Bloc Hotel, Gatwick Airport
THE HOTEL: Bloc Hotel Gatwick is the group’s second hotel, joining a sister property in Birmingham. Compact rooms, pleasing design, smart technology and budget prices are the order of the day at both. This hotel has 245 rooms and is located within Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal, adjacent to security and departures.
THE CHECK-IN: I arrived late at night but the two staff behind the reception desk were cheerful and chatty, and I was soon in the lift heading up to my room. A long, dark corridor lit up as I made my way along it.
THE ROOM: There are four room categories, and mine fell into the Vista category thanks to its large window with views across the airport’s apron and runway. It was fitted out with dark wood panelling, brown upholstery and purple accent lighting. The king-size bed (with Egyptian cotton linen, no less) was set against a wall, with a large HD TV (with a vast number of channels) mounted at the foot of the bed. Numerous lighting options, blinds and noisy air-conditioning were all controlled by a wall-mounted Samsung tablet. An alarm function would be a useful addition. The sound proofing was good and I barely noticed the noise from aircraft landing and taking off. There was open hanging space in an alcove and the small wetroom came with plenty of towels, limited amenities and an excellent monsoon shower.
THE FACILITIES: Free wifi is included as standard, but this a budget hotel and guests aren’t here for long so there’s little in the way of amenities. There was an ironing room on my floor, and for food and drink there are plenty of establishments on the hotel’s doorstep in the South Terminal.
THE VERDICT: There’s clearly been no scrimping when it comes to the room design and facilities, which both impressed. Though the room was small, there’s little need for more space since most guests won’t be staying for long and the diminutive nature helps keep prices low. The real USP, however, was being able to roll out of bed in the morning and make my way through security just minutes later.
THE DETAILS: Bloc Hotel Gatwick, South Terminal, Gatwick Airport, RH6 0NN. Rates start from £54 per night for ‘Sleep’ rooms; through to £84 per night for Aspire rooms. Tel 020 3051 0101; see www.blochotels.com.
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2015)