December 18, 2011

Struth! Sleep on a wing and a prayer

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says a hotel in Costa Rica has the ultimate accommodation for aviation buffs – stay in your very own converted Boeing 727 that sits atop a 16m high stone pedestal on the edge of the picturesque Manuel Antonio National Park, and overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

After forty years service in South Africa and later Colombia the old 727 was bought by the owners of the Hotel Costa Verde who found it decommissioned and forlorn at the San Jose International Airport. They had it broken down into sections and shipped on five big-rig trucks to the hotel site.

There it was reassembled, lined with Costa Rican teak panelling, and furnished with handmade items created from Javanese teak. It has two air-conditioned bedrooms (one with two Queen Beds, the other with one,) two private bathrooms, a kitchenette, dining area, flatscreen TV, views of the resort's gardens and surrounding forest, and a private entrance by way of river rocks and a spiral staircase.

And an Ocean View Terrace built over one of the wings, with a canopy over it to keep you shaded or dry depending on the weather, offers ocean and jungle views and close-up encounters with the wildlife neighbours – toucans, monkeys and sloths – as you sip a glass of bubbly or three on a balmy tropical evening...

A night will cost you between US$250 and US$500 plus taxes, depending on the season; details from

(Photos: Vincent Castello)

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