels close to London Heathrow Airport – all bookable on Culture Trip.

Who said you had to overnight in a characterless business-hotel chain next to the runway, just because you’ve got a crack-of-dawn flight from Heathrow? Within an easy drive of the airport are some characterful properties where your holiday will start the moment you cross the threshold. From Windsor to Richmond, Runnymede to Teddington, you’ll sleep in style and awake refreshed for your transfer to the terminal if you choose one of these best places to stay near Heathrow Airport. Of course, you might just fancy a weekend in them.

1. The Stanwell

Hotel

The Stanwell
Courtesy of The Stanwell / Expedia

The leafy village location of this much-loved hotel in the village of Stanwell makes it a popular choice for families – it’s not even a 20-minute drive from LEGOLAND and Thorpe Park, therefore perfect whether you’re sightseeing locally or catching a flight. Relaxing rooms display bright pops of colour, with lime-green or bright-red walls, and suites mean interconnecting rooms and lounge areas for sprawling in, en famille. The food scene’s good here – you can dine on classic dishes pretty much from dawn to dusk. Go for a satisfying full English, crispy fish and chips or perhaps more international flavours: golden spring rolls and fragrant Thai curry.

2. The Runnymede

Spa Hotel

The Runnymede
Courtesy of The Runnymede / Expedia

An idyllic riverside location means photogenic views – also hire boats you can self-navigate, nosing at the grand houses that line the banks of the Thames close to historic Runnymede. It’s a 1970s building that conceals some very pleasing interiors that veer from retro to light-and-airy Scandi-style (ducks nod to the riparian location). Not only are rooms serene – some of the entry-levels even have river views – there’s also a super-soothing ESPA spa, a seasonal outdoor pool and a riverside hot tub. Breakfast before you fly? Don’t wait until Heathrow – start here, with locally sourced Surrey sausages, eggs cooked to order and mouth-watering artisan breads.

3. The Macdonald Windsor

Hotel

The Macdonald Windsor
Courtesy of The Macdonald Windsor / Expedia

With Windsor Castle for a neighbour, this is a great address on the high street of this tourist-loved Berkshire town. Step inside and you find richly decorated rooms in jewel tones of amethyst and garnet, with textured wallpaper and leather chairs maxing up the comfort levels. Stretch to a suite and you’ll enjoy castle views. The in-house restaurant is a Scottish steakhouse, which means a traditional menu of well-presented steaks in addition to hearty pies and meaty pasta dishes. All that and Heathrow is just a 20-minute drive away.

4. Castle Hotel Windsor

Hotel

Castle Hotel Windsor
Courtesy of Castle Hotel Windsor / Expedia

The soft green Georgian facade of this high street-facing 16th-century hotel hints at the well-restored interiors, which have some fine original features. You’ll find quaint fireplaces and sash windows alongside muted modern shades and well-matched contemporary pieces with great views of regal Windsor. The in-house Leaf restaurant goes big on multinational cuisine, from roast Scottish salmon to Japanese-style vegan gyoza. As you dine you can watch the Changing of the Guard from your table and there’s a pretty terrace for summer nights.

5. Savannah Bed & Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast

Savannah Bed & Breakfast
Courtesy of Savannah Bed & Breakfast / Expedia

Here’s a handsome redbrick home in prestigious Virginia Water: a dog-friendly, family-run B&B. Light-filled rooms look out onto a large garden lined with mature trees and lush lawns. There’s even a patio, so you can sit outside with your morning tea or coffee, watching the birds feed. Following a home-cooked English or Irish breakfast (guests requiring gluten-free are well-catered for), head out to pursue one of the many walks in this peaceful part of Surrey, where crowd-pulling attractions such as Thorpe Park are not even a 2mi (3km) drive away.

6. The Lensbury Resort

Resort

The Lensbury Resort
Courtesy of The Lensbury Resort / Expedia

This is a vast stately affair in equally grand grounds on the banks of the Thames in Teddington, close to Bushy Park and historic Hampton Court Palace. The look in rooms is traditional, with grand balustraded balconies in some cases. If you’re sporty you’ll appreciate the tennis courts (15 of them), the indoor pool and the watersports centre specialising in sailing, sculling, kayaking, canoeing and motorboat hire. All in all, it’s a bit of a holiday before you even fly – Heathrow is just 8mi (12km) away. Explore the menu while you’re here – from Cobb salads to the Lensbury burger, it will take a while to exhaust.

7. Great Fosters

Hotel

Great Fosters
Courtesy of Great Fosters / Expedia

You’ll feel as regal as Queen Elizabeth spending time at this good-looking, 400-year-old stately home near Windsor, in endless acres of gardens with immaculately manicured mazes. Whether you choose a romantic room with a four-poster bed or the Italian suite with rich damask-draped walls, you’re following in the wake of esteemed company – the likes of Orson Welles and Charlie Chaplin stayed here in their heyday. This is a hotel for relaxing and dining on Michelin-starred food – perhaps Orkney scallops with peas, fava beans, coconut and kaffir lime in the Tudor restaurant. Unless, that is, you’re stuffed from that afternoon tea on the terrace.

8. Richmond Hill Hotel

Hotel

Richmond Hill Hotel
Courtesy of Richmond Hill Hotel / Expedia

No distance at all from the darting deer of royal Richmond Park is this 18th-century Georgian townhouse, with views over Petersham Meadows. It is a triumph of high ceilings and stone fireplaces, beautifully coloured walls and panelling. Smart bedrooms soothe with soft greys and crisp white bedding. Sample small plates in the bar or settle in for brilliantly executed dishes in the 144 on the Hill restaurant, where you can sample botanical gin prawn cocktail, no less, as well as the signature 144 knickerbocker glory, a glorious mix of summer fruits, shortbread and bourbon vanilla cream. It’s that good, Heathrow can wait.

Got time to kill in London before your plane leaves? Stay at one of the best spa hotels in the West End, or one of the best hotels with balconies – you can even book your stay with Culture Trip. Fill your summer itinerary with the best outdoor cinemas in London and the best outdoor venues in London, then scour the best food and drink experiences in town.

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