• Germany edition
 
Honecker's plane gets new lease of life as luxury hotel
Photo: hotelsuites.nl

Honecker's plane gets new lease of life as luxury hotel

Published: 07 Oct 2011 12:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Oct 2011 12:00 GMT+02:00

The cockpit of the Ilyushin 18 has been left intact, adding a surreal twist to the odd, one-room residence, where guests can hop straight from the luxury sleeping area into the pilot’s seat.

Dutch entrepreneur Ben Thijssen told The Local he had been looking for a plane to turn into a hotel for years before he found the Ilyushin 18 – he spotted it being used as a restaurant in Saxony-Anhalt village of Harbke, near the old East German border.

He bought it and organised for it to be trucked across Germany to the Dutch village of Tegue, near the German Ruhrgebiet. Hundreds of thousands of euros later, the luxury hotel – which sleeps two - was ready for its first guests.

“You can sleep in all kinds of accommodations, but not in an airplane,” he said. “I decided this was perfect.”

Click here for a virtual tour of the plane

The plane, which once flew for the East German state airline Interflug, also is said to have carried leaders such as Erich Honecker, although the history is somewhat sketchy. Thijssen said he had seen photos which seemed to show Honecker on the plane.

“There’s actually not much known about it, especially because it was part of the East German government and they tried to keep such things secret,” Thijssen.

As such it is a big draw for German guests. “They think it’s very amazing and a strange experience,” said Thijssen.

Some bring photos from their past in Eastern Germany. One man even showed up in a pilot's uniform then spent the day in the on-board sauna. The next day, he was dressed normally and his wife was in a flight attendant's uniform.

A former Ilyushin pilot even showed up to spend the night in the plane and said he was glad to see the cockpit was as he remembered.

Thijssen, who through his company hotelsuites.nl also offers stays in other unusual places such as prisons and boats. A stay in the plane starts at €350 per night and includes a luxury breakfast.

Moises Mendoza

moises.mendoza@thelocal.de

twitter.com/moisesdmendoza

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:37 October 7, 2011 by catjones
This venture will never take off.
20:39 October 7, 2011 by raandy
If it does it will crash and burn
Today's headlines
Germany to send Kurds weapons shipment
German soldiers training with machine guns. Photo: DPA

Germany to send Kurds weapons shipment

Chancellor Angela Merkel is to address the Bundestag on Monday to detail the weapons her government will send to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Train drivers take their turn to strike
A banner announcing a previous rail strike in June is displayed in a station. Photo: DPA

Train drivers take their turn to strike

A train drivers' union has warned of a nationwide strike to take place on Monday evening as it seeks leverage in negotiations with Deutsche Bahn. READ  

Weak exports hit German GDP
Germany isn't sending as many goods abroad as at the beginning of the year. Photo: DPA

Weak exports hit German GDP

GDP fell by 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2014 but state coffers are doing well, the Federal Office of Statistics Destatis announced on Monday. READ  

Anti-euro breakthrough
Anti-euro AfD nears 10 percent in state election
AfD politicians Hans-Olaf Henkel MEP and leader Bernd Lucke, celebrate the party's success in Saxony on Sunday. Photo: Daniel Naupold/DPA

Anti-euro AfD nears 10 percent in state election

UPDATED: Germany's anti-euro party, AfD, won its first seats in a state parliament on Sunday after elections in Saxony, according to preliminary results. READ  

Berlin to open memorial to Nazis' disabled victims
Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

Berlin to open memorial to Nazis' disabled victims

Benjamin Traub, a sad-eyed German boy born in 1914, was considered a bright child by his parents and called gifted by his teachers. His life would end in a Nazi gas chamber. READ  

Anti-euro party to debut in state parliament
AfD leader Bernd Lucke celebrates his party's EU election results. Photo: DPA

Anti-euro party to debut in state parliament

Germany's fledgling anti-euro party looks set to win its first seats in a state parliament on Sunday, gaining a political foothold in opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel's grip on power. READ  

Stakes rise in Oracle-SAP copyright fight
Photo: DPA

Stakes rise in Oracle-SAP copyright fight

US appeals court on Friday ruled that Oracle be given a choice between $356.7 million or a new trial for its copyright lawsuit against German rival SAP. READ  

Court rules against child porn suspect Edathy
Former SPD MP Sebastian Edathy photographed at a press conference in February. Photo: DPA

Court rules against child porn suspect Edathy

The Constitutional Court on Friday rejected an attempt by former Social Democratic (SPD) MP Sebastian Edathy to have evidence against him thrown out in his trial for possession of child pornography. READ  

Student busted in case of misdelivered hash
Photo: DPA

Student busted in case of misdelivered hash

A Bavarian student expecting a cannabis delivery was collared by "Commissioner Fluke" after acting surprised in front of policemen when he saw his letter box was empty. READ  

Security fears block Germany-Israel match
German and Israeli fans cheer in the stands during a friendly in Leipzig in 2012. Photo: DPA

Security fears block Germany-Israel match

A friendly soccer match against Israel marking 50 years of diplomatic ties has been called off amid security concerns and the escalation of the Middle East conflict, the German Football Federation (DFB) said on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,417
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd