This was actually posted on the guardian website -
Been there | Last week's questions
My birthday is coming up, with my girlfriend's the following day. I'm looking for a place where we could spend 3-4 days that would make it unfeasibly special - preferably it would be outside of the UK, but more importantly it mustn't be too expensive (think skinflint).
If you live in London or nearby, the Ibis Hotel at Harlington Corner near Heathrow Airport is ideal for a cheap romantic weekend.
It is situated at the end of the Piccadilly Line at Heathrow and there are two McDonalds nearby, one open 24-hours and the other is within a bowling alley which just around the corner from the hotel. Hounslow and Southall are a short hop away by local bus for gourmet Indian food. All Heathrow terminals are nearby and the ride is free on all London Buses to and from the terminals.
Aircraft noise is not a problem as the hotel is double glazed throughout. Aircraft fumes can be a nuisance but only when the wind is westerly.
There is no swimming pool or Jacuzzi, but who wants these anyway, when you can make use of the time in other ways such shopping at the Sunday car boot market at Hounslow West, sampling kebabs at Hounslow East, or stocking up on cheap fruit and veg at the dozens of shops in Southall.
Hounslow Heath is ideal for a romantic stroll, but do not get too romantic, as you can wave to passengers looking at you from landing aircraft.
You will be among groups of stranded mostly foreign passengers guaranteeing anonymity, especially if you are a B or C list celebrity.
If this is too much for you, go to Colnbrook at the western side of the airport where you can sit outside a pub, have a drink and feel the earth shake with every Boeing 747 take off.
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