6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Sussex Life today click here

Arora Hotel in Crawley - restaurant review

PUBLISHED: 11:01 07 September 2015 | UPDATED: 16:01 06 November 2017


Alice Cooke is delighted to discover top quality dining at the Arora Hotel in the heart of Crawley

Tony Staples, executive head chef Tony Staples, executive head chef

Leaving on a jet plane? If you’re flying out of Gatwick then I urge you to pass through nearby Crawley and pay a visit to The Grill at the Arora Hotel on your way. Whether you’re alighting for business or pleasure, there are few things that will lure you back to the green grass of home like proper British fare, and that’s exactly what this is.

Unassuming from the outside, you could almost pass by the entrance to the restaurant without noticing. It sits just behind the reception of the hotel, off a high-ceilinged entrance hall, but there are many doors, lifts and passages, and I honestly think that if you didn’t know it was there you’d walk on by – but having tasted what lies within, I almost think that this is part of its appeal. For this is a hidden gem, a diamond in the rough, and somewhere that I guarantee you’ll be smugly recommending to your friends before the meal is out.

Head Chef Tony Staples has created a menu centred around local, seasonal produce, and as such it is ever changing, but what he does, he does brilliantly. I would particularly recommend the venison if you’re lucky enough to catch it in season, but the seafood is equally sumptuous, and the puddings are a delectable indulgence.

The décor is basic and uncomplicated, but the food is fantastically prepared with excellent ingredients. You could really tell that every dish had been given the chef’s attention, and every piece of meat was cooked to perfection. The puddings were individual works of art, and even the vegetables had been prepared with thought and care. Furthermore the staff, and in particular the sommelier, are well versed and really know what they’re talking about.

But I really cannot praise the fare highly enough – and as well as being exceptionally well put together from fresh, local ingredients, it was fantastically reasonable in price, almost unbelievably so. When it comes to Sussex’s best-kept secrets, this is a contender.

A great option if you’re flying in or out of Gatwick, absolutely – but I would also say that it’s worth the journey even if you have no intention of jetting off to sunnier climes. Scrap the air fare and enjoy fantastic food in this hidden gem instead.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sussex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sussex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sussex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Voting is now open for the 2018 Celebration of Sussex Life Awards. It’s our fifth annual championing of the county’s stars and will be taking place at The Grand Hotel, Brighton on Thursday 25 October

Read more

There are some fantastic restaurants and cafés in Eastbourne serving up delectable food and catering for all tastes. We round up some of the best…

Read more

From glorious gardens to stunning seascapes, and not forgetting fabulous food, we bring you the best places to eat this summer

Read more

For those who eat a diet free from meat or any animal product, Sussex is a great place to live. We present a guide to the best restaurants/cafés/pubs for vegetarians and vegans

Read more

An afternoon or bank holiday spent in a pub beer garden is a true delight of British life. A few of our favourites are here. Here’s hoping for a blistering summer…

Read more

Laura Paton visits Horsham’s The Pass and finds exciting food served with infectious enthusiasm

Read more

Over the past three years there has been a revolution in Worthing’s restaurant culture

Read more

Grabbing something quick to eat doesn't have to mean compromising on flavour. Hazel Sillver presents some of the best light bites and street food across Sussex

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Sussex's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search