The early bird… stays at the Hilton London Gatwick Hotel
Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, an early morning flight can be a real pain. While it normally means you will arrive at your destination as early as possible, a red-eye booking can mean getting up in the middle of the night in order to get to the airport on time.
For my latest travel feature I had to catch a 7am flight from London Gatwick. This would have meant leaving my London base at 4.30am (at the very latest) to allow for a stress-free trip through check in and airport security.
Whilst I am an early riser and enjoy catching the first glimpse of sunlight, starting the day in the small hours can take its toll on your energy levels. Seeing as I was jetting off for a walking holiday in the Scottish Highlands, I wanted to conserve as much energy as possible. Therefore, I decided to consider an overnight stay at the London Gatwick Hilton Hotel.
The real luxury factor for this destination (aside from the plush amenities) lies in its USP of being the only hotel directly linked to the airport. It is connected to the South Terminal via a short walkway, which means that those with an early morning flight don’t have to get out of bed until the very last minute! This is wonderful if you have a long day ahead and makes a real difference to the travel time.
One of my biggest gripes about airport hotels is the long queues that you often face at reception on arrival. The delays are perfectly understandable considering the high volume of guests arriving at similar times but it can lead to rather grumpy travellers and slightly frazzled staff.
However, this was not the case at the Hilton. When I arrived there was a moderate queue, but the Duty Manager was standing at the top of the line greeting everyone. This level of service really stood out; it was very well received by guests and a welcoming touch.
The high standard of service is evident throughout and those who opt for an Executive Room are invited for complimentary pre-dinner drinks in the Executive Lounge. The quality of dining was also impressive and the Hilton Gatwick presents a contemporary restaurant called Amy’s.
Pommery Champagne is available by the glass and the wine list has an appealing selection. Highlights on the food menu include the seafood options such as smoked salmon stuffed with wasabi and mascarpone cheese, seared peppered scallops, fillet of seabass and the grilled seafood platter. The steaks are also a popular choice. The design of the restaurant means you could be dining in a Central London eatery – you really don’t feel as though you are on the doorstep of one of the busiest airports in Europe!
However, you certainly realise this when your alarm goes off the following morning and you can just stroll across to the main terminal. Even if you are flying from the North Terminal, you can easily hop onto the connecting train. The convenience factor is further extended with the hotel’s Park and Fly Package, which offers inclusive airport parking for pre-booked guests. To be honest, regardless of your flight time, I would consider an extra night away to be a worthwhile luxury that eases your overall trip.
Reservations can be made for the Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel online.