You can experience the thrill of spending a night on a Boeing, overlooking the African bushveld and the northern Drakensberg mountains.

The dream became a reality for Martin den Dunnen and wife Tracy in March 2019 when time, opportunity, and passion collided and a Boeing 737 ZS-BIL was purchased.

The Aerotel is the idea and brainchild of both partners.

Martin is a businessman of Hoedspruit for approximately 23 years, he is also a pilot, and a property developer, with extensive construction experience.

His wife and himself had a dream, a will, and a passion to restore dignity to a retired airliner aircraft, that would have habitually ended up in an airport graveyard, doomed to rust away or to be chopped up as scrap metal.

A four-month-preparation project ensued ZS-BIL was prepared for safe transportation from OR Tambo International airport to Hoedspruit, where the rebuild and conversion into a luxury bush hotel would take place.

The Boeing departed from DENEL grounds on 5 May 2019 and travelled nine days by road to Hoedspruit, Limpopo.

The rebuild ensued in full force once BIL arrived at her new and final destination. It was an adventure to say the least, with no manual and no previous experience from which to draw from to light the way. But with the assistance and expertise of local and regional professionals, Aerotel stands today as a testimony of what willpower and passion can achieve, when coupled with a great team of like-minded individuals.

The Aerotel opened for business on 10 October 2020.

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