I recently had the opportunity to try out the fairly new Hampton by Hilton hotel at London Stansted airport.
I’d already noticed on the hotel’s Facebook page that the views seemed pretty good, and checking the map it looked quite close to the aircraft, so I was anticipating discovering another gem in the spotting hotels world!
I arranged a suitable room in advance, and upon arrival this was confirmed – room 750, on the top floor of the hotel.
I explored my corridor a little and would say that any even-numbered room in the 734-758 range (and also the floor below, 634-658) would offer the same good view of the airport that I had.
I was not disappointed when I got to my room and pulled back the curtain.
Since the hotel essentially sits at the security fence between landside and airside, it gives you an elevated view over the terminal and runway.
Specifically, you are looking directly at pier C and one side of pier B.
Off to the left you have a view of one side of the cargo terminal, and to the right part of pier A.
Directly in front is the threshold of runway 22, but movements in either direction are perfectly visible.
Unfortunately, the far side of Stansted, where the executive areas and FBOs are located is too far to easily identify any aircraft, but it is visible, and you might be able to work out what you’re looking at with strong binoculars.
While cloudy on my visit, I suspect you will also be able to see some aircraft heading into Luton from the room.
With a 300mm lens you will be able to photograph any movements, and anything coming to or from piers B and C, plus the visible part of the cargo terminal, are in easy reach.
As with any hotel, shooting at an angle to either side runs the risk of blurring due to the extra layers of glazing which help keep the noise of aircraft down.
Since the room faces west, you are generally photographing with the sun behind you until early afternoon, when it starts to move in front of you, ultimately setting almost directly in front.
My room was very comfortable and a good size, with a modern and stylish bathroom and a very comfortable bed.
There was a TV with all the channels you could need, plus a sofa, chair which could be rolled to the window, and tea & coffee making facilities.
Free WiFi was also available, which meant I could keep track of movements on Flightradar24, too.
The aviation theme is evident everywhere in this hotel, which was a nice touch.
Downstairs is a large lounge area with seating, which doubles up as a bar and restaurant. You can order food and drinks from the long bar, and I enjoyed a good evening meal at a reasonable price.
In the morning I had a hearty, complimentary breakfast, which included cooked options, cereals, pastries, fruit and drinks.
If you’re travelling into or out of Stansted, the hotel is linked to the terminal via a walkway and takes less than 5 minutes to walk. The Stansted Express railway station is also in front of the hotel.
The hotel is happy to help spotters book into a room with a view where possible. Just indicate when booking or checking in that you’d like a room facing the airport.
I really enjoyed my stay here. The hotel is of the standard you expect from a Hilton brand, and is new enough to still feel fresh.
Stansted is of course a base for low-cost and holiday carriers, with movements dominated by Ryanair from early in the morning till late at night, but it gave me a chance to catch up on the latest additions to their fleet. Most interesting was seeing the new Primera Air transatlantic A321neo aircraft, plus the good variety of cargo aircraft which use Stansted (often late at night, which means it’s useful to have a hotel to watch from).
The pictures in this report were taken on my visit and show off the views possible.
Here’s a timelapse video of the view from the room
Hampton by Hilton London Stansted
Bassingbourn Rd, Stansted CM24 1QW | 01279 701101 | website
A car park is available at the hotel, with a £12 per day charge for hotel guests.
Thanks to Jack Hollis for his help in arranging this visit.
The Hampton by Hilton at London Stansted and hundreds of other fantastic spotting hotels around the world feature in our book, Airport Spotting Hotels, which tells you where to stay for a view of the action when visiting airports.