A retired B737 plane has been converted into the Private Jet Villa, which is permanently grounded on a remote clifftop in Bali. Rose Dykins reports
The Private Jet Villa by Hanging Gardens Air is a quirky luxury escape in Bali housed in a permanently grounded Boeing 737 plane.
The ambitious project by developer and owner of Bubble Hotel Chain Felix Denim began in 2021. “My girlfriend wanted us to have our own plane… We found this plane and ended up buying it, but naturally, as an entrepreneur, I thought about what could be made of it,” says Denim.
“Even before buying this aircraft, I had decided that it would be converted into a villa. I already had experience in building the Bubble Hotel Bali chain, which is among the ten most unique hotels in the world, and I understood that I should make some interesting non-standard hotels, since they are in greater demand.”Transporting the plane and reassembling it in its current location – perched on a cliff 150 metres above sea level on the southernmost coast of Bali – was a huge logistical challenge. It required two cranes and a team of 20 people who worked for two months.
50,000 bolts had to be removed to take apart the B737 plane following consultation with the Boeing team to make sure the process was correct. In addition, Bali’s narrow, winding roads and low-hanging wires meant that 600 metres of road had to be created just for the project, and the transportation of the plane took five days in total. Now, the Private Jet Villa is available to rent from April 2023 for approximately US$7,000 per night (although, according to Denim, it currently has unpaid booking requests for the next 11 years).
The two-bedroom villa within the B737 has its own infinity pool with a semi-transparent wall – which is cantilevered over the cliff’s edge. From the villa’s luxurious living room, it’s possible to walk straight onto the wing of the plane. “You can climb the wing of the aircraft by stairs and then from the wing you get inside and go straight into the living room,” says Denim.
“Here we have a bar, a cosy sofa and a huge glass portal where we plan to use smart glass technology. When you press the remote control, the transparency of the glass changes and a gorgeous view opens up. I want people to experience the ‘wow effect’ from every second of being in this unusual place.” Both of the villa’s bedrooms have walk-in closets. The interior design of the villa features light colours incorporates items and materials that were meticulously collected from across the world. “You can see natural travertine, which was specially transported from Italy,” says Denim.
He adds: “We use fine Egyptian cotton for bed linen and we searched for a beige toilet from more than 50 manufacturers around the world – finally, we found one small manufacturer in Spain who undertook to make it specifically for our project.” The plane’s cockpit has been converted into a large bathroom with additional portholes added for admiring the surrounding natural beauty. There’s also an automated smart home system for opening and closing the porthole curtains. Like a hotel, the villa has a 24-hour serviced lobby – designed to feel like a mini airport – and also has a helipad on its roof. Also outside of the plane is a relaxation area with bio-fireplace that produces no smoke.