Try as I might to dodge those yawningly early morning flights, I occasionally have to concede defeat. Just last week I was forced to catch an 8am plane from Heathrow to Zurich.
As I considered my flight plight I could feel the rising panic at the thought of waking up before the dawn chorus to make the bleary-eyed 40-minute drive to Heathrow. But that wasn’t all. I still had to factor in enough time to allow for car parking and the subsequent transfer to make it in time for the 7am check-in at the airport.
I considered various parking options, but the most time-efficient option of valet parking which would have cost £112.30.
But then it struck me. What if I could park the car and check into an airport hotel the night before? Five-minutes drive from Heathrow is the 895-room, four star Park Inn hotel.
There was a queue at reception, but it wasn’t too long before I had my key, sorted out the morning transfer and dropped off my bags.
My room, spacious and decked-out in contemporary colours, made for a pleasant stayover.Restaurants include a carvery (and a veggie option), a canteen style deli and a bar. I spent the evening relaxing at the bar sipping a glass of vino.
But my primary reason for being here was so I could roll out of bed at a humane hour, enjoy a leisurely breakfast before hitching a lift with a hoppa transfer (£4.50) while leaving my car in the hotel car park.
The cost for the overnight stay and five nights parking was £150. For some this may seem an extravangance, but for me it was a fair exchange for the convenience.
RATES: from £90 per night for two sharing, including breakfast
CAR PARKING: £12 per night
TEL: 0208 759 6611