We booked the honeymoon suite 4 months ago and had been looking forward to it ever since. We have stayed in the suite before and loved it so were really excited at the prospect of starting our holiday in style. However, on arrival the TV had shrunk, the bath panel had been broken and put together with yellow adhesive, and the fluffy white robes had disappeared. The Jacuzzi didn't work, the TV didn't work and we couldn't be transferred as the alternative rooms were fully booked.
We were devasted and angry (especially as the staff appearred to feel this was completely acceptable as we had got it at a special price?!?). We complained at the front desk and were offered a refund on the money we'd paid for the transfer. Although our stay had been ruined irretrievably, we felt we were due some sort of discount so we agreed. They said they would put a note on the system for the day staff to ensure they knew to arrange this for when we checked out.
In the morning the day staff had no knowledge of this and said we would need to deal with it when we got back as there was no one there to authorise it.
A fortnight later we arrived back with ten minutes to spare before the transfer buses stopped and breathed a sigh of relief. Short-lived, as when we rang five minutes later to make sure there were no problems, we were told that it had been and gone and that we would need to get a taxi. Not bad considering that it was meant to be arriving at the same time we were on the phone being told it had left! After a £17 taxi fare to the hotel we decided they could stick their transfer refund, as we wouldn't pay 17p to go there again! Shame because we have recommended this hotel to anyone that will listen and have booked this hotel every time we've gone on holiday for the last three years without even checking the competition.
They even had the audacity to tell us that the return transfer is complimentary! Reception are wasted they should be doing stand-up comedy or starring in Fawlty Towers.
P.S. No lifts so be warned if you have heavy cases to take up to the room.
Looking for a hotel to stay in at Gatwick was proving to be quite difficult as I didn't want to pay out a lot for it with it just being for a 1 night stay - however at the same time I wanted to be as near to the airport as possible to make the trip to the airport in the morning as short as possible!
After looking up various hotels on the Internet I came across this one and at a cost of just under £50 for two of us for 1 night it was decided that this would fit the bill and so it was booked. The hotel doesn't include airport transfers as does some of the more expensive hotels but at a cost of £3 per person it still worked out cheaper to stay here than to stay at one of the more expensive that did include it in the cost!
The hotel is set just near the M25 and M23 and is 10-15 minutes away from Gatwick airport. It is set in the grounds of Crabbet park which is around 60 acres in size. If you were looking for this yourself I personally would think it quite difficult to find but for us we just jumped in the shuttle bus and so this wasn't an issue.
As with most airport hotels the Best Western offers an airport shuttle. Now on enquiring about the cost I was informed that they are free from Gatwick airport but at a charge of £3 per person for the journey back to the airport - either way if you are using the shuttle (which you may as well do at that cost) it works out at just the £3 return so not bad at all! Once you arrive into Gatwick and come out of arrivals you simply make your way to the free phone yellow telephones that are outside at the various bus stops (for this hotel the bus comes to stops 4 and 5 in North terminal). From these telephones you can make a free phone call to any of the airport hotels using the list of numbers above the phone and inform them you have arrived in. They will then send a driver unless of course you are lucky enough to already have a driver there! Depending on whether he is already on his way to pick others up or whether he is setting off from when you ring, the driver will normally be there within 10-15 minutes depending on traffic. Our driver took about 20 minutes I'd say to come and get us.
Upon arrival at the hotel you can book your return transfer back and these are done on a first come first served basis - the hotel only have 3 buses so it is best to book as soon as you get to reception even if you cannot get straight into your room as they will still book the shuttle for you, especially as the reason most people book airport hotels is because they have an early flight to catch and everyone seemed to want the same time as us!!
Check in and out:
Upon arrival at the hotel as it was before 2pm we were told that the room wasn't ready yet and to come back to check in a bit later on - we decided to wait in the bar area which is directly facing the lobby and after about 20 minutes we were advised that the room was actually now ready! The girl on reception was friendly enough and booked our shuttle for in the morning before asking us to fill out a form with personal details on. We were advised it was on the ground floor and just to follow the corridor all the way around - it was a bit of a walk with the suitcases but, fairly easy to find so not difficult! Upon arriving at the room it took a few attempts of the key card going in and out before the light actually turned green allowing us to get in and we started to think we'd have to go back to reception but luckily we managed to get in eventually! Check out was smooth even though reception was quite busy and all we had to do was hand the key in - as there is nothing that we had to pay on the room as soon as we handed over the key off we went to wait for the shuttle outside.
The rooms are basic but clean and large. As soon as you walk in, you will find the bathroom to one side (depends on what room you have as to which side!) and directly ahead is the open area of the room. We had booked a double and this was large enough for the two of us and had a decent amount of covers on - if you needed an extra one there was another in the wardrobe. It was actually quite warm when we arrived and we left the windows open nearly all evening but after coming back from the bar later on it had turned rather cold and the extra bed cover came in useful!
The room is equipped with a TV that has the main 5 English channels on but no sky or cable and there is tea and coffee making facilities too. Near to the window there is a table with two chairs and for some odd reason there was an extra random wooden chair in the room.
The bathroom looked quite modern in comparison to the rest of the room but this was nice as it meant it was lovely and clean and also it was decorated in light colours to give a feeling of more space which I think is good when the bathroom has no windows. The bathroom has some toiletries provided in it and also had a hairdryer too.
The only downside to the room was that because of it's ground floor location and the car park being right outside you had to draw the curtains if you didn't want people to see in as the cars would pass by. You couldn't hear the noise from them though as the windows were double glazed.
The rooms are booked on a room only basis but breakfast can be bought fom the main restaurant - however it was way too early for us to even contemplate getting up to do breakfast before leaving for the airport so I cannot comment on how good the food is at this time of day!
The hotel was of a decent size and had a tv set up in one corner - we only saw one of couple in here the evening before so it wasn't very busy but the hotel does have a restaurant too which we didn't go in so some people may have eaten in there where as we just wanted a light snack so ordered bar food which was served up until 10pm. The staff were all friendly enough and the food was your average bar food which was filling enough and not overly expensive either.
The hotel has a few meeting rooms and can cater for wedding groups and private parties should you live local to the hotel. There is Internet access available and vending machines for snacks.
Next door to the hotel is a canons health club but I'm not sure if hotel guests get a reduced rate or not.
For the price of a room it was a good choice for us and would be for anyone on a budget - the rooms are basic but importantly they are clean which is really one of the most important things to look for! The guys who do the shuttle transfers are really friendly and the ease at which these are organised is great. The food available is good and there is quite a lot to choose from too. The only thing I would say is don't expect to be right on top of the airport with this hotel choice and also you have to drive down a small country lane just before you reach it so it's not that convenient for going into the local area at night to eat etc unless you get a taxi and to be honest I'm not sure of how much in within the local vicinity!! Other than that though if you are looking for a good cheap accommodation to rest your head in then this is the place to go!