If you are a plane enthusiast, this is the hotel for you. If you like incredibly good food, cool design and a fine cocktail list you won’t have much to complain about either.
You could be forgiven for missing that the ‘Aviator’ is a hotel as from the outside; it gives a rather good impression of a commercial building. Or in fact an airline hangar. Any misgivings will be dispelled as you step into perhaps the most ascetically pleasing foyers I’ve ever encountered with superb staircase which, from the top, presents a flawless optical illusion.
A Sky Suite is roomy and comfortable, with the additional extra of a lounge with large TV separate from the main bedroom area (there’s a smaller TV here too in case you just can’t do without your bedtime viewing). We chose to spend a couple of hours pre-dinner watching an appropriately themed aviation movie, but there were plenty of new releases to choose from, for free, (and not all plane related!)
Drinks in the Sky Bar included an eclectic cocktail list and sultry lighting. I can recommend the (award winning) Silver Jet, the large red chilli giving the tequila a further deliciously warm tingle. My first cocktail of the day was an easy drinking vanilla and elderflower daiquiri at check in. I like their style. From the Sky Bar, on a lighter evening, you’d have views over the adjoining Farnborough airport. If you listen closely you’ll get further clues on your location in the busy restaurant, with many a whispered conversation relating to private jets and flying conditions. Very elite.
Many chefs can produce a fabulous looking plate of food. Far less manage to pull off a triumph of not only flavour, but texture, temperature, colour…everything really. Tiny melt-in-the-mouth beetroot and raspberry meringues and shards of deliciously flavoured ice were memorable accompaniments to my crisp skinned mackerel starter. The wine list was delightful too; I’ve not come across a bottle of Pinot Gris since our last visit to New Zealand. Oh, and any dietary requirements? No problem. The professional and informed staff smooth any concerns or questions away. The service could have been a little quicker, but hey, there were diners with planes to catch the next day; all we had to do was relax and enjoy, which the Aviator made effortlessly easy.