What is it? Perched on top of the Southbank Centre next to the River Thames, this solitary boat-like eyrie is perhaps London's most unique accommodation. Look out of one window and you can see the Houses of Parliament, look in the opposite direction and you can eyeball St Paul's Cathedral. There are no other guests, of course, and no staff (apart from the greeter, who disappears after delivering an introductory briefing), so there's nothing to distract from the sheer delirious fun of staying in this room with a flying boat's-eye view. One of eight highly original places to stay in Britain put together by the Living Architecture group, Roi des Belges (the name of novelist Joseph Conrad's Congo steamer) was designed by David Kohn Architects in collaboration with artist Fiona Banner, who took their cue from the Thames. Spread over two "decks", this is as much a place in which to pause and reflect as it is to get a good night's kip or notch up a slew of Facebook "likes". There is a plan afoot to move the room lock, stock and barrel to a similarly panoramic location elsewhere in London, but this won't take place until 2015. Fine, but what's on the inside? Red-hued wood predominates, as might be expected given the boat theme; the lobby gives onto the loo and shower (REN skincare amenities), which are next to the galley (top) and two-seater dining table (right). The cabin contains a double bed (or twins, if you prefer) with Peter Reed Egyptian cotton linen and hypo-allergenic pillows and duvets, and a semi-circular seating area (top) at the "bow", facing the river. Climb up to the octagonal library in the wheelhouse via a hatch in the kitchen; bookshop chain Foyles selected the titles, which include A Bear Called Paddington , by Michael Bond; London Fields , by Martin Amis; and The Cloudspotter's Guide , by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. A door leads onto the deck; try to resist the temptation to ring down to the engine room and order "full speed ahead". There is intense competition to post the most iconic photo on Roi des Belges' Flickr page but while the Wi-fi is free, the connection can be temperamental. What about something to eat? The galley is furnished with a Miele fridge and microwave and David Mellor (the late designer, not the former toe-sucking politician) cutlery, glasses and other dining essentials. Bring a picnic or get something delivered, as heading to a restaurant would mean missing out on time in Roi des Belges. We're refreshed and replete; what's next? Although you're on top of Britain's largest arts enclave, just about everyone who stays is transfixed by Roi des Belges' master-of-all-I-survey perch, and the tendency is to snuggle down and simply watch the city going about its business just outside the window. As recorded in the log book, quite a lot of guests set their alarm some time before dawn to watch London wake up. Any downside? Given Roi des Belges' central location, it can be a little noisy, with passing emergency vehicles' sirens and events at the Southbank Centre adding to the decibels. What's the bottom line? A Room in London costs £300 (HK$3,800) a night but it's not a matter of simply fronting up with the cash. Rather originally, and given Roi de Belges' huge popularity, a very democratic ballot is held at regular intervals. So getting in is a matter of luck. For more details, visit living-architecture.com .