Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel Review
Hilton London Gatwick Airport is a 821 room hotel located within the ground of London Gatwick airport.
The hotel is very large and feels so from the moment you walk in. It compromises of the original part of the building which includes reception, the lobby, the restaurants and bars, a small gym, executive lounge and the majority of the rooms. The original part of the hotel is getting on age wise, that is very apparent from the moment you see the building as well as the interior when you enter. The lobby/atrium area is nice enough, but the corridors, lifts and other common areas of the original building are generally looking very dull, dingy and in need of a refurb.
There is a also a newer extension which has been added to the hotel which is where all of the executive rooms are located. It is in better condition and feels much lighter and fresher than the original building.
The hotel is connected directly to the south terminal via a fairly convoluted route through a couple of long passageways, lifts, the short stay car park and then another dull and very dingy passageway until you eventually reach the hotels reception/lobby area. Rather bizarrely your first impression of this Hilton hotel as you enter via this entrance is a Costa Coffee.
Despite the hotel being located at the South Terminal, it is easy enough to get to Gatwick’s North Terminal using the free shuttle train which you can access using the same covered walkway from the hotel. The train only takes a couple of minutes and you will be in the north terminal.
Reception is located in the main lobby of the hotel. The reception area is large, and generally busy. When we arrived at around 6.30PM the checkin desk was heaving, with each desk having a queue of 2 or 3 people waiting to be seen despite there being several desks open. Knowing I had been pre upgraded to an Executive Room we headed up to the lounge to checkin instead of waiting in the queues at the main reception.
After the walk up to the lounge (which is thankfully well signposted) we were able to checkin there without issue or having to queue. The agent checking us in was lovely and very welcoming. I had actually checked in online, so we were just picking up the keys. We were thanked for being HHonors Gold members, told about the hotel facilities and breakfast times and were informed we could have breakfast in the lounge or in the restaurant. We were checkin in and had a complimentary drink in our hands within minutes of arriving in the lounge.
Our room (7446) was on the top floor of the new wing of the hotel, one room away from being at the end of the corridor. It was quite a long walk from reception up battered/bruised lifts in the main building and along what felt like endless corridors.
The room was a good size, with a double bed (they only have king beds in their suites). There was the usual amenities in the room, including a safe, TV (the reception on which was dreadful, see photo), tea/coffee making facilities and mini bar. There was also a decent sized desk. There were hardly any sockets, particularly near the bed which is a bug bear of mine since we all now have phones/tables/laptops to charge.
If you have ever stayed in Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, the Executive rooms in Hilton Gatwick will be very familiar to you. They have the same 10+ year old furniture/fittings which have seen better days, the carpets covered in stains, the noisy and not overly effective air con. It was passable, but nothing more and certainly didn’t have an ‘Executive’ feel about it. It could do with a freshen up. These rooms are apparently the better ones in the hotel, with the rooms in the original part being even more outdated than this. I can’t confirm this personally as I’ve only ever stayed in the new wing’s Executive rooms, but it would make sense having seen other parts of the main building which looks fairly poor.
I can’t say I noticed any aircraft noise, despite us being at the runway end of the building so the sound insulation must be pretty good. If you were right up at the window you did hear the odd rumble. You could see planes take off and land from our room just which was pretty cool.
The toiletries on offer are the usual Hilton Peter Thomas Roth offerings. The moisturiser was absent though, which you would normally get.
The shower had good pressure, but did flood slightly. The bathroom also got extremely steamy likely because the ventilation seemed to be blocked.
The bathroom does have a built in speaker in the roof which I presume when the place was initially built was linked to the TV. It didn’t work when we were there, the cable for it was just discarded on the floor behind the TV.
Breakfast is served in the Garden Restaurant which is downstairs from the reception area from 5:30am to 10:30am each morning.
We were asked for our room number and seated, hot drinks orders were taken and arrived promptly. The buffet selection was fairly extensive with the usual Hilton Breakfast hot and continental options. Most of it looked good, although some of the hot items didn’t look the freshest, with the scrambled eggs for example being way past their best to the point where I wouldn’t touch them. One of the sausages I had was also undercooked. Their fruit selection was decent and quite fresh. I do like the new Nutella Muffins that are appearing in more and more Hilton’s in the UK, including this one.
The Garden Restaurant itself felt fairly tired and could do with a freshen up, and a good clean in places. The view from the restaurant is out onto what looks like an unused, fairly sad looking internal courtyard that again could do with some love and attention.
Bars & Restaurants
We didn’t eat in the hotel on this occasion, so I can’t comment of the food or service directly. We did stop in at the hotel’s Amy’s Bar which is located in the middle of the reception/atrium area for a night cap which was fine, the drinks were fairly pricey though.
There are two restaurants to choose from, along with two bars should you wish to eat in the hotel. You can view the menus for them on the hotel’s website: www.hilton.com
The Garden Restaurant offers a buffet option, Amy’s Restaurant seems to be more à la carte. As with the drinks prices in this hotel, the food pricing seems fair steep to me given the surroundings, with the cheapest starter at Amy’s restaurant being £9 for a bowl of soup as an example.
We flew into Gatwick Airport from Edinburgh, so didn’t have a car to park.
The hotel is attached by a covered walkway to Gatwick Airport’s short stay car park, so there is ample and easily accessible parking.
The hotel’s website advises they offer self parking at £34.50 for 24hrs which seems fairly steep, but in saying that I’m not an expert on airport parking prices at Gatwick Airport, that might be the norm.
- A choice of either 1,000 bonus points, or a free continental breakfast. I have this set to free breakfast on my account which we were offered either in the executive lounge, or in the Garden Restaurant downstairs. We were granted a full breakfast in the Garden Restaurant, rather than just the continental option.
- We were granted a 1 category room upgrade from Deluxe room to Executive room.
- We were proactively offered late checkout during checkin (which I’ve never encountered being proactively offered before) which I took advantage of until 1pm.
- Free WiFi, I think we actually received a code for the premium option but it is always hard to tell.
- 2 x bottles of water were waiting for us in our room.
- We were offered a newspaper delivered free of charge, but declined.
Hilton Gatwick Executive Lounge
The Hilton Gatwick Executive Lounge is located on the 4th floor of the main hotel building, right at the end of the corridor just before the bridge over to the new extension of the hotel (where the executive rooms are located) which makes it a reasonably long walk from reception.
The lounge is open from 6am-11pm each day. It is a fairly large L shaped room with a reception area offering checkin and checkout services, toilets with shower facilities, a computer bank with printing for guest use and fairly typical Hilton executive lounge food and drink offerings. On entering you are asked your room number and name as there is no key card entry. There is a neat tropical fish tank mounted in the wall which you can also see from the corridor.
Note these times were correct at time of this visit, but may change in the future.
- Breakfast: 6am-10.30am
- Afternoon Tea: 2pm-5.30pm
- Evening Drinks & Snacks: 6.30pm-8.30pm
We missed breakfast and afternoon tea in the lounge, but did make it in latterly for their evening drinks and snacks service. There was a decent selection alcoholic drinks including red, rose & white wine, fizz and a number of spirits including gin, vodka, whisky and one or two other spirits. There was also a reasonable selection of food including cold cuts, pasta and salad. The hot options were chicken wings which weren’t bad and onion bhajis which I didn’t rate that much as inside they were just loosely flavoured mush.
I found the Hilton Gatwick executive lounge to be overall quite good with decent food and drink offerings and very helpful/friendly staff. I’m not sure if it was just on our visit, but the lighting was a bit stark and reminded me of a doctor’s waiting room which didn’t create the most relaxing atmosphere. It wouldn’t hurt them to have some sort of light music on in the background either, I noticed they had a PA system installed but this wasn’t in use during our visit. I know the background music isn’t to everyones taste, but for some reason I felt they could do with it in here.
Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel Images
Hilton London Gatwick Airport Contact Information
Hilton Gatwick Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hilton Gatwick Phone Number: 01293 518080
Hilton Gatwick Address: South Terminal Gatwick Airport
Hilton London Gatwick Airport Review
Hotel Review Summary
Hilton Gatwick is good for a one night stopover before or after a flight from London Gatwick Airport. I wouldn’t want to stay much longer than one or two nights here though. If you are flying out from the north terminal it might be worth looking at the newer Hampton by Hilton which opened there a few years ago and is directly attached to the north terminal building, although the price at the Hampton is often very similar to the Hilton. If the Hilton was the same or similar price to the Hampton I would probably choose the Hilton over the Hampton due to the better breakfast and Executive Lounge.
For the price I paid, I was overall happy with what I received and felt I was treated well as an HHonors Gold member. I think you would have a very different experience if you end up in one of the older rooms in the original part of the hotel without lounge access for checkin/checkout. If you don’t have status with Hilton, I would recommend booking at Executive Room as I think it will be worth the extra in this case.