A hostel like no other

News | | August 4, 2010 at 3:48 am


Look, over there. Is it a bed? Is it a plane? Well…it’s actually a plane with a lot of beds. Now all of you that have had some trouble sleeping on planes might be rolling your eyes and groaning inwardly, but this is plane-ly different from anything you might have experienced beforehand. Stockholm’s jumbo hostel is a converted Boeing Jumbo 747 that has arisen from the ashes of its former avatar to become one unique snooze zone. If you’re anywhere in the immediate vicinity of Stockholm’s Arlanda airport, take a quick peek over at the hulking form grounded just off on the tarmac and lo presto, there you have it; a movable hostel unlike no other in the civilized world, one where your dreams can take flight.

Jumbo Hostel

They called the 787 the Dreamliner, but there is no reason to believe that that would not be a more appropriate name for this innovative place of stay, for altogether different reasons of course. The Jumbo Hostel has bunked rooms spanning either side of the aisle as we know it, right from the center to the tail of the aircraft. Some of the rooms even come equipped with attached bathrooms (none of those gnarly queues for the toilet) although there are also shared bathrooms spread across the length and breadth of the aircraft for the true airline experience. Talk about retaining authenticity.

Jumbo Hostel room

As you may well remember, the 747-200 boasts a second deck and a part of this has been converted into a common area as has a similar area nearer the nose of the airplane. The creators have even gone to the extent of taking out the seats from first class and using them on the higher level, making things a bit more surreal and comfortable for all. You can always unwind at the common area on the lower level, near the front as mentioned previously, and partake of some snacks and drinks while chatting with fellow residents. You could be forgiven for believing that it is all a bit cramped and claustrophobic, but the rooms themselves have two beds, wireless internet and flat-screen TV’s installed which is standard fare for any hotel room and it is as cozy as it gets while on an airplane, and not spartanly in its furnishing.

The story behind the creation and conversion of the hostel itself bears retelling. A Swedish hotelier, Oscar Dios, was looking at options for a new property and stumbled upon the idea of buying a 747 that was headed for the junkyard. After much effort was made to make it habitable and an attractive option for tourist, its doors were thrown open for boarding. The cockpit has been converted into a larger suite, complete with some of the original interiors and it is all a novelty, albeit a fun one that beats the hell out of checking into your run of the mill hotels. Just 10 minutes from the check-in counter at the terminal, the thought of saving yourself the pain of sleeping on the airport floor due to an overbooked/delayed flight is a joy in itself, and that’s without even considering for a moment the delightfully diabolical manner in which a bit of innovation and recycling was pulled off. Sleeping at the airport was never made to sound better.

jumbo hostel cockpit

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