The above photo may at first glance look like a crash landing in the jungle, but it is actually a hotel suite at the Costa Verde Resort. Tucked away in the Manuel Antonio National Park rainforest of Costa Rica, this retired 1965 Boeing 727, now the 727 Fuselage Home, has been given a new lease on life as a jungle getaway. As we have already seen an airplane turned into restaurant here on EntertainmentDesigner, its quite wonderful to see that yesterdays aeronautical achievements are being put to creative use rather than simply turned into scrap or left to rot.
The Costa Verde Resort lies on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, two hours from the San Jose airport. It was at this airport that the decommissioned Boeing 727 sat unused, awaiting decay or the scrap heap. According to the resort’s owners, inspiration for the suite was found in a “Forbes Magazine article about a company offering hurricane-proof living via surplus Boeing 727 frames.” After reading the article, they were able to track down a Boeing 727 at the nearby San Jose airport and transport it piece by piece to the resort grounds. Transportation of the dismantled plane required five big-rig trucks, of which there are some interesting photos to be seen on the suite’s webpage. Once all the sections arrived at the site, they were reassembled on top of a 50-foot pedestal so that guests would have commanding views out over the jungle and ocean.
While the suite is somewhat rustic in appearance from the outside, its all jungle-style luxury on the inside. Costa Rican teak paneling covers the entire interior, from the cockpit to the tail, so that it has a “cabin” feel of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse sort. The spacious plane is divided into a master and secondary bedroom, each with private bathrooms, a TV lounge, a kitchenette, and a dining foyer. Keeping with the hardwood theme, all the furnishings are hand-carved teak from Java. One of the coolest features is definitely the wing balcony. This hardwood, covered balcony is accessible through the right wing emergency exit, and affords amazing views of the ocean, as well as other jungle residents such as toucans, monkeys, and sloths.
The 727 Fuselage Home is the only airplane lodging at the resort, but they also have an airplane bar with a particularly interesting history. El Avion Bar is built inside of a C-123 Fairchild that was employed in the Iran-Contra Affair under president Reagan. Once secret arms dealing with Iran came to light, these planes were abandoned in Costa Rica and Costa Verde eventually picked up this particular one for $3,000 dollars in 2000. So, in addition to spending the night in a vintage airplane, you can sip a tropical cocktail while sitting aboard a genuine piece of Cold War history.