What if you could spend the night in an airplane? Alright, so perhaps just by itself, it doesn’t sound very appealing now does it? But what if you could spend the night in an airplane pimped out into a two-bedroom suite, perched above the Costa Rica jungle, and overlooking the Pacific Ocean? Now we’re talking! Well such a place exists, and I’m here to tell you all about it.
I am not making any of this up. Perched in the canopy of the Costa Rica rainforest is a 727 airplane turned into a two-bedroom treehouse, set to the backdrop of one of the most beautiful national parks in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio. Oh, and rather than be greeted in the morning by a dog or cat, you’re greeted instead by white-faced monkeys.
According to property manager, Faith Mulvihill (a former flight attendant), the 1965 Boeing 727 airframe at one time transported travelers to and from Costa Rica on South African Airways and Avianca Airlines. Following its retirement, it sat at San Jose International Airport, where it served as a fire training facility. But what’s one airport’s retired airplane, can be another person’s retrofitted suite, which was the case of Allen Templeton, owner of Costa Verde Hotel, where the plane sits today.
According to Mulvihill, after the 40,000 rivets were removed, the Boeing 727 was separated into 5 different pieces, loaded onto 5 18-wheelers, and transported about 100 miles to Manuel Antonio, adjacent the Costa Verde Hotel. A 90-ton crane then set the 727 on a custom-built platform 50 feet above the ground, so that it could have the views of the Pacific Ocean and Manuel Antonio National Park that it does. It’s a different kind of “Mile-High Club.”
But don’t worry, you don’t actually sleep on coach airplane seats, or even first-class for that matter. No narrow aisles, small overhead bins, or tiny bathrooms. Rather, think of your idea of a cool, island-inspired bungalow, outfitted with teak paneling and furnishings, and that’s what you get with the interior of this Boeing 727 suite.
Head up the steps of the 727 and you’ll notice all the likenesses of a Boeing airplane, yet step inside the doorway and it has all the likenesses of a vacation rental you’d hope along the beaches of Central America. The suite features two open-air balconies that jut out over the wings (featuring views of the surrounding jungle and nearby beaches of Manuel Antonio), two bedrooms featuring a total of three queen beds, a flat-screen TV, and a fully-equipped kitchen. That sound you hear is the sound of your stress washing away—and perhaps the sound of the nearby howler monkeys.
But you’ve got access to a lot more! The Boeing 727 Suite is adjacent to Costa Verde Hotel, which gives you access to their three pools (one of which is adults-only with a pool bar), four hotel restaurants, housekeeping service, and concierge and tour guide services. Additionally, you’re at the border of Manuel Antonio National Park, where you have access to world-class surfing and fishing, ziplining, wildlife, hiking trails, and waterfalls. Yes, as a matter of a fact, this is paradise.
As you may expect, the holiday seasons are often the busiest times of year for what’s one of the world’s most unique suites (written up in many of the most renowned publications). However, Mulvihill was quick to point out that during Costa Rica’s rainy season, September through November, they offer nightly rates that are half the price of rates during most other parts of the year. This is the Costa Rican rainforest after all.
It’s hard to stay in a more unique and intrinsically travel-inspired accommodation than by sitting on a balcony above the wings of a Boeing 727 that’s perched in the Costa Rican rainforest overlooking the jungle below and Pacific Ocean afar. Now that’s a castle in the air!