Waterparks, Hotels, & Restaurants – Fun Uses For Retired Aircraft

All around the world, many airplanes are no longer flying but serving a new purpose. Some are waterparks, some are restaurants, and some are even hotels or houses, becoming touristic hotspots for avgeeks. Let’s take a ride to see these places.

Jumbo Stay
The Jumbo Stay is a hotel located in Arlanda, Sweden, outside of the airport. Photo: Jumbo Stay

The Jumbo Stay

The Queen of the Skies may be on its final days flying around, but that doesn’t mean its true purpose to amaze people has ceased. Oscar Diös knew this very well when he bought a decommissioned Boeing 747-200 on sale at Arlanda in Sweden.

He turned this jet, which was built in 1976 and served under Singapore Airlines, Pan Am, and Transjet, into a hotel. Diös took out the 450 seats and instead made 33 rooms with 76 beds in total, from prices that go from 550 SEK ($61) the night to 1895 SEK ($212). The Jumbo Stay is right next to the Arlanda International Airport, which makes it perfect for avgeeks worldwide.

Retired Airbus A320 To Be Transformed Into Restaurant In Nanjing
This decommissioned A320 is going to become a restaurant in Nanjing, China. Photo: Getty Images.

The A320 restaurant in Nanjing, China

This is a recent piece of news. An Airbus A320-233, registration B-2345 that was scrapped, will be converted into a restaurant in Nanjing New Financial Area.

This plane belonged to Chongqing Airlines. China Southern Airlines first received this plane in May 1997.

The 727 that sits in the jungle

If you ever travel to Costa Rica and go to the National Park, you can stay at Costa Verde Boeing 727 airframe.

This 1965 B727 previously served with South Africa Air and Avianca before being abandoned at San José International Airport. Costa Verde salvaged this airframe and transported the pieces on five, big-rig trucks to the jungle. There it transformed the plane into a unique jumbo hotel suite, perched on a 50-foot pedestal.

Along with the experience of being in one of Boeing’s classical models, there is a terrace with ocean views, and, since you’re in the Central American jungle, you can have an evening watching sloths, toucans, monkeys, and many more animals.

Costa Verde B727
There’s a Boeing 727 serving as a hotel in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle. Photo: Costa Verde.

Camping in a A319

Located in Pembrokeshire, Wales, this former Etihad A319 is the perfect spot to go camping. The plane, labeled as the Arabian Night Airbus, offers a unique living experience. The price for a two-night stay is $395. The company that launched this experience, Apple Daily, also has a camp made from a Lockheed JetStar.

How about waterparks? There’s one in Oregon

The Wings and Waves Waterpark in McMinnville, Oregon, is best known because of its main attraction, a Boeing 747 with two slides.

This Queen of the Skies flew around for Delta Air Lines, China Airlines, and Pan Am. Then Evergreen International bought it and turned it into a cargo freighter. In July 2009, the B747 retired from the skies and now is permanently on top of the Waterpark.

Dive Bahrain
A former Malaysia Airlines Boeing 747 sits at the bottom of the Arabian Gulf, becoming the perfect spot for avgeek divers. Photo: Dive Bahrain

The Queen of the Reefs?

Bahrain really took this Boeing 747 to a whole new level. The company Dive Bahrain sank a Queen and created an artificial reef in an area of 100,000 square meters. The objective was to develop a diving site with the B747 as the centerpiece, providing a unique experience.

The largest underwater theme park in the world opened its doors in September 2019. But to sink the enormous plane, the company had to dismantle it, removing its wings only to re-attach them later. The photos of the B747 cruising through the Arabian Gulf are quite incredible.

The Ilyushin hotel

In the Netherlands, stationed at Teuge airport, there’s an Ilyushin Il-18 converted into a luxury hotel.

This Soviet-made plane was built in 1960 and flew for many years before being converted into a restaurant. In 2007, Hotel Suites bought the Ilyushin Il-18 and transformed it into a hotel.

Waterparks, Hotels, & Restaurants – Fun Uses For Retired Aircraft
This house was built with parts of a Boeing 747-200. Photo: David Hertz Architects.

The 747 wing house

In 2013, David Hertz’ Studio of Environmental Architecture built a house in Malibu, California, using parts of a scrapped Boeing 747-200. The architects of this house intercepted the B747 before it went to the garbage pile and used the wings and tail stabilizers as “lightweight long-span roof profiles.” 

This house is most known because it appears on the Netflix show The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes. 

In the end, as there are many planes gathering dust around the world, maybe there should be more investors launching cool ideas like these.

Have you ever been on an airplane turned into a hotel or a restaurant? How was it? Let us know in the comments.