British Airways kindly offered to accommodate me with this hotel following a flight delay, and I was most happy since we felt I knew what service we would receive and it is with deep disappointment that I am writing such a review today.
I arrived to a reception area which was chaotic, apparently there were two other cancelled flights referred to the hotel. There was no seating and no check in available and very little information. Eventually we were curtly informed that the wasn't prepared for us and check in would be around 8.30 pm.
I imagined since there was such delay it would be courtesy to offer some refreshment, water even, but nothing was available. I decided to telephone from the lobby. The guest services manager's response when I queried the fact there were no refreshments was to say "no there's not, and it is the fault of your airline". I was a bit stunned by this retort, and said something like "it's hardly our fault though, and we are tired, and thirsty". In response I received a whole explanation about how the airlines hasn't prepared them properly and sent us "all over too soon". As far as I was concerned I was nothing to do with the other cancelled flights as I was from Verona, and not awaiting a flight in the morning, and couldn't understand why she was 'ranting' about it to me!
We received no refreshments until after check-in some time later.
There were no concierge available to arrange baggage porters.
I was informed a dinner would be "served" in a room downstairs at 9pm.
I wasn't "served" anything! It was steel troughs filled with luke warm chicken with some kind of sauce, potatoes and frozen vegetables on a self-service basis. I asked for another option and because I am am intolerant of pasta was offered "children's pizza"! Obviously I eat here regularly and know that the quality of food and this was certainly not up to standard. Thankfully the food and beverage manager made me a sandwich otherwise I would have had to pay for more food.
I mentioned these issues the following morning to Guest Services Manager, who again blamed the airlines. I cannot accept that approach to resolving guest concerns, this is a quality hotel chain and quite frankly should be able to manage these types of situations much more efficiently. A hotel is a service industry, and I were left to feel as if I were 'second class' guest for whom providing a quality service was not something they felt you needed to do.
The guest services manager told me that theyt do offer a lower standard of facility to guests left stranded at Gatwick and hosted by British Airways et al, and quite frankly this admission is shocking and appalling.
I hardly expected a full bar service and a 5 course meal, just the same level of service and quality of food (even at a lower cost) as I would always have had.
Interestingly the previous evening, because of the same delay I stayed as a BA guest in a hotel in Verona. The experience knocked shades off Sofitel. We were treated with compassion and provided with refreshments, very varied dinner and even wine. And that was 150 guests, arriving at very short notice after 9pm. It can be done.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An established, four-star luxury hotel uniquely located within Gatwick Airport, Sofitel London Gatwick boasts world-class services and amenities, which include various dining options and extensive meeting and event facilities. The hotel offers eight-day or fifteen-day Park & Fly packages available at the airport the day before check in. The hotel is 30 minutes by Gatwick Express from central London and all its attractions. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel London Gatwick Hotel Crawley
- Sofitel Hotel London Gatwick
- Sofitel Hotel Crawley
- Sofitel Crawley
- Crawley Sofitel
- Gatwick London Sofitel
- Gatwick Hotel Sofitel