“ Address: Povey Cross Road / Gatwick / RH6 0BE Horley / Tel: (+44)129/3820169 „
Last October I went out to Turkey on a Solo Travellers holiday and the company I booked with could only give me the option of flying from Gatwick. Not an issue to me as I have no problem driving- however it's a 3 hour drive on a good day from my Nottiungham home. With a 7 AM flight I felt it ideal to stay over locally instead of leaving home at midnight to drive down to catch a flight.
I searched through a number of comparison sites fora hotel with parking and was quite surprised that it was only around £20 more than airport parking alone so was financially a viable option too
The Mercure Gatwick sold itself to me by being only a short and inexpensive bus ride (£2.50) from my terminal while having the option of storing my car securely at the hotel. (Some hotels offer parking at one of the specific airport car parks so you still have to drive to the car park before your flight) all for a tidy £79 including a weeks parking. I could have paid slightly less for accomdation and parking however prices for buses or taxi were much more so it worked out around about the same price. It also had a gym and swimming pool so I could relax after my drive down to Gatwick too.
This was great- Just about a mile down the dual carriageway from the South Terminal Island and even better was that the hotel postcode is spot on with my Tom Tom Sat Nav and that even took me down the hotel driveway- result!
I was suprised how large the hotel was as I pulled up- It was my first time at a Mercure so wasn't sure what to expect and to be honest the hotel exterior was not particularly modern- In fact it looked more like a council housing block from a distance (See photo courtesy of milesfaster.co.uk). Entering the hotel itself showed a much more modern clean interior with a large spacious reception and seating area leading to it's own Constellations health and fitness club area
Car parking- The Mercure has a separate despatch and pick up desk for airport parking users
I'd booked a single room so didn't expect too much and was pleasantly surprised by the room as well. It was clean and the beds well made. The bathroom was exceptionally clean and there was also the traditiuonal tea and coffee making facilities. It was everything I needed in a room for a night before my early flight.
The extra bonus was that the TV system had the option of programming in an alert so I promptly set for 4 AM. (And also asked reception to call myself at ten past as an Early morning call too- never can be too prepared if travelling alone!)
I headed down to the health club area with a change of clothes and a towel. I find exertion helps me sleep better too.
Entering the health club area you are hit by an overly strong smell of chlorine. It was so strong I decided not to take a dip in the pool initially as certainly didn't want to have my blonde hair go green on me pre holiday.
The gym area consisted of a weights type area and a cardiovascular area. I warmed up in the cardio area and while it had a good selection of machines all of them were in very poor condition and on their last legs so I wasn't impressed. However it served its purpose for 45 minutes.
To pass my evening I headed down to the bar to grab a bite to eat. The bar was more like a sports bar and even had a pool table to while away time on too. I chose a panini and portion of chips from the bar menu and it was with me in 20 minutes while I sipped on a pretty reasonable priced pint of Caffrey's (£3.05) and ate my meal while a group of Scots drank rather alot and became rather boystrous while they played pool
My nights sleep
I had a lovely comfortable bed and was getting a great nights sleep until I heard lots of shouting in the hallways- one of the Scots had lost his phone and not sure which room his mate was in (who might have had the phone) proceeded to shout continuously and loudly at the top of his voice Steeeeevvvvvvvvvviiiiiiieeeeee to try and get his attention. As that didn't work he started banging on doors and asking if Stevie was in the room-including my door at 1 in the morning. Not the best way for a good nights sleep and I had just started to doze properly when my alarm went off to get me up!
I got up, ready (Nice warm power shower!) and headed off to catch the bus which stopped right outside reception and dropped me at the terminal within 10 mins too! They ran every 30 minutes early on so I would have had a fair wait if I had missed the bus and was in a rush! However it was 5 in the morning and I had been told the regularity increased later on.
On returning after my holiday the bus pulled up at exactly the point I got dropped off and on return to the hotel I presented them my receipt and picked up my car keys. Returning to the car it had been washed as well.
Would I stay there agin yes due to proximity and value. I would hope for a better nights sleep though!! And fingers crossed they'll have sorted the Gym in that time too!
Also posted on ciao