Air Services: Overnight Accommodation
Recommendations for pre-flight accommodation at London Gatwick and Piarco, Trinidad
Most UK flights to Tobago depart from London Gatwick airport. All these flights involve check-in times in the early morning - typically from about 7am for the Monarch flights. Worrying about missing your flight while caught up in the early morning rush on the M25 is not the best way to start your holiday.
Although we only live a two-hour drive from Gatwick, the risks of delay on the road is just too great and we have always taken the more relaxed option of driving down the previous afternoon and overnighting in the Gatwick area. It makes a huge difference and is so much more relaxing; not least because you don't have to get up so early on the morning of departure.
For good value for money, we can highly recommend The Manor House. This small traditional English bed and breakfast guest house is located in countryside, just over 3 miles from Gatwick's South Terminal. Offering simple, but perfectly adequate accommodation, the owner offers parking (£2 per day) during your holiday and a courtesy car service to both Gatwick terminals from 6am to 10am. Local taxi services are available at other times. The Manor House offers single, double and family rooms all fitted with Freeview colour TV and tea/coffee-making facilities. Please be sure to mention myTobago if you accept our recommendation and book a stay at The Manor House, or better still, use this link to email them now.
If you prefer a full-service restaurant with in-house restaurant, bar and similar facilities, then we would recommend the 227-room Copthorne Hotel London Gatwick. You can park your car there safely during your holiday - but additional charges apply. The hotel offers a shuttle service to both Gatwick terminal. The Copthorne is not the cheapest hotel around, but good deals can be found on the Internet. The Copthorne is located about 4 miles south-west of Gatwick South terminal - just half-a-mile off junction 10 of the M23 (one junction further than the hotel).
Many visitors will therefore face an overnight stay in Trinidad. One option is to travel into Port of Spain, where the best choice is probably the Trinidad Hilton.
Those just wanting to get to Tobago and start enjoying their holiday will probably want to stay nearer the airport. Sadly, there is little choice in the immediate area. The Bel Air International Hotel is a total dive (it was bad enough when I last stayed there 40 years ago and it apparently hasn't been touched since long before that) and the Piarco International Hotel, which was just about tolerable for one night, is no longer open as a public hotel.
All is not lost, however. Readers regularly commend Leo's Place Bed & Breakfast. Located just five minutes from the airport, Leo will collect you and take you back to the airport (even for very early morning outbound flights) for US$25 and charges $US55 (cash only) for an air-conditioned double room (singles/triples available). All reports have been excellent, although do not expect over-quick email response (a common problem with a lot of property in T&T).
- Further Information: Telephone (868) 640-7370. Sadly we have withdrawn their email following frequent complaints that they are not replied to.