A Night at the Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel

Mark Bibby Jackson checks into the Hilton London Gatwick Airport before his Wizz Air Flight to Montenegro

Europe, Reviews

I always thought airport hotels were stale affairs something only to be frequented in emergencies. A 5.45am flight from Gatwick airport to Montenegro counts as an emergency to me. However, there are airport hotels, and there are airport hotels. The Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel is certainly towards the top end of the market.

I have used Holiday Extras for several years now to secure safe parking when I fly from London airports as I find travelling by public transport inconvenient since moving to Essex. This was the first time I had used the option to stay at the hotel the night prior to my flight.

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel

I drove my car straight to the front of the hotel, where a Maple Parking car representative met me. Within minutes I had checked into the hotel and my car had been whizzed off to wherever airport cars go to for their holidays.

Great fish and chips at the Hilton London Gatwick Airport
Great fish and chips at the Hilton London Gatwick Airport

My room was larger than I had expected and to a higher standard, with large twin beds and a large flatscreen TV with all the usual channels. I had an area where I could work, charge my laptop and phone, and if needed, I could have hung my suit up and ironed my shirt for a business flight the following day, if only I owned a suit.

Instead, I headed down to the gym where I burnt off a few calories hoping this might lead to an early night to equip me for my even earlier start. I spent about an hour there before checking on emails back in my room and having a bath which proved extremely relaxing after my exercise.

The London Gatwick Hilton also has a number of dining outlets, including a Japanese steakhouse and a sports bar. Being a pescatarian I avoided the former, but as a sports addict, I naturally gravitated towards the latter.

The fish and chips were surprisingly good as was the Guinness. The bar was full, which created a lively atmosphere, totally different to the staid one I had anticipated. As my visit coincided with the Champions League, I watched the first half of the game chatting with a conflicted Spanish family – the son supported Manchester City and the father their opponents Real Madrid. The staff were extremely welcoming too. It was a far better evening than I had anticipated and in truth I was a little sad to return to my room.

The following morning, I had a quick and refreshing shower before checking out. As the hotel has near direct access to the terminal – you do have to cross a road – within half an hour of leaving my room I had checked through to departures.

Wizz Air

I found the whole experience excellent allowing me to enjoy my first ever visit to Montenegro, a country I have long wished to visit.

Plenty of space on our flight. Photo from Big World Small P{ockets.
Plenty of space on our flight. Photo from Big World Small Pockets.

My colleague took advantage of the priority check in, which she praised, while I carried my bags onto the plane as is my want. This was my first flight with Wizz Air and I must admit to being happy I had a priority pass so that I could avoid the queues at the gate.

Despite a hold up caused by a confusion in my booking, which the staff at the gate handled expertly, we managed to board quickly and depart in time.

The plane was only half full and I had a whole row to myself. However, even if it had been full there was plenty of room for my long legs, as I discovered on my return flight. This was far flung from the priority experience of other low cost carriers, where the perk seems for you to stand longer in a queue. Here priority was a definite advantage and is well-recommended if like me you hate queuing.

We took off to a beautiful early morning sky above London, although I understand Wizz Air cannot guarantee this on every flight.

Holiday Extras

Hilton London Gatwick AirportHoliday Extras is the market leader in UK airport parking, hotels, lounges, and transfers – and last year most of their customers saved at least £100 on their airport parking against the price they would have paid on the gate. Booking an overnight hotel with parking means you can enjoy more holiday with less hassle. Plus with Flextras, if you need to cancel or amend you can without charge. An overnight hotel with six days overnight parking at London Gatwick costs £144.99. For more information and to book, HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 316 5678.

Wizz Air

Wizz Air has flights across Europe from the UK including to Podgorica, Montenegro.

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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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