If you’ve ever wanted to sleep on a plane (I mean, real sleep, not the kind that leaves you with a crick in your neck), you could pay a fortune to fly first class, stay at the Jumbo Hostel in Sweden, or try this new option: the Plane Hotel at Tuege airport in the Netherlands.
The entire airplane – and Ilyushin 18 dating back to 1960 – has been converted into a luxury suite for two. I guess you could call it a boutique cabin.
Guests have everything at their disposal – the cockpit, as well as a jacuzzi, shower, sauna, mini bar, flat-screen TVs, DVD collection, small kitchen and internet.
The plane used to be an East German government plane that serviced the likes of Erich Honecker, the man responsbile for building the Berlin Wall. After that it was used by an East German airline called Interflug to fly to countries like Cuba and Vietnam. Then, following reunification, it was converted in a restaurant, and stayed that way for 15 years.
In 2007, Hotelsuites.nl acquired it, turning it into the ultimate retreat for airplane geeks – the closest many of us will get to overnighting in a private jet. A one night stay for two, including breakfast, is €350 (as opposed to a private jet, which would be more like $2,000 an hour).
Guests can augment their stay with plane or helicopter tours of the local area, a flight lesson, a ride in a stunt plane, or a parachute jump. For the more sedentary sightseeing types, there are also three historic cities within easy distance: Deventer, Apeldoorn and Zutphen.
The only thing you can’t do is fly the plane. RM