January 16, 2012

Room for London

With everything that’s happening in London this year, including the 2012 Summer Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee for HM Queen Elizabeth, II, you might have missed this little news nugget. A very small hotel has opened on the South Bank of the Thames.

How small, you might ask? One room.

And that’s not the most unusual thing about this hotel. It’s in a tiny tugboat structure that looks like a huge Thames tide might have thrown it on to the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre.In theory, anyone can book this room, which goes for a very reasonable London rate of £120 a night, but the first six months of bookings sold out in less than 12 minutes.

The three wind turbines on the spire over the tug help provide the power to the structure. And the spires echo those of the historic churches in London… St. Clements, St. Brides, St. Mary-le-Bow, St. Martins and others.RFL rearThe view from the bow pans from the Palace of Westminster to St. Paul’s Cathedral. It must be a great glittering sight at night.The interior is fitted out with boat-like components, the better to fit a lot into a very small space. The architect for the project, David Kohn, took elements from Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness and applied them to this vessel, including naming it the same name as the boat that Conrad sailed up the River Congo, Roi des Belges. In addition, the map room has copies of antique maps of both the Congo and the Thames, tying them together as Conrad did in his books.

Reservations are again being accepted, as of Thursday, January 19th at 12:00 GMT, but if they sell like the last round, good luck in getting one!


  1. VERY cool. and you're right, it does look like the tide may have landed it there.

  2. Love the location, love the idea, love the boatiness... but two single beds? NAAAAAAAAAH!

  3. How fun and unique!! I need at least a queen bed though as I am all over the place!


    Art by Karena

  4. I want to repaint the walls and move in immediately, but only if Connor agrees to be co-captain for a couple days and stroll about wearing a yellow slicker and a captain's hat, extended spyglass held in place by steady paw.

  5. How unique is this! I do agree with the other comment though..2 single beds..not so much!!

  6. Adorable!

    Forget the two single beds - I don't care about that! More importantly where's the loo?


  7. Hi Meg,
    How wonderful! It would be worth a trip to London just for a sleepover on the tug.
    Cheerio, Marjorie

  8. Great literature and great architecture in a great city -- what could beat that combination?!

  9. Nice blog and good collection.Keep posting


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