You might have heard about and even seen the Sunborn yacht hotel, which arrived into the Royal Victoria Dock last year. But if you want a more intimate stay in a boat, a new place has recently opened.
It might be a bit of stretch to call Bert’s Barges a hotel, although that’s what the owners are doing. Moored on the Regent’s Canal in Hackney, the “hotel” is currently only one barge. The brand plans on expanding soon, however, aiming to have five eventually. There will also soon be another location in Little Venice and they’re also expanding to York and Bristol.
Although it might not look or sound much like a hotel, if properties with only one or two rooms can be called boutique hotels, then why can’t this?
The boat is owned by Bert & May, an interiors company – and it shows. The decor has a minimal, Scandinavian look to it, much fancier than most houseboats you’ll find on the Thames. There’s also a kitchen and living and dining area, although breakfast can be dropped off every morning.
If you want to escape Hackney and explore the rest of London, you can hop on a folding Brompton bicycle. But if you’d prefer to mess about on the river, there’s a vintage rowing boat to borrow too. Upon arrival, you get a welcome hamper with fruit, cereals, snacks, craft beers and organic wine.
With a double bed and a pull-down bed in the living area there’s plenty of room. Prices start from £250 a night (for a two-night stay), with a lovely late check-out of 12pm.
For another unusual boat experience, there’s “A Room for London”. This single room isn’t on the water, but it is shaped like a boat. It sits above the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre. Unfortunately, booking is by ballot only and it’s closed for the last time for stays in August and September 2015.
Bert’s Barges might not be a superyacht, but it’s still a novel way to spend a night in London. But whether it can be called a hotel is still open to debate…
Photo credits: Bert’s Barges.