If you want a week of planespotting paradise in Corfu, go no further than the Royal Grand Hotel, which overlooks the airport.
Between May 15-22, I had the joy of being able to plane spot and take over 7,000 photos, of which 500 are now in the AviationSource photo library, which you will come to see in the future.
Without further ado, here are my thoughts…
Location of Royal Grand Hotel, Corfu…
The hotel is based to the south of Corfu Airport and is in line with the end of Runway 34, where most, if not all, of the aircraft, departed and landed from.
As you walk out of the main hotel itself, turn left, cross the road, and head straight, and you will then be able to get closer to the observation deck, which doubles as an extension to the hotel itself.
If you walk up the steps, you get an even better view, and is adjoined by a restaurant, which also provides great views of Corfu Airport as well.
Below is a video of D-ABOL, a Condor Boeing 757-300, departing Runway 34 at Corfu earlier last week, which I think best explains the sort of views you can get from the observation deck:
If you don’t want to go to the observation deck, you can indeed view movements from your hotel room. I was in Room 313, which gave me a decent view of aircraft departing Runway 34.
For departures, I would suggest Rooms 314, 310, or any of the rooms with a balcony that faces the runway.
Below, you can see a video of G-UZMJ, an easyJet Airbus A321neo departing Runway 34 at Corfu!:
Vantage Points for Photos Are Brilliant…
As you will come to see below, the vantage points for photos at Royal Grand Hotel, Corfu, are excellent. Here are a handful of some of the images I took whilst I was there, which were taken either from my room or from the observation deck:
Every week, there are over 200 departures from Corfu Airport and many more arrivals, so you will not be too bored whilst you are there.
There were some gaps in time between some movements, but I think that is more down to the time of the season that I was down there.
Self-Catering Is Recommended, Not All-Inclusive…
One thing to note is that if you do attend the Royal Grand Hotel in Corfu, I would recommend going self-catering instead of all-inclusive.
This is because the food offerings were not that nice, they weren’t labeled (Dangerous to those with intolerances), and the timings of the all-inclusive are very limited. The food was often cold, even if you attended lunch when it first opens up for guests.
There are two nice restaurants, which are really nice, and also cost-effective as well to keep you fed and quenched during your stay.
The first is George’s, which is situated behind the Royal Grand Hotel, Corfu, as well as the Skyview Restaurant as well, which gives a great view of aircraft landing and departing whilst you are eating.
Below is a video of an Aegean Airbus A320 arriving on Runway 34 at Corfu whilst I was having my evening meal from the Skyview – You can also see the observation deck in the first few seconds of this video as well:
I found that a 2-course meal, with two drinks each, came to around 30-40EUR, so if you are going on your own, it would be around 15-20EUR, which is good going.
On top of this, I would be careful with the selection of your flight times, as requesting a late check-out is a lot harder than it needs to be.
I had to ask on three separate occasions whether I could have it before they eventually gave it to me, which is 1 pm complimentary, but I had a 7:55 pm night flight with no options to pay for a few more hours.
For the location of the Royal Grand Hotel, Corfu was an incredible place to be for aviation photography and planespotting.
The facilities in terms of food and drink did let themselves down and would recommend self-catering, as the rooms themselves are very nice.
Would I come back here again? Absolutely, but I would utilize the local restaurants more! This area of the world is a planespotting paradise, and I highly recommend you turn up there!