Plane Spotting Hong Kong

Plane Spotting Hong Kong

There are a number of hotels in the vicinity of Hong Kong airport which are useful for watching aircraft, the favourite by far is the Regal Airport Hotel featured below. The hotel is popular with aircraft spotters due to its fantastic views, plus the fact that you are connected to the terminal and therefore only a short walk away from many restaurants as well as the Hong Kong Airport viewing deck. There are one or two other hotels which offer a suitable back up plan in the event that The Regal is fully booked, some of these featured hotels may also offer better prices at certain times of the year.

Regal Airport Hotel

is connected directly to the terminal building by a covered walkway. Make sure you ask for a room overlooking the airport as if you don’t you may be unlucky and only have a view of another part of the hotel (see video 2 below). Reports suggest that rooms on the higher floors are more expensive, but from here you will have good views of both runways. A good quality telescope is recommended as the windows can make viewing slightly awkward. The hotel restaurant overlooks all the aprons and runways. 

As the terminal is only a 5 minute walk away there are plenty of eating facilities nearby. A Starbucks is located virtually at the beginning of the hotel walkway, whilst a McDonalds is also nearby. Wifi is available in the rooms for around £15 a night, do note that this is also per device, if you use a different device you will be charged again. Free wifi is available in the reception area of the hotel.

Location: *** Just a short walk from the terminal building. In the unlikely event that you do not get an airport facing room all is not lost. You can spot from the Eastern Side of the departure level which is only a 5 minute walk away. The excellent terminal 2 spectators area is only a 5-10 minute walk away and is generally open late morning to late in the evening.
Spotting: ***

If you get an airport facing room, the higher the floor the better, then you shouldn’t be disappointed. Note that the majority of airport facing rooms are double beds. The North Wing does however a selection of twin rooms which have fantastic views. Room 9064 is confirmed to have 2 single beds and has great views. Rooms in the range of 9036 to 9062 (even numbers only) should also have great views, however it is unconfirmed if these are single or double beds. Note the best room described above, 9064 is a disabled room, however other than easy bathroom access there is no difference between this and a standard room.

Rooms 1042 and 1046 also have views from the lower floors but only have double beds. If you pay for Club Floor room you get a concierge service in the lounge. The ladies there cannot do enough for you and arranged a comfortable single portable bed to be delivered to each room which was a major help

From the North Wing rooms fantastic views can be had and little moving traffic missed, especially with flight tracking software. the usual runway configuration is landing on Runway 07R, departing 07L. This means on a lot of occasions traffic is landing towards the hotel, and can be read off as it vacates the runway. Flight tracking software is needed to tie up departures seen climbing off runway 07L. 

If traffic is using the opposite end, arriving traffic will appear on your right hand side on short final to Runway 25R. Flight tracking equipment will only pick this traffic up at short notice as it is appearing from behind the hotel. At the time of visit (May 2013) flight radar 24 had excellent coverage of the Airport, to the point it shows aircraft taxing on the airfield all the way to the gate. By using flight radar 24 you therefore get notice of aircraft making the approach from a long way out (around 75% of airliner traffic tracks in this part of the world). Departing aircraft off Runway 25L is generally hidden behind the terminal until lining up when it appears into view prior to rolling.

From the hotel around 2/3 of the Northside of the terminal can be seen with aircraft read off, for the other stands you need to wait for the aircraft to move. The vast majority of aircraft on the freight area can also be seen from the room although is too distant to be read off. By leaving SBS 1 on overnight you can tie up the majority of freighters on the ground. The main bizz parking area is too distant to identify any traffic from.

In darkness a lot of the traffic on nearer stands can be read off, however the majority of movements would need flight tracking software to tie up. Due to the floodlighting, most airliners can be seen clearly to make out the livery’s, even when departing off the far runway.

Photos: **

Pretty good shots can be taken from the room especially morning to mid day. Unfortunately you are taking them through 2 layers of glass which is often quite dirty so you have to pick your spot carefully. A wide angled lens is required for wide bodies parking on the stands in front of the hotel. At least a 300 lens is required for widebodies vacating the runway and using the link taxyway around to the southern terminal stands.

From the 9th floor, a walk down the escalator to the 8th floor by the lifts will give you a view through large windows of the approach to Runway 25R where pretty good approach shots can be had, especially in the morning (video 2 gives a similar aspect)

Value: Stars Very expensive at about £130 for a twin room. However, there is little else to choose from when it comes to being close to the airport.
Book:   This hotel is available through the website. Help support the plane spotting hotels website. We constantly review the above links to try to find our readers the best value prices. If the quote is good please make your actual booking through the link above as we receive a small commission from the hotel company concerned which contributes to our sites running costs. 
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website3 Hong Kong Airport Photography Plane spotting hotel Hong Kong
With a long lens aircraft such as the A320 can be taken as they exit the runway A wide angled lens is required for traffic parking on nearby stands as shown above Up until around 0900 single runway ops take place for noise abatement. If Runway 25R is in use you are in luck, as the holding point for the runway is directly in front of the hotel, as demonstrated above.


 Above : General view from Room 9064. Runway 25 R is to the right of the shot, whilst Runway 25L  and the freight away is in the far left of the shot.

Above : All is not lost with a rear facing room at the Regal. Although you will not see the apron, you still should have a view of the approach if landing in this directionCredit Angelflyer. Click here to see a great range of Far Eastern Aviation videos.


Novotel Citygate
is located out in the Tung Chung district of the island about 2 miles away from the airport. Ask for an airport facing room and movemnts can be seen away over in the distance, however ACARS or SBS would be required to help identify the aircraft. The hotel is situated a 2 minute walk away from the Tung Chung transport interchange. From here you can take a bus to the Heaco Hangers (even if travelling from the airport you would need to change here for HEACO) or the airport depending on the runway in use at the time.
Location: *** Next to the transport interchange so excellent for the bus around to the ends of the runway, or the train if you wish to visit the city
Spotting: ** If you get an airport facing room you willidentify aircraft with the help of ACARS/SBS
Photos: * Too far away from the action
Value: ** Better value than the Regal and a nicer hotel !

This hotel is available through the AGODA or Accor Hotels directly

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)

 For a great viewing guide to spotting and photography at Hong Kong Airport please visit



Marriott Skycity Hotel
is a new hotel at Hong Kong which is bound to become a firm favourite with spotters and photographers. The hotel room costs much less than the Regal below and the accommodation is superb, and the views are reported as just as good!  
Location: Stars Excellent location near to the terminal building. The skydeck spectators facility is only a short walk from the hotel, as are many restaurants in the terminal.
Spotting: Stars Excellent. Ask for an even numbered room as high as possible for great views of aircraft on short final to runway 07R (the usual landing runway when aircraft approach from this direction). When aircraft land in front of you they are easily read off. SBS signals arrive late due to the characteristics of the hotel, the aircraft first show when they appear past the window so it is also useful to have a scanner with you (the SBS come into it’s own at night time) Try to get an high up even number as the hotel curves and the higher numbers also give views of the most of the cargo facility. Room 1510 is highly recommended. This room has a view of the northern runway, as well as a partial view of the southern runway by the freight area. Room 918 has also got confirmed views.
Photos: Stars No reports, however it seems quite likely that photos could be taken of the aircraft on finals from the room. The skydeck is only a short walk away which offers good photo opportunities
Value: Stars Very expensive at about £180 for a twin room. However, there is little else to choose from when it comes to being close to the airport.
Book:   This hotel can be booked through the following links Marriott Hotels or who occasionally offer the better deals .
Comment!   If you want to add or update anything, please use the comment form at the bottom of the page!

Above : The above shows the aspect of the hotel against Runway 25R arrivals. It is a similar view of the approach to The Regal Hotel, however views can be more distant.



A list of other hotels in the vicinity of the airport can be found here

A list of discounted hotels in Hong Kong City can be found here



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Posted in Asia, China, World
  • Mark Paulin

    Stayed at the Regal last week. Not much to add to the reports above.

    Allocated Room 1046. The view was perfect.

    However, the view to the end of 07R/25L is now obscured by the new terminal complex. Therefore some biz arrivals to 07R turn off short and are only visible until a mile before touchdown.

  • andy kelly

    just recently returned from staying in the regal hotel, now this hotel for me is expensive, £200 a night I cannot justfy and that doesn’t include breakfast or any meal but what you do get is a great room with a great view, I had room 9064 which faces the terminal, don’t ask for a runway view room or that is what you will get, a view of 1 runway which means you will miss everything on the other runway. would of liked to of stayed longer but not for £200 a night.

  • andy kelly

    staying at the regal hotel at the moment in room 9066, nothing much more to add from when I was here 2 years ago, still great views from your room, all departures and arrivals can be seen but you do need sbs or FR24 to get everything, I don’t eat in the hotel as its expensive, £35 for a burger is over my limits, theres plenty of food halls in the terminal 10 minute walk away, still a great hotel to spot from but you do pay for it.

  • David Osborne

    Please Note, if you would like to have a view of the main Apron ( I.E room 9064 ) then you would be best to book a premier room as I have been in contact with the hotel and they have advised me of this info, the standard room may not have the view and it is advised to pay the bit extra to guarantee this if you need or want the apron view.

    • andy kelly

      I think maybe david I should of added in my report that 9th floor rooms are standard king rooms, I had no problem seeing the aprons from room 9066, 10th floor are premier club rooms and more expensive but you do get access to the club lounge and breakfast is in with your room price, ive stayed in the regal 4 times in the last 4 years but never stayed in a premier club room, there didn’t seem any point paying the extra for a club room for more or less the same view, the only difference is that you might be 20ft higher in a club room but you don’t log anymore aircraft. from my room on the 9th floor I could see into the cargo area but it is distant, it would be the same on the 10th floor, I suppose its just down to personal preference and whether you want club lounge access and your breakfast in the club lounge.

  • Jason Thompson

    This was my first time staying in Regal Hotel, and from initially booking the room was somewhat confusing and e-mailing the hotel several times, I found they were not quite understanding what I was wanting despite making it clear as possible.

    I initially booked a Prime Deluxe Room and added the Runway upgrade as part of the package (due to not knowing which room was which) via the hotel website. I also requested room 9064 / 9066, on check-in and via e-mails, I was told that those rooms where Premier Rooms and I’d need to pay slightly extra which equated to about £40 as I knew I needed the view it made sense to guarantee room 9064 / 9066 and both these rooms did have 2 double beds

    I also paid extra whilst checking in to utilise the Club Lounge, I found this to be well worth the money and being able to go in and out when you wanted was also an added bonus and the breakfast and snacks provided where adequate and nothing was to much trouble for the ladies in the Club Lounge etc.

    I was however expecting to have views of the apron but found out you only had a view of Runway 25R.

    I did manage to see in some other rooms being 9036 – 9062 when they where cleaning and noticed they only had 1 double bed, this already maybe known but thought I’d share this.

    I didn’t use the Terrace but can confirm they are extending T1 so not sure if this might hinder views slightly.

    Whilst I was there they where using 07′s so using SBS & FR24 where useful, although you could read the stuff that landed on 07L, departures where difficult in the dark at times due to the glass being so thick, so this mean’t sometimes going up the corridor every so often.

    I would advice anyone thinking of going to HKG and stays in Regal to book a Premier Room so you can potentially guarantee the appropriate room you require, I hope this information is useful to all.