Dutch hotelier transforms disused Soviet aircraft into luxurious hotel suite

Posted: March 5, 2013 in Hotels
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A disused East German aircraft has been turned into a hotel suite by a hotel chain known for offering stays in bizarre locations.

The Soviet-made Ilyushin II-18 is now luxury accommodation complete with Jacuzzi, sauna, bar, luxury kitchen diner and a flat-screen television.

German news site The Local reported that the cockpit of the aircraft has been left intact, so guests can go straight from the luxury quarters to the pilot’s seat.

Come fly with me: The disused Ilyushin aircraft has undergone a transformation into a luxury holiday suiteCome fly with me: The disused Ilyushin aircraft has undergone a transformation into a luxury holiday suite

The luxurious hotel suite was a former East German government aeroplane, allegedly used by former leader Eric HoneckerThe Soviet-era plane was used by the East German government and may have once flown former leader Eric Honecker

The plane was originally used by East German leaders, and may have even transported former East German leader Erich Honecker.

Dutch entrepreneur Ben Thijssen, whose company hotelsuites.nl also offers stays in other unusual places such as prisons and boats, said he had been looking for a plane to turn into a hotel for years.

When he found the Ilyushin it was already serving an unusual purpose – it was being used as a restaurant in a village near the old East German border.

Comfy: The sleeping area of the aircraft, which could originally seat 12o passengersComfy: The sleeping area of the aircraft, which could originally seat 120 passengers

 

Plush: The designers even incorporated a jacuzzi and saunaPlush: The designers even incorporated a jacuzzi and sauna

The dining area is elegant, but staring into your loves one's eyes over dinner may prove difficult as the seats are side-by-sideThe dining area is elegant, but staring into your loves one’s eyes over dinner may prove difficult as the seats are side-by-side

Swish: We can only wonder what staunch socialist Erich Honecker would have made of the opulent interiorSwish: We can only wonder what staunch socialist Erich Honecker would have made of the opulent interior

He bought it and shipped it across Germany to the Dutch village of Tegue. The renovation cost hundreds of thousands of euros and the plane can now sleep two in luxury.

He said: ‘You can sleep in all kinds of accommodation, but not in an airplane. I decided this was perfect.’

The plane, which once flew for the now-defunct East German state airline Interflug, is said to have carried leaders such as Erich Honecker. Thijssen said he had seen photos which seemed to show Honecker on the plane.

‘There’s actually not much known about it, especially because it was part of the East German government and they tried to keep such things secret,’ he said.

Departures: The plane is located by a small Dutch airportDepartures: The plane is located by a small Dutch airport

The lounge area. Many of the visitors are nostalgia enthusiasts from the former East Germany The lounge area. Many of the visitors are nostalgia enthusiasts from the former East Germany

History: The cockpit area of the disused Ilyushin 18 aircraft has been left intactHistory: The cockpit area of the disused Ilyushin 18 aircraft has been left intact

Its history makes it popular with Germany history enthusiasts, who often bring photos of their lives before the fall of the Berlin Wall with them for their stay.

A former Ilyushin pilot showed up for a night and was delighted to find the cockpit was as exactly as he remembered.

Mr Thijsen said: ‘One man even showed up in a pilot’s uniform then spent the day in the on-board sauna. The next day, he was dressed normally and his wife was in a flight attendant’s uniform.’

A stay in the plane starts at 350 euros per night.

Quirky: The company behind the converted plane is famous for offering stays in prisons and other unconventional localesQuirky: The company behind the converted plane is famous for offering stays in prisons and other unconventional locales

Thijssen said he had seen photos which seemed to show Erich Honecker on the plane, although it has been hard to verify because the regime was notoriously secretiveThijssen said he had seen photos which seemed to show Erich Honecker on the plane, although it has been hard to verify because the regime was notoriously secretive

Read the original article and see a video here.

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