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“Had the pleasure, then recieved 'the pain'...” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Sofitel London Gatwick

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Sofitel London Gatwick
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   North Terminal, Gatwick Airport, Crawley RH6 0PH, England   |  
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SOFITEL CHIC GOURMANDISE
Ranked #4 of 25 Hotels in Crawley
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Totnes, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
208 reviews 208 reviews
67 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
311 helpful votes 311 helpful votes
“Had the pleasure, then recieved 'the pain'...”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

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.

Room Tip: AVOID if offered by an airline as a delayed flight stop-over.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel_LGW, General Manager at Sofitel London Gatwick, responded to this review, November 10, 2012
We thank you for posting your comments relating to your most recent stay at the hotel. Guest feedback enables us to continually review our service delivery and standards and make changes wherever possible.

Firstly may I apologise for the poor impression we made and service you received during your stay here as a result of the BA flight Delay. I will try to explain our position in relation to handling delayed flight passengers however I do not believe in a blame culture and I trust the team to deliver the best level of service they can under what are often fast changing circumstances with little information.

We did have two flight delays on the night in question that arrived in close proximity. We are often given little notice of such events as is the nature of flight delays but the more time we get the more time we have to make some operational adjustments and on this evening we had hardly any time. You should have been able to obtain a drink from our bar had it only been a glass of water and I am surprised you were not directed thus. We do take our lead from the airlines as clearly they are only prepared to pay for agreed services and often passengers expect to have access to the full range of facilities at the airlines expense.

I was disappointed to read your comments about the food quality as we usually receive positive comments and I will address this with our Head Chef and the reason that flight delays are provided with a buffet meal in one of our large meeting rooms is again that we would be unable to deliver a restaurant style service with such a short lead time to the numbers involved. I accept that having dined in the hotel under normal circumstances the experience would be very different. As you would probably expect I completely refute the remark from one of our team that we provide an inferior standard of facility to flight delay passengers. I consider flight delay passengers as a potential source of future business provided we deliver good service and this has proved to be the case in the past. If as was suggested we provided an inferior service the many airlines we deal with they would not continue to use the hotel.

I trust that you will judge us not on your delayed flight experience but on your earlier experience and in future given sufficient notice we will provide a tea & coffee service albeit on a buffet basis for those passengers arriving and having to wait to check-in.

We look forward to you returning to the hotel and our Guest Relations Team can be contacted on H6204-GR@sofitel.com ahead of any future stay to assist with any specific requirements.

Sincerely,

Graham Hawksworth
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

We stayed for one night prior to an early flight. We were allocated a west facing room overlooking the multi storey car park. The room was comfortable with a large double bed, the bathroom had a bath with a shower over soft towels and was well stocked. The hotel itself looked very impressive. When we arrived the check in girl told us that the three restaurants got very busy and advised us to book then. I asked if she had a menu for us to look at before we booked, but she did not, so we took a rain check. When we looked at the restaurants later they did not appear to be that busy. Food is expensive in the hotel but there are other cheaper options in the airport and nearby if you don't want to pay Sofitel prices. We checked our bags the night before we flew which was brilliant. There was no stress next morning, we had a TV alarm in the room, and were phoned by an automatic alarm set by the helpful receptionist. It was a three minute walk to security absolutely no hassle. Would definitely stay again if we have an early morning flight.

Room Tip: If you are allocated a west facing room (opposite car park and terminal), and are a light sleeper, a...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

Very disappointed to be writing this review, having stayed at this hotel on several other occasions and having booked my daughter in prior to her flight because I was certain of the Sofitel quality brand and service.

My flight as delayed from Verona meaning by the time British Airways checked me into the hotel I had been travelling for almost 30 hours. You can imagine that when I realised there was no way for me to return home on the evening I arrived back into the UK and BA said they were going to accomodate me at Sofitel I was relieved, I was actually almost pleased, because if I was going to be further delayed at least I would be confortable and relaxed for a night.

Arrived to a Reception area which was in utter pandemonium. Apparently there were other stranded passengers from elsewhere. A very curt staff informed me that I couldn't be checked in until after 8.30pm. My companion decided to call them from the lobby, and asked to speak to someone as there was chaos and not even an offer of a glass of water! She met with a response which was both rude and indifferent. The Guest Relations staff member said that it was all the fault of British Airways for sending 'us all over at once' and 'no' there are 'no refreshments'!!

I am not certain who the 'all of us' she was referring to were since I was not awaiting a delayed aircraft as the others were, I was nothing to do with that party.

When I was eventually allocated a room, there was no concierge available to find porters for luggage. We were given a letter saying we would be 'served dinner'. We were 'served' nothing, there were self-service dishes filled with one choice of luke warm chicken, potatoes and frozen veg! The only other offering was pasta, and when my companion stated she was intolerant, she was offered a children's pizza! I had to approach reception for an alternative and thankfully she was offered a sandwich and fries...at around 10.30 pm!

As someone who has used their restaurants and know that the quality of both food and service is usually of a high standard I was disgusted by this 'cafe' offering.

My companion decided to address the issues the following morning with the Guest Services Manager and again got the 'it's not our fault it's theirs' (Airlines). approach. She went on to confirm openly that they do indeed offer a (quote) "of course lower class of service" to Guests referred to them by the airlines.

This is an international airport hotel surely used to dealing with these situations, and they proved to be discriminatory, rude and keen to remind us that we weren't 'paying guests'.

Shocking really and such a double standard approach!

Room Tip: If your airline offers you a night at this hotel because you are delayed, tell them you want to go t...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofitel_LGW, General Manager at Sofitel London Gatwick, responded to this review, November 10, 2012
We thank you for posting your comments relating to your most recent stay at the hotel. Guest feedback enables us to continually review our service delivery and standards and make changes wherever possible.

Firstly may I apologise for the poor impression we made and service you received during your stay here as a result of the BA flight Delay. I will try to explain our position in relation to handling delayed flight passengers however I do not believe in a blame culture and I trust the team to deliver the best level of service they can under what are often fast changing circumstances with little information.

We did have two flight delays on the night in question that arrived in close proximity. We are often given little notice of such events as is the nature of flight delays but the more time we get the more time we have to make some operational adjustments and on this evening we had hardly any time. You should have been able to obtain a drink from our bar had it only been a glass of water and I am surprised you were not directed thus. We do take our lead from the airlines as clearly they are only prepared to pay for agreed services and often passengers expect to have access to the full range of facilities at the airlines expense.

I was disappointed to read your comments about the food quality as we usually receive positive comments and I will address this with our Head Chef and the reason that flight delays are provided with a buffet meal in one of our large meeting rooms is again that we would be unable to deliver a restaurant style service with such a short lead time to the numbers involved. I accept that having dined in the hotel under normal circumstances the experience would be very different. As you would probably expect I completely refute the remark from one of our team that we provide an inferior standard of facility to flight delay passengers. I consider flight delay passengers as a potential source of future business provided we deliver good service and this has proved to be the case in the past. If as was suggested we provided an inferior service the many airlines we deal with they would not continue to use the hotel.

I trust that you will judge us not on your delayed flight experience but on your earlier experience and in future given sufficient notice we will provide a tea & coffee service albeit on a buffet basis for those passengers arriving and having to wait to check-in.

We look forward to you returning to the hotel and our Guest Relations Team can be contacted on H6204-GR@sofitel.com ahead of any future stay to assist with any specific requirements.

Sincerely,

Graham Hawksworth
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

This was our first stay at the Sofitel Gatwick had stayed many times when it was Le Meridien had high expectations after reading reviews, we usually stay Club level at the Hilton Gatwick. The Club level rooms at the Sofitel are okay the beds excellent, the lounge is inferior to the Hilton in terms of all facilities including food and beverage offers. The staff member who was working during the evening in the Club lounge had forgotten or didn't know the meaning of hospitality, our stay wasn't bad just okay!!

Room Tip: If you want to book a club room choose the Hilton!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lanzarote, Spain
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Have stayed here a few times now and never fails to impress. The service was fantastic from check in to check out, rooms are clean and comfortable and the bars are friendly and relaxing, if a little pricey.

For me this is one of the best chain hotels I have stayed in.

I managed to break the flush handle on the toilet and this was fixed within 10 minutes by a very polite and friendly maintenance guy.

The Gatwick oriental restaurant is fantastic too.

I normally go for the superior room package which is fantastic, went for a deluxe package and access to club sofitel this time which, for me, wasn't really worth the extra, but a fantastic stay nonetheless.

Room Tip: Wi-fi internet signal seems to be a bit rubbish on the 8th floor.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Great room as always at the Sofitel, but beware of the new "on site" car park. We booked this by phone after adding it to an earlier booking for a room, and despite checking to see whether the car remained on site (we were told it did) when we checked in, the car park desk wanted to take the keys and move the car off site. We refused and they agreed to leave the car in the car park for the duration of the holiday, but I suspect that isnt the norm.
Also, there are no lifts from the car park to the hotel, so you have to carry your suitcases up or down flights of stairs.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northants, England
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

My wife and I stayed at this hotel recently prior to an overseas holiday and left our car with the hotel for the duration. Whilst more expensive than many other hotel and parking options it was certainly worth it just to walk out of the hotel in the morning to a covered walkway that led directly to the Gatwick departures lounge!

The room was spotless, well appointed and the bed was sheer heaven; I could have slept in that all day! We ate at the restaurant and used the bar while we there and the food and service was excellent. The car parking arrangements were very swift and efficient and we would definitely use this hotel again.

Room Tip: Despite the hotel being based within the airport the sound proofing was perfect because I never hear...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofitel London Gatwick

Address: North Terminal, Gatwick Airport, Crawley RH6 0PH, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > West Sussex > Crawley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Crawley
#3 Romantic Hotel in Crawley
#4 Business Hotel in Crawley
#5 Family Hotel in Crawley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sofitel London Gatwick 4*
Number of rooms: 518
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

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