A relatively new Paris CDG spotting hotel is the Ibis Styles situated between terminals 2 and 3. I thought I’d check it out on a recent trip to Paris to see what it’s like for spotters.
Confusingly, the Ibis Styles is situated a few meters from the existing Ibis hotel. So make sure you go to the correct entrance when you arrive!
If you’re getting the CDGVAL free train from the terminal, as I did, or the RER to the Terminal 1 & 3 station, the hotel is well signposted and only a short walk.
This hotel is in a modern building. It is also next to the new Pullman Hotel, though that one doesn’t seem to have any views.
Upon check-in I asked for a runway view room and was given 731. The hotel has ten floors, and I’d say anything from 6 upwards will have decent views over the surrounding buildings.
The Rooms and Views
Most of the runway view rooms face north, with only two on each floor facing south towards Terminal 2 and the south runways. My room was north facing, and the view took in the northern runways, plus the parking apron of Terminal 3. In the distance I could see Terminal 1, and the taxiways linking the northern and southern parts of the airport.
From a spotting perspective, this makes the hotel pretty good. Around half of the airport’s movements use the northern runways, both for landings and taking off. Most of the Air France, HOP and Terminal 2 airlines will not be seen, however, as they mostly (but not exclusively) use the southern runways.
You’ll also see the FedEx cargo traffic, and Air France aircraft being towed to and from maintenance.
Because of the distance from the runways and taxiways, this is not a great hotel for photographers. But most of the CDG hotels aren’t good for photographers anyway. The pictures here give you an idea of what you’ll be able to achieve.
You’ll also need a good pair of binoculars, or the use of Flightradar24 to help tie up movements, particularly after dark. It also helps with knowing which runway aircraft are using.
From the rooms you can often see aircraft after departure from CDG, or on descent towards landing.
The Ibis Styles room I stayed in was clean and comfortable. Rooms do not have kettles, so you’ll need to bring drinks in.
For food use the options in the terminals. There are lots in Terminal 2, and in near the CDGVAL entrance in Terminal 1 there’s a McDonalds and a café. There’s also a Relay kiosk in the RER/CDGVAL station outside the hotel which is useful for drinks and snacks (although it closes around 8pm).
I tried the hotel restaurant and bar the first night, but it was organised chaos and took a long time to be served and to receive my food. It was also expensive (though on a par with other French hotels).
Overall this is a good option for a Paris CDG spotting hotel. The Hilton Hotel may have better views overall, and some rooms at the other Ibis may also be better. But the Ibis Styles is affordable and comfortable, and very close to the CDGVAL/RER station.
You can book a room at the Ibis Styles Paris CDG here: http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-8231-ibis-styles-paris-cdg-airport-roissy/index.shtml