Are you planning next year’s spotting travels yet?
Thinking ahead to warmer days and trips away is a good way to get through the darker months, and I know I’m already planning some interesting trips.
Why not treat yourself to a stay in an amazing spotting hotel, where you can enjoy your hobby from the comfort of your room late into the night, or from a rooftop pool or bar area if they have one?
Here are ten suggestions of amazing plane spotting hotels to try in 2023:
PARKROYAL Hotel, Melbourne
If you’re visiting Melbourne, Australia, the PARKROYAL hotel at its main airport is the place to stay. You might be a bit away from the attractions of the city, but get the right room and you’ll have an amazing view of the action.
Ask for those in the ranges 800-825 and 900-925.
NH Vienna Airport Hotel
Vienna is a lovely city to visit any time of the year with lots of attractions.
The best hotel at Vienna Airport for views of movements is the NH Vienna Airport.
Odd-numbered rooms on the third floor will give views over the apron. Some other higher rooms have views over the 11/29 runway. The hotel is one of the more affordable at the airport, and it is a short walk from the terminal.
Prodigy Hotel Rio de Janeiro
Located at Rio’s Santos Dumont airport right by the water and close to the city, the Prodigy is the best hotel for views at this busy airport.
It’s linked to the terminal via a walkway. Rooms 3081-7 offer good views, and the hotel has a rooftop pool and restaurant which also have great views of aircraft at the airport.
Sheraton Gateway Toronto
The best hotel for views at Toronto Pearson Airport in Canada is the Sheraton Gateway at Terminal 3.
It has excellent views across the ramp and some of the runways. Terminal 1 is not visible, however most aircraft will taxi into view. Ask for a high level (floors 6, 7 or 8) odd-numbered room facing the airport.
Flamingo Beach Hotel Larnaca
Situated closed to the busiest airport in Cyprus, the Flamingo Beach Hotel is a popular resort hotel on Mackenzie Beach.
The beach itself is great for spotting and photographing arrivals, and rooms in the hotel looking towards the approach are perfect (301 and 401 reportedly the best). The hotel also has a rooftop area which is good for watching and photographing aircraft (70-200mm lens needed).
Comfort Hotel Copenhagen Kastrup
Copenhagen’s Kastrup airport is a busy hub for European and long-haul flights, as well as one of the main bases for Scandinavian Airlines.
Opened in 2021, the Comfort Hotel is located next to the Clarion and has great views from the upper floors (10 and 11), around 500m from the terminal gates.
Rooms with best views are in the 1001-1015 and 1124-1146 ranges.
Royal Boutique Hotel Corfu
Corfu is one of the busiest holiday airports in the Mediterranean, with a real rush of movements during the summer months.
This hotel has good views of the runway 35 end (where most aircraft land) from an elevated position If you get a lagoon-facing room, you’ll be able to watch the aircraft from your balcony, with views down to the parking apron.
Hotel Taj Santacruz Mumbai
Plane spotting is not easy, or really tolerated, in India. So spotting from a hotel room is a good option.
The Taj Santacruz is situated behind the domestic terminal at busy Mumbai Airport, so rooms overlook the parking stands and runway beyond. It’s great for photography.
Don’t worry about asking for a room with a view of the airport. Just don’t flash cameras and binoculars around.
Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport
Situated alongside to the runway 28L approach lights just to the south of the airport terminal, and close to one of the popular viewing areas.
Even-numbered rooms in the 222-260 range look out on to the approach and you can take decent photographs of arrivals. There’s a free shuttle to the terminal.
Haneda Excel Hotel, Tokyo
Linked to Terminal 2 at Tokyo Haneda Airport, this hotel offers some of the best views at the airport if you get the right room.
Ask for a higher floor room facing the airport. It is quite expensive to stay at this hotel, but the location is superb. The observation decks at the terminals are only a short walk away.
Crowne Plaza Singapore Changi
The best hotel for spotting at Singapore Changi, but can be expensive.
Views from the even-numbered rooms are excellent if you get one on floors 7, 8 or 9 facing the airport (ask for a runway view – there is a charge for this); rooms 902-913 are best.
You will have views of some Terminal 3 gates and runway 02L/20R. Corridors can also be used for views of the central terminal area. Photography is possible with a 300mm lens.
Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg
The hotel of choice for spotters at Johannesburg O R Tambo Airport.
It is located opposite the passenger terminal and high rooms facing the airport look out over part of the parking apron and aircraft which day stop. You can also see runway 21R in the distance.
Photography is possible of some movements with a long lens.
Hotel Beatriz Playa Lanzarote
A perfectly positioned hotel alongside the end of runway 03 at Arrecife Airport.
Rooms facing Arrecife face the end of the runway, where aircraft on the ground and on approach can be seen and photographed with a 200-300mm lens.
Rooms 3028-3050 are reportedly the best. It’s a short walk to the end of the runway from the hotel.
Nojoum Apartments Dubai
The Nojoum has rooms facing the approach to the airport at a more side-on angle compared to other nearby hotels.
Ask for a room on at least the fifth floor for the best views.
Rooms have balconies, which are useful for private spotting without worrying about equipment. The hotel also has a rooftop pool area which can be used for spotting.
H Hotel Los Angeles, Curio by Hilton
A relatively new hotel close to the terminals at Los Angeles International (LAX).
Rooms in the corners of the north-west and south-west parts of the building have panoramic views of the airport, and a rooftop terrace and gym are a great vantage point of arrivals on both sets of runways from the west.
Photography possible. The hotel isn’t cheap, however.
TWA Hotel, New York JFK
A recent addition to the hotels at JFK, and the only one in the central terminal area. This hotel makes use of the former TWA Terminal which had lain unused for many years.
Two large block were built which is where the rooms are located, many of which have views over the gates at terminals 4 and 5, plus runways 13L/31R and 04L/22R. The hotel also has a rooftop pool area which has excellent views (when weather permits!) and is good for photography.
Outside the hotel is a preserved Lockheed Constellation airliner which is used as a cocktail lounge.
Do you have any trips planned? Are you staying in any spotting hotels? Leave a comment below!
Airport Spotting Hotels
The latest edition of our book, Airport Spotting Hotels, is out now.
It is packed full of tips on all the best spotting hotels at airports around the world. Not just the famous hotels, we’ve included lesser known places and those that have been updated in recent times.