Aviation Fanatics Will Be Flying High If They Book A Stay At These Unique Hotels

In some social media circles, they call themselves AvGeeks. Short for aviation geeks (via Aviation Geeks), it's an apt description for individuals passionate about all things related to air travel. As airline passengers, they usually know everything about their flight long before the boarding process begins. They know the make and model of the aircraft servicing their route, often because it played a part in their decision to book a particular flight. They know the plane's interior configuration, including the seating layout (is it 3-3 or 2-3-2?). They know the seat pitch, that all-important determinant of comfort linked to the linear measurement between the rear legs of one seat and the rear legs of the space directly in front of or behind it, according to Skytrax. They know the best seat in each class of service. If they're flying in a premium cabin, they know whether or not the seats marketed as lie-flat really recline a full 180 degrees. 

Aviation enthusiasts don't just board an airplane to get from one point to another. It's all part of the adventure of travel. What better way to extend the exhilaration of the flight experience than to stay in a hotel modeled after an airplane or maybe even in a retired and repurposed airplane?

Jumbo Stay

It's a bit unusual to find specialty lodging listed as what some may consider a budget hotel category, but that's exactly where Jumbo Stay is on the cost spectrum. With prices starting as low as less than $200 a night (dependent upon date and time of travel), the double Black Box Suite located at the rear of the plane accommodates two guests. The room with a dedicated lavatory and shower also features a flatscreen television and complimentary WiFi. The rate even includes breakfast.

Swedish hotelier Oscar Diös acquired the retired 1976 Boeing 747-200 in 2006. Per Jumbo Stay's website, Originally built for Singapore Airlines, the aircraft later served in the Pan Am fleet. It was decommissioned in 2002 when then-owner, Transjet, a Swedish airline, went out of business. Following a complete retrofit, the aircraft opened in 2008 as a 33-room hotel with accommodations for up to 76 guests. In addition to suites, the aircraft-turned-hotel also offers standard guest rooms and dormitory-like lodging for up to four guests. Amenities include an on-site cafe and bar. Jumbo Stay is currently located at the entrance to Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

727 Fuselage

With its nose poking out of the Costa Rican jungle, the 727 Fuselage home looks like a scene right out of the 2000's television series "Lost." But looks can be deceiving. The circa 1965 Boeing 727 isn't lost at all. In fact, the unique lodging facility affiliated with Costa Verde Hotels, sits on a 50-foot perch within the confines of a full-service hotel at the edge of Manuel Antonio National Park and just steps from the beach. Inside, it's more like "Swiss Family Robinson" than "Cast Away." Upon entry, guests discover a hand-carved teak interior, including furnishings, imported from Indonesia. The two-bedroom suite features two private baths, a flat-screen television, a kitchenette, a dining alcove, and an expansive deck.

According to Travelmaster, the 727 Fuselage home is the brainchild of Yale University alumnus and former Peace Corps volunteer, Allan Templeton, who found inspiration in a Tennessee initiative geared toward building homes from repurposed aircraft. He found an abandoned cargo aircraft sitting on the runway at Juan Santamaría International Airport in Costa Rica. The logistics were staggering. It took seven years before the once-abandoned 1965 Boeing 727 started its new chapter welcoming guests on board for a unique lodging experience.

TWA Hotel

Opened in 1962 and abandoned in 2000 when TWA ceased operations, the TWA Flight Center at New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport stood as a lonely reminder of the glory days of air travel for almost 20 years before it reopened in 2017 as a hotel. Named a New York City Landmark in 1994 (via Insider), the iconic terminal was listed in 2003 as one of America's Most Endangered Places by the Historic Preservation and National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2005, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places (via Fortune). According to Commercial Observer, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey jump-started a revival effort in 2014 when it began accepting redevelopment proposals.

MCR Development, a company owned by one-time airport baggage handler Tyler Morse, won the contract and partnered with JetBlue to repurpose the iconic building once known as Grand Central of the Jet Age, according to Insider, while honoring its mid-century design. The result was TWA Hotel, a 21st-century hotel that pays homage to its place in aviation history. Key features include six restaurants, eight bars, and a rooftop infinity pool. Another historical touch, Connie is a retro-style cocktail lounge located inside a 1958 Lockheed Constellation once owned by Howard Hughes (via UniqHotels).

Hangar Hotel

Located in Fredericksburg, Texas, Hangar Hotel is a purpose-built hotel and conference center designed to appeal to aviation enthusiasts. According to Flying, the 50-room hotel is situated adjacent to the runway ramp area for Gillespie County Airport, a general aviation facility with a 5,000-foot illuminated runway (via Visit Fredericksburg). Built in 2003, according to Flying, the hotel was designed to resemble a circa 1940s airplane hangar. Interior furnishings include era-appropriate artifacts and memorabilia. 

According to UniqHotels, on-site facilities include a diner with terrazzo floors, black granite countertops, and a vintage officers' club-style bar with leather furniture and a fireplace. Guest room decor is decidedly mid-century aviation with mahogany and leather furnishings. There's a second-floor observation deck with a view of the nearby runway and a conference hall that can seat up to 500 guests. A smaller on-site venue, the Pacific Showroom, features a dance floor and can accommodate up to 250 guests.

Vliegtuigsuite Teuge

Boarding the circa 1960 Ilyushin 18, a Cold War-era turboprop plane parked at Teuge International Airport in The Netherlands may feel a bit like walking into a clandestine meeting, but the aircraft is actually a luxury suite for two. Located about 60 miles southwest of Amsterdam, the aircraft was once in the service of the now-defunct East German government (via Flying). Available for booking via HotelSuites.nl, the interior of the 131-foot plane was completely gutted and retrofitted to function as a private luxury suite. 

According to Thrillist, Vliegtuigsuite Teuge comprises a living area with a minibar, a flat-screen television, a bedroom with a queen-sized bed, a shower, a whirlpool tub, and an infrared sauna. A fully-equipped kitchenette, stocked daily with an assortment of breakfast foods, features a refrigerator and a combination oven/microwave. There's also an elevated outdoor deck overlooking the airport runway, complimentary wireless internet, and air conditioning.