I arrived at the Bloc Hotel around 2:30pm after my flight from Fort Lauderdale. Unlike most airport hotels, i.e. the Sofitel Heathrow, this hotel is actually in the terminal. After leaving luggage claim, I walked straight toward Marks and Spencer before taking a sharp right turn, at which point signs appeared for the hotel.
I had to take the elevator up to the reception area, which is on the same floor as security. The reception is beautifully designed in my opinion, and makes great use of limited space.
There was minimal paperwork at check-in, which took less than two minutes – a good start to my stay. Three minutes after arriving, I was escorted to my room: The Runway Suite. Rates for this room are usually around £240, which is an incredible deal for a two room suite in an airport terminal. Since the Bloc Hotel is a Norwegian Reward partner, I could earn 12% cash back on my booking, which translated to 305 CashPoints. Thanks to their partnership, my total cost went down to just over £210!
The Bloc Hotel offers six hour day rates on their standard rooms for £29, while night rates start at £59. For the best value, I’d book a standard room day rate combined with Norwegian Reward for under £27, or go for the full suite if staying overnight.
The Runway Suite was located on the 8th floor, a short elevator ride from the reception. There were quite a few doors to pass in the corridor before I reached our room.
Upon entering the room, I was greeted by a spacious living room with a dangerously distracting view of the tarmac below. Panoramic windows on the walls provided a 180 degree vantage point of all the action at London’s buzzing Gatwick Airport. There were several high top chairs along the desk by the windows.
The Bloc Hotel doesn’t offer a mini bar or room service so everything in the room is complimentary. This enables them to offer check out at the click of a button on the in-room tablet. Ease and speed of all administrative aspects of my hotel stays are important to me, so I loved the hassle free check in and check out procedures that were enabled by the lack of purchasable amenities.
The tablet also controls lighting, curtains and air conditioning, which I found cool.
They have a small table with a coffee machine and kettle to the left of the entrance.
Opposite the entrance is a large wardrobe, which has plenty of space for suitcases.
In the corner, there was a big sofa with an abundance of colorful pillows. A TV was mounted on a pillar in the center of the room.
Meanwhile, the bathroom was located across from the entrance and had several unusual design elements. Everything was black, which merged quite well with the overall color scheme of the hotel.
The shower had excellent water pressure, though it was slightly challenging to avoid getting water on the floor of the bathroom. I really liked the toiletries from Zenology.
While in the bathroom, I’d recommend opening the window blinds since they’re closed by default. Who doesn’t want to see Norwegian Dreamliners pushing back in the mirror while getting ready for the evening?
The bedroom was through a door in the living room.
One wall was lined by a big window, while the other had more closets. There was a TV on the wall across from the bed.
The bed was top quality and I slept very well. There was no outside noise from the airport, which is important at an airport hotel. My only complaint is that I didn’t get to enjoy the bed as long as I would have liked to, since I had to get up at 6am the next morning.
Overall, the highlight of the room was obviously the view, which is nearly unparalleled in terms of tarmac views. I sat by the windows all evening and tracked inbound and outbound flights on FlightRadar24 while watching from the comfort of my room.
While I tried to work, it was hard with a temping view like this. Thankfully, the internet speeds reached almost 100mbit/s – the fastest I’ve ever had at a hotel – which somewhat boosted my productivity.
Once dark, the room lit up in a purple shade. At first I thought the mood lighting could be controlled with the tablet, but apparently the purple lighting couldn’t be changed or even turned off.
When it was time for dinner, I simply took the elevator down to departures, walked 50m to Marks and Spencer, bought all my favorite meals and snacks and was back in my room five minutes later. How awesome it that?!
The bedroom also had purple mood lighting, which is covered when the curtains are drawn. I think it looks sleeker in the bedroom, though.
The next morning I packed and headed downstairs to security, having already checked out by tapping the tablet in my room. What I hadn’t realized when I checked in was security is literally next to the lobby. It took less than 60 seconds to get there from my room. If only travel was always such a breeze!
The Bloc Hotel offers unique and affordable accommodation in the heart of London Gatwick. Leveraging Norwegian Reward, I saved £30. At £210 per night, this has to be one of the best value airport suites out there. Between the fantastic view, the convenient location and the overall ease of staying at the Bloc Hotel, booking a room there is a no-brainer if you have an overnight or a long daytime layover at Gatwick.