Hampshire, United Kingdom


Rates from (inc tax)$147.83

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP145.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


Silver belle


Airfields of Farnborough

Situated alongside the runway of Hampshire’s private airport, the propeller-shaped Aviator hotel in Farnborough never let’s you forget that you’re deep in British aerospace country. Inside, the stylish, moody, Guggenheim-inspired lobby wows with circular balconies up to the roof. The sleek rooms, all decked out in walnut, are warm and contemporary with art deco design flourishes. It’s a good base for trips into the Hampshire countryside or high-level meetings with the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium.

Smith Extra

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A selection of handmade chocolate truffles


Photos Aviator – Hampshire – United Kingdom

Need to know


169, including 19 suites.


11am, but flexible depending on availability and subject to a charge (£50 until 2pm; £100 until 6pm). Check-in: 2pm.


Double rooms from $147.83 (£121), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP145.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include a full English breakfast


Keep an eye on the airfield and you should see the famed Red Arrows doing some impressive formation take-offs and landings.

Please note

The brasserie will be closed on Fridays and Saturdays from 1–17 December 2016; packages which include dinner will not be available during this time.

At the hotel

Gym, free WiFi throughout, seven function rooms. In rooms: flatscreen TV, free films and albums on demand, Bose entertainment sound system, cafetière and organic teas, free bottled water, Ren toiletries. Suites come with mini fridges with free soft drinks and DVD players.

Our favourite rooms

To get a view of the planes taking off and touching down opt for a room at the rear. Aviator Studio rooms such as 328 combine oodles of space with fabulous views of the airfield (helped by the sliding floor-to-ceiling windows and Juliet balconies). The top-floor suites (412 and 414 are our favourites) are more spacious still and feature walk-in wardrobes, huge bathrooms with full tubs and three TVs.


The hotel's range of spa treatments (facials, massages, body scrubs and wraps, manicures and pedicures, and reflexology) are carried out in orchid-adorned candlelit treatment rooms. Get rubbed, brushed and scrubbed and then wind down in their relaxation area.

Packing tips

Leave your flight socks at home, unless you plan to take flying lessons. No need for DVDs or iPods, either – you can choose from dozens of recent film releases and albums old and news via the free in-room library.


Public areas and some rooms are wheelchair accessible.


Welcome – extra beds for older ones (in Studios and Sky Suites only) and cots for babies are provided free. Brasserie has a stash of highchairs and will happily adapt any menu items for wee ones.

Food and Drink

Photos Aviator – Hampshire – United Kingdom

Top Table

In summer, take a table outside and watch the little planes zoom in and out. Inside, the bottle-lined wine room gives perfect private-dining seclusion.

Dress Code

If stewardess suits and captain’s uniforms are beyond your wardrobe, casual suits and eveningwear will do fine.

Hotel restaurant

Following the arc of the building on the ground floor, Brasserie recaptures yesteryear glamour with black-and-white portrait photos on the dark walls (inspiring games of ‘name the Hollywood icon’), leather banquette seating and chrome table lamps. Masterchef finalist, Adam Fargin, presides over the locally-sourced menu with its hearty, European bent – French-inflected salads, steak tartare, pasta dishes, and classic British fare – but it’s the delectable chargrilled steaks that really set the mouth a-water. Take a laid-back lunch at One Eleven, an American diner-from-the-Bayou, where you can settle in for jambalaya, shrimp gumbo and Creole soft-shell crab as well as your classic burgers, hot dogs, milkshakes and bourbon-laced cocktails (served in jam jars, naturally). 

Hotel bar

As suave and sophisticated as any Soho cocktail lounge, Aviator’s Sky Bar overlooks the airfield. Take traditional tea (£25; £35 if you take the champagne option) in the afternoon and, come nighttime, be seduced by attractive illuminations, a slick soundtrack and showy, ice-block-chipping mixologists. The aviation theme continues in the oversized photos of bolts, rivets and other aeronautical bits and bobs that line the walls. The Brasserie Bar is a more informal outfit on the ground floor, with a terrace that's great for catching the sunset over the airfield. The Sky Lounge at the top can be booked for private shindigs.

Last orders

Brasserie serves lunch between noon and 2pm and dinner from 6pm to 9.30pm. One Eleven serves til 11pm. The Sky Bar is an all-day hang-out, which moves and shakes until the last guest leaves.

Room service

Full meals and drinks can be brought to your room 24 hours a day (with a reduced offering between 10pm and 6am).


Photos Aviator – Hampshire – United Kingdom
55 Farnborough Road
GU14 6EL
United Kingdom


If you’re lucky enough to have your own wings (or rotor blades), you can touch own on the runway next door at Farnborough Airport. If you’re limited to travelling in other people’s planes, Heathrow is half an hour away, and Gatwick an hour.


South West Trains run directly from London Waterloo to Farnborough’s main station (a mile away) in around 40 minutes.


A car can is a good idea for pootling around the countryside and cute neighbouring towns. Local taxi firms are affordable and reliable, or you can ask the hotel's concierge to secure you a self-drive for the duration of your stay. The town’s a short drive from the M3.

Worth getting out of bed for

If your Aviator stay has got you in the mood to take to the skies, try a lesson at Blackbushe School of Flying. If you want to keep your feet on the ground (or at least, not far above it), take a lesson in horseback mallet-swinging at the illustrious Guards Polo Club near Windsor. It’s worth setting aside a couple of hours to meander around The Sculpture Park in Churt – a swathe of wildlife-packed forest with some seriously impressive artworks hidden around every corner. Nearby Frensham Little Pond is great for countryside rambles and a spot of bird-watching, too.

Local restaurants

Five minutes away in Farnborough, you’ll find a proper country pub menu with a glimmer of gastro glamour at The Swan (+44 (0)1252 510920), and an outpost of the ever-reliable seafood eatery Loch Fyne (+44 (0)1252 748 030), 15 minutes away in neighbouring Farnham. There’s more refined Brit dining at Bluebells (+44 (0)1344 622 722 ), 20 minutes away in Sunningdale and at Bel & The Dragon (+44 (0)1428 605 799) in the historic village of Odiham.


Photos Aviator – Hampshire – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

‘We’re going to check out the Aviator, then?’
‘We’ll just be touching down for a weekend – a flying visit, really.’
‘Are these puns likely to continue throughout our stay?’
‘There’s a high chance – that’s pretty plane.’
‘Do I really have to come?’

It’s hard to avoid dipping into aeronautics when talking about the Aviator; this hotel lives for the skies. Situated bang beside the runway of Farnborough’s private airport, shaped like a colossal jet propeller, and dotted with arty aero-biz paraphernalia, it couldn’t emphasise its love of flight more if it served food in plastic trays and stowed life jackets under the seats.

As we drive through Farnborough – an unremarkable Hampshire town that just happens to be the heartland of the British aerospace – we aren’t sure what to expect: this is a land of conferences, handshake lunches and air shows; is it really possible we’ll find the romantic hideaway we are looking for? When the hotel itself swings into view – a bizarre swoop of gleaming glass laced with ribbons of shimmering steel – more questions are raised:

‘Where in the name of Orville and Wilbur are you taking me?’
‘The out-of-town headquarters of an international petrochemical business, it appears.’

But, as anyone who has spent time in Thailand’s nightclubs will tell you, appearances can be deceptive. The Aviator may look like a well-designed conference centre, but inside it’s a very different beast. Our jaws plummet upon entry. We’re looking at a dramatic central staircase that comes pouring out of the first-floor balcony in a curve of cream. Above, another three circular balconies ring the space up to the rooftop. For a moment, we wonder how we’ve ended up in the New York Guggenheim, then a slick-suited concierge scoots into view and pinpricks our wonderment with a beaming welcome.

We're led up the grand staircase, past the flickering open fire and velvety sofas to the first-floor front desk. At some point while we're signing forms and handing over cards, two cocktails miraculously appear beside us – I swear I didn't see anyone come over with them. The woman on the front desk (also smiling – this appears to be part of the uniform) asks us what brings us to the Aviator.
'We're here on a secret mission to determine whether it's actually possible to have a romantic weekend at a novelty airport hotel in Hampshire's industrial hinterland.'

…is what I don't say.

'Well, we've never been to Hampshire–'
'We're looking for a chest of drawers–'

…is our simultaneous and unintentionally surreal response. The receptionist doesn't blink and, seconds later, we're presented with a map marked with the location of the nearest antique centres.

'And we'd quite like to go somewhere nice for a pub lun–'

Another map appears, with Bel & The Dragon handily circled. With our weekend quite literally mapped out, we trot off to our room, whisperingly wondering whether they have a pile of pre-annotated maps covering every eventuality and a midget mixing drinks under the front desk.

The Aviator has a staggering 169 rooms, which makes me wonder how we can call it 'boutique', but I very quickly realise that despite its capacity, the hotel is cleverly designed to preserve the illusion of intimacy – like that first, rejected Tardis model, it feels smaller on the inside. And the room itself doesn't seem like a suite for a suit. Sure, it's got all the desk space and free WiFi the average CEO could possibly need, but these sleek woodsy interiors, abundant mirrors, cosy armchairs, and the knock-out view of the airfield dotted with lights at dusk are crying out for appreciative couples. Mrs Smith is enraptured by the little planes taking off and touching down (quietly) right outside the window but I, being a true Mr Smith, I make straight for the flatscreen and scroll through the niftily integrated movie and CD library – it's like having a branch of Blockbusters and a very trendy jukebox trapped in your TV. By the time Mrs Smith's earmarked which toiletries will find their way into her washbag, I've soundtracked our stay with the coke-addled melodies of Bowie's Station to Station, and decided that our evening's entertainment will be much-loved assassin caper In Bruges.

But first, dinner. And before that, cocktails. There's a terrible moment when Mrs Smith's habitual martini arrives with a twist of lemon rather than the promised olive, but our waitress must have glimpsed the rising fire in her eyes and swiftly diffuses the situation with a new one – made from scratch, no less; none of the picking-it-out-with-a-cocktail-stick you get in lesser hotels. Our meal is equally accomplished. The brasserie menu has the Aviator's biggest nod towards the macho business world: steaks. Big juicy manly steaks for big juicy manly men. Thick, pink and with a fabulous woody char to the taste. There were other items on the menu, I'm sure; I just didn't notice them.

The next day, we explore. It doesn't take too long to realise that Farnborough town needn't distract us for long – I suspect its one horse left long ago – but we're in the perfect spot for pootling around shady country lanes, nipping into antique fairs, supping in wayside pubs and generally having a right-old rural road trip. And it's brilliant. By the time we get back to the hotel, we've a car full of pick-your-own courgettes, second-hand books, half a dresser, a chest of drawers (hurrah), and two very contented weekenders who now know the answer to their question – it's not only possible to have a romantic weekend staying at the Aviator, it'd be difficult not to.

As we check out, we 'accidentally' overhear a pair of indeterminately European men enquiring about the long-term availability of a room in two months' time. They seem very insistent that it should have a safe and are equally adamant that they're unable to book in advance. As we drive home, we can't help but speculate. Hmm, two men, with unidentifiable accents, who need a safe, for a substantial period of time, next to a private airport, but can't make a definite booking. For a moment, we convince ourselves that we've just solved the mystery of UK's biggest jewellery heist, but quickly dismiss this as a compelling flight of fancy. Just like the Aviator, really.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Aviator’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Our spacious room with views on the airfield and super comfy bed (we stayed in an Aviator Air); the service, especially in the Brasserie, the food (the blue cheese gnocchi, the tartiflette terrine, the lobster ravioli and the savarin with pistachio custard... need I say more?!); the hotel was spotless, from the staircase to the mirrored lift doors and although they host events, it doesn't feel like an event hotel at all. We visited the Farnborough Air Science Trust just 5 minutes walk from the hotel and it's brilliant. Kids can climb on some of the old aircraft (if it's not too busy) or have a go at one of their simulators. The staff are attentive and certainly know how to share their enthusiasm with you. An unexpected surprise visit!

Don’t expect

There isn't much to do around but you're only a short drive away from the countryside.


Stayed on 8 Oct 2016

We loved

Room was very comfortable, bathroom too, didn't expect a premium room overlooking runway, very very nice. Exceeded expectations, cannot fault it.


Stayed on 17 Sep 2016

We loved

Beautiful room, comfortable bed, gorgeous hotel decor, excellent staff service. Recommend Swan pub, within walking distance. 

Don’t expect

Sadly, not much to do nearby


Stayed on 27 Aug 2016

We loved

The modern, original building and excellent staff. The Skybar serves really good cocktails and is very smart.

Don’t expect

Anything special in the restaurant, we were disappointed with our meal but did receive money off the bill because of this.


Stayed on 13 Aug 2016

We loved

The food, staff and luxury


Stayed on 13 Aug 2016

We loved

Everything - the welcome cocktail on arrival, the gorgeous afternoon tea and champagne, attentive staff at all times, delicious cocktails in the bar and the best buffet breakfast I have ever had! Five star service all weekend long. Absolutely wonderful! Although The Aviator is in the centre of Farnborough, it's on the doorstep of the Surrey Hills so there's plenty of opportunity to explore the countryside.

Don’t expect

Nothing to add


Stayed on 23 Jul 2016

We loved

The impeccable service at dinner by Nonu and Irene, all the staff couldn't do enough for us thank you!


Stayed on 8 Jul 2016

We loved

Our room was fantastic and the service was great. My fiancé didn't expect there to be GHD hair straighteners in the room. We had our 3 month old with us who was very welcome.


Stayed on 24 Jun 2016

We loved

The airfield views at the hotel were great, and worth it for the private jet spotter. The room we had (55sq m) was a great size for the two of us, very spacious and well laid-out with high standard

Don’t expect

Rolling hills and countryside, this hotel is very close to the centre of Farnbourogh.


Stayed on 13 Feb 2016

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