“ Address: Northway / Gatwick North Terminal / West Sussex / RH6 0PH „
Our recent flight to Florida was in the morning so we decided to stay somewhere close to the airport and somewhere that would be really convenient for having to get up early. We ended up choosing the Premier Inn Gatwick Airport North mainly due to its location. Although we flew from the south terminal, this hotel is still easily accessible due to the airport's shuttle services, which are quick and free.
The Premier Inn is located just opposite the north terminal, only a minutes walk away. As you enter the hotel from the street level you'll need to go up to floor 0 to get to reception. However, the reception is filled with touchscreen computer terminals for self check in. They are extremely easy to use although there was also plenty of staff around to help you out if you aren't sure of anything. The terminals enable you to pay, add extras such as meal deals and breakfast and they also dispense your room keys. I really liked this way of checking in as it was simple, quick and saved us having to wait to be seen and checked in manually.
The hotel has 9 floors of rooms and ours was on the 8th floor. There are 4 elevators on each floor which should have made getting to our room easy. However, the lifts took forever to reach reception and even then if we pressed up, it would go down first and back to up reception again which was really annoying. Some people we spoke to had mentioned that they had gone up and down multiple times before actually reaching the level they required. The lift system at this hotel is beyond a joke. I have never experienced anything like this before in any kind of hotel anywhere.
We paid for a double room which cost £46 for one night, which I thought was a very reasonable price considering the location. The room had a king size bed, extra pillows, open wardrobe, desk, couch/ day bed and television as well as en suite bathroom. The room was very inviting on first appearance. There was plenty of room for our luggage and to hang our clothes which was really nice as I didn't want everything to get crumpled. The television is mounted on the wall next to the wardrobe and it was in the perfect position for watching while in bed. Speaking of the bed, it was incredibly comfortable. The mattress was soft enough to sink right into and I had a really good night sleep at this hotel.
The bathroom was also impressive considering the price we paid. We had a very deep bathtub and a pretty powerful shower which was appreciated after a long journey and lots of travelling time. After travelling, I could not wait for a relaxing soak and that is exactly what I got. The bathroom also has plenty of space for cosmetics etc. As bathrooms go, this has got to be one of the best for a cheap hotel.
One thing that did disappoint me with this hotel was the dining options. The brochure in the room stated that al Premier Inns have multiple in-hotel options and even more close by. But, when we asked at reception about restaurants we were told that the only option was their Thyme restaurant or to go and eat in the airport. Luckily, the restaurant had some good offers. For £13.99 you can have 2 courses from limited options or for £22.99 you get a 3 course meal, a drink and the Premier breakfast. I wish we had known about the £22.99 offer before though as we had already paid for breakfast and this was a much better deal. So, we went for the 2 course option. The Thyme restaurant is open from 5pm until 11pm and tables are available to book or you can sit in the bar/ outside area and order from the bar.
In our meal deals we both chose the gammon and chips along with caramel apple pie with custard. Our first course came out really quickly and looked great. The gammon was cooked to perfection but the portion of chips was lacking. If there had been more chips I would have said this was a great meal instead of it just being okay. We had to wait a good 30 minutes or so before our plates were cleared and dessert was brought out which I think was a little too long. The apple pie came with a tiny jug of custard which wasn't even close to being enough to cover the pie or even close to being hot enough. However, it was still nice enough.
As for breakfast, this costs £8.95 on its own and is an all you can eat breakfast which is served from 5am until 10am (5am until 11am Saturday and Sunday). For this price, you have a really big choice of food. There was toast, eggs, beans, sausages, bacon, a range of cereals, muffins, yoghurts, croissants and even more. There was also a range of juice drinks as well as tea and coffee. This breakfast was incredibly well priced and great value for money. The food was fresh, tasty and a bit addictive. We had a good couple of plates full which set us up nicely for a long flight to Florida.
Although this hotel does have a few problems, it was overall good rather than bad. I would happily stay here again if I were ever to fly again from Gatwick.
Please note, check in time is from 2pm and check out must be done before 12pm.
Premier Inn. Gatwick North terminal.
I booked the hotel on line approximately two months before we were due to travel as we didn't fancy the prospect of driving around the M25 on the morning of our flight and bearing in mind how often the M25 is more akin to a car park than a motorway the southern stretch is also a pain because of the road works currently going on. I was well impressed with Premier inn I got instant email confirmation and also confirmation by text also two days before we went I had a text message asking if I wanted details of how to get there and also if I wanted to pre book dinner. All I had to do was simply tap in a couple of answers and it would be done. On the day of arrival another text arrived saying that they looked forward to our arrival. I thought that was really quite a nice touch plus it gives your booking reference number so that is handy instead of having to look it up.
The hotel is situated right next to the North Terminal which is really handy as you only have to walk out of the door cross the road up the travelator and you are in the terminal in the terminal. It is just a leisurely five minute walk. We were dropped off in front of the hotel and entered into the lower ground foyer. There were three lifts to take you up to the reception area where you can either book in with one of the receptionists or book in by using an automated check in machine.
At this point I must point out that there are three lifts to take you up to the reception and then further up to the rooms. The foyer on the ground floor was heaving with people waiting for the lifts to take them to the reception area. Some people had been waiting over 20 minutes or so to get into the lift and gave up waiting and walked up the stairs. No mean feat when you are laden with suitcases and travel bags. The lift can hold approximately 6 people with their luggage at a squeeze. We were checking in around about 7PM and it was busy when we got there and continued to be busy up to around 9PM. Once checked in it seemed less of a problem to get a lift up to the floor your room was on however much worse trying to go down. To operate the lift to the upper floors you need to swipe your room card against the little black box on the lift panel then press the floor you need. The lift will not operate until you have done so.
I would make a suggestion that one lift should be used just between the ground floor and reception two floors up that way it would just be like a shuttle going back and forward. The other lifts could operate to the room floors. I am sure that the lifts could be programmed to operate in this way as I found it quite unacceptable to be waiting that long for a lift when you have not even checked in.
Check in area.
The check in area is quite open and airy but extremely busy when we arrived. We were meeting friends at the hotel but they had already checked in. I used the self-service check in machine which was fairly simple to use and self-explanatory and guided you through the check in procedure. Once I had entered my name and initials the machine confirmed my booking but then I could not get it to advance any further because it kept asking for my car registration number. I cannot remember it on a good day let alone when checking into a hotel that is heaving with people who are queuing to check in. Not only that I could not see where to tick that I did not have a car with me anyway thankfully one of the assistants came and sorted it out. We were then told on the machine that we had booked the meal deal for dinner and breakfast and was advised by the check in guy to book a table as the hotel was extremely busy that evening. We booked dinner for 20:30 because we wanted to meet our friends in the bar for pre-dinner drinks. The machine then issued two room passes which you need in order to get to your room and to operate the lift.
At the reception area there are some sofas and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the car park and the perimeter road. There are no exciting views from the hotel. Just along from the reception area there is a coffee outlet an outside area where you can sit to have coffee, a bar and the restaurant.
The place was heaving with people so we just booked dinner after confirming with our friends about meeting in the bar at 8PM.
We got into the lift and went to up to the room. Being only open for a couple of months everything looked clean and new. We were impressed with how quiet the hotel was as we walked along the corridor to our room. There were no sounds at all, no screaming kids, no loud music so that bode well for getting a good nights sleep.
The room is simply furnished but adequate for anyones needs. It was very clean and of course everything was brand new and in working order. The view from the room was into the atrium courtyard although we were so high up we could not actually see the floor. After entering the door the bathroom was on the left hand side with an open plan wardrobe on the right. Into the room proper there was a desk like area, a flat screened television, the bed and side lockers, a sofa bed which was rock hard although we had no need to use it so it stayed in situ but was uncomfortable to sit on.
One thing that did put me off was to have an ugly photo of Lenny Henry staring at you with a cheesy grin and welcoming you to the Premier inn. I cannot abide the man finding him really irritating so my first task was to turn his picture over as I don't want to see his face in any room I am staying in! Job done well! I must say that the bed was very comfortable and we had a fantastic night's sleep. It was totally silent in the hotel. The Premier inn does offer a sleep well guarantee which will give you your money back if you do not sleep due to noise. You could quite honestly hear a pin drop it was that quiet. The bathroom was simple and functional. The shower was attached over the bath and worked well with adequate supply of hot water. The towels were nice and fluffy but then they should be as the hotel is still quite new. No doubt we will stay again here before we go off somewhere so I wonder if it will be the same perhaps in a years' time! I was impressed with the comfort and quiet. Guests are also permitted to 30 minutes of free wifi internet access after which you have to pay. I think the prices are a bit steep to be honest and did not actually use it.
We arranged to meet our friends in the bar for a drink the place was absolutely heaving with people and was quite noisy. There was no space for sitting so we finally found a space to sit at the coffee outlet and there was no objection to us sitting there with our drinks so we were quite happy besides it was much quieter there than in the bar or sitting areas. There was quite a queue at the bar but the staff served people as quickly as possible and the price of the drinks was quite reasonable.
We went into the restaurant at half past eight and were immediately shown to our table. The waiter did offer us a choice but we were quite happy with the table he showed us to in the first place. He asked if we would like to order drinks but we asked to be left with the menus so that we could peruse what was on offer and to look over the wine list. I know places are very busy but you do need a bit of time to look through things. He came back after about five minutes but as such we were gassing so much we had not even started to look at the menu. We asked him if he would mind leaving us for about 20 minutes. This gave us time to examine the menus and make our choices of meals and the wine plus a lot more talking in between. By prepaying for the meal deal you are able to choose from the menu most things that are indicated by an asterisk. The choice is fairly wide and includes meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. I do hate being rushed to order a meal anywhere so I was quite grateful that he took his time and only came back when we asked him to.
We chose out first course and ordered the main course and the wine. He returned with the bottles and other drinks and shortly after our first course arrived. One of our guests is a very slow eater and whilst we had finished ours she had not finished her meal. The waiter came and cleared the table of empty plates which I found a bit off putting seeing as she had not quite finished her first course. He then went on to start serving our mains. I was pretty peeved about that because our friend has not finished hers. I asked him to take the mains away and to wait until we were ready. He was quite happy to do that. We continued yakking whilst she finished her first course. Eventually she finished and the waiter cleared her plate and then started to serve our main course.
The food was served piping hot, was well presented and we continued to chat and drink whilst we ate. We ordered some more drinks and carried on till we finished the mains. Our slow eater carried on eating slowly whilst we had long finished our meal. This time the waiter waited until she had finished before removing the empty plates. We were then given the dessert menu but I was stuffed and just ordered a coffee whilst the others chose a dessert with coffee to follow. So while they were eating their dessert I had my coffee and a further one once they had all finished.
The restaurant was really quite good. The food was standard fare that you would find in any of the premier inns. Nothing really outstanding but it was all very practical and enjoyable.
Breakfast was also served in the same restaurant area which was a self-serve affair. There was ample choices ranging from fresh and tinned fruit, different cereals, yoghurts and full cooked English breakfast. There was a selection of breads and sweet cakes muffins and croissants. (All long life variety) which I am not keen on to be honest. I just helped my self to some bread and put it through the automatic toaster. When the bread popped out in the delivery tray it was still practically white still and hardly grilled at all so I popped it back in. HOLY MOLY the toast had caught fire there was smoke billowing out of the back of the toaster but there were no switch buttons on the front to stop it. I called one of the serving staff who came and looked at me whilst I am panicking like hell about the burning toast.......he just stared and went away....smoke still billowing out of the toaster and came back with the manageress by which time said charcoal had dropped into the delivery tray!
Standing there like the proverbial village idiot she asked me if everything was alright embarrassingly I pointed out the burnt offerings in the delivery tray! She said oh that.........did you put it through twice I said yes of course I did she said its only supposed to go through once. I explained that it did not look cooked at all that was why I put it in again and demonstrated by slinging two pieces of bread through which came out soft and hardly toasted at all. She said they would turn the machine up a bit.
My friends thankfully were not witness to this carry on otherwise I would have been ridiculed for the rest of the holiday! They are only going to find out now if they read this although they did comment why I had taken so long. I just told them I had to wait for bread which really was not a lie. So be warned about these self-service toasters use with caution.
For tea or coffee you just help yourself. It was a self-service machine and the coffee was actually not bad at all. The espresso came out nice and hot and quite strong. Overall I thought the quality and the amount of food we had in the restaurant was really quite good and good value for money.
It was so simple to check out. We just returned the key cards at the reception desk and went off to the terminal.
So would I use Premier Inn Gatwick north again?
Yes I would as it is so convenient for the airport and takes the stress out of travelling the stress out of travelling to the airport so you can wake up refreshed and stress free. Also it is like starting your holiday a day earlier. The rooms were comfortable and extremely clean. My only criticism would be the lifts which have exceedingly long waiting times although saying that they were quite quick in the mornings and at other times. They were really only a pain when you were trying to get up to the reception area from the ground foyer. So for £90 including dinner and breakfast for two I think that is extremely good value and highly recommend it. I will certainly be stopping here again.
Premier Inn also offer rooms for disabled guests although they would probably be peeved with the lift situation like everyone else! Not only that if there was a fire or the hotel needed evacuating in an emergency then they would have great difficulties getting out as all the rooms are on upper floors.