Nothing beats a weekend away, and most people would take more of them if they had unlimited money to spend on them - which is why the concept I'm about to tell you about will appeal to many.
OPPO, the smartphone company, has a promotion going throughout July and August 2019 where you can stay at their rebranded Purepod luxury eco-cabin near Christchurch for a weekend and pay for your stay with Instagram likes.
For every like you receive on your Instagram posts about your 'instacation', that's $1 off the total cost - a no brainer for anyone with a large Instagram following but appealing, also, for those with small followings because you're still going to get a few bucks off.
The stay would normally set you back $500, plus $100 for a dinner and breakfast package for two.
My best friend Fran and I recently gave it a go, spending a night at the OPPO Reno Suite in the Waipara Valley, Canterbury - a gorgeous, wee glass eco-cabin that sits above Greystone Winery.
We arrived at Greystone Winery on Saturday afternoon at the check-in time of 2pm, leaving our car at the designated car park, as instructed, and walking the short 700m track to our eco-cabin.
The excitement builds as you walk the track, and when we rounded the hill and spied our stay, the cutest little all-glass cabin in the world with sweeping views of the vineyard and beyond to the Southern Alps, we were delighted.
We unpacked in a nano-second and wasted no time exploring our accommodation. Fridge stocked full of wine and food, tick. Comfy bed, tick. (These stays are tailored for couples but best friends happily share beds, too!) Small but perfectly formed kitchen, tick. Small but perfectly formed bathroom (with a shower with unparalleled views!), tick. Weber barbecue for outside cooking if the weather is good, tick.
And on our sideboard two of OPPO's recently launched phones, the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom, to experiment with taking photos with and to use to gram our images.
We wasted no time getting acquainted with the phones and discovered they took much better pics than ours.
We got our first posts up on Instagram then opened the wine, unwrapped the cheeses and started talking, right where we left off when we last saw one another.
There is the option to visit the vineyard, which is open for OPPO guests to have a winery tour or complimentary tasting, but we were happy to stay put. It was cold outside and we were cosy with the solar-powered heating cranked up.
Younger people may have spent more time playing around on the phones, but there's no pressure to post your entire experience on social media. Just do you and enjoy the serenity and the views.
Nine hours later, Fran and I were still talking - but by this time we had also cooked and consumed dinner - a delicious meal of rib-eye steak, mushrooms and vegetables - analysed our personalities using a book Fran had brought along (there's no TV here), caught up on all of one another's news, and opened the blind on the ceiling so that we could look at the stars. We fell asleep looking up at the stars.
The next morning there was a lie-in and breakfast then we hit the surrounding hills with the OPPO Reno 10x Zooms and got more great photos.
It was all over too soon. Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and go home.
Would I do it again? Yes.
It was peaceful, it was tranquil, we were beautifully tucked away from the world and all its worries - and it was lovely to be able to hang with my friend without any other pressures or demands on our time. Don't think that you can only take a getaway like this if you have a partner!
Guests can book their stay at www.oppoinstacation.co.nz and are reimbursed accordingly for the content they post within 72 hours of their stay. Enjoy!
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