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A night in a camper van on river island... for 35
Published 04/08/14



HERE’S something you don’t see every day. Six Volkswagen camper vans appeared on the picturesque Temple Island in the middle of the River Thames in Henley.

The stunt was part of an “adventurous getaway concept” called Hotel VW California devised by the German car manufacturer and LateRooms.com, giving people a chance to stay on the island.

The vehicles were transported to the island using floating pontoons provided by Cook Piling of Hurley, who install the regatta course, and remained there for almost a week until Monday morning.

Each one can sleep four people and 18 families stayed for a night after booking via the website on a first-come first-served basis. The visitors were also able to enjoy a barbecue on the island.

The “rooms” cost 35 a night and proceeds will go to the RSPCA.


Pietro Panarisi, head of press and PR for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “The ethos is about freedom, sense of adventure and going off to do things and this felt like a nice way of demonstrating that.

“It’s such a fantastic site. We really wanted to capture people’s imagination and to do that needed somewhere that’s unique.”

Edward Warner, assistant secretary at Henley Royal Regatta, which is responsible for the island, said: “Volkswagen approached us having seen the venue was available to hire and we took it forward from there.

“We normally use it for things like weddings, receptions and parties. They looked at it and saw that they could do something rather unusual and away they went.

“We have all sorts of weird and wonderful enquiries about the island but this is probably one of the most unusual.”

Published 04/08/14

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