Which of us, when flying from Gatwick Airport have arrived for those early flights, stressed, bleary-eyed and twitching from the strain of public transport or the jammed roads to get there?
Yes, quite a lot of us, myself included.
Now, there is a much easier and relaxing way which will leave you refreshed, chilled out and not the least bit smug as you observe your harassed fellow travellers.
Opened in April 2014, a new concept of hotel arrived in the shape of the Bloc Hotel.
Situated adjacent to the South Terminal departure lounge, it is only steps away from the start of your holiday or business trip. It is also close to Gatwick Train Station and the short stay/drop-off point for the Terminal. It is well signposted.
The company tag-line “where technology meets luxury” is exemplified by each one of the 245 rooms. The latest designs have been incorporated and the décor is very good.
Research told the company that most people did not unpack hold luggage the night before travelling, so there are no wardrobes in the rooms. Passengers can check in their hold luggage early to avoid early morning queues and take time to relax. The rooms are therefore smaller than the usual hotel style, but this is amply made up for by the provision of many features.
These include individual climate control systems and Italian tiled, monsoon-drench shower en-suite wet rooms with steam-free heated mirrors. Zenology soap and shower cream is supplied. Free superfast Wi-Fi is available, whilst there are king sized beds complete with Egyptian cotton sheets and state of the art HD LED televisions.
There are no tea or coffee making facilities in the room, but there are complimentary bottles of water on the bedside.As for dining, why waste space with a restaurant and staff when all the options are available just a short, indoor walk away within the Terminal? There are even free discount vouchers for guests to use at some of these facilities and shops, both before and after passing through security.
In my room there was a wall-mounted I-Pad from which the blinds, air-conditioning, lights and check-out were controlled. It is very simple to use, don’t worry. The décor was very attractive dark wood and fabric lined walls with a large bronzed mirror.
Some rooms have views of the flight-paths to keep you entertained if that is your thing. Don’t be concerned about aircraft noise. It is barely audible and I slept very well without interruption, and I am a light sleeper.
There is a business floor and for those with deeper pockets, a Presidential Suite.
Having used the unit-build method, construction costs have been kept down, so that rooms can be taken at £59, whilst a room and valet parking option can be had from £79. What a bargain.
Whilst actually in the South Terminal, it is only a fifty yard indoor walk to the free, twenty four hour regular shuttle to the North Terminal, This shuttle journey takes only two minutes so Bloc is ideally placed for travel from either terminal.
I have already re-booked for later in the year.
The original Bloc Hotel in the UK is in Birmingham, with Gatwick following. There are expansion plans so keep an eye out for similar developments around the country.
This concept is the future – today.
Further details can be seen at “www.blochotels.com”:http://www.blochotels.com