Some of my hobbies are travelling, civil aviation incl. historic planes and hotels – so having a plane which has been turned into a hotel just sounds like perfect for me, doesn’t it? There are few opportunities to do that, one of the most prominent is likely the Jumbo Hostel in Arlanda, Stockholm’s airport. While at that place, you share a Boeing 747 Jumbo with other guests, the airport of Teuge in the Netherlands (near Apeldoorn) allows you to have a plane just on your own – the Vliegtuigsuite (“Airplane Suite”) Teuge.
Teuge is a small town near Apeldoorn. The airplane stands right at the airport of Teuge, a General Aviation airfield. There is another hotel nearby as well as a restaurant called The Hangar. Deventer is quite interesting for touristic reason, as it is an old Hanse Town. If you do not arrive in style by plane, you likely do it the lazy way: arrive by car. The place it is not too far away from the A50 motorway.
The airport of Teuge is still quite frequently used, there were also quite some skydivers during our stay. A couple of interesting planes were around as well, including an Antonov An-2 in Lufthansa livery.
Vliegtuigsuite – History of the Plane
Ilyushin IL-18, Interflug, registration DDR-STD – this plane is full of history. The former Interflug (GDR / Eastern Germany airline) was built in 1960 and was in service for Interflug from September 1964 onward. Its initial registration was DM-STD and then DDR-STD (since 1981). Interflug owned three of these four engine planes, which are roughly 36 meters long, 38 meters wide and served up to 120 passengers. The jet drove governmental flights, but the Ilyushin cannot be seen as an equivalent to the Air Force One or similar planes. The plane seized operation in October 1986. After the German Reunion., the first relocation of the plane was to a village called Harbke near Helmstedt, where it hosted a bar and restaurant. Another Interflug IL-18, the DDR-STE, is a museum in Borkheide, Southwest of Berlin.
However, the plane got in worse condition, so that finally, the Dutch businessman Ben Thijssen bought the plane (rumors say for 25,000 Euro) in 2009. On top, he invested some 450,000 Euro to it to turn it to the luxury stay. The company Hotelsuites.nl, which is driving it now in Teuge, drives several “weird” hotels like light towers, ships or other stays. While the whole interior of the plane was renovated and does not contain any originals any more, apart from the cockpit, which still has the original Interflug four-seat configuration.
Vliegtuigsuite – The Plane
Staying one night in the Vliegtuigsuite (which is likely the characteristic stay) is 365 Euro. If you arrive on a Friday or Saturday, you will pay 395 Euro for these nights. Check-in time is 15:00hrs and you have to leave the plane at 11:00hrs the next day. You are in contact with the management / the hosts before and tell them an arrival time, so that they are waiting for you at the plane. The plane itself as well as the ground on which it is standing (which is fenced) can be locked. This is very handy as it prevents people from stepping on the plane stairs.
The plane suite itself is just amazing. It won some design prices and multiple awards name the hotel to be one of the best ones of the country. You enter the Ilyushin from the front left door and are more or less in the kitchen area, which comes with a fridge, a microwave oven with oven functionality, a dishwasher, a coffee machine (you can boil hot water there or take the hot water boiler at the fridge) and all other facilities you need for a good stay. Left of the kitchen is a nice relax area, right to the kitchen is an area where you can dine or watch TV (there are three TV sets in the plane, two of them equipped with Blu-Ray players). Something I liked, especially as the plane is just long and you walk very often from the front and back, is that there are numerous power plugs throughout the planes – you can charge your devices where it suits you best.
Rear Cabin: Sanitary Facilities, Sauna and Terrace
The rear part of the cabin features the relax area. A bathtub with whirlpool, a shower, the toilet – there is even an infrared sauna. Apart from the one in the toilet, there are two sinks as well, so that you really have a great stay as a couple. The hygienic products are majorly by Rituals. There are numerous tea candles around. Last but not least, there is the sleeping area (which is also the only place in the plane with blinds), which is absolutely amazing and had beautiful decoration.
The rear part of the cabin also features a small terrace, heading towards the airfield of Teuge and the sunset.
Did I miss anything? Yeah, the very top of the Vliegtuigsuite: the cockpit is so cool – you can play around (and they even have a captain’s hat in there if you just need that for extra fun…). The cockpit has been renovated as well and has a lot of detail, just very few controls have minor damage. I could have stayed in there the whole time… If there wasn’t the whirlpool, the sauna, the food and all the other remaining plane.
You can also switch on the illumnation of the cockpit, which then leads to quite a number of lights. The renovation done is lovely, the lightning is really interactive. There are even some historic Interflug pictures through the viewer. Especially in evening hours, the cockpit becomes the superb playground of the Ilyushin – and if you need it even more realistic, you can even listen to the Air Traffic Control radio transmission of Teuge, Amsterdam-Schiphol or Dusseldorf Airport.
Vliegtuigsuite – Breakfast and Experiences
Breakfast is part of the accommodation price. We agreed on a time with the host Marjan, who brought the breakfast right in time to the plane. A lovely selection of croissants and other breads, cold cuts and quite some other stuff. The quality of the items was lovely, my favorite was a puff paste egg and ham muffin. A great and lovely start of the day.
You may upgrade your stay with some packages. If the plane itself is not romantic enough, you can upgrade by a cooled bottle of champagne (49 Euro) or roses (20 Euro). You may also book sightseeing round flights of different duration (between 94 and 290 Euro). If you are super-inspired, you can go for a flight lesson (20 minutes / 129 Euro to one hour / 345 Euro). We did not try and of these services.
Vliegtuigsuite – Services
We were welcomed by the friendly host Marjan, who showed us all facilities of the plane. You therefor give a roughly estimated arrival time and they are waiting for you at the plane. There was a welcome cake at the desk and the table was made already for dinner. A guest guide which explains all facilities and the important functions – including an overview of all the Russian-tagged switches in the cockpit. There is WiFi in the plane, but (likely due to the slightly remote location), the quality is just not acceptable nowadays. The hosts try to improve that, I finally went for tethering – 4G was at least slightly better than landline internet. The plane also has a minibar, which is used for additional (but comparably friendly) charge.
Not being explicit part of the Vlieguigsuite service, but very handy for a stay is that you cannot only use the parking facilities of the The Hangar restaurant – they also deliver food right to the suite on proper tableware. Absolutely lovely food – and a three-course meal is 30 Euro, offering quite some variety. Huge recommendation!
Vliegtuigsuite – My View
Wow, what a visionary idea to do this transformation from a partially rotten, wreckage alike historic place to luxury. Interflug-fans might be a bit sad that there is nothing left but the registration on the back of the plane – but you just have to reply: this is a way to preserve the old lady – and Hotelsuites.nl just did an amazing job. So sad that the terrible WiFi is just spoiling the impression slightly (many people who pay up to 400 Euro for a night just need to be online here and then), otherwise it would be the perfect stay for romantics, aviation buffs, people who just want to be out of the normal for a day or two. Still a great one – and surely a Top Pick!
Vliegtuigsuite – The Gallery
As this place is so amazing and unique, I decided to bring all my pictures to a gallery, even though this might be a bit of repetitive. The total gallery size is 210 pictures. The pictures are part of the Travel Galleries: