Policemen are getting younger and flights are getting earlier. We’re leaving Gatwick at 6.20am, which means arriving at the airport by 5am.
Unless you live nearby, this involves not sleeping at all or setting the alarm for 3.30am or so. No wonder there’s a growing choice of hotels near the airport, most with sealed windows and overcrowded dining rooms.
Stanhill Court Hotel, on the other hand, is set in 35 acres of Surrey countryside and is not even on the flightpath, despite being ten minutes away from your check-in desk.
Stanhill Court Hotel, pictured, offers rooms starting at £89 and boasts a fancy restaurant called 1881 – but the overall service wasn’t up to scratch
Double rooms start at £89; there are pleasant views and a decent terrace for drinks and food off the Patio Bar menu.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that it’s a drab and airless baronial pile, which might not get your holiday off to the best of starts, especially if you get on the wrong side of the barman, who takes offence when my wife asks for a gin and tonic to be served in a wine glass.
Even so, it’s hard to quibble about the price and there’s a fancy restaurant called 1881 (the year the house was built) for a leisurely early dinner before you set the alarm.
The hotel is set in 35 acres of Surrey countryside, pictured, and just ten minutes from Gatwick Airport
Arriving with heavy cases, we’re surprised that our room is a long way from reception and we ask if we can switch, even if it means a complimentary upgrade, but there’s no budging.
Getting away in the morning is a struggle and I would have thought that a hotel that trades on its easy access to Gatwick would have someone to hand at all hours.
So it’s back to one of the no-frills digs next time.
Stanhill Court Hotel
Charlwood, Surrey RH6 OEP
Doubles from £89 room only