Sleeping on a Jetplane

Photography by Lioba Schneider

In a country that’s famous for its bizarre experiential hotels—from the IceHotel in Lapland to the floating Utter Inn that features an underwater aquarium for guests to sleep in—comes a new take on the red eye flight. Arlanda’s Jumbo Stay hotel repurposes a retired Boeing 747 and turns it into a travel experience, offering passengers a hostel stay that’s as stylish as it is novel.

The design of the hostel brings to mind the days of 1970’s air travel. Vintage-inspired chairs fill the brightly lit lounge, and the rooms are fitted with shag carpet and minimal furnishing. One could imagine a man smoking a cigar in a seat near the back while being served a cocktail by a mini-dress-clad airline stewardess.

In Arlanda, the Jumbo Stay is regarded to be an attraction as well as a travel opportunity. The hostel regards itself to be a museum of aviation history as well as a place to stay. Travelers can head to nearby Stockholm, or the surrounding countryside.

Inside the plane, a broad lounge serves as the hostel common area and various rooms are sectioned off. A large bed comfortably fits into the cockpit suite and faces the nose of the plane while combo rooms house families and groups of friends. Summer visitors can watch the sunset from the observation deck, while wintertime travelers will witness a blanket of snow piling beneath the plane. Bold colors counterbalance the luminescent white interior of the plane and classic details of the 747 Boeing are paired with modern design.

Oscar Dios, the owner of Jumbo Stay, saw the opportunity to develop a new design for architecture in the retired jumbo jet. A longtime owner of hostels in the surrounding areas, he was drawn to the idea of the novelty hotels that are popular in Sweden; he now partners with other Swedish experiential places to stay, like the Sala Silvermine and the Tree Hotel, and offers packages. The thought of spending a night in the cargo hold of a jumbo jet is probably something only children and airplane enthusiasts dream of, but Sweden’s Jumbo Stay hostel makes this a reality for anyone traveling to Arlanda.

– Jenn Pries