Singapore A380 9V-SKA seen from London Heathrow Holiday Inn Ariel hotel
I recently had the fortune to spend a night at London Heathrow’s Holiday Inn Ariel hotel, so I thought I’d check it out as a spotting location.
I did a bit of research first, and found out that rooms 270, 274, 276, 278, 280 and 284 are all good (thanks to Plane Spotting Hotels website). I even rang ahead to request one of these rooms and was told it was not a problem.
However, upon arriving at the hotel I was told these rooms were not possible with my reservation. BUT there was an upgrade option available to room 376 for £15, or £20 with unlimited internet access. So I snapped up this offer.
These rooms are one level higher, so I think they will actually be better than those in the 27x range. They are billed as Executive Rooms, with a double bed. However I’m not sure if they’re any different to the ones on the floor below.
The view from the window was fantastic. It’s not as close as the Renaissance is, and my room didn’t have a view of the western end of the airport or runways, but you could easily see most movements and a lot of aircraft parked on the ground.
In particular, it had a view of Terminal 3, Terminal 4 and the maintenance areas. Runway 09L/27R is right in front of you, and 09R/27L in the distance.
On my visit, 09L was in use for arrivals, which meant I missed a lot of them as they exited the runway early. But I’d catch them on departure later on from 09R.
It helped to have FlightRadar24 on my laptop the whole time. Having a SBS box would be just as handy. This way, when it got dark I was still able to log departures.
Photographs are good for larger airliners, especially if they taxi from 09L to Terminal 4, as the picture below testifies.
So, there’s a good example of an affordable (if booked in advance) hotel at London Heathrow!