I spent a night at Holiday Inn Gatwick to trial its Park, Stay & Go Club.
The idea of the membership is that you get an overnight stay (great if you’ve got an early morning flight), along with free parking for the duration of your holiday plus exclusive discounts.
Let's take a look at how it fared…
It was a doddle to park (at the back of the hotel). The clear signposts were a plus point for me as I find it unnerving not knowing where I’m going when I’m driving in unfamiliar surroundings.
I followed the signs to reception where I was cheerfully greeted. I was asked to fill out a couple of short forms after handing in the car keys, but the fact that I was offered a welcome drink (available to all) made this more bearable.
What was great? The warm welcome and drink
What wasn’t? Arriving late at night (our fault)
Comfort & quality
I had booked to stay in an executive room. Rooms are basic and unfussy, but more importantly, comfortable and clean – the two things that are a definite make or break for me. It was a bonus that my room also offered tea & coffee-making facilities, water, a trouser press, iron, flat screen TV and movies on demand.
What was great?
What makes this hotel stand out for me were the thoughtful touches that had gone into making guests’ stays as seamless and comfortable as possible. These included:
- Free drinks (on tap) in the reception area
- Free Wi-Fi
- A kids' play area – brownie points for this for stressed-out parents
- A live departure and arrival screens in reception so you can see at a glance details on your flight.
- There is also a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a bar and coffee shop.
The hotel didn’t have a lot of character. But then again, are you really looking for that at an airport hotel?
Okay, so how much?
In terms of affordability, the Park, Stay and Go packages vary in price. In winter they start from £70-80 and in the summer from £120.
When you join the club, discounts are offered the more you use the service. Whether you’re parking for four, eight, 15 or 21 days, all packages include overnight accommodation with free use of the hotel facilities, car parking and 24-hour shuttle bus service to both terminals.
As a member of the club, the more you use the service, the better the deals, so this is a good option for frequent flyers or business travellers – especially if your main priority is getting your head down for the night before an early departure.
If you’re looking for rest, relaxation and a bit of pampering, then consider other options; this is a busy hotel (well, it is near the airport!) that offers simple and unfussy surroundings, with a few added extras.
Shuttle buses to/from the airport run every 10-15 minutes.