on July 4, 2010
Airport hotels are generally rather miserable characterless places that you wouldn't choose to spend too much time in. Etrop Grange is different. It's the kind of place people do choose to have their wedding receptions and big business meetings in. You can almost pretend when you are there that there isn't really a massive airport right on your doorstep. It's surprisingly quiet and even more surprisingly charming.The hotel is close to the roundabout where you turn off for Terminal 2 and it's what I would call a 'proper' hotel. Instead of a typical airport hotel that looks like it's been built from an Ikea flat pack kit, Etrop Grange is a beautiful red brick Georgian mansion that dates back to 1780. It wouldn't look out of place in a Jane Austin period drama. There's a small car park on two sides of the building and a small, pretty outdoor garden with seating. Inside it's a place of elegant period furniture, clusters of arm chairs, lots of shiny dark wood and plenty of pretty plasterwork.We used the Coach house for some business meetings and found it a pleasant alternative to the featureless boxes of most hotel meeting rooms. It would be a good place for a private dinner or wedding meal too and there are doors out onto the terrace which provide lots of natural light as well as extra space.Rooms are cute and stylish and they seem to have cornered the market in old brass beds. Some rooms still have the old fire places and each of them is a bit different from the others. There's no risk of waking up with a sense of 'novotel confusion' - the condition when you can't remember where you are but you know exactly where the hairdryer will be hidden. Expect to find plenty of modern amenities despite the age of the place - wi fi, satellite TV and of course in England you'll always get a tea and coffee tray.The restaurant is famous in the area and pulls in a lot of visitors. The meeting facilities and services are also excellent. If you need to be near the airport and hate airport hotels, then this should be top of your list of options.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009