WHAT’S IT LIKE? If you have stayed in a Premier Inn you will know what to expect – simple clean interiors, splashes of signature purple, a rather clinical feel with identikit corridors and rooms, and a floodlit car park directly outside. There is nothing glamorous about airport hotels such as these, but if you are looking for somewhere cheap you can’t go wrong with this one.
The reception staff were cheerful and helpful, and there was a fairly lively atmosphere in the ground-floor restaurant/bar. Check-in was swift, and I was able to put my name down for a table for dinner before going upstairs to drop off my bags and have a shower. Travellers also have the option of the Premier Inn Gatwick Airport South and Gatwick Manor Royal.
WHERE IS IT? Gatwick airport’s North Terminal is 350 metres away, with G2 shuttle buses (£3) operating every 20 minutes from 4am until 12am, and G7 every 30 minutes from 12am to 4am from both the North and South terminals. Park and fly deals are available.
ROOM FACILTIES Standard in-room amenities include flatscreen TVs with Freeview channels, wifi access for £9 per 24 hours, workdesks, tea and coffee-making facilities, and a combined power shower and bath with soap dispensers. There are no frills but there is everything you need for a short stay, and I slept surprisingly well before my alarm went off in the early hours of the morning.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS I had dinner in the on-site restaurant and found the service to be good and the food reasonably tasty. There is an extensive menu of comfort cuisine with options such as burgers for £9.20 and chicken fajitas for £9.45, and some good-value meal deals such as two courses for £11 or three courses with a glass of wine, beer or soft drink – and breakfast – for £22 per person.
I ordered the whole wheat pasta with rocket pesto and grilled vegetables for £8 and found it to be palatable. A hot and cold breakfast buffet is available for £8, but as I was checking out early was in a rush I didn’t bother stopping to try it.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES In the lobby there is a business corner with two PCs that cost £3.75 for 15 minutes’ use.
LEISURE FACILTIES None.
VERDICT A good budget property for anyone needing to catch an early flight. The on-site restaurant is good value and the rooms clean and well equipped.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 220 rooms.
ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The clean bathroom, good soundproofing and decent amount of floor space.
PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in February started from £44 for a Double room.
CONTACT Longbridge Way, Gatwick airport, North Terminal; tel +44 (0)871 5278 406; premierinn.com