I’m sure if you’ve been a plane spotter for any length of time, you will have heard of, or even stayed at, the Renaissance Concourse hotel at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International airport.
If you have, then feel free to disregard this review… or maybe just leave your comments below with your own experiences.
If you haven’t heard of it, or haven’t stayed there, read on. It certainly lived up to all expectations!
Renaissance Concourse Hotel
This is a large hotel built on the northern boundary of Atlanta’s main airport. It is roughly where the old terminal was, before the modern central terminals and concourses were built in the 1970s.
With 11 floors, it has a grandstand view from the rooms facing the airport. Most of these rooms also have a balcony, so you can enjoy sitting outside while spotting (if you can bear the heat), and don’t have to worry about photographing through glass.
It’s also conveniently located for the Delta Flight Museum just a short walk away.
The hotel is One Hartsfield Center Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30354
You can book rooms through its website, https://www.marriott.com/en-gb/hotels/travel/atlsa-renaissance-concourse-atlanta-airport-hotel/
Renaissance hotels are a part of the Marriott chain. This hotel is quite grand, but is also quite old now so the rooms are not as modern as some other chains you’ll encounter.
However, the atrium, reception and restaurant areas are very smart and still feel modern.
The Renaissance Concourse Atlanta has a free shuttle which runs regularly to and from the Domestic Terminal at the airport, but not the International Terminal. Therefore if you’re arriving from abroad, you will need to take a taxi or hire a car.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport is (or at least has been for much of the past 20 years) the world’s busiest airport.
It is home to Delta Air Lines, with its almost 1,000-strong fleet. It’s also a major hub for Southwest Airlines, and sees lots of daily movements by all the other major US airlines, plus carriers from around the world, cargo airlines, and quite a number of biz jet movements.
If you’re a number cruncher, this is an amazing airport to visit.
Thanks to the position of the hotel, this is also a great place for photography.
In fact, despite the size and importance of Atlanta airport, the Renaissance is the best spotting location.
Also, as mentioned, the fantastic Delta Flight Museum is just a 5 minute walk away. [Read my report]
When booking my stay, I chose an airport view room. Just look through the room options for your dates and you’ll see it.
This ensures a higher floor room facing the airport.
When I arrived I was assigned room 930, on the 9th floor. This had a balcony, and the view was incredible.
Atlanta has five runways and six terminal concourses. These are all spread out before you, with the two nearest runways the easiest for photography.
The terminals and farthest runways are beyond photography range (unless you have a very long zoom lens), and you’ll struggle to identify aircraft that far away even with binoculars.
Movements on the closest runways and taxiways require a 200-300mm lens for adequate photographs.
But all movements are visible, and with apps like Flightradar24 you’ll identify all movements.
Directly below the balcony is an apron used by Delta for aircraft undergoing checks and some maintenance, whilst the Signature Flight Support apron is just to the left, where biz jets park up.
From the ends of the corridors you can see some other parking areas – namely a Delta and Southwest maintenance area to the west, and the FedEx and UPS aprons to the east.
I’ve included a selection of images in this report that were taken from the hotel balcony.
It’s clear to see why this is a popular spotting hotel. The sheer number of movements (sometimes 3 aircraft landing and 2 departing at once, with many more taxying) is incredible.
It’s hard to keep up, so you’ll need to plan how you’ll log and photograph everything.
You’ll also need to force yourself to take breaks as the action never stops!
The room itself was clean and comfortable, but nothing special. However, the balcony with its chairs and table were excellent.
I didn’t eat at the hotel restaurant or bar, but I did order room service and use the convenience store in reception. This had all I needed, but prices were a little high.
In fact, the hotel itself is quite expensive. I paid around $550 for 3 nights at the end of May.
The surrounding area is not the most comfortable to be out and about in. There are very few sidewalks, and the area feels a little unsafe in parts. That said, there are a few chain restaurants and fast food places up the road which are cheaper than the hotel, and I used them during my stay.
This stay was part of my spotting trip to Atlanta [Read My Atlanta Trip Report]
Airport Spotting Hotels – The Book
We produce this book which lists all of the best airport hotels around the world that are good for plane spotting. It tells you which ones have views, and what the views are like, plus which rooms to ask for when known. It also has addresses, phone numbers and website details to help you book.
Naturally the Renaissance Concourse in Atlanta is listed, as are hundreds of others.