Las 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:
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
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.