In early January 2020, I had a British Airways Mileage Run, flying from Cologne/Bonn to Gatwick and then spending a day in Jersey and one in London city. As all these things happened around Gatwick Airport, I went for a three night stay in the Hilton London Gatwick. Here are my impressions.
Hilton Gatwick Airport – Location
The hotel is located at the South Terminal of the Airport. The way to the hotel, though, is a bit of adventure: from the arrival gates, you just take a walkway to the coach station and a parking lot, where you take one level down and take another walkway right into the hotel. Thus, most hotel guests might never explore how the hotel is in fact looking from its front.
Apart from the numerous facilities offered by the airport (especially the Marks & Spencer supermarket is very helpful to staff you) and the hotel, there is also a KFC and a McDonalds close to the close on the airport grounds.
Hilton Gatwick Airport – Rooms
My three night weekend prepaid rate was about 232 GBP. I reserved a Double Guest Room and have been upgraded due to my Hilton Honors Diamond status to an Executive Room with Executive Lounge access. The room was located in the newer wing – regarding the construction date of the elevator, this was in the very early 2000s latest. From the reception, I had to go up to third floor, go through the old wing and take a walkway. The aisles in the old part of the hotel seemed to have an urgent need for renovation, the new part looked significantly better. However, you could hardly read the numbers on the elevator any more, for example.
I was really happy when I explored my room that I have been in the modern part. Especially the carpet of the room was quite run down. It was also not too perfectly cleaned, but most of what you see on the picture below is run down carpet. The room equipment was in line with the carpet. One side of the bed had no power plugs at all, on the other side, there were just plugs on the floor. No USB ports, course, but the workdesk featured an US and an European power plug. For some reason, the empty minibar switched off during my stay (right when it cooled my chicken sandwich), but I cannot say whether it was my fault or not). Very bothering, though, was that the setting of the air conditioning set back to automatic any time I entered the room, so that I had to switch it off again. In addition, the work desk had a major stain at check-in which I removed very easily.
The bathroom was quite fine, though and also quite spotless. It featured a large shower as well as a nice bathtub and was overall very spacious. Hilton-typical amenities were provided.
Hilton Gatwick Airport – Executive Lounge
The Executive Lounge is located in the old building, fourth floor. My first impression was rather negative, as it looked quite traditional as well. However, the staff there was very nice and the service exceeded my expectations by far. Unfortunately, there was no Afternoon Tea, but the lounge crowded as soon as there were chicken wings, samosas, soup – and free alcohol. Not as posh as other lounges (e.g. Hilton Manchester Deansgate), but reasonable.
On my final morning, I did not feel to much like the buffet breakfast, so I had breakfast in the lounge. Overall, the food was limited as expected, but it was a nice and quiet start of the day – again, with excellent service.
Hilton Gatwick Airport – Breakfast / Food
Breakfast is served in the Garden Restaurant, which was to my surprise not that crowded when I tried it. As a Hilton Honors Diamond, I could chose between the lounge or that buffet style, complimentary. After my so-far experience, the breakfast hit my expectations – of course, other Hilton Hotel breakfast breakfasts like at Munich Airport or Kuala Lumpur exceed Gatwick massively. At least there were quite a selection of fresh items, hot dishes and stuff from the bakery. Once when I was grabbing some yogurt and fruit from the buffet, the staff had already cleaned my remaining items and prepared the table for another guests (I might have been away some two to three minutes). I hate that.
Apart from the buffet restaurant, there is also a hotel bar and an ordinary restaurant, all close to the reception. At the entrance, there is also a Costa Coffee store.
Hilton Gatwick Airport – Service
Already at check-in, the welcoming was very nice. The receptionists explained all important things to me and even invited me to grab more complimentary whenever I need some. Overall, most of the people I met were very friendly. I would also say that the housekeeping was good – my impression was that during my stay the room was definitely cleaner than at check-in.
The WiFi in the room was a mess. I could not log in with my room number and surname, which is typically the case at Hilton. Instead I received a login code, which would have been fine to me as well. Unfortunately, I felt that the internet was not super-fast and they did not provide me a Premium WiFi internet code, which I am entitled to. More bothering, you had to enter these credentials really each and every time when you logged in to the network. Extremely bothering.
The hotel offers a small gym, which is located right at the entrance of the hotel from the airport, just partially view protected with frosted glass applications.
Hilton Gatwick Airport – My View
I cannot call my stay at Hilton Gatwick Airport better than reasonable. The staff is definitely the best thing about this place. The connection to the airport is nice, but it is quite a walk (at least, all covered, but partially not wind protected). The price was quite reasonable, though. I initially called the Executive Lounge the Torture Chamber, but finally it became my favorite room of the hotel. There is one hotel right inside South Terminal – if you do not feel like that one, the Hilton is still an option. Typically, you will stay just one night in there anyway.