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Going like a Boeing: Unique SA hotel winging it as an ‘aerotel’ [photos]


Oct 31, 2021

A disused passenger aircraft has been converted into the Aviator Boutique Hotel in the African bushveld.  The bespoke hotel, situated near Hoedspruit, is the place to go for a unique opportunity to spend the night in luxury aboard an aircraft.  

Located near South Africa’s largest national game reserve, the hotel offers aviation enthusiasts and guests with an adventurous spirit, the opportunity to spend the night in a Boeing 737 aircraft, as well as the chance to enjoy wildlife at the nearby Kruger National Park.   

According to Getaway, the aerotel is the brainchild of Martin and Tracy den Dunnen, who dreamed of converting a retired aircraft into a novel accommodation establishment instead of it ending up as junk in a scrapyard.


The aerotel comprises of two Boeing aircraft. The first — a Boeing 737 — which arrived in 2019, now offers six double en-suite cabins that are named after different cloud formations.  Each room is decorated with an aviation theme.

The second  — a Boeing 727 aircraft which arrived in June this year — is still being converted into luxury accommodation. The new plane will be turned into a VIP suite, that visitors may book for exclusive use.

Accommodation aboard the Boeing 737. Image via Facebook @Aerotel.Hoedspruit 


This aerotel offers guests views of the surrounding mountain ranges and the bushveld while staying in a revamped aircraft.

The hotel’s “departure lounge” is the perfect sundowner spot, complete with some of the aircraft’s original seats.  Adjoining this is a mosaic swimming pool with a bar and deck, which are an ideal refuge during the heat of the day.

Pool and bar area. Image via Facebook @Aerotel.Hoedspruit 

The establishment opened its doors last year and is expanding with the second aircraft still under development.

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