Spending the night in “alternative” locations has become a travel trend in recent years (hotel rooms = boring, remember), with guests getting the chance to stay in unusual digs such as an Ikea store, a bookshop, up the Eiffel tower and, now, suspended from a crane.
Due to open this summer, Crane 29 is being marketed as a one-bedroom dangling “treehouse” in Bristol’s Harbourside, offering waterside views in a “nature-inspired sanctuary”. Crane 29 is one of four listed cranes dating back to the 1950s when up to 40 lined the docks. The “treehouse” has been created by glamping holiday specialist Canopy & Stars and is only available for 126 nights, from 27May-30 September, for one-night stays for two people, at an elevated price of £185 a night B&B in the week and £250 at weekends. A compost loo means you won’t have to clamber back down if you’re desperate in the middle of the night. Bookings for the treehouse are through a ballot which will take place on 10 April and 3 July. All profits go to Friends of the Earth.
It is the kind of one-off experience publicity-hungry travel brands have become increasingly savvy at dreaming up. This week Tripadvisor launched a competition, offering two people the chance to spend the night in a pod on the London Eye.
The idea of temporary, one-off places to staymay owe a debt to the Room for London project, in which a boat was placed on top of the Southbank Centre in 2012. Designed by architect David Kohn and artist Fiona Banner, it invited writers, artists and musicians, as well as paying guests, to spend a night. The project generated extensive coverage.
When it comes to thinking up unusual places to spend the night, however, Airbnb is the market leader. In 2014, the home-sharing site offered guests the chance to spend the night in a Sydney Ikea store. A few months later, after a story went viral about a man who accidentally spent the night in a London Waterstones bookshop, Airbnb’s PR team leapt into action and arranged a sleepover for 10 people at Waterstones’ flagship London Piccadilly store.
There was a more interesting collaboration in February 2016, when Airbnb teamed up with the Art Institute of Chicago to offer guests the chance to stay in a recreation of Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles painting.