Sleeping on the plane, train…or maybe the tram? 5 unusual hotels

Looking for something more than just a roof over your head?

Then we’ve got a little inspiration for you. Even if you can’t quite run to the cost of a fully flat first class seat, you can still enjoy a good night’s sleep on a 747, albeit one that is firmly on the ground. And the transport-based hotel room shenanigans don’t stop there. How about staying the night in a classic train carriage, on a raft or in a converted helicopter?

There are plenty of wacky hotels in the world and the five we cover in this first article are all transportation-themed:

Plane: Jumbo Stay Hostel, Arlanda Airport, Stockholm, Sweden – converted 747 Jumbo Jet

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Image (c) Andy Higgs/Grown-up Travel Guide

The only one on this list we have stayed at ourselves, this neatly redesigned 1976 jumbo jet is located within the airport area and reachable by a free shuttle bus. There are 27 rooms and 75 beds, and options include en-suite rooms, a budget dormitory, twin and three-bed combo rooms with shared shower and toilet in the corridor or the luxury privacy of the ‘honeymoon suite’ in the cockpit on the upper floor for couples. The room we had for two adults and a child (below) was well-designed if compact (as it had to be) and the beds were comfy.

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Image (c) Andy Higgs/Grown-up Travel Guide

They have also recently opened a conference room and have a cafe open to visitors not wishing to sleep over.

Details here:


Train: The Old Railway Station, Petworth (near Chichester), West Sussex, England – Pullman rail carriages in a disused local station yard


Image (c) The Old Railway Station

In years gone by Pullman was a byword for luxury train travel with its services including  the Orient Express, The Golden Arrow and Bournemouth Belle. At the Old Station you can experience some old-fashioned opulence by staying in their beautifully restored Pullman carriages. Many features have been improved (functional central heating) while the splendid decor has been preserved.


Image (c) The Old Railway Station

There are 8 suites in 4 carriages. In addition, the Old Station House itself has been tastefully restored, providing 2 additional rooms if the railway carriages are full.

Details here:


Tram: Hougwood, the Netherlands – City tram

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Image (c) Unusual Hotels of the World

A Dutch couple, Frank and Irma Appel, have taken city tram cars from Amsterdam and Germany and transformed them into an unusual hotel experience. Comforts include a double bed, shower and toilet facilities and a sink top unit for drinks and snacks.


Image (c) Controversy

The couple haven’t stopped there either; the tram is just part of their eccentric world. Next to the carriage is the Appel house, Controversy – named after their love of the Prince album and they sleep inside a London double-decker bus, installed in the living room. Their kitchen and breakfast area is a converted French van and their house is decorated with motor paraphernalia.

Outside the house, there is also a Mig fighter plane and new additions include a railway train and a ‘baby tram’.

Details here:


Raft: Four locations, 1 in Belgium and 3 in the Netherlands – floating camping raft

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Image (c) Camping

Here you get the chance to sleep on the water in a “camping raft”. Reached by kayak, you’ll not be disturbed by noisy neighbours or traffic and can enjoy the birdsong and sunset in tranquil surroundings.


Image (c) Camping

Kind of looks like Valium for the soul…

Details here:


Helicopter: Morris, Connecticut, USA – restored 1968 Sikorsky Sea King Pelican HH3F

Head to the US of A if you want to spend the night in a lovingly restored helicopter. Winvian is billed as a “unique getaway” holiday resort in Connecticut which features 18 individually designed cottages set in 113 acres of land. The most unusual must be this one:

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Image (c)

This cottage is more like a hangar and houses the chopper. You can play around in the cockpit, have a drink in the fuselage or warm up by the wood burning stove. Like you do…

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Image (c)

Details here:

So what do you guys think? These places beat the tired and anonymous hotels we often end up in, right?

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