Sydney Rydges Hotel is the new spotting location

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Australasia, Australia, Spotting Hotels, Spotting News | Posted on 17-03-2014


Rydges Hotel ViewWe recently reported on the closure of Sydney’s Observation Deck on the International Terminal. However, the airport has been working with the Rydges Hotel in providing an alternative place for spotters to congregate.

The hotel has a rooftop area which it is now opening up to plane spotters for a small fee of $10.This fee gets you access to the rooftop, a free beverage from the cafe, and a spotter information sheet to help you get to grips with Sydney Airport. There are also family passes available for $30 for 2 adults and 2 children.

The Rydges Hotel is located within the International Terminal complex, and is Sydney’s only airport terminal hotel.

Views from the roof look across the airfield and runways, with many of the International Terminal gates in view, and the Domestic Terminal visible in the distance. All movements can be seen to some degree, so you’re not going to miss anything from here.

Rydges Hotel Rooftop

Photography is also possible for aircraft at the International Terminal and on the nearest (16R/34L) runway but needs a zoom lens.

Rydges Hotel Room Views

Spotter Hotel Package
If you’re looking to stay in Sydney, the Rydges Hotel has a special Plane Spotter Package which guarantees you a Deluxe King Room with a great view of the airport and surroundings, a pair of binoculars, food & drink voucher, free Wi-Fi and late checkout. The price starts at AUS$229 for non-members, or $206 for members. Check it out here:


Jakarta Airport FM7 Spotting Hotel

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Asia, Indonesia, Spotting Hotels | Posted on 03-03-2014


FM7 spotting hotelA new spotting hotel has emerged at Jakarta Airport and is receiving favourable reviews from spotters who have visited.

The FM7 Resort Hotel is situated close to the end of Runway 25R, and one of the main benefits is the proximity of aircraft approaching this runway, which can be photographed quite easily.

Although the hotel is only two stories high, rooms on the top floor can be found that have good views and are not too obstructed by the surrounding trees. Some rooms also have views across to runway 25L, but SBS is necessary to identify them as they disappear behind the buildings.

The owner of the hotel is aware of the needs of plane spotters and welcomes the trade this brings. A rooftop bar is being constructed which has views of both sides of the airport, although through glass.

The hotel is in a less than ideal neighbourhood, but once inside is quite luxurious and serves good food. It also provides a free shuttle to the airport. Here’s a map of the hotel’s location.

Visit the FM7 Hotel’s webpage here:

If you have visited, leave a comment below and tell us about your experience.

New Abu Dhabi Airport Premier Inn hotel offers spotting views

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Abu Dhabi, Airport News, Dubai, Middle East, Spotting Hotels, Spotting News | Posted on 18-12-2013


Premier Inn Abu DhabiA new Premier Inn hotel has opened at Abu Dhabi Airport and promises views of aircraft movements from both rooms and the rooftop terrace.

The new hotel is linked to Terminals 1 and 3 at the airport by the Skypark retail corridor.

Although I haven’t stayed there yet, the hotel confirms that some rooms have views of aircraft movements, and can be reserved if you leave a note with your booking or call ahead of your stay.

The hotel also boasts a rooftop terrace with pool and loungers. This also offers spectacular views all around, and over the airport (similar to the Sheraton Deira in Dubai).

Premier Inn AUHAs always, discretion is advised when using binoculars, poles and cameras around airports in the UAE as police can be less tolerant of this. Make sure you check it is ok with hotel staff when using the rooftop terrace.

The link for the hotel is here:

If you have stayed there, why not comment below with your findings or details of the best rooms with views!

Gatwick Bloc hotel offers spotting opportunities

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Airport Spotting Guide, Spotting Hotels, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 27-11-2013


Gatwick Bloc HotelLondon Gatwick Airport has become notoriously difficult to spot at since the viewing terraces closed in 2002. However, a solution is imminent in the form of a new hotel due to open early next year.

The Bloc Hotel has been constructed on the site of the former terraces, atop the South Terminal. As a result, guests can expect views from some of the rooms to be similar to the views that used to be enjoyed in the old days of spotting at the airport.

Other rooms will face the approach to the runway.

The Bloc Hotel is due to open in April 2014, and is keen to welcome spotters. It will offer a special day rate for viewing aircraft and using the hotel’s facilities between 7am-4pm.

Keep an eye on the Bloc Hotel website here.

East Midlands spotting hotel – Radisson Blu

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Spotting Hotels, Spotting Trip Reports, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 17-08-2013


Radisson Blu EMAA hotel I recently stayed at was the Radisson Blu at East Midlands airport, and got to check out the spotting opportunities there.

I had requested a room with a view of the airport, and upon arrival this was confirmed. My visit was planned to make the most of the evening cargo flights, which are busiest on weekdays. Odd-numbered rooms in the range 301-319 and 401-419 all face the airport and are close enough to read off aircraft registrations. All airport movements are visible, however after dark a SBS or flight tracking website is required to log the aircraft identities. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi with all room rates.

Radisson Blu East Midlands

Photography is also possible from the rooms with a 250mm lens, particularly in the daytime when aircraft are landing or departing on runway 09. However, the glass may cause distortion in some cases.

The photos on this page are from my stay, and show the views that are possible from the room. All movements on the runway are visible.

Manchester Airport spotting hotel – Radisson Blu

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Spotting Hotels, Spotting Trip Reports, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 30-07-2013


Radisson Blu SpottingI recently had the opportunity to check out the Radisson Blu hotel at Manchester Airport in the UK, spending a night in an airport view room.

The hotel is known as probably the best at Manchester Airport for spotting, since it is located between terminals 1 and 2. It is linked via walkway to both, and also to the airport train station.

I was surprised to get a good rate for a room when I booked. It was around £65 for a Saturday night in July.

Unfortunately I was only able to get a room on the fifth floor, but with an airport view all the same. At this level, Terminal 2 partly blocks the view. However, I was still able to see some of  the parking stands at Terminal 1, and all movements were visible on the runway. Combined with SBS or Flightradar24, you won’t miss anything from here.

Radisson Blu Manchester

To try and catch what was parked opposite Terminal 2, I checked out the stairwells at both ends of the building. This let me see some aircraft on the remote stands and cargo ramp, but not those parked at the terminal.

The best rooms to try are even-numbered ones, on as high a floor as possible. The check-in staff are helpful and able to give you what you’re looking for if it’s available.

Although the hotel was going through renovation when I stayed, I still enjoyed eating at the restaurant, and the room was adequate and comfortable.

The pictures in this report are from my stay.

Crete Spotting Hotel – Arina Sands

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Eastern Europe, Greece, Spotting Hotels | Posted on 02-07-2013


Arina Sands Spotting HotelMike Harper has been in touch to let us know about one of the best plane spotting hotels on the island of Crete.

The Arina Sands is located at Kokkini Hani, and most importantly is only about a mile and a half from the end of runway 27 at Heraklion Airport.

Aircraft approaching will pass right in front of the hotel, so requesting a room facing in that direction will provide you with plenty of opportunities for spotting and photographing aircraft.

The pictures on this page are provided by Mike from one of his trips to the hotel.

Transaero 767

Olympic A319

Alternative Atlanta Airport spotting hotel – Best Western

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, North America, Spotting Hotels, USA | Posted on 29-04-2013


If you want to spend time spotting at Atlanta Airport, most spotters know that the Renaissance Concourse is the hotel of choice, with its ideal position alongside the northern perimeter and rooms with balconies facing the action.

However, a lesser-known hotel which is usually much cheaper and still offers good views of aircraft can be found nearby.
Pictures of BEST WESTERN PLUS Atlanta Airport-East - Hotel Photos
This photo of BEST WESTERN PLUS Atlanta Airport-East is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Best Western Plus – Airport East is located a little further away from the airport, but has rooms offering views of the northern two runways.

Those with an SBS will be able to monitor aircraft on the other runways. If the weather’s clear enough you will be able to see the aircraft approaching and departing the distant runways.

Atlanta Best Western Location

A map of the Best Western Plus Airport East’s location, near runway 26R

Aircraft arriving from the east onto the northern runways can easily be read off from rooms in the *01, *02, *16, *17 range (the higher the better) will have views of the action.


Houston Hobby Airport Spotting Hotel – Holiday Inn

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, North America, Spotting Hotels, Spotting Trip Reports, USA | Posted on 01-04-2013


Houston HobbyIf you’re visiting Houston Hobby Airport, the best hotel at the airport for spotting is the Holiday Inn which can be found at 8611 Airport Blvd.

The hotel has six floors, with floors five and six being good for watching movements if you request a room facing the airport.

Dean Mitchell recently visited the hotel on a spotting trip to Houston and can report that even-numbered rooms ending in 20-44 are at the correct angle for spotters, with the photograph used here showing his view from room 520. These rooms look down runway 04/22 and across to the passenger terminal area.

Holiday Inn Houston Hobby

The hotel has a free car park, and offers free wifi access. There is also a restaurant and bar for guests to use.

Houston Hobby is the city’s smaller airport, located close to the downtown area. It is a busy base for Southwest Airlines, as well as bizjet aircraft. It makes an interesting alternative to the city’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, which is dominated by United Airlines.

To book a room at the Houston Hobby Holiday Inn, click this link. The map here shows the location of the hotel in relation to the airport.

Thanks to Dean Mitchell for this information and picture.

Las Vegas Spotting Hotels

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in North America, Spotting Hotels, USA | Posted on 10-03-2013


Las Vegas Spotting HotelsLas Vegas is a great destination for the spotter – McCarran International Airport is one of the busiest in the USA, with a good mix of international and domestic traffic. Plus, the city is a great holiday destination, and many of the big hotels at the southern end of “The Strip” have rooms overlooking part of the airport.

If you’re planning where to stay on your forthcoming trip, here’s a roundup of the best plane spotting hotels at Las Vegas:


Tropicana Hotel
One of the southernmost hotels on The Strip, The Tropicana is situated alongside the airport close to the business ramps and the EG&G (Area 51) terminal. High rooms overlook most of the action, but you’ll be particularly well suited for movements on runways 19L/R. The mesh covering the hotel windows makes photography and viewing a little limited. Even numbered rooms in the Island Tower are good, according to the Plane Spotting Hotels site.

Address: 3801 Las Vegas Boulevard South


Las Vegas McCarran

La Quinta Inn
Although not one of the big casino resort hotels on The Strip which are great for holidays, La Quinta is probably the best for the spotter. High up rooms facing the airport look out onto the runways 25L/R thresholds. These runways are mainly used for takeoffs, with 25L often a landing runway too. Regular binoculars and a 300mm zoom lens should suffice most spotters’ needs.

During the day, the popular spotting location on the southern perimeter is only a ten minute walk from La Quinta.

Address: 6560 Surrey St


The iconic pyramid hotel at the southern end of The Strip has rooms facing the airport on one side of the building. Request a high room (above the Sphinx outside!) facing the airport. You will have a view of runways 19L/R and some of the biz jet ramps, with distant views of movements at the other terminals and on the southern runways. The hotel is not very good for photography, but if you’re a number cruncher with a SBS or Flightradar on you won’t miss many movements.

Address: 3900 S Las Vegas Blvd


Hampton Inn & Suites
Located very close to the La Quinta Inn & Suites (above), the Hampton Inn is part of the Hilton chain. It offers good views from rooms in the x38 to x44 range on the top two floors over the runways 25L/R thresholds, and is a short walk from the airport perimeter.

Address: 6575 South Eastern Avenue


Hooters Hotel & Casino
A smaller hotel just behind the Tropicana (see above) is another option. Rooms facing the airport are close enough to see all action on runways 19L/R, and most movements at the airport. Photographs are possible, but not ideal. It is a short walk to the perimeter fence near the biz jet ramps.

Address: 115 E Tropicana Ave


The map at the top of the post shows the locations of these hotels around Las Vegas McCarran Airport. Click to enlarge or print it.

The hotel scene in Las Vegas is always changing. If  you have a tip of a good hotel or room to spot aircraft at Las Vegas, please leave a comment below.