Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thailand soon? - Hotel 747 Now Boarding


    Last year we told you about Oscar Dios, a Swede with a wacky idea: Park a retired Boeing 747 outside the Stockholm airport, and turn it into motel for the budget-minded traveler. His vision has become a reality, with Dios’ 25-room, 85-bed Jumbo Hostel scheduled to open next week.

    The Jumbo Hostel is now accepting reservations on its website for stays beginning Jan. 15.
    Dorm rooms start at 350 Swedish kronor ($45), with deluxe private rooms at
    $1,350 Kroner ($175). For even more, you can spend the night in the plane’s cockpit, which has been converted to a sort of honeymoon suite and is the only room on the plane with its own bathroom and shower.

    Dios’ vision for the Jumbo Hostel has up to now been limited to a series of conceptual drawings, but last week he invited a reporter from Britain’s Guardian aboard for a look at the place. The paper posted video of the tour (narrated by an extremely monotonic reporter) on its website, and it provides some interesting new details on Dios’ digs.

    For those of us who have done a lot of backpacking, the words hostel and claustrophobia are interchangeable, but judging from the Guardian footage, even rooms at the low end of Jumbo Hostel’s price range look pretty good. Each dorm room is around 20 square feet, but because Dios was able to remove the cable and wiring that made the 747 fly, the ceilings are a spacious 13 feet high. Overhead bins have been bolted to the walls for storage, and all rooms have free wireless internet access, as well as flatscreen televisions that double as arrival-departure monitors.

    The Jumbo Hostel might be cheap, but it still comes with some hotel-style extras . The 747’s upper deck, which airlines often use as a lounge, will remain such, with the original seats and serving areas intact. The plane’s first-class cabin has been turned into a cafe that seats 20 and is open to the public 24
    hours a day. Passengers are also free to use the plane’s emergency exits to step onto the wing and take a look around.

    And if you’re looking to catch an early flight, Jumbo Hostel’s location can’t be beat. It’s just a 15-minute walk to the airport terminal, or you can catch one of the shuttles that runs every 7

    Beyond putting up weary travelers, Dios plans to offer guided tours of the plane to the public for around $10 each, and says he hopes to franchise the concept. Judging from the state of the airline industry, there should be some surplus planes Dios can snap up cheap.

    Photos and images / Jumbo Hostel

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