Travel Advice

A Stay At The Sofitel, London Gatwick Airport

Honestly speaking, we are not big fans of airport hotels. Most are overpriced with small rooms which are usually well worn around the edges. Service is often lacking due to their ‘prime airport location’ attitude, where else are you going stay?

So will the Sofitel at London Gatwick’s North terminal be any different?

Arrival & Check-In
Airport Link

Direct pedestrian link to the North terminal

Getting to the hotel is easy with a direct pedestrian link to the North Terminal. We arrived by car using the meet and greet parking service. This was quite painless although we did have to wait 10 minutes for our car to be collected simply because everyone seemed to have arrived at the same time, 5 pm.

Check in was efficient and relatively friendly for UK standards and we were soon directed to the lifts, help was offered with the bags. Receptionists did direct everyone to the same set of lifts which were quite busy, later we found another set of lifts on the opposite side of the lobby which were much quieter.

Sofitel Atrium

The Sofitel Atrium area with bar and cafe

The Rooms

The standard room was a decent size for an airport hotel. Our room was directly facing the airport and we had a clear view of the runway. Although 747’s were starting up oppoosite us we had no issue with the noise, it was surprisingly quiet.

Sofitel Bedroom

The standard double bedroom

The room decor won’t win any design awards but it was clean, simple and had the usual facilities. The beds were actually quite comfortable.

The Sofitel bathroom

The bathroom in the Sofitel

The bathroom was fine with the shower above the bath, plenty of towels and a decent supply of toiletries. Again, the design won’t set the world alight but the quality was pretty good.

Inside the Atrium

Inside the Atrium

The Bars & Restaurants
The Atrium Bar

The Atrium Bar

The hotel has 3 restaurants La Brasserie, Vanda Pan Asian and the Urban Café as well as two bars the Kua Bar and La Terrasse Bar.

We tried the Kua Bar in the lobby and the restaurant, Vanda.

Vanda Restaurant

Vanda Pan Asian Restaurant

The selection and quality of the drinks and food were good but as what often happens at these busy airport hotels, the service could have been much better. Where were the simple things like trained staff or a visible manager?

The bar service was very slow despite there being quite a lot of staff. Also, it makes sense that if someone is given a menu for drinks than in a couple of minutes they would be ready to order.

The food in the restaurant was good but again the service was lacking, in this case quite abrupt. The reaction when asking for a jug of water was as if we had asked for free champagne all night!

What was annoying was that these issues could be easily fixed. A number of places seem to spend a lot of money on the designs and fittings etc and ignore basic staff training.

Would We Stay There Again

Overall we would stay there again, the rooms were a decent size, the location was excellent and it was a relaxing way to start our holiday. However please improve the bar and restaurant staff, the next day we were flying to the US and it was staggering to see the different attitude to customer service.

Police

Lots of police action around the airport

What have been your experiences of airport hotels? Have you found a really one, please let us know?
 
The Sofitel Gatwick North

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Jeremy Andrews
    June 19, 2017 at 8:25 am

    This looks like a nice hotel. I like that you can walk from the hotel to the airport.
    I get stressed at airports and worry about not getting the plane on time so I prefer staying at the airport if I can.

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 19, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      The location is very good. Yes, anything to make the journey through the airport easier is always helpful.

  • Reply
    Kavey Favelle
    June 24, 2017 at 10:06 am

    I’ve found the same issue at airport hotels, particularly the ones I’ve occasionally used in the UK – the rooms (and public spaces) are perfectly decent, but the service is often very lacking, particularly in the onsite restaurants. I’ve not had much luck with the food in those restaurants either — mediocre is probably the best I could say of it. However, sometimes the convenience is worth it for an early morning flight, or layover, in which case it’s good to know that the Sofitel rooms themselves are clean, comfortable and well equipped.

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 24, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      The food was quite good for an airport hotel, just the service was lacking. Yes, it is the convenience which is the main advantage.

  • Reply
    Travel with Mei and Kerstin
    June 24, 2017 at 10:50 am

    We’ve never stayed at an airport hotel, because we’ve always wanted to enjoy to the max the last night in a city. haha.. But it can definitely avoid lots of stress in the morning! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this review! Now we know where to stay next time, when we have an early flight out of London.

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 24, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      We live in the UK so this was our first night before we flew out to the US, not our last night.

  • Reply
    Fiona Maclean
    June 24, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I’ve stayed at that Sofitel, but the price of the restaurant really put me off! I ended up going back to the airport and buying a feast in M&S to take back to my room. It’s a lot better than many though – and so convenient!

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 24, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      The restaurants aren’t the cheapest but we did have a very good meal, they do have a captive audience. I know a lot of people do go to the airport to get food, I think there are a few more places to eat in the South Terminal.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    June 24, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I honestly surprised this is a Sofitel! It’s a brand I’ve stayed with many times as a luxury traveler and your photos and descriptions just don’t leave me with the impression this particular hotel is up to Sofitel’s usual standards. Perhaps because it is an airport hotel, but I’d be extremely disappointed to not get what I’ve come to expect from the brand.

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 25, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      I don’t think it’s up to the standard of other Sofitels we have stayed in either.

  • Reply
    Claudia
    June 24, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    This definitely looks like a very nice airport hotel! And one of the most important things is the noise so great thing your room was quiet and you didnt have any issues with that. And huge bonus that you can walk from the hotel to the airport

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 25, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Yes, our room was very quiet which is good considering how close it was to the airport.

  • Reply
    Megan Jerrard
    June 25, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Looks pretty nice for an airport hotel – I agree my experience with airport hotels has been pretty standard – they’re usually just clean, comfortable places to stay – we’ve never found a good restaurant at an airport hotel though, so we always aim to cook for ourselves or walk for a bit, even if into the airport, to get some packaged sandwiches. I would definitely stay here if needing a place at Gatwick though. Thanks for the honest review 🙂

    • Reply
      Mr and Mrs W
      June 25, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      We would definitely stay here again and would eat in the restaurants. It is a shame that the faults were very easy to fix and caused by poor staffing rather than the actual facilities.

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