Sleeping on the Airplane: Six Aviation-Themed Hotels

Sometimes a room with a view means watching jets on the ramp.

727 hotel

This colorful Boeing 727 appears to be flying through the trees, but it’s really more of a tree house. [Courtesy: Hotel Costa Verde]

727 Fuselage Home

Hotel Costa Verde, Quepos, Costa Rica

Located on the edge of the Manuel Antonio National Forest, this colorful Boeing 727 appears to be flying through the trees, but it’s really more of a tree house—a luxurious one. The 1965 airframe that once served in the South Africa Air and Avianca Airlines fleets now sits on a 50-foot pedestal and has been refurbished with teak furniture and paneling, and a deck built onto its right wing. The hotel’s broad range of accommodations also includes a Cockpit Cottage and Cockpit Cabana built from salvaged aircraft. 

[Courtesy: TWA Hotel]

TWA Hotel

John F. Kennedy International Airport (KJFK), Queens, New York

Whether picking up guests or embarking on a trip, I have never enjoyed going to crowded, chaotic Kennedy Airport except for the opportunity to gawk at the stylish old TWA Flight Center designed by Eero Saarinen. Its time as an airline terminal ended in 2001 but it reopened in 2017 as a hotel where aviation fans can spot airplanes from an infinity pool overlooking the airport tarmac and enjoy drinks in a 1960s-style sunken lounge worthy of TV’s “Mad Men.”

Jumbo Stay

Arlanda Airport (ESSA), Stockholm, Sweden

This hotel will help visitors appreciate just how much space is available on a Boeing 747. The former Queen of the Skies airliner’s interior is refitted with a range of rooms, from basic dormitory-style spaces to the upscale “cockpit suite,” with a panoramic view of the airport. There is a conference area in the former first class cabin, a café, and a bar. Also called the Jumbo Hostel, the airplane is known for its mostly modest accommodations, many with shared bathrooms.

[Courtesy: Hangar Hotel]

Hangar Hotel

Gillespie County Airport (T82), Fredericksburg, Texas

Here’s one you can easily fly to in a Cessna 172, as it is next to the ramp of a general aviation airport. And for those of you who saw Top Gun: Maverick and really wished you could live in a giant airport hangar like Tom Cruise’s character, this could be your place. While it looks like a classic 1940s original, the 50-room hotel was built in 2003 and decorated with aviation memorabilia and 1940s artifacts. There is an airport diner and a military-style Officer’s Club that features live music on weekends.

[Courtesy: Winvian Farm]

Winvian's Helicopter Cottage

Morris, Connecticut

Winvian Farm’s guest rooms have names that pique one’s curiosity, like “Secret Society” and “Maritime.” And then there’s “Helicopter,” which is just as it sounds. A restored 1968 Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican rescue chopper sits in the middle of the cottage. Inside the fuselage is a sofa and other furnishings with spaces for sipping cocktails and watching movies. In the cockpit the original crew seats, gauges, and switches remain.

[Courtesy: Vliegtuigsuite Teuge]

Vliegtuigsuite Teuge

Teuge, Netherlands

You might feel a bit like a Cold War-era spy ascending the stairs to this 1960 Ilyushin 18 turboprop that, according to the hotel, was used by East German Communist Party officials. But once inside you will find that the luxurious furnishings have more of a capitalist feel. The whole airplane, about 40 meters long, has been refitted as a suite for two guests that includes a hot tub, separate shower, infrared sauna, mini bar, three flat-screen televisions, DVD player, and a “comprehensive” collection of DVDs.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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