My recent flight to Italy with the eldest had a revoltingly early check-in of 5.30am. It only takes us about an hour to get to Heathrow from home but at that time in the morning every extra minute of sleep is precious. So when Premier Inn invited us to experience their Sleep, Park, Fly scheme I accepted straight away.
Our flight was from Terminal 4 and we stayed 4 miles drive away at the Heathrow Airport (Bath Road) Premier Inn, which the receptionist told us is the largest of the chain in the country. It was already dark when we arrived and parked at the hotel, and the huge, cathedral-like reception area seemed to be lit with a pink uplighters and fairy lights. We checked in, dumped our bags in our room and then popped back downstairs to look around. Besides a restaurant, bar and branch of Costa there was a comfortable looking lounge area, and we also noticed an ingenious charging point for mobile phones, with lockable compartments to keep your phone safe whilst charging. We’d already eaten at home, but popped to the restaurant to try some dishes included in our Meal Deal package. We had prawn cocktail, a chicken burger, profiteroles and lemon meringue pie but weren’t keen on any of it.
Back up at our room we used the hotel WiFi to plan our route to the airport next morning. The room was spotlessly clean, quiet and comfortable, and even had a choice of firm or soft pillows. We both slept well until we were woken at 5am by the alarm call I’d booked. We were too early for breakfast at the hotel.
We were at the airport by 5.30am, and followed the instructions we’d been given to find where to park in the short stay car park. I gave the car keys to the cheery man from Purple Parking who was waiting for us and then we popped over to the terminal to check in. It was all very efficient and painless until we got to the Alitalia check-in desk – but that’s another story.
On our return we phoned Purple Parking on leaving the plane, as instructed, and were met by a bus outside the terminal to take us on a 10 minute drive to our car. The only tricky moment was when we drove out of the car park and there were no signs to anywhere (or none that I saw), so it took us a while to find our way because we’d never been there before.
Family travel lowdown: Our stay was complementary as I was invited as a reviewer for mumsdotravel.com, but the package we had costs from £134.98 for a twin room for one night including WiFi, dinner, breakfast, overnight parking at the hotel, 7 nights airport parking and transfer to the car park. I’d definitely recommend the parking service and the hotel for an overnight stay before a flight, but wouldn’t go back to the restaurant.