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 favorite 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  

The Bloc is 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 is 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.

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 can be had 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)

Report 1. 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. Credit Richard Young.

Report 2 :BLOC HOTEL – 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! Credit Beech Lad

Report 3 : 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. Credit Chris 789.

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. 
Book:   For further detailed room information 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 and below an excellent timelapse from a typical airport facing room.

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.

Report 1: 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. Credit Beech Lad

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.

If you are looking to make your own travel arrangements please click on to be taken directly to the hotel information page which gives you the option to book your runway view room for peace of mind.

Please help support our site. We are constantly checking the links for hotels to find the best price offered for our readers. If the price on this site is the best quote you receive, please help us by booking your hotel from the link provided as we receive a small commission payment from the hotel. This helps contribute to the running costs of this site enabling us to continue to offer a great service.

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 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

Below :An airport facing room at the Sofitel will give you a view over the busy satellite terminal as well as the runway beyond.

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 available 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.

This hotel usually allows early check in (subject to availability) for a fee of 10 pounds. 

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

Note that rooms on the top 10th floor facing the airport have just the one king sized bed. 

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 site : Premier Inn
Comment!   If you want to add or update anything, please use the comment form at the bottom of the page!
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


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
Room 628 (a family room) is the favorite as it is a corner room. This room is one of the few rooms here that gives views of both arrivals and departures. Photos are too far and poor, not worth it. SBS is required! The family rooms like 628 are large and could easily accommodate 3 fold up beds as well as the double bed already in the room. 
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 Travelodge website
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Premier Inn Manor Royal

This branch of the Premier Inn is located to the south of Gatwick with views off the climb out from Runway 26. The hotel has 6 floors, ideally the top floor is required with room 603 having confirmed views of the climb out. The hotel has limited views of the airports itself although a limited part of the taxiway and a few tops of tails can be seen on a few stands. 

Departures can be read off during the daytime. Landers are more difficult. They can be seen on short final if on Runway 26 however disappear behind trees once on the ground therefore flight tracking software is required. 

This hotel can be booked directly through the Premier Inn website where you can usually find the best prices and place a request for a room with a view

Below, the video will skip to the view from the room on commencing play.
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