Newest Review: ... website were more than adequate. You actually drive past the back of the hotel when you come onto the slip road. The hotel has a meditera... more
Alarm call optional
Gatwick Europa (London)
Member Name: freediveheaven
Gatwick Europa (London)
Advantages: Good location, nice clean rooms
Disadvantages: No alarm call given when booked, limited transfer service
We booked our stay through one of those hotel booking sites, can't exactly remember which one and all we needed at check in was the e-mail conformation. The hotel is located just off Junction 10a of the M23 and you can see the hotel from the motorway as you exit. The actual address is Balcombe Road, Crawley and in total it is about a fifteen minute drive to the airport.
The hotel has plenty of parking however it can be a bit of a maze trying to fid a space at times especially as we arrived late in the evening. I was a little concerned over the security of the parking especially as upon arrival you are asked to display a notice on your dash board stating when you return, this to me seems like placing an advert advising criminals how long they have to break in while you are away, it is intended to ensure your car does not get clamped but you would think that a less visible method could be used. In the end my fears were unfounded as my car was fine when I returned however unlike specialist airport parking which relies on high fences and CCTV here the only deterrent are the CCTV cameras and the human presence of people in and around the hotel. I certainly made sure nothing was visible and removed my radio control.
From the front the hotel has a Mediterranean feel to it and this is the look that the designers went for as it continues inside as well. Outside it is a low two storey design with tilled sloping roofs and a bell tower on top. Inside the reception area is spacious and inviting and tastefully decorated. The one down side to this design is the tiled floor which means that all of the wheeled luggage makes an awful racket when it is bought in, well certainly ours did which attracted glances from those sat in the bar area nearby. I artfully deflected these by glaring accusingly at the kids like they were responsible and then shrugged conspiratorially at those in the bar, works every time with the added bonus that the kids would not talk to me for the next five minutes.
Registration was efficient even if I did have to return to the car to display the burglar invitation on the dash. I booked our transfer time and also an alarm call for our earlier departure. I was advised that breakfast was served from five thirty in the morning and then we were off to our room.
The room itself was very spacious and well laid out. There were one double bed and bunk beds for the kids with plenty of free floor space. The room was also very clean with a large bathroom that was well stocked, a vanity table and plenty of storage space and a TV that actually responded to the remote control. The beds were very comfortable and the room was at the right temperature which is not something you can say about many hotels that either freeze or part boil you. One thing I especially liked about this hotel was how quiet it was at night, you would not know that you were right next to a motorway and major airport and the only noise I heard was from other guests going to their rooms and given we were up very early in the morning this was not an issue for us. Thankfully it was only the lobby and surrounding areas that were tiled floors, the rest of the corridors were carpeted however I did find the rather tight fire doors a bit awkward when wheeling cases.
We left too early for breakfast but I did have a quick mooch around and it was a buffet style and looked pretty good however we needed to leave at 5.45am for the airport so decided to eat there instead. In the evening there was a good selection of food and the prices were pretty reasonable, the food looked comparable to a Harvester in price and quality and the bar prices were not overly extortionate. I would uses that 90% of the guests are fellow travellers (the rest is conferencing and meetings) and there is Wifi throughout for business guests as plenty of laptops were evident in the bar with people working away.
There is a free airport shuttle transfer however it runs every forty five minutes and I would always recommend booking ahead when you arrive as you are not guaranteed a place otherwise as it can be over subscribed and it is a long wait for another. Certainly our early departure was crammed full; it takes 15 minutes to get to the south terminal and another 10 to reach the north. Pick up on the return is clearly marked. We were fortunate in that when we landed ad had navigated customs and baggage we only had a ten minute wait, I must admit if we had just missed one and faced with a 45 minute wait I would have opted for a taxi back to the hotel as it would not be too costly, no more that £15 I would guess.
My only real issue with the hotel is that the wake up call I had booked never happened which is not good given the whole purpose of the place is to give you a nice sleep and the knowledge that you will be at the airport on time, I had two of my own alarms set anyway so it did not cause me any inconvenience.
Overall it was a good stay and I would use them again if I had an early flight from Gatwick as by the time you take off the cost of airport parking it is worth the bit extra. There are a couple of concerns that the transfers are limited and the parking is not as secure as normal airport parking. You should also be aware that if the car parks are full you will be directed to another location to park. Oh and remember to pack your own alarm or use the one on your mobile phone.
For further details check out www.britanniahotels.com
Thanks for reading and rating my review.
Summary: Acceptable hotel close to Gatwick with parking included
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