Brittania rules the eaves? Ship-shape hotel adorns London rooftop

Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

Along with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Summer Olympics, this year also brings a quirky landmark to London: a little boat-shaped abode that sits atop Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre. It’s a room with more than one view — really great views of the Thames River, the London Eye and Big Ben — and only accommodates two.

A Room for London” was the winning entry in an architectural competition to create a novel dwelling at the arts center. The inspiration, according to the room’s website, was the boat from the Congo voyage taken by author Joseph Conrad in 1890 that became the basis of “Heart of Darkness.”

The dwelling includes a bed and a pull-down ladder that accesses a library above the main space. Inside, it’s all wood and porthole-style windows that evoke a true boat. The room sold out almost immediately in January after reservations opened for July to December (reservations for prior dates had opened earlier). The cost of a night’s stay for those dates ranged from 120 to 300 British pounds, or about $158 to $473 a night. 

The boat will stay afloat only until the end of the year in its current location. Check out a photo gallery of “A Room for London.”