I love airports. I love the people watching. I love the window shopping. I love the pit in my stomach if I am late for my flight. I love the airport food and 10am cocktails when I am early. I love plane watching and imagining I am off to a more exotic place than wherever I am actually going.
I know not everybody feels this way about airports. I understand that they can be chaotic and loud, but then again- so am I. When I heard that a new hotel was opening inside Gatwick Airport, it seemed to be a perfect match and I knew I had to see if sleeping at the airport could be just as cool as passing through.
Bloc Gatwick opened it’s doors in March 2014, smack in the middle of Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal. It is the second Bloc property, their first is in Birmingham, and both are modelled after the Japanese pod-style hotels. Simplicity, technology, modern, no-frills.
Signs for Bloc Gatwick in the South Terminal are plentiful, and I had no problem finding the hotel. When I arrived to check-in, staff were helpful, courteous, and had no problems answering any question I had regarding the room or airport itself.
The security line is only a 30 second walk from the hotel check-in counter, and if you are flying an airline that allows you to check your bag early- you can literally wake up and go. The South Terminal has a great selection of restaurants, shopping, and a grocery store- and when you stay at Bloc Gatwick you receive great discounts or perks at most of them. (i.e. Free glass of wine at dinner, 10% off your order, and so on.)
The rooms are accessible via an elevator directly next to the check-in counter, your room key also gives you access to whatever floor you have been assigned. Our room was on the 8th floor, at the very end, which I can only assume has one of the best views- so ask for that one!
I may have actually let out a gasp when I walked into the room. Not because it was incredibly luxurious and wowed me (we will get to that later) but because the view from the wrap around windows in the room directly overlooked the runway. The Kid and I hurriedly threw our luggage down and went to the window, our noses almost pressed against the glass, watching airplanes land and fly away. For a girl who loves airports, I had just found my sanctuary.
The room itself is cozy, but more than sufficient. I was glad that they hadn’t set up the bunk beds in our family room just yet, as we got to see how one little room could transform into something else in an instant.
Check out the before and after pictures, the room went from business traveller to family in an instant.
While space in the rooms may be minimal, this isn’t the kind of place you stay for a week on holiday anyway. It is more than adequate, if not outstanding, for getting some rest before an early flight or resting up in-between a long layover. The Kid and I spent the entire afternoon hanging out, watching planes, napping, and exploring the room’s fun technologies. We loved it.
Inside every room is a tablet which controls the lights, the blinds, the temperature, and even checking out. It was extremely easy to use and we had no problems.
The only negative, which really just depends on the person, is the bathroom. The bathroom is modern, complete with Zenology toiletries that smell amazing. The shower is monsoon style, and very enjoyable. The only caveat is that the bathroom is a wet room- meaning everything from the toilet to the entire bathroom floor gets soaked when you are ready to bathe. This was no problem for me because I thought it was rather obvious, but the Dutchman wasn’t impressed.
Overall, I would highly recommend booking a room at the Bloc Gatwick- I plan on staying there again the next time I need to fly out of Gatwick. I’m not usually one for staying in the same place twice either…. It is small, but the family room could easily accommodate two adults and two children if you just need a place for the night. Solo and business travellers will love the space and convenience, and it would be fantastic for couples as well.
Rooms at Bloc Gatwick start at £80.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Bloc Gatwick but all views are my own- as always.