- Overnight stay is a civilised option and bags can be checked in night before
- Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport costs £84 for family of four
- Rooms are sound-proofed and hotel offers no-quibble guarantee
- Cost of stay can come to little more than cost of airport parking
- But staying at a hotel a few miles from the airport can be a false economy
Earlier this month, the Mawer family jetted off on their summer holiday from Gatwick. Instead of getting up horrendously early for the three-hour drive from Bath to the airport, we chose the far more civilised option of staying in a hotel at Gatwick the night before.
We booked in to the new Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport (hamptoninn3.hilton.com), paying £84 B&B for a family of four.
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Enjoy a lie in: The Hampton by Hilton hotel is joined to Gatwick’s North Terminal by a 50-yard walkway
Good night’s sleep: Rooms at the Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport are sound-proofed
In terms of convenience, the location is hard to improve on. The hotel is joined to Gatwick’s North Terminal by a 50-yard walkway, and even if your flight is from the South Terminal, it’s still a great location: the shuttle train between the terminals is a short walk away.
The hotel’s bedrooms are perfectly sound-proofed and comfy, with big walk-in showers. In our room, the sofa bed was a bit of a squeeze for our two boys, but the moment I politely pointed this out to the receptionist, she gave us a second room at no extra cost – thanks to the chain’s no-quibble satisfaction guarantee.
After a very decent breakfast, we made our way in leisurely fashion directly to airport security. We’d checked in our bags the previous evening – another advantage of staying overnight at the airport.
If you fancy doing the same this summer, here are my tips for booking affordable airport hotels…
A night at the Premier Inn London Gatwick Airport will cost £49 to £63, room-only, if you book for a night in the next few weeks. But book now for January and the cost is £35 on most nights
Short stroll: Guests can walk to Gatwick’s North Terminal or catch the shuttle train to the South Terminal
BOOK WELL AHEAD
Though the price at the Gatwick Hampton by Hilton doesn’t vary much, at other hotels rates can be a good deal cheaper if you book well ahead. For example, a night at the Premier Inn London Gatwick Airport (premierinn.com) will cost £49 to £63, room-only, if you book for a night in the next few weeks. But book now for January and the cost is £35 on most nights. At the Premier Inn London Heathrow Airport (Bath Road), the rates for January are as low as £29.
COMPARE THE DEALS
Go to Holiday Extras (holidayextras.co.uk), an agent specialising in airport hotels. Its website shows you at a glance the rates on your chosen night at a wide selection of hotels – along with detailed information on each hotel and hundreds of guest reviews. Also look at gosimply.com, which compares airport hotel rates from other agents.
At some airport hotels, a night’s stay plus parking can cost little more than the cost of parking on its own
Cutting the cost: The Premier Inn Heathrow Airport was charging £114.85 for a 15-night Sleep, Park, Fly package in early September
At some airport hotels, the cost of the night’s stay and a week or fortnight’s parking can come to little more than the cost of airport parking on its own. In early September at the Premier Inn Heathrow Airport (Bath Road), I was quoted £114.85 for a 15-night Sleep, Park, Fly package. Parking on its own would cost £106.26.
BEWARE ‘CHEAPER’ OPTIONS
Staying at a ‘cheaper’ hotel a few miles from the airport can be a false economy. Lengthy transfers from the hotel to the airport can not only waste time but also cost extra. The website holidayextras.co.uk usefully indicates the time and cost of the transfers.
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online