Plane Spotting Gatwick

Plane Spotting Gatwick

With the closing of the plane spotting areas at Gatwick it has become important to find hotels with views of the airport. All of the hotels below feature views, however some are limited. The new favourite from May 2014 will be the bloc hotel, found on the roof of the south terminal. Many of you will notice the view from there as it is in a similar location to the famous viewing deck in the 1980′s. The Sofitel is the most expensive, however offers the most rooms with airport views giving you less chance of been let down on arrival. Certain rooms specified at the more economical Premier Inn and Travelodge’s also give views, although some may be distant.


Bloc Hotel Gatwick Airport  

Is a brand new hotel opened in April 2014 which is going to become a firm favorite with enthusiasts visiting Gatwick Airport. The hotel is located on the roof terrace of the old south terminal in a location next to the old spectators area. The hotel has contacted plane spotting hotels to advise us that they intend to also offer day spotting rates from 0700-1600 with rates starting from £34 for the day let.

The hotel will be high tech and offer hotel guests the opportunity to use their smart phone to unlock the hotel door and work the room lighting, air con and TV ! For those without a smartphone, the rooms will also be equipped with Samsung tablets, embedded in the walls, that offer the same functionality.

Our website readers are able to obtain a 10% discount on night rates when booking through this site (day rates not included).

Location: *** Excellent location on the rooftop of the south terminal. The hotel does not have it’s own bar, however they are in the process of securing deals with various bars and restaurants in the terminal therefore it will only be a short walk to find food and drink. The hotel entrance is situated on the landside of the airport,just prior to security enabling non flyers to stay at the hotel
Spotting: *** Great views are promised from the hotel. Select end rooms will look out over the south terminal apron area and inter terminal taxiway, whilst rooms on one side will look out towards the runway. Most movements will be readable with binoculars, flight tracking will be useful at night (the hotel offers free wireless)
Photos: *** With a good zoom you will get similar shots to those obtained in the classic 1980′s Gatwick roof terrace photos.
Value: ** Overnight rates from £64-£94 a night. The most expensive rooms have the best views as well as extras such as sky tv. Day rates (0700-1600) from the spotting rooms start from £34
Book:   For further detailed room information and to make a booking request and receive our exclusive reader offer of a 10% discount please click here
Comment!   If you want to add or update anything, please use the comment form at the bottom of the page!

Plane spotting Gatwick

 Above : Remember the view ? The spectators terrace is back in another guise. An airport facing room at the Bloc Hotel Gatwick










Above :Location of the Bloc Hotel on the South Terminal

Sofitel Gatwick Airport
 is located close to the North Terminal and is linked by a mono rail link from the South Terminal. Ask for a room on a high floor facing the airport. From here you will have great views over many of the aprons and taxiways.
Location: *** Very close to both terminals, making this hotel a very convenient one for spotters.
Spotting: *** With an airport facing room you won’t have any problems reading off most of the movements
Photos: **  No reports available but there should be a reasonable chance of getting good photos from here.
Value: * Not cheap – a twin room at a weekend costs from around £95. This price does include breakfast.

This hotel can be booked through the following sites : Sofitel or AGODA-Plane Spotting Gatwick Hotel

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Plane Spotting Gatwick
Typical view from a Sofitel Airport facing room. Click on image to get a bigger picture View from airport facing room shows that runway movements can be seen. Credit  Tripadvisor  Some room give views of the satellite parking gates. Credit  Tripadvisor 


 Above : This video demonstrates the excellent views which can be had from the Sofitel. Obviously a long telephoto

zoom lens is required for the more distant runway shots. Credit Ashley Hinton. You can see more of Ashley’s excellent

aviation videos on his you tube channel here


Travelodge London Gatwick Hotel
is located on the Western Perimeter of the Airport. The majority of rooms do not have an airport view, however try to ring the hotel early in the morning to secure room 310. NOTE :THIS HOTEL IS DUE TO BE REFURBISHED FROM FROM FEBRUARY 2014 MEANING THAT CERTAIN ROOM ALLOCATION MAY BE RESTRICTED.
Location: **

On Western Perimeter with views of the runway and terminal from the following rooms: 

Good Views.310/309/308/312/318/320/322/314/220

Ok views. 230/236/248/251/303/330/342/343/345/347/324/232/124/120.
Spotting: *** You will read off every runway movement from here
Photos: ** Shots are possible through the window with a good zoom lens
Value: *** Excellent value, look out for sales where you should secure a room for less than £50.
Book:   This hotel can be booked through the following:Price Comparison link which will attempt to find you the best price as well as give you a hotel description.
Comment!   If you want to add or update anything, please use the comment form at the bottom of the page!
Image 1 (300px) Image 2 (300px) Image 3 (300px)



Premier Inn North Terminal
 is located within walking distance of the North Terminal at Gatwick Airport. 
Location: ** On Northern Perimeter in walking distance of the terminal. The hotel advises that hotel car parking is not avaialable and advises customers to park in the North Terminal Short Stay Car Park which is offered at a discounted rate of around £19.50 (Dec 2012 price) to hotel guests.
Spotting: **

Higher rooms better. The top 3rd floor is definitely needed in the summer due to the trees in front of the room, in winter when the trees are bare you may get away with a lower floor. When on 26 lander’s can be seen and read off in daylight with a telescope, departures off 26 can be seen by walking down to the end window in the corridor. When landing on 08 arrivals can be read with a telescope in daylight. A flighttracker is required at night time. Reported rooms with views are :136 138 139 141 143 145 237 239 240 242 244 246 248 342 344 346 348 350 352 354 356

Room 860 also has confimed views as the video below demonstrates

Photos: * Not possible
Value: *** Excellent value, look out for sales where you should secure a room for less than £50. Not so good a value if you need car parking though at an additional £19.50.
Book:   This hotel can be booked through the following sites : Premier Inn
Comment!   If you want to add or update anything, please use the comment form at the bottom of the page!


Image 2 (300px) Image 3 (300px)
General outlook from an airport facing room at the Premier Inn North Terminal giving partial apron views along with distant views of the runway. Credit  Tripadvisor     


Above :Great video shot from Room 860 of The Premier Inn North-credit Kastrup Spotting. For more excellent videos please visit the KastrupSpotting Youtube Channel

We recommend that just prior to booking your hotel that you complete the price beater form and we will check our database of deals to ensure that the book at the best possible prices (hotels, flight and car hire). We have access to last minute sales which the suppliers may be offering with limited availability. We don’t take your money, we simply will supply you with the web address of the company offering the best deal at the time.


Travelodge Gatwick Airport Central
Note : Hotel not to be confused with The Travelodge London Gatwick Airport over the Western end of airport.
Location: ** Can be found by the North Terminal on the north side of Gatwick Airport
Spotting: **

Views of landing and departing traffic possible from 5th or 6th floor rooms facing the airport (family rooms only on these floors-if booking a room, put down 3 adults and 1 child in the booking to get one of these rooms!!! Sometimes works,sometimes doesn’t!)

SBS advisable good bins/scope required to stand chance of reading off. Try and request room in advance with hotel directly. Lower floor rooms will have views obscured by trees. No views of Terminals or runway possible from any rooms

So for rooms you’ll need

604-628 evens
504-528 evens
404-428 evens
304-328 evens not the best
There is a window outside 628 etc which you can see arrivals to 26, from the rooms you can see arrivals onto 08. Departures can also been seen if off 26. Photos are too far and poor, not worth it. SBS is required!!
Other rooms.
629-653 odds
529-553 odds
429-453 odds
329-353 odds not the best
These are on the same side as the evens as the hotel splits halfway just to complicate matters!!!!
Photos: * Too distant for any photos
Value: *** Very good prices if book in advance, good breakfast available.
 Book    This hotel can be booked through the following:Travelodge Gatwick Airport Centralwhich will attempt to find you the best price as well as give you a hotel description.
Comment!   If you want to add or update anything, please use the comment form at the bottom of the page!

 For a comprehensive list of other hotels in the Gatwick area please click here




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Posted in Europe, United Kingdom, World
  • Andy Smith

    Video and photos from The Sofitel Gatwick confirm this to be a great location. Please tweet or share to spread the word.

  • PSHcom

    Exclusive photos from The Bloc Hotel, located on the roof of the South Terminal. Remember the viewing deck in the 1980′s ? This hotel has exactly the same views. Hotel opens in April 2014

  • Richard young

    Stayed at the bloc on the 29th October had room 846 fantastic view over apron. On our return stayed in room 844 with full view of the apron and the threshold of runway 26. 1 point take an extension lead with you if you wish your sbs be working while having visual of planes. Many thanks to Phil and his crew for all help given.

  • PSHcom

    Hi Nigel. Looking through our reservation requests I cant seem to find a name matching your request, I’m not sure what happened there but apologise as we usually send the details of the request to bloc within 24 hours.

    It is very rare for a hotel to 100% guarantee views at the time of booking as they would leave themselves open to claims if the room wasn’t then given for reasons such as last minute block bookings due cancelled flights, adverse weather etc. Indeed I stayed at a well known hotel in Asia recently where I paid in advance for a “guaranteed” room with a view, only to find that these were all taken on arrival-obviously a refund and vouchers were given.

    What I can say is that we pass multiple bookings onto Bloc Hotels each month and we are yet to receive any reports that a room with a view was not allocated. The hotel know about the hobby and are very keen to cooperate with Aviation enthusiasts so it wouldn’t be in their interests to allocate non airport facing rooms unless there were extreme circumstances as they are aware that negative comments would soon spread via the internet forums.
    I hope that the above helps to clarify the situation.

  • Beech Lad

    I stayed here for the fifth time & was once again very happy with the room I chose, I chose an Aspire double room & paid £110 for the night.
    Because of the location of these Aspire rooms you are guaranteed an airport ramp view as being on the corners of the building they are dual aspect, if you are lucky enough to be on the runway side of the building you will also be able to see landing traffic quite clearly. The Wi-Fi is fast & free which is an added bonus. The room has only one chair with a ‘cushioned bench’ below the window, so can seat two – altho if you are sitting you cannot see out of the windows as they then are above shoulder height. Discount vouchers are provided in the room for various establishments within the terminal should you need to venture out for coffee etc. The bed was very comfortable & I had a great nights sleep – even with all those a/c outside! :

  • Beech Lad

    SOFITEL HOTEL – I stayed here for one night prior to flying out the next . The earliest time available for room check in was 1400 (I arrived at 1200 & had to wait) My room was on level 7 & had a good view over the ramp area of south terminal. All landing/departing traffic was visable, photography was possible but not ideal. The room was comfortable & well furnished, but for the price paid (£180) I think I’ll stick to the Bloc for my next LGW nightstop. I requested a late check out as I had an evening flight but declined to take it up as it would have cost an extra £50. Food in the hotel is expensive so I would recommend eating in the North terminal.

  • andy kelly

    just recently stayed at the Travelodge in crawley, you can see aircraft arriving and departing from the 5th floor although they are distant and you will need SBS or FR24 to identify them, the 5th floor is a business room floor so will be a little more expensive, this hotel is in the centre of crawley so you have all the shops and food outlets you need, parking is in morrisons supermarket which is joined onto the hotel and is free, internet is the usual £3.00 for 24 hours but the longer you stay the cheaper it is, I would stay here again.

  • Chris 789

    Room 844 in the Bloc Hotel is the best. Fantastic views over almost all of the airport and another window which gives views of aircraft landing on 26L. If they are landing on 08R you can see them lining up for miles. Very nice rooms too.