Since missing a flight to Amsterdam a few years ago due to a delay on a train, I have always preferred to stay in a hotel close to the airport the night before a morning flight. Being close to the airport, particularly when flying as a family, prevents a potentially stressful journey on the day of travel. It also reduces the risk of missing a flight due to traffic and extends a holiday by an extra night – always a bonus! Last week we enjoyed our first holiday with Mark Warner in Greece (full review to follow – I am still ploughing my way through our holiday laundry!) As we needed to check in for our flight at 8am we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, Gatwick Airport the night before.
We had grand plans to set off on our holidays immediately after the school run. Although I thought I had been super-duper organised (even using my packing lists to make sure we had everything we needed) we were still cramming last-minute items into our bags at dinner time! We eventually gave up and decided it would be best to eat at home and put our boys in their PJ’s before we set off. Our arrival at the Holiday Inn Express was therefore a late one, close to 11pm with two boys fast asleep in the back seat of a very over loaded car!
We found the Holiday Inn Express easy to find, located just off the M23, near Crawley town centre. Our original plan was to have dinner at the Harvester Restaurant located next door however instead we checked straight in at reception, bought a couple of drinks from the hotel bar and went upstairs to check out our room.
Our quad room was modern and clean. As you can see from the photos below, it was rather a tight squeeze when set up with a sofa bed and travel cot however it was certainly more than adequate for the seven hours we made use of it for.
After a 6am wake up call we went down to the hotel restaurant to grab a quick breakfast. The breakfast choices were rather limited but perfect for a quick bite to eat before checking in for a flight. The buffet selection included cereals, breads, muffins, scrambled egg, sausages, yoghurt, fruit juices and hot drinks.
Would we recommend the Holiday Inn Express, Gatwick Airport? Yes absolutely. With room rates available from under £60, complimentary parking, wi-fi and breakfast it is a conveniently located hotel ideal for families staying the night before an early morning flight. We opted to drive the five miles to Gatwick Airport however public transfer buses from the hotel to the South terminal run every 20 minutes and cost just £2.20 per adult. Guests departing from the North terminal have the option to take the free, 24-hour monorail service, which runs every 3 minutes and takes around 2 minutes.
Holiday Inn Express address – Haslett Avenue East, Three Bridges, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 1UA
To book – Visit HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 1313 777. Example price: £59 for a family room at the Holiday Inn Express. Price searched on May 23 for a stay on June 11* The hotel booked at this special rate cannot be cancelled, amended or refunded.
Disclaimer – We were kindly invited as guests to stay overnight at the Holiday Inn Express. All opinions and words are as always our own