The Prodigy Hotel is the newest at Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport in Brazil, and it is the first to offer great views at the airport as a spotting hotel.
Paul Moiser recently visited the Prodigy, and took these accompanying pictures from its rooftop pool area. Here’s his review:
When I came across this new hotel which is less than a year old I had to see what it was like! All I can say is it’s excellent! The hotel has been joined on to the newest terminal at SDU via a walkway from the departures level. The hotel offers free breakfast, free wifi, and its main and best feature is its rooftop pool area which offers stunning views across the Guanabara Bay towards Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Christ Redeemer Statue. The views are amazing! Depending on the runway in use the rooftop pool area offers views of either the landing or departing traffic, and from the other side of the rooftop it offers views of a couple of parking stands as well as the runway. Throughout the entire rooftop there’s plenty of sunbeds and sofas as well as a shaded area where you can relax should you not wish to sit in the sun. From the rooftop of the hotel nothing can be missed.
There’s also a restaurant located on the roof of the hotel. Again all movements could be seen from inside the restaurant. It was also cheap for such an upmarket hotel.
Rooms 3081/2/3/4/5/6 and 3087 all offer a view of the runway and taxiway. I was in room 3086.
Before I arrived I emailed the hotel and I asked if any of the rooms had a view of the runway. My email was quickly responded to by a lady called Camila. She advised that I needed to upgrade to a Superior room, and that she had been up to the rooms herself and explained that from room 3086 you could see the planes on the runway. I emailed her back thanking her for her excellent service and with that I upgraded my room, she emailed back and said this room would be blocked off for my arrival.
On arrival the room had indeed been blocked off. I made a point of meeting up with Camila today to thank her and I explained to her that the hotel should become the first choice for spotters when they visit Santos Dumont. If you email ahead they should be able to accommodate your runway view request.
Prodigy Hotel Santos Dumont website: www.prodigysantosdumont.com.br
A bit more info on the suite I was in. From the window you can see a couple of aircraft tails parked on the terminal, and you can see the runway. You can also see the terminal building and depending on runway in use you’ll either see aircraft on approach or on climb out, then from the room you can read them off as they vacate the runway. Pushbacks and aircraft taxiing to the stands can also be read off. It is the same at night, as the apron is very well lit up, so if you haven’t got an SBS you can still read off once it goes dark. The room is spacious and very modern and as the hotel is very new. The room has one large queen size bed, a mini-bar, walk-in shower etc, and there’s also a large work station by the window for your laptop etc.
As mentioned the hotel has been built onto the terminal building. If you don’t want to eat in the hotel, a two minute walk from the hotel via a walkway leads you inside the terminal building where you’ll find a Subway, Burger King and other eateries. On the upper level of the terminal there’s a restaurant called Restraunte Americano, which I ate in. From the restaurant you can see the entire ramp as well as the runway. The views are excellent! I ate and had a few beers and spotted away, the manager at the restaurant was keen to look through my telescope and he was more than happy at me being there. The prices were a little higher than in the hotel, but the food was very nice and the location paid for itself.
You can see more of Paul’s photographs here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldwide-spotter-pm/albums/72157665620406494/with/26749383612/