Hotels

Review: Courtyard by Marriott London Gatwick Airport

Flying from London airports often requires us to stay overnight prior to our flight. The inconsistent three to four-hour journey (that’s been known to take seven hours previously) is heavily factored into our cost and convenience when booking any flight

In this case, we saved significantly by flying from London Gatwick and found ourselves looking for a circa £100 or so hotel room nearby for the night. I like to stick with a name brand and in this case opted for the Courtyard by Marriot.

Despite our gold status thanks to the American Express Platinum card I can’t think of a time in which we’ve stayed at a Marriot. So this would certainly be a welcome change.

We booked just three nights in advance using the Marriot website (and our Gold member login details) to obtain the best price of £137 for one family room for one night, midweek. 

Location

Courtyard by Marriot at London Gatwick Airport is located near the South Terminal. It’s around a 10-minute walk from the entrance of the terminal outdoors or a three-minute bus journey. The bus journey can be taken using the Courtyard by Marriot shuttle bus.

We decided to walk to the hotel from the terminal (as we arrived at the terminal by train) and then get the bus to the terminal (the following day prior to our flight).

The path from the entrance of the terminal and the hotel is relatively well signposted, it’s on flat ground and has been surfaced with a pavement. It circles the entire Gatwick Airport service area including a petrol station, KFC, McDonald’s, a number of other hotels and offices.

We walked the journey at dusk and discussed how it’s not something we’d like to do at night due to poor lighting or with large suitcases/bags.

Check-In

Upon our arrival at the hotel, there were two sets of guests checking in and no queue. A staff member quickly came to the desk to assist us with the checking in process.

They referenced our Gold Marriot Bonvoy Status and welcomed us back as members but provided us with no Gold member benefits.

I didn’t question it at the time as I thought maybe there isn’t an upgradable room available and the remaining benefits will be in the room. Sadly, that was never the case.

The check-in process was relatively simple. They took a hold on the credit card for the room of £180 (the room was £137) which would be replaced by the room cost upon check out.

From there we were given on room card and sent on our way to the fourth floor.

Room

We opted for a family room with two queen beds. Upon entry into the room I was impressed, on the surface things looked great. A lovely tiled bathroom, a Nespresso machine and plenty of space.

However, sadly upon closer inspection, I noticed things were a little rough around the edges. For example;

The window sill that looked out into the voyeur and other windows was covered in a thick layer of dust. The other exterior window cills that I could see from our room were the same.

I don’t believe this was the level of dust achievable from just one week, or two, we’re talking a number of months. Upon cleaning surely this should have been noted and therefore the frequency increased.

The bathroom was great, except for the shower liner for the glass deflector which was covered in limescale and grime. It wouldn’t have been so bad, had you not had to sit and stare at it while on the toilet.  

Then there was a major water stain on the lampshade in the corner of the room. I can only assume a very wet towel has been hung here or they’ve had a significant roof leak. Either way, it’s off-putting.

There were some other minor details, that you come to expect from a hotel of any age, chipped woodwork, etc

Otherwise, the room was clean, and it was spacious. The bed was comfortable but not dreamy, incredibly comfortable – I hope you get what I mean when I say that. There are simply some hotel beds that are so divine you wish you could ship them home and keep them forever. This certainly didn’t make this standard.

Services

WIFI

There was basic free WIFI in the room. Even on the top floor where we were situated, we didn’t struggle for a signal. However, I do believe we should have had access to the faster speeds given the Bonvoy status.

Breakfast

We skipped breakfast and instead decided to eat at the Club Aspire Lounge inside Gatwick’s South Terminal. Breakfast is an additional charge here, so we were able to save by missing out and maximising our time in the lounge.

Bar / Resturant

We arrived at the hotel in the afternoon and had planned to have dinner in the restaurant however the prices were around 30% higher than the average London hotel, and the variety was limited.

Instead, we chose to walk the 5 minutes to KFC. All three of us ordered a large meal each and paid just £20 which was the expected cost for one meal back at the hotel.

Sadly, we found there’s no Deliveroo or UberEats delivery service in the area at the time of our review.

Shuttle

The Courtyard by Marriot at London Gatwick operates a shuttle bus between the hotel and the north and south terminals at Gatwick daily.

The cost of the shuttle is £3.00 per person with children going free.

You’ll be required to pay this money to the driver in cash and while there is a cash machine at the hotel it was out of order during our visit.

The shuttle is very quick and easy, we had no problems getting from the hotel to the South terminal on it arriving in a matter of minutes.

Vending Machines

By the lobby, you’ll find a large array of vending machines allowing you to purchase drinks, snacks and other essentials 24/7. The prices for a can of Pepsi stood at £1.20 and could be purchased using bank cards (for no additional charge) or cash.

Conclusion

I can’t help but compare our stay at the Courtyard by Marriot at London Gatwick with our stay twelve months or so ago at the Hilton at Gatwick South. Both similar in price, and at both we were similar status.

An while the location wasn’t of significant difference, the quality of the room certainly was. I’d, therefore, opt to stay at the Hilton Hotel at Gatwick South over the Courtyard by Marriot if I was torn between the two in the future.

As always, we’d love to know if you’ve stayed at this Marriot hotel at Gatwick Airport, let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.

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