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The Hilton has some lessons to learn.
Hilton Hotel (Gatwick)
Member Name: jo@145
Hilton Hotel (Gatwick)
Advantages: Close to airport
Disadvantages: Slow service
My husband decided that we would stay at the Hilton Gatwick Airport hotel, which is the only hotel at Gatwick Airport linked to the South Terminal by a covered walkway. It is just minutes from the North Terminal on the train and 30 minutes from central London. The Hilton does a Park and Fly package and had a car park opposite our side of the hotel. There are nearly 800 rooms and check in is after 3.00pm and check out by 12.00.
The reception area was large and airy and included the Atrium Bar/lounge. There was plenty of seating and although queues did develop they seemed to be dealt with quite quickly. We received our key card and were given directions to the lift and offered help if needed with our cases.
All rooms have high-speed internet access and there are Family and interconnecting rooms which sleep five and executive accommodation which has Executive Lounge access.
In our room there was a double wardrobe with an iron and ironing board, trouser press and an extra hairdryer. The very comfortable King size bed, had bedside cabinets, with large lamps, phone and clock radio. There were two large drawers in a long light wooden cupboard which had the television on top which also had a game controller attached. In the space below there was a tray with kettle, mugs, tea, coffee, milk and biscuits the case stand. The desk was near the long narrow window and had a large mirror above it, another phone and modem, plus lamp and a padded chair. There was a small round table which was the only item that needed replacing in the room as it was showing signs of wear and tear. Another padded armchair and standard lamp completed the furniture. The carpet was mink coloured with light green flecks, the bed linen was white with a mink velour narrow throw. There was a cream net curtain and a lovely quality green and mink striped curtain which matched the valance on the bed. There were 3 modern pictures on the walls.
The bathroom had a bath, with shower, there were white towels but unfortunately I could not describe them as fluffy. There was a large mirror above the wash basin which was set in a marble base, and of course a toilet. The toiletries provided were made by Crabtree and Evelyn and included tubes of body lotion, shampoo and shower gel, soap and a cap. There was a tissue box which contained precisely 3 tissues! The shower curtain was rather tatty looking, but it was clean.
We decided to enjoy a meal in the intimate, candle-lit Amy's restaurant. We hadn't booked but when we arrived there was plenty of room although it got busy later in the evening. We decided not to have a starter as I love desserts, but the starters sounded delicious although quite expensive, as they ranged from £7.95 to £9.50.
My husband choose Roast Monkfish on Risotto with chilli and coriander which was £21.90 and I had Pan fried Sea bass with crushed new potatoes, tomato and asparagus in a creamy dill sauce which cost £18.95. Desserts were £7.95 and were delicious! I had Mango and Coconut Bavarois with Passion Fruit cream and brandy snap basket and my husband had sticky Toffee pudding with fudge sauce and a brandy snap biscuit. Wine was £6.25 a glass, coffee was £3.30 each and there was a 10% service charge. Service was excellent and the maître d' came over a couple of times to see that everything was alright and he even knew our names! A real personal touch. Our meal cost over £80, certainly not cheap but it was delicious and we were on holiday. The Garden restaurant had a buffet meal at £24.95 so in comparison it wasn't too expensive as we had excellent service and a really pleasant meal compared to standing queueing at a buffet. They also had pizza at £10 -£12.
We had breakfast in this restaurant and although it was early on the Sunday morning it was quite busy, we were shown to a table and told to help ourselves at the Buffet and that someone would bring tea or coffee. We had fresh fruit, then my husband chose a full English breakfast whilst I had some bacon and a roll and then a danish pastry. We asked for coffee but breakfast was nearly finished before we were served. Other tables were getting restless too as they had finished their breakfast and still not been served. There were several staff about but slow to serve and slow to clear tables. There was a good selection of the usual breakfast items that we now expect, it was cooked nicely but a great pity that service was poor. Breakfast was served from 6 - 10.30 am and then all day dining from 12 -2 and 6- 10.45 with the dinner buffet from 6 -10.30pm. There was also a bar as you entered the restaurant.
Atrium Lobby Bar/Lounge
This is as you would expect in the lobby, it is large and airy as the hotel is builty around the lobby, some rooms look onto this space, I can't help but wonder if it gets noisy or if the glazing is so good you don't notice it. The bar is open 24 hours for residents and serves light refreshments.
There is a gym/fitness room on the first floor which is complimentary to all residents, but I didn't check it out as we were only in the hotel for a short time. Only over 16's are allowed and there is a water fountain and towels available.
There is a Gift shop on the first floor in the lobby selling newspapers, typical gifts from London and extras people may need.
There was an Executive lounge for people staying in Suites and executive rooms which serves a complimentary breakfast and in the evening serves drinks and canapes.
For those involved in conferences, there were several rooms and Banqueting rooms seating up to 450 people and a Business centre too.
We paid £70 for the room including breakfast, which was a good deal as I have seen it more expensive. Worth shopping around for a good price!
It was very convenient, the room was more than adequate, but had a few disappointing features. The food in Amy's restaurant was lovely although expensive, but service was poor for breakfast. Having said that if we needed to stay over at Gatwick we would probably return there as the faults weren't too bad compared to convenience, and I believe some rooms were being modernised. Come on Hilton, do some training, perhaps some modernisation and improve this hotel.
Summary: Airport hotel
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