Sofitel Gatwick becomes quarantine hotel again

Over the weekend I noticed that the Sofitel Gatwick had no rooms available until the end of February 2022. This was a little odd. I then noticed it was sold-out for my stay next week.

Odder still when I found a post that the hotel had already become a UK quarantine hotel again. Hotels, required by the government to host red-list country returners, have been in short supply recently. Some passengers having reported that they could get flights back to the UK but there was no room at the inn when they tried to book. You have to obtain your booking confirmation before being allowed to set foot on British soil.

I sent an email to the Sofitel on Saturday and after waiting for two days, I received an email this morning confirming that they were indeed going to cancel my booking. Unless, that is, I would like to move to the Hilton at the South Terminal. A very average hotel is the Hilton and I wasn’t paying significantly higher rates to stay at an average Hilton. So I have told them to cancel my booking.

Their apologies such as they were did not offer to make me whole by reducing the rate or chipping in some free meals. With about a week to go I was on my own, unless I wanted the Hilton. In that case I would have booked the Hilton weeks ago when it was very reasonable.

I think it’s pretty poor customer service and make me seriously question the hotel’s values.


  1. The Sofitel group, which has got huge business through being chosen to be provide the isolation facilities at various airports, and which reportedly charges massively over the normal price to do so, is owned by a big Tory donor. I know, what a co-incidence! So the answer to your question about customer service is that they don’t need to please their customers as they have them delivered on a plate, unable to argue, by their friends in the Tory government. We should all make a point of using a different hotel chain in future (assuming of course that you have the choice and are not one of those unfortunates forced to pay extortionate prices to isolate there.)

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