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8.5 hour layover at Heathrow- at night

Hello! We are traveling with our daughters to Paris, and got routed through Heathrow- where we arrive at 10:45pm and have a 7:25 am flight to Paris.. I'm not sure that it's worth it to get a hotel so we can sleep for 4 hours- especially because when we arrive it will only 'feel' like 3pm in the afternoon! Has anyone experienced this before? Are there 24 hour eateries at Heathrow? I figured we'd shell out for airport wi-fi, and the kids could nap. They're night owls, so won't really start to feel tired until we get ready to depart for Paris.. I'd love to know from someone who's been to Heathrow what our late night options are. Thanks!
JEnnifer

Posted by
7050 posts

I don't have experience with Heathrow, but during my layover at Schipol (Amsterdam), they had one of those lounges where you can book a room to sleep in blocks of 4 hours (I think it was 70 euros or something like that). In the same place were shower facilities (15 euros)- so maybe something similar would be an option for you?

Posted by
2081 posts

hi, ive only had a day layover in heathrow. I had my 2 pieces of luggage and 4 boxes of equipment so there wasnt any way to do anything other than wait. happy trails.

Posted by
4 posts

Rebecca, thanks! When was the last time you went through Heathrow? I ask because the link you included shows that Costa is open 5:30am-last departing flight.. I assume that to be 11pm or so? Which means we'd have to go through customs to hang out on the street side. A pain, but my daughters love the idea of another stamp in their passports. Even if they're open only until 2 or 3am that would do us... Of course 3 of us are also gluten intolerant but I'm used to packing sandwiches. Mostly what I want is coffee..

Posted by
5635 posts

The Costa Coffees that are open are the ones that are outside of the secure area. Check here Costa Coffee Heathrow Personally, I think it would be dreadful to have to overnight in Heathrow airport after a long flight. I've taken a flight that arrives at 10pm nearly every year for the last ten years and most things at the airport are shuttered up at that time. If it were me, I'd book a hotel just to be able to take a shower and relax in a comfortable place. Heathrow is not a very comfortable airport. I've spent a lot of hours there waiting for flights, but fortunately I have never spent the night. You could look at the hotels on the Heathrow Hoppa bus route. The Hoppa bus stops running around 11:30pm, so if your flight is delayed it could be a challenge if you have a long immigration line. Taxi drivers don't like to take people on such a short route. Another option is a hotel in the airport. There is a Yotel that can be booked for as little as 4 hours in T4, but the standard rooms are tiny rooms. They are just a single bed with a space of about 2 feet between the bed and a glass wall separator for the toilet/shower. There is no privacy if one member of the family is in the bathroom. I think you'd have to book two for 4 people and that would really increase the price. There is also a Hilton and a Sofitel, but those are a bit pricey. Another option is the Jury's Inn at Hatton Cross. It can be reached by tube and it is just 1 stop from Heathrow. I've never stayed there, but I've seen it recommended often on Tripadvisor. You'd need to check to see how late the tube runs on the day of your arrival (check tfl.gov.uk). On some weekdays the tube runs past midnight and it starts around 5am or so. You only need to get to Heathrow 2 hours before your flight.

Posted by
403 posts

I would not recommend hanging out in the terminal all night. You will be grungy, tired, cold, and cranky by the time your flight to Paris leaves, and you will start your wonderful vacation completely exhausted. Yotel is one option. This is a sort of hotel, located in Terminal 4, inside of security, that has teeny box like cabins you can rent. They are a bit like a compartment on a train. Very unusual and my teens think they are cool. They even have cheap 24 hr. room service. I, however, prefer option 2, which is the Hilton connected to Terminal 4. Easy to get there via covered walkway connected to the terminal. Even if you don't sleep, at least you will have a warm, comfy place to hang out, take a shower, watch TV, etc. You could easily just reserve one room if you don't feel you need beds for everyone. I'd pack serious snacks in your carry on so you aren't frantic about finding food for hungry kiddos in the wee hours of the morning. Voice of experience here! If your luggage is checked through (you didn't say), be sure you have everything you need, including meds, glasses, freshening up items, etc. in your carryon for such a long layover.

Posted by
11613 posts

I used to try to sleep in the terminal, stay awake in the terminal, but the last long layovers I've had I just got a room at the airport hotel, slept for several hours and completed my travel. The sardine can room at Yotel was not something I will ever do again (they should give you a can opener instead of a room key), but a few dollars more for a real room is worth it, especially if you can get a room that sleeps four.

Posted by
3696 posts

After that long flight and if you start trying to get acclimated right away it should not 'feel' like 3 in the afternoon. You probably won't have slept that well the night before. I would definitely get a room at the Hilton, otherwise what will you do when you arrive in Paris? Try to shower and clean up then? If you get a bit of rest you should be raring to go in Paris... have a great day and be right on schedule. (Just sign up for Hilton points and enjoy the hotel)

Posted by
4 posts

First- THANK YOU to everyone who has weighed in. Terry- is there a Hilton close by? I have a rewards card with them. We are all over the map still in terms of how we will spend the night, but hearing the diverse opinions is an enormous help. We may load up a movie on our laptop, bring snacks and a bottle of duty-free wine and tough it out. We may try going through to Stateside, or try a hotel. I've ruled out Yotel, and another I looked at that was close by off of terminal 4 (can't remember which) was booked. I hesitate to spend the dollars for what will amount to 4 hours in a hotel.. I'm lucky, in that my kids are seasoned travelers, and will shut their eyes in any position in any location. We are renting an apartment in Paris, and our last visit took about 24 hours of travel time, and we just powered through with a really light schedule that day. We will likely do the same thing again. Thanks again everyone, and please feel free to post your thoughts and experiences- it has been immensely helpful!

Posted by
1175 posts

We use Heathrow as our entry point on all of our trips to Europe. We then take the Eurostar to Paris a day (or two usually) after our arrival and trains to travel onward from Paris. But then we like London and love taking the Eurostar into Parisno hassles at the hell that is CDG. Your kids would love London, and the Eurostar ride into central Paris is a delightful experience. We use Jury's Inn near LHR on our layovers, if any, coming and going. We return from Rome this fall and have an overnight layover to fly back from LHR via Dallas to Tulsa. We use frequent flyer miles so the scheduling on our flights are usually not convenient.... but at $165 each RT Tulsa to LHR we can put up with inconveniences. Heathrow closes down around midnight so your best bet would be the Hilton attached to Terminal 4. You might consider the Eurostar option if you haven't already booked your flights.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks George! We are booked on Frequent Flyer Miles, hence the crazy long layover. The Sleeping in Airports site was very helpful, and we may yet go through customs to grab a bite to eat. We've pretty much ruled out a hotel. They were exorbitant, and for 4 hours- which is about what it would be, it's a bit silly. We're pretty adventurous. George- I notice you're From Independence- great little town with the best playround ever! Have friends that taught at ICC. I have family all over the UK, so at some point we'll actually stay in London, but Paris keeps calling. I personally don't find CDG that bad- I've never had any issues there.
I will post an update next Friday, to let you all know what we decided and how it went!