Just the phrase “airport hotel” is enough to summon a certain gloom, a utilitarian look, a dull business-park location and a philosophy that places economy above aesthetics. The Aviator Hotel, however, is a different animal. The concept was dreamt up by the Scottish hotelier Ken McCulloch, the man responsible for such Tablet favorites as One Devonshire Gardens, and it’s an ambitious one: by turning its back on the traditional conception of the airport hotel, and embracing everything that’s cool, romantic and dazzling about aviation, it’s done nothing less than re-invent the genre.
Continue on Tablet Hotels
Then again Farnborough Airfield is not exactly your typical airport. Here in this corner of Hampshire you’ll see more Gulfstreams than Airbuses, more CEOs than package-holiday tourists, owing both to the fact that it’s home to a fair few corporate headquarters, and also close enough to West London for private-jet access. This explains why the Aviator isn’t called The Economy Class, for one thing, and why it’s more like a private club than an ordinary business hotel.
The corridors radiate off a central lobby like blades on a propeller, and the rooms are luxe, masculine in color, clubby in paneled wood, with comforts that are on the level of any luxury hotel. Upscale dining in the Brasserie and fine cocktails in the Sky Bar complete the experience — this is the rare place where a drink in the bar of an airport hotel sounds positively enticing.