With so many airport hotels at Gatwick to choose from, how do you pick the best one for your needs? Award-winning airport parking operator and retailer Airport Parking & Hotels APH.com has compiled a top 12 list of hotels to help you start or end your holiday in style.
Best for those with easyJet flights:
Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport
Connected to the North Terminal via a covered walkway, this is the best choice for those travelling with easyJet, since the airline's check-in desks can be accessed quickly by foot. Guests can avoid early-morning traffic delays en route to the terminal and enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast and workout, if they are so inclined, at the hotel's 24-hour fitness centre.
Best for South Terminal passengers: Hilton London Gatwick Airport
The four-star hotel is connected to the South Terminal via a covered walkway and is ideal for those travelling with British Airways, Ryanair and Thomas Cook. The hotel also offers free Wi-Fi, fitness centre and several dining options.
Best for families: Holiday Inn Gatwick – Worth
Close to the new APH car park, the hotel is great for families and only ten minutes' drive from Gatwick. As well as providing travel cots, high chairs and family rooms, the hotel allows under 13s to eat free per every paying adult.
Best for a pre-flight workout: Crowne Plaza Felbridge
Want to keep your workout schedule while travelling? The four-star hotel offers a fitness centre, tennis courts, indoor swimming pool and recently-refurbished Chakra Spa with five treatment rooms. Gatwick's terminals are approx 15 minutes away.
Best for passengers travelling with Virgin Atlantic or Emirates: Sofitel London Gatwick
A four-star hotel directly connected to the North Terminal and is a good choice for long-haul travellers. Besides luxurious suites, the hotel has three restaurants, free Wi-Fi and several cocktail bars.
Best for those with afternoon flights: Holiday Inn Express Gatwick – Crawley
The three-star hotel is 4.5 miles away from the airport and offers guests a relatively late check-out time of midday, good for those with later flights. Holidaymakers who need some last minute shopping before heading to the airport can go to nearby Country Mall Shopping Centre.
Best for a night out in Crawley: Arora Hotel Gatwick Crawley
The four-star hotel in the town centre provides stylish accommodation and easy access to nightlife hotspots, including The Hive Bar and Moka, Crawley's largest nightclub. The hotel is also just a few minutes' walk away from the train station.
Best for budget travellers: Best Western Gatwick Skylane Hotel
For those on a budget, this three-star affordable hotel is conveniently located within a 15-minute drive of Gatwick Airport and has an on-site restaurant, bar, and free Wi-Fi .
Best for off-airport luxury: Sandman Signature London Gatwick Hotel
Four miles from the airport, this four-star hotel is in a peaceful location. It has an on-site fitness centre, indoor pool and all rooms have flat screen LCD TV and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Best for exploring Gatwick's surrounding area: Crowne Plaza London – Gatwick Airport
The four-star hotel is 3.5 miles away from the terminals and ideal for those keen to explore surrounding towns and villages including Crawley which is within walking distance. Guests can also enjoy a film and meal at the nearby Crawley Leisure Park.
Best for being close to the airport, but not near the runway: Airport Inn Gatwick
One of the closest off-airport hotels to the terminals, reached in less 10 minutes by car. Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and there is 24-hour room service.
Best for a few hours of sleep to avoid M25 delays: Gatwick Europa Hotel
15 minutes from Gatwick Airport, the Europa is a low-cost, no-frills, budget option for those who want to avoid potential M25 morning delays and only need a few hours sleep before flying from the North or South Terminal.
The Gambia Experience has launched its new brochure marking 32 years of operation to West Africa. Offering the widest choice of UK flights, with a flying time of around 6 hours between London and Banjul, the operator presents an extensive collection of holidays and adventures enabling visitors to experience more than simply the country's sunshine and golden sands.
Catering for all tastes and budgets, accommodation ranges from value beach hotels, all-inclusive and spa resorts to indulgent luxury hideaways, floating river lodges, wildlife and nature reserves within Luxury, Unique and Classic collections. Boat trips, overland excursions and home cooking days in a typical Gambian household are among experiences available through the company for private parties and groups.
Key locations to observe species of exotic birds and wildlife are included – from hotel gardens, nature reserves, the riverside or in the African bush, guided tours can be tailored for a minimum of two people.
To further showcase the region's waterways, The Gambia Experience has added a Rivers of West Africa mega yacht cruise, with four and seven-night itineraries departing early 2020 from Banjul.
For a memorable safari experience observing game, the company presents Fathala Wildlife Reserve in neighbouring Senegal, offering day trips and overnight stays or longer.
Featured hotels in beach resorts of north and south Senegal are now integrated within Gambia hotel collections and can provide a perfect add-on to a Gambia holiday or, as a stand-alone holiday with flights in and out of Dakar.
The Gambia Experience's product manager Karen Durham commented: “Capturing this colourful country through our collection of holidays, excursions and tours we can provide our customers with the perfect introduction to unspoiled Africa. We are thrilled to present some great multi-centre options alongside holiday extensions and excursion opportunities, including a Rivers of West Africa Cruise which adds another dimension to our exciting range of experiences."
More information at www.gambia.co.uk
Princess Cruises has announced the activation of Ocean Medallion on six more of its ships in 2020:
· Ruby Princess on January 27
· Grand Princess on March 29
· Enchanted Princess on June 15, ship launch date
· Emerald Princess on August 16
· Coral Princess on October 16
· Island Princess on December 20
Enchanted Princess will be named in Southampton and enter service with the enhanced guest experience. It will then sail a season in the Mediterranean before heading to the Caribbean. The multi-award winning Medallion is now available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess. It will be introduced on Crown Princess on July 24, making it the first ship with UK departures to have the benefit of Ocean Medallion, as Crown Princess is currently sailing a season around the British Isles.
Sky Princess, the line's next ship, will launch with the technology when it enters service on October 20, 2019. The ship will then spend a short season sailing the Mediterranean.
Ocean Medallion is intended to make every guest feel like a VIP and helps them relax and enjoy their cruise. The device is the same size as a 10 pence piece and replaces more traditional cruise cards.
The Medallion's technology makes it quicker and easier for guests to get on and off their ship. Once on board it opens doors when guests approach their cabin, ideal for anyone who has their hands full or is with small children. The Medallion's 'compass' feature means guests can find and stay connected on board, as well as navigate their way around the ship. It also allows guests to order drinks and snacks, plus holiday essentials such as suntan lotion and swimming goggles, directly to anywhere on board including their stateroom.
Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises' vice president UK and Europe, said: “The Ocean Medallion has proved a groundbreaking piece of travel technology and the feedback from guests, in terms of how it has helped enhance and improve their cruise, has been overwhelmingly positive. It's great news, both for our guests and crew, that we will be offering the Medallion on even more ships throughout next year. I've been fortunate enough to experience the Medallion first-hand and the simple, seamless service it provides means I'd thoroughly recommend it, whether people are already familiar with our ships or looking to dip their toe in the water for the first time.”
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and author of 11 books. My byline appears in national and regional newspapers and magazines. Website gillypickup.co.uk