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13 May 2019

is there such a thing as a comfortable airport hotel?

for me, what makes an airport hotel comfortable is: am i going to get the sleep i need to make the first day of my holiday not totally suck? anything else just seems not worth it to save a few hours of a morning commute, as the cost for a hotel near the airport tends to be the same as a cab from home for me anyway. but, with a verrrrrry early flight to corfu on the horizon, and wanting to give airport hotels one last shot (mainly because as there were two of us, it would be cheaper anyway), i booked in at the highly-recommended bloc hotel gatwick, to see if i couldn't just be persuaded that maybe there is such a thing as a comfortable airport hotel.


the reception is literally minutes walk from the train station at gatwick. it's inside the airport, rather than outside of it, and is conveniently location close to the security gates and the gatwick shuttle for your morning departures (or evening arrivals). it was super easy to find, and the lift to reception is right by the m&s local in the lobby of the south terminal, so.. perfect location for all your snacking needs too. checking-in couldn't have been easier, and on your departure, there's a handy key box for you to do that for yourself too. really and truly, this was the most conveniently located airport hotel i've stayed in for sure.


we had a double room with runway view, and - although compact, is plenty big enough for two for one night. any more than that, and i would struggle to share the room with anyone else, but if you're literally there for hours, then it's cool. i know i brushed past the key point of this room - the view, but that's because it deserves a paragraph all to itself! unlike other stays i've had where you can see the planes come and go, this room literally has views of the planes coming on and off the south terminal's runway for all your plane spotting needs. i'm no aviation nerd, but i could literally watch that shit for hours - it's so fascinating! and, thanks to some extreme sound-proofing of the building, you hear none of it. not a single rumble of an engine, beep of a baggage truck, honk of a parking bus' horn; nothing.


similarly, not even a noise from the hotel in the night, either. usually there's the slam of the fire doors through the night, the racket made by weary travellers without a second thought for those trying to rest themselves, but here: nada. well, jasmin said she heard a door shut once in the night. personally, i heard nothing. i was too busy being sound asleep, in theeeee comfiest hotel bed i have ever had the pleasure of sleeping in - and those are not words i use lightly. honestly, i'm like goldilocks when it comes to bed comfort, but this mattress was juuuust right (shame that the pillows weren't, but mattress is halfway there). the whole room is ipad operated, so lights, air con, blinds - everything is remote controlled, which is neat. around the window sill is a neon purple light; pretty in pictures, annoying as hell in the night when you'd like to have some darkness. even if you shut the blind all the way, it remains lit up (which we noted while on the shuttle across to north the next morning: the sills are permenently lit up. it's their ~thing). so, that was annoying if you wanted to face that way, so i didn't. truly it was a shame the stay was so short, as i would have liked to stay sleeping in that bed a little longer..


i mentioned the ipad controls, and other than that there was a big tv on the wall, and your basic wet room shower enclosure. the shower head was practically over the loo, so very cramped space, but again - we weren't there for long. i wouldn't want to stay there a week, that's for sure, but as an airport hotel it had everything you could want or need - including toiletries incase you'd packed/forgotten your own. the in-room info claimed that the hotel had free coffee too, though i never found it. it certainly wasn't a perk of the room - no tea/coffee facilities to speak of, though we were graced with a couple of bottles of water. 

bonus points

the biggest bonus for me, obviously, was the novelty of the room. bright neon purple and right on the runway, it was a colourful travellers dream room really, and not alllll that expensive if you're sharing the space. i originally booked via booking.com for £114 for the night (a wednesday) but then ended up being offered a press discount of 20% which saw the room down to £94 instead. when a cab would have cost me £50-£60 and taken an hour and a half of my time before the 6am flight, i'm happy with the decision that had me wake up at the airport at 4am and set me back £45 instead. oh, and there's a nice little booklet full of offers around the airport too, for like.. free coffee at nandos.. that sort of thing.

this stay was easily the most comfortable airport stay i have had, and one i would be willing to do again soon. really soon, actually - even without the lovely discount. i've definitely found a new favourite in bloc gatwick, i've now just got to fashion an excuse to book in there again soon...

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