Saturday, May 19, 2012

Heathrow Sheraton Free Bus: When You Assume...

Experienced and sophisticated travelers that we are, we've stayed at both Heathrow Sheratons, the Sheraton Heathrow and the Sheraton Skyline Hotel Heathrow. Both may be reached by a bus. Yes, the buses differ.

Since we'd done all this before, we hadn't bothered to complete the mundane task of recording the actual bus numbers.

We asked both a friendly young woman who "rides the bus every day," and the driver when we boarded, "Does this go to the Sheraton Skyline?" The replies were affirmative. To add to the confusion, both properties are located in the "200 block" of Bath Road.

We don't blame them. We blame ourselves. We knew the Sheraton Skyline was on the same side of the road when we got off the bus so we walked nearly a half mile until we realized it wasn't there. We then walked back, crossed the four-lane road, and entered the "other" Sheraton to get instructions.

After waiting in line for nearly 10 minutes(no wonder the British are so good at queues), a friendly desk clerk gave us instructions. We walked another quarter of a mile to get to the bus stop, waited nearly a half hour for the next bus, and made our way to the Sheraton Skyline without further problems.

It's of little consolation that another experienced traveler (who had picked up his Sheraton on Hotwire) was right behind us. It probably occurs quite regularly at both hotels, back and forth, but all that doesn't make us feel any less silly.

We are now sitting in the lounge consuming the complimentary wine, toasting our own stupidity. This does require repeated toasts.

On our return to London, we do stay in that "other" Sheraton. Any bets as to whether we'll catch the right bus?

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