Day 0: Headed South (Hilton London Gatwick Airport) / H&H@TP 2017

Day 0 of Hibiscus & Holly At The Poly 2017, the latest of my Disney Trip Reports, is here! Day 0 is always the pre-travel day; it’s when we’re not yet quite on holiday, but it’s all about to begin! Tonight we stayed at Hilton London Gatwick Airport ready for our morning flight to Orland.!

This Disney Trip Report Index tells you a bit about the planning of this trip, as well as some info about my family and me (the Cast Members!) In short you have me, Michelle; Steve, my husband, and Liam, my son. It also, of course, has the full list of days for Hibiscus & Holly At The Poly 2017.

Gatwick Airport

Day 0: Hilton London Gatwick Airport

In-Room Dining
December 6, 2017
My trip reports are photo heavy! I include single images, or smaller galleries – either way, pages may take a little longer to load depending on your internet connection speed. You can click on gallery images to enlarge them. I don’t include all the photos I take, but you will be able to find all of the images from Hibiscus & Holly At The Poly 2017 in my Flickr Collection of albums from this trip. To see just today’s extra photos, you can view this Flickr Album.
Hibiscus & Holly At The Poly: Trip Report Index | Pre-Trip Report | About Us
Some days are split into several parts; please use the page numbers at the bottom of the post to continue reading.

It was all change for our flight with British Airways this year. For some reason, BA & Virgin have switched terminals at Gatwick – BA have moved to the South Terminal, and Virgin to the North Terminal. That meant meant instead of our usual stay at the Premier Inn, located across the road from the North Terminal, it was back to where we stayed on our very first trip in 2011 – Hilton London Gatwick Airport.

British Airways has a twilight check-in option, so after arriving at Gatwick Airport (via private cab) we headed straight into the airport. It felt weird to be there in the cold and dark, thanks to it being winter!

There was something quite exciting in the air though – maybe it was the Christmas decorations, or that airport smell and noise, or that we were going Home for Christmas at Walt Disney World. It was lovely to have Liam with us too, after he stayed home for work and college back on our 2016 trip.

It didn’t take too long for us to check our bags in – between being dropped off at the terminal and into our hotel room, it was around 45 minutes. You can walk from the South Terminal to Hilton London Gatwick Airport which is very handy. We chose this hotel (and in the past, Premier Inn) due to their proximity to the terminals – you don’t have to worry about a shuttle bus being full, or if a cab will be on time – you can just stroll over.

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Christmas Tree

We checked-in to the hotel and headed to our room. We didn’t do much exploring of the hotel itself as we were all tired from working that day, and even had in-room dining to save worrying about booking a table for dinner.

Now that Liam is over 18, and officially an adult, we couldn’t book a Compact Family Room, as that is only for children up to 12 years old; and we didn’t want to pay for two Interconnecting Family Rooms, so we opted for the Triple Guest Room, which would have three single beds.

We booked direct on the Hilton website, and paid £164 for the night – a buffet breakfast was included in the price as we are Hilton Honors Members.

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Check-In Desk

Our room was HUGE! I’m not sure if it was still described as a triple room, as it had a double bed, and two singles beds/twin beds, but regardless, it was definitely one of the biggest hotel rooms we’ve ever stayed in as a family!

There was a little bit of a corridor with a recessed area for the wardrobe (huge), and the bathroom was just opposite. Again, huge! Hotel bathrooms can be a bit pokey can’t they? This was anything but… I couldn’t even get the whole room in one photo!

Additionally, there was a desk and chair with a mirror above it, a dresser/cabinet with a flat-screen TV on top, and a smaller table with two chairs. There were also the usual hotel room amenities like safe, mini-bar, iron/ironing board, hairdryer etc. As well as Wi-Fi (fees apply), on-demand movies, air conditioning and 24-hour room service.

I think the only thing that let the room down was the bathroom – despite it size, it felt dated and well used (which I know it will be); but for the price point I know I expect that little bit more. One of the tiles had a chunk missing/chipped off, and we actually placed something on top of it so that we wouldn’t catch/cut our feet/toes on it.

There was a bath tub and shower, toilet, bidet (Liam asked what that was as had never seen one before!), and sink/vanity. The complimentary toiletries were a nice selection.

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Triple Guest Room

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Triple Guest Room

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Triple Guest Room

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Triple Guest Room

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Triple Guest Room Bathroom

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Triple Guest Room Toiletries

Me at Gatwick Hilton Hotel

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Triple Guest Room

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Triple Guest Room

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Triple Guest Room

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Costa Coffee

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Costa Coffee

Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel - Costa Coffee

After settling in, we ordered room service, then Liam and Steve nipped to Costa to buy some drinks for us. Just a heads up – the Costa closed early – by the time we finished our dinner at about 8.30 it was shut. This was mildly annoying as we had planned to get a slice of cake for dessert!

We didn’t have to wait too long for room service which was good, but unfortunately the food was more warm than hot, which is one of my bug bears! But you know when you just want to have your dinner and go to bed – that was at this point – so didn’t bother to complain.

In-Room Dining – Hilton London Gatwick Airport

Main Course…

Me: Hot Steak Baguette – with sautéed onions and rocket. Served with fries (£15.00)

Hot Steak Baguette - Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel

Him: Deep-Fried Battered Fish Fillet – with chunky chips, mushy peas & tartare sauce (£17.00)

Fish & Chips - Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel

The Boy: Hilton Beef Burger – with your choice of extra toppings: cheese (£1), bacon (£1). Served with French fries (£15.00 + £1 + £1)

Beef Burger - Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel

Steve and I also shared:

Selection of British and Continental Cheeses – served with biscuits, chutney and grapes. For 2 people (£15.00)

Cheese & Biscuits - Hilton London Gatwick Airport Hotel

In-Room Dining » Hilton London Gatwick Airport

Bill: £64 + a tray charge of £5.00

Total Paid: £69.00

The food was nothing to write home about – standard hotel restaurant food. The cheese plates were exceptionally sorry for themselves though. The cheese was cut rather thin, and you could see (and taste) that it had been out for a while. There were hardly any crackers either.

You know when you’re really looking forward to a particular plate of food and it ends up being really lacking? That was this cheese plate sadly – a poor show all round.

I already mentioned that Costa was now closed – found out because Steve had nipped up there to get us some speciality coffees and some cake. Oh well.

It’s likely that we spent the rest of the evening on our various mobile devices or watching whatever rubbish on the telly, before hitting the hay for our flight to Orlando the next morning!

I did a fair bit of Instagram Stories, and Lives on this particular trip, and I’m going to combine them all into one video of the whole holiday. It may take a while, but when I do, I’ll put it up on YouTube for all to see!

Read about the day after:
Day 1: Here We Go Again!
Travel Day – LGW-MCO / Check-in: Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows / Dinner from Captain Cook’s

Read about the day before:
There isn’t one, this is Day 0!

» Read ALL the days!