The country’s most popular paid-for tourist attraction, the London Eye, will be the exclusive domain of a couple on March 30 when, for the first time ever, one of its pods will be converted to a pop-up hotel room.
Launched today by TripAdvisor Rentals, the Eye Spy a Home in the Sky competition will gift two people the opportunity to sleep in a London Eye pod kitted out with furniture by homewares brand Wayfair. Though the capsule will be decorated on March 30 for the winners’ stay that night, a rendering released today shows it will be simply furnished with wooden furniture, feature garlands of lights above the bed and made verdant with various palms and plants - which will also provide at least some coverage to the duo sleeping in this glass-covered container.
As yet, few details have been released to clarify how exactly the couple’s stay in the sky will be structured but on the day itself the London Eye will close to the public from 5.30pm and from that point onwards the winners will be able to take their place in their airborne boudoir, which will stand at the very top of the attraction, at a height of 443ft (135m). The attraction will be staffed throughout the night and residents will be able to contact attendees below should they wish, for example, to come down to use the toilet or stretch their legs.
In addition to their one-night stay in the riverside landmark, the couple will be provided with a complimentary three-night stay in a three-bedroom London home available through TripAdvisor’s rental division. That should provide plenty of time to better explore the sights that caught the couple’s notice when stationed in the Eye.
To be in with a chance to win, entrants will need to visit the competition website and submit basic identification details by March 19. Adult residents of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the UK are eligible to enter, and flights will be provided should the winners be travelling to London from abroad.
Though only two people will directly enjoy this one-night initiative, the competition is the latest in a growing number of endeavours by travel brands to promote their products. In January Airbnb partnered with Pantone to create “Outside In,” a multi-sensory botanical-themed apartment in central London decked out in Pantone’s colour of the year 15-0343 Greenery. It has also launched a number of competitions offering the public “unforgettable stays” in the likes of Abbey Road Studios and a Halloween night stay in Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania.
Meanwhile, travellers intrigued by the possibility of overnighting in a conventional space but who would like to simply pay for the privilege rather than count on good fortune in a competition have a number of options available to them.
In Arctic Sweden, the fabled Icehotel is made entirely of ice and compressed snow and turns to meltwater each spring; in Huzhou, China, the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort is a magnet-shaped hotel seemingly embedded in Lake Taihu; in Antwerp, the bizarre Hotel CasAnus has been designed to resemble a giant intestine. You can see those hotels, and many more, in our guide to 50 of the world’s most unusual hotels .