Home Travel practicalities Gatwick hotel and parking with APH Parking

Gatwick hotel and parking with APH Parking

Trying out airport parking with APH proved a stress-free experience before a holiday

by Sarah Bridge
Gatwick hotel and parking with APH Parking

Trying APH Parking at Gatwick

When asked to review APH Parking Gatwick I didn’t think twice. Arranging a hotel and parking at Gatwick airport – or indeed any London airport – is always a major headache.

This could be to do with the fact I usually leave it to the very last minute, pretty much just before I set off,  or sometimes the night before if I’m particularly organised.

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Either way, it’s usually a case of panic-Googling ‘best airport carparks’ until I find something that looks not too expensive or too cheap (you read horror stories of cars being dumped in a field or driven for miles while the owner is away) and then just going for it.

APH Parking Gatwick car park

You won’t be short of choices when it comes to airport parking, but that could make it hard to know which option to go for

So when I was given the chance to try out Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) I thought this would be a chance for me to be organised for once.

Using APH Parking Gatwick

The concept is simple enough: you go online and put in the details of your trip, where you’re flying from, whether you want to include a hotel stay the night before and whether you’d like off-airport parking or a meet-and-greet service.

APH has its own off-site car parks at Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham airports but also offer on-site parking and meet and greet services via third parties and has been going since 1980 so that seemed reassuring, plus the fact it won the ‘Best Airport Parking Company’ award at the British Travel Awards 2018 for a ninth year running.

Having tried everything from parking at Gatwick’s own official car parks to meet-and-greet at the airport itself, to other off-site airport parking services, this was the first time I used APH but the booking process and emailed instructions were very clear.

As my flight was at stupid o’clock in the morning (check in at 5am) I was put up in a nearby hotel, the Crowne Plaza Felbridge,and I was given two booking codes – one for the hotel and one for the parking. Each code accessed detailed instructions online of how to get to each location and how much time to leave for each journey (APH recommends you get to the parking site 45 minutes before the earliest check in time) so I felt in safe hands.

Staying at the Crowne Plaza Felbridge

Crowne Plaza Felbridge entrance

I spent the night (well, until 4am) at the nearby Crowne Plaza hotel in Felbridge

The hotel was far smarter than I’d expected, with a 116 bedrooms and even a indoor pool with sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. My room wasn’t vast but had everything I needed – TV, bath, kettle, iron etc – and my only complaint would be that it was up quite a lot of stairs and there wasn’t a lift – which meant hauling my luggage up and down to my room.

As  it was such an early start the next day there was just time for a quick swim and sandwich in my room (my stay was room only) before all too soon it was 4am and time to get up and out.

The indoor pool at the Crowne Plaza Felbridge

The indoor pool at the Crowne Plaza Felbridge

bedroom at the Crowne Plaza Felbridge hotel

My bedroom at the Crowne Plaza Felbridge hotel

Getting to the APH car park

The APH car park was ten minutes along some winding Sussex lanes and next to the Wyevale garden centre which was a handy marker. There I parked my car, checked my car keys in – there was a lot of activity for that time in the morning but the short queue moved fast – and then hopped on the transfer bus which was handily waiting to take me and my fellow travellers the 12 or so minute journey to Gatwick.

APH car park

Checking in at the APH car park near Gatwick Airport

Getting my car back after the holiday

After a very enjoyable week wine-tasting in Cyprus the return journey was equally smooth. I’d been given a card with instructions on what to do when I landed, namely text my booking reference to a phone number and then follow signs for the off-airport buses. A short wait at the bus stop later and then the transfer bus arrived to take us back to the APH car park.

transfer bus airport parking

The transfer takes around 12 minutes to Gatwick Airport

Overall the whole process was very smooth and there were no hiccups on the way. It’s definitely an option to consider, although people with children or lots of luggage might prefer an on-airport car park or even a meet and greet service where you just drop your car off at the terminal itself, cutting out the transfer buses.

However there’s no denying that at around £100 for a hotel stay and a week’s worth of parking (prices vary depending on time of year) it’s very good value compared with parking-only options which are of a similar prices but without the night in the hotel beforehand. Whatever you decide – enjoy your holiday!

My hotel stay and car parking were courtesy of APH hotels. Airport Parking and Hotels (APH.com) offers a wide range of parking and hotel options at major airports in the UK. To book, visit www.aph.com or call 01342 859442.

Also travelling from London Gatwick? Here’s a link to some other hotels recommended by APH: https://www.aph.com/community/holidays/gatwick-guru-aph-gives-the-lowdown-on-gatwicks-best-airport-hotels-for-different-types-of-travellers/

Sometimes you’d rather hire a car than drive and park your own, so why not check out hire car firms such as Hertz, Discover Cars, Holiday Autos or AirportRentalsCars?

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