“ North terminal Gatwick Airport / West Sussex / RH6 0PH / Crawley / Tel : (+44)1293/567070 / Fax : (+44)1293/555037 / E-mail : H6204@accor.com. „
It was an unexpectedly warm and balmy night as we arrived at Gatwick by train. Our plan was to get away from the terrible English weather by visiting The Boy's mum in Spain, so we were a bit perplexed to find that the week we'd booked had become a heat wave. It had been a quiet and relaxing after work journey, with M&M spying cows and sheep in the rolling Surrey countryside, but time was wearing on and bedtime was in our sights.
The Boy lurked outside having a cigarette, while M&M and I looked for the entrance to the Sofitel at the North Terminal. We were flying from the South Terminal, but the monorail between the two is quick and easy. It wasn't well signposted, so we wandered past it before realising that the covered walkway leads out from the escalator area and that there's no need to go past the shops. I had happy childhood memories of staying at the Sofitel (though back then it was Le Meridian and something else), so when I realised our check in time would be 7am, I booked it without hesitation. I know, I know, staying in the airport is expensive - but when you factor in the worry of having to get a shuttle to an outside hotel and all the possible lateness in the morning when you have to drag bags and a buggy and traipse round a dozen other hotels waiting for people to get their things loaded up, it becomes worthwhile. And I'd booked through Booking.com, making the price for our room £142.
We entered into the enormous lobby area; the hotel is built round this central courtyard, with brightly lit glass lifts shooting up the sides and inward facing rooms overlooking it. There are a couple of bistro and bar type cafés, water features, tasteful music and a subdued and expensive atmosphere. (Back in the 80's we had shiny floors and a piano that played itself. Some things can't be improved upon, I suppose.) Annoyingly, the reception desk had an equally enormous queue, most of which seemed to consist of people complaining.
When the couple ahead of us had finished complaining, we swooped, anxious to check in. The process was annoyingly slow. The first major irritation was that although I'd booked weeks in advance, the rooms are allocated first come, first served on the night. So at 9.30pm, we'd ended up with the absolute dross. By that, I mean the rooms over the monorail, which are noisy, with a monorail shuttling past every couple of minutes all night long. I point blank refused these and the receptionist (who to give her her due, was very pleasant about this) managed to find us an interior room looking over the atrium. I think this was in part owing to the charms of M&M, who was perched on the counter, smiling and chatting. I was relieved we didn't get a room overlooking the runway; The Boy is an unenthusiastic flier, to say the least.
The second irritation was that we needed a credit card. Not a debit card. I have debit cards, I'm good for the money, so why are they not enough? On production of The Boy's credit card, the fact that we have different surnames produced a reaction of shock and confusion. I'm not sure if this creates an issue with the computer system, or whether it was just outright horror that we aren't married. But this took time to resolve.
What next? Did we want a cot for M&M? Very thoughtful of you, but no. I have no intention of paying your astronomical cot charge when I know full well my child won't sleep anywhere other than in the bed with me. Did we want breakfast? No, not for an extra £20 per person. Especially when we can get some fruit and so on from the M&S at the entrance. We finally got our card keys and headed up to the fourth floor.
The room was okay, but not designed for two (or even three) people in my opinion. It was tiny and narrow, with a spectacular view over the atrium from the full length window. The odd shape made me wonder if they'd carved the rooms up to get more people in since my last visit. A small coffee table with just one chair was by the window, with a small double bed in the middle. A large mirror faced the bed, with a wooden shelf underneath. Below the shelf was the empty mini-bar, which was handy for storing the breakfast. Above were tea and coffee making facilities and one of those tellies that looks like a computer monitor. It was all fairly standard, if cramped. The small bathroom had a fixed head shower over the bath, a deep white basin and matching toilet. There were a couple of meanly sized and very threadbare towels and a set of those cheap generic 'spa' shampoo, conditioner and bodywash. Here I was particularly disappointed, having seen from tripadvisor that other reviewers fared better.
The air conditioning in our room didn't work properly and given it was so hot outside and we were three to a bed, we spent an unpleasantly warm night. M&M had a tooth coming and was ridiculously overexcited, sitting up in bed and shouting until she was coerced into sleeping in a headlock. The bed itself was fairly comfortable, but a strange arrangement, with a duvet type mattress cover underneath you. This only made us all more hot and bothered. All said and done, it was an uncomfortable arrangement and I think if I had the choice, I'd have gone for a 'normal' bed. Or at least a full size double.
It was one of those nights where the alarm goes off about a minute after you finally get to sleep. The tea facilities were very welcome in the morning and M&M and I took it in turns to sit in the solitary chair at the table. She was too excited to eat the fruit and 6am was too early for anyone else. Mostly it got thrown on the floor. The shower was good and powerful, with decent water pressure. I'd washed my hair the night before, so a splash of the body wash was enough. The mirror was well lit, so I applied a thick coating of eyeliner and pocketed the shower cap and a pack of cotton buds which had been provided. The water was nice and soft too, so cleaning your teeth is pleasantly foamy. I emerged refreshed into our muggy, steamy room and shouted again at The Boy, who was still trying to sleep.
The lifts on the way down were slow. The kind of slow where you would definitely take the stairs if you didn't have luggage. Looking around with a fresh pair of eyes, the corridors are pretty dated and shabby. Thankfully the checkout was a great deal quicker than check-in and our flight was sufficiently delayed so that we were able to maintain a leisurely pace. They have online check in available at the doors for those who aren't travelling with infants. A nice touch, which means that you can just drop your bags off and save queuing if you so desire.
All in all, the dreadful air conditioning and the funny bed made it difficult to sleep, but if you want to breeze into the airport in the morning, you can't beat the convenience of the Sofitel.
I stayed at the Sofitel most recently when travelling in January - and due to it being a last min holiday and last minute booking it cost us £130 for a double room. It is not the best room that I had stayed in in this hotel, but I got there at 1am and my flight left at 10am... so I wasnt too fussy - i just needed a bed for the night!!
The hotel is nice and inviting enough - and amazingly convenient to the airport - it has a link via a tunnel and you are in the airport in minutes!! it really is THAT good.... there is an open lobby area and the rooms feed off... as you look up you can see that some of the rooms have a view of the inner lobby (we had one of these rooms) so I am not sure whether the other rooms face outside or not.
There are the usual amenities available in the room, tv... large and comfortable bed, bathroom facilities are quite good - there were robes, and tea/coffee facilities. it is one of those rooms where the lighting is not great in the main area - you have to use lighting in the bathroom to be able to see yourself properly which is ok if you're applying make up (for example) but not great if styling hair due to socket locations being limited!!
Breakfast was not included, and they do supply wake up calls if requested. i did not use the parking facilities, but understand that they do exist if needed.
We normally stay in a Travelodge so I was always going to be impressed
by a higher class hotel, but I do think that this one genuinely ticks
all the right boxes. We treated ourselves before we went on Honeymoon as
we wanted something better than a Travelodge and we were not
We arrived at Gatwick on the Gatwick Express which arrives into the
South Terminal and got on the monorail to the North Terminal, we could
see the hotel as we were coming round on the monorail - it is shaped
like a cube with windows on all sides and also facing into the middle of
the hotel which has a large atrium.
The hotel is accessed by a walkway from the main terminal building so
extremely handy if you don't have a car - which was one of our main
reasons for booking it. Check in was swift and very professional and the
whole reception area very impressive. We went straight up to our room
and discovered we had been given a room that was overlooking the airport
and the runway and had one of the biggest windows you've ever seen in a
hotel room! It was massive!
The room itself was spotlessly clean and the free toiletries plentiful.
A wake up call could be set up really easily on the phone and easy table
and chair situated nicely next to the window, although the window sill
was so large you could actually sit on it!
We went and did Virgin Atlantic's Twilight Check in - excellent facility
- and had tea at Frankie and Benny's in the South terminal before making
our way back to the room, which I was keen to do so we could see the
planes! After a game of 'spot the airline' we decided to make our way to
bed as we had to be up early in the morning.
The bed was very comfortable and the hotel very quiet - which was good
considering it's location and the amount of comings and goings there
must have been was very good. We also had an adjoining door in our room
which I was slightly wirried about as I know other hotels often have
problems with noise where adjoining doors are used, however I needn't
have worried, it was all very quiet.
Our wake up call worked fine and we got ourselves ready and made our way
to check out, again this was all very quick and we made our way to
Fantastic hotel if you want to splurge the night before your flight! I
would definitely recommend!
My wife and I stayed in the Gatwick Sofitel for 1 night prior to jetting off on our Honeymoon. We usually stay in the cheapest hotel available (ie, Travelodge), but decided to treat ourselves a bit seeing at it was a special occasion!
We booked the room through FHR, which cost us £99, but we did get a nice 10% cashback through Quidco.
The hotel is attached to Gatwick's North Terminal which is a short 2-minute monorail ride away from the South Terminal.
Arriving in the lobby you can't help but be impressed - the whole hotel is very grand and looks very swish... it's an impressive sight. The check-in desk was well-staffed and we weren't waiting more than about a minute until we were checked-in.
Our room was on the 4th floor which meant we had to brave the glass lift, which seemed strangely difficult to operate as you need to put your room card in before you can choose your floor... I'm not quite sure why they decided to make the lift like this, but it was amusing to see some people having trouble with it, going from floor to floor without ever finding the one they wanted! It was quite entertaining! :)
The room itself was pretty big, with a massive double bed and a big window that looked out onto the runway. The room had a fairly big old CRT TV which had a fairly poor selection of channels - 1-5, with Sky News and a couple of foreign stations.
There are a couple of restaurants/bars in the hotel, but they looked expensive so we ate in the airport (there's a Wetherspoons and Frankie & Benny's before departures).
All-in-all we were very impressed with the Sofitel and would recommend it to anyone.
As we live on the Isle of Wight, me and my boyfriend thought it would be best to stay in an airport hotel before our mid-morning flight to Florida last September to avoid rushing up to the airport in the early hours. After some researching we decided to stay in the Sofitel because of its connection to the terminal. I booked it online a few weeks before and found the website easy to use and clear.
We arrived about 6pm on the evening before our flight. We took the train up to Gatwick so didnt experience the hotels parking offer. The hotel is connected to the airport terminal by a walkaway which is very convenient. The hotel is big and modern and as we entered the lobby it looked stylish and sleek. There was quite a long que to check in but I think its quite a popular hotel. When we got to the front desk the lady that checked us in was very friendly and smily and checked us in quickly. She gave us information about the restaurants around the hotel and about the breakfast which we declined as it was very pricey. The only other problem at this point was that the chip and pin device rejected my credit card which was a bit annoying, I know its not the hotels fault but it seemed to be happening quite a bit - both to the man checking in next to me and the people in front of us. Luckily we had another one with us. She then gave us our room key which also operated the lift.
The lift in this hotel was one of the most unecessarily complicated things I have ever come across! You need to swipe your room key then press the number of the floor your room is on. But it seemed to have a mind of its own and as more people got on the less likely it seemed we would ever reach our floor. One lift was broken too which didnt help matters so our lift was very busy. At one point us and another couple were going up as far as the 5th floor then back down to the lobby and this happned about 4 times.
When we eventually made it to our room we were impressed. It was very clean and tastefully decorated and it had a spacious modern bathroom. Our room overlooked the runway and we sat and watched all the planes taking off for a while. But despite being so close to the airport the sound proofing in the hotel is excellent and you cant even hear the planes. The bed was big and amazingly comfortable. I wish I could have taken it home with me. We got a really goods night sleep in the hotel, although I didnt want to leave the bed!
I did not eat at the hotel so not sure about the quality of food but the breakfast, room service and restaurants all seemed expensive.
Checking-out was fine. A longish que again but not as bad as the evening before. It was fabulous to just walk through a walkway and be in the airport terminal. It's a real luxury to not have to rush around with buses or taxis like you do with other hotels.
All in all a lovely hotel and I would definately stay here again. Its not exactly the perfect hotel for the more buget conscious traveller but the comfort and convenience are worth it.
I have made a few trips between the UK and Bermuda recently. On my most recent flying visit, I decided that rather than run the gauntlet of the M25 first thing on a Monday morning, I would book an airport hotel the night before and start the day at a more leisurely pace.
The main reason I chose the Sofitel was its highly convenient location, we were not planning to get to the airport until the evening, had to return our hire car and the last thing I felt I would want to do would be faff around with airport hotel buses. No need to do this with the Sofitel as it is connected to the North Terminal by a covered walkway.
We arrived at Gatwick at about 8pm, dropped off the hire car and crossed the road to enter the main (North) terminal. We have stayed at the Sofitel before, so we knew to take the escalator up one floor and from here it is clearly sign posted. It is a very short walk and a few minutes later we went through the glass doors to the hotel reception.
My first impression was of a very large, modern and elegant lobby area. My second feeling was dismay at the number of people waiting to be checked in ahead of us. I recalled that it was exactly the same on my last visit even though we arrived at about 11.30pm that time. I guess that's the thing with airport hotels though, people arriving around the clock.
There were about five or six staff at the desk, but some of them were working in twos so presumably were trainees. The desk to the far left is a dedicated check in for people who had booked "Executive" rooms, however I was grateful to find that they would take the next in line from the regular queue if they had no executives waiting. It did seem to take an unnaturally long time for some people ahead of us to check in. I had no idea what they could possibly be talking about; we just wanted to get our key and go. Overall the process probably took about ten minutes, which is not a silly amount of time but perhaps a bit longer than normal.
The hotel was very busy this particular day, but nevertheless the receptionist that checked us in was polite and unflustered and clearly used to working a busy reception desk. During the process she asked us did we want to have dinner in the hotel that night and recommended we book if we did because it was so busy. She told us the four restaurant options, we chose the Oriental Restaurant and she booked it for us there and then. She also asked if we wanted to pre-order breakfast which would be at a reduced price of £10.95 each if we booked there and then but would be £16.95 each if we waited until the following day. I thought even the £10.95 was somewhat extortionate for breakfast so we declined this offer.
We were allocated a room on the first floor and took the lift up. For security, the lift requires a room card in the slot but we found it a bit temperamental, the guy who checked in ahead of us was still trying to make it move when we arrived. Eventually we were moving.
Our room was a corner room and as we had chosen the cheapest rate available we were not surprised to find that it was pretty small but nor did we mind for an overnight airport stay. Like the public areas of the hotel, it was very tastefully decorated, modern and everything still looked brand new. Except for the TV, that stood out as being pretty old fashioned and it had a small screen. There was a minibar in the room but it was empty, you have to request for it to be stocked, we preferred to have an empty fridge so we had somewhere to put the soft drinks we had brought with us. The bathroom was an average size hotel bathroom, it was an attractive grey marble but most importantly the shower over bath was easy to operate and there were no water pressure or temperature problems.
As I mentioned earlier, we had booked a table in one of the restaurants, but as soon as we got to our room we changed our minds and decided to cancel and order room service instead. There was a good menu with both healthy and unhealthy options and on this occasion we decided to be unhealthy with hubby choosing the burger and me a pizza. I certainly deserved this treat after having just spent six hours mowing and tidying up the overgrown garden in our new house in the UK, I am not sure hubby was quite so deserving as he avoided all the hard work on account of his "grass allergy". We were told the food would take at least forty minutes as it was very busy and so we were very pleasantly surprised when it turned up in about twenty. We both thoroughly enjoyed our food and with a bottle of wine and service charges it came to £60.
We both had a good nights sleep, the bed was very comfortable and we did not hear a peep from the corridor or neighbouring rooms. Next morning we remained in our room until check out time of 11am. As the terminal is so close by, my husband wandered over to the Marks & Spencer's food store (handily situated at the end of the walkway more or less) and picked up a few things for breakfast that we had with the complementary tea and coffee in the room.
In anticipation of another queue at reception, we filled in the express check out card, which can be dropped in a wooden box on the way out. However when we got downstairs there was nobody queuing so my husband decided to settle up at the desk after all.
We had booked our room over the Sofitels own intranet site about a week earlier and the rate including taxes was £99. When we arrived we found it had been reduced to £85 including taxes, we didn't bother to find out why in case it was a mistake! Had we required parking this would have been roughly another £30 for 8 days or £60 for 15 days.
Overall, I was very satisfied with the Sofitel. It is stylish and very comfortable but for me the best part was the convenience of being able to walk to it from the terminal building and not have to bother with the buses. If you need to stay in an airport hotel, then I think this hotel provides a good start or pleasant ending to any trip
A flight from Gatwick - the only option for our recent holiday to Bermuda - meant we needed one night's accommodation near to the airport itself, to ensure we had no hold ups on the morning. As we would also need 12 nights parking I scoured the internet for inclusive stay and park deals.
This was not really ever going to be a cheap stay because of the parking element. The Sofitel was certainly not the cheapest option but it is attached to North Terminal via a bridge and I felt it was worth paying a little extra for a little bit of indulgence and for the convenience.
The actual rate quoted was £160.85 for the Classic room and up to fifteen nights parking. This however excluded the VAT, which is quite an unusual way for UK hotels to quote rates. The rate was room only and did not include breakfast, which was quoted as an additional £17.95 per person for a full English, an amount I could simply never justify paying, even if I was on a business and not leisure trip. We booked direct with the hotel website, which offers the best cancellation terms, compared to agent bookings.
The hotel is obviously easily located at the airport and there is a small carpark which can be used while checking in initially. Our rate included leaving the car at the NCP Long stay car park, which was another deciding factor, as this is preferable to leaving it in another off airport style car park.
The lobby of the hotel is extremely impressive. The building is an atrium style, so many rooms over look the lobby itself. There are a couple of bars, which are very contemporary, and the whole place has a modern elegant feel to it. There are several glass lifts to the upper floors, which looked impressive as they lit up at the different floors. Check in itself took a few minutes, as there was a small queue, although it was efficient with several staff on duty.
Up to the room, and this certainly did not disappoint, the beds were very inviting with their pure white very plump duvets. The furnishings felt modern and up to date as did the bathroom. The TV was of the modern style and provided cable channels as well as pay per view films, as you would expect in a hotel of this standard. The bathroom itself had an impressive collection of Roger and Gaullet toiletries, in 50ml tubes. I don't normally bother swiping hotel toiletries and indeed most of the time don't use them, but these felt a little more indulgent than the normal brands. Our standard room also had a mini-bar, although we did not use this. The hotel has 500 rooms in total, 340 of which are non-smoking, and two rooms are available for persons with reduced mobility.
Despite my initial plan to have a nice evening meal, when it actually came to it, I was too shattered as I had only flown in from Geneve the previous night. We therefore elected for room service, the menu being fairly extensive. The prices were reasonable, I felt. We both opted for a burger which was a high quality Aberdeen steak variety with lovely caramelised onions, and this was around £15 each by the time the tray and service charges had been added on. Once in the hotel we also learned that they did offer an a la carte style breakfast options, and it was possible to order just eggs or omelettes for example, for around £9. Room Service was delivered within a reasonable time frame, despite the fact that the hotel was bursting at the seams that night, and the food was hot.
The long stay car park is only a few minutes drive away, but then you need to get the bus back after parking the car, and so it is important to allow enough time for this.
Checking out was perhaps a little too efficient, as I was not given a copy of the bill for inspection, but simply given the total amount verbally. This was more than I expected because of the missing VAT element, and the total came to £222 including the accommodation, meal and parking elements. The parking alone would have cost about £70 booked directly so this meant the total for the room was around £120. Obviously this feels a little steep but even a lodge style room would probably have a rack rate of around £60 near the airport, and I felt the comfort of the sofitel beds, and the close proximity to the actual terminal justified paying a bit more.
The beds themselves are worth a mention. Sofitel has a concept called Mybed, which focuses on softness plus comfort plus support means sleeping like a baby. AS well as the mattress there is a feather bed duvet style layer that you sleep on. I have to say that the bed was lovely with a good temperature, and weight and beautiful softness. Sleeping in as many hotel beds as I have, I felt this was another great selling point and another reason why I was keen to use the hotel
Overall while I did not get to sample the restaurants itself and my stay in the hotel probably amounted to a little over 16 hours, I felt that the Sofitel offers comfort and more than adequate amenities for anyone requiring an airport hotel (although it offers much more including extensive conferencing) and I am glad we picked it. I would certainly stay here next time I fly from Gatwick.
(The BA Arrivals lounge for North Terminal is also situated within the hotel, on the same floor that we were on.)
An established 4 star luxury hotel uniquely positioned within Gatwick Airport, linked to the North Terminal and minutes by monorail from the South Terminal. Sofitel London Gatwick boasts all the facilities you would expect from Gatwicks premier hotel, including various dining options and conference suites. The hotel offers 8 or 15 day Park and Fly packages and day before check in (www.gatwickairport.com/daybefore). The hotel is 30 minutes by Gatwick express from central London and all its attractions.