Could this be New Zealand's real life Black Mirror episode?
A small and oh-so picture perfect holiday suite in the Waipara Valley is inviting visitors to pay for their stay using social media 'likes'.
The OPPO Reno Suite was dreamed up by the Smartphone company OPPO. Situated in the stunning scenery of Canterbury, the glass eco-cabin - one of New Zealand's PurePods eco-cabin accommodation - is full of windows framing prize-winning vineyards and environmentally conscious features to brag about.
For an eight-week period from July 1, guests booking into the rebranded Greystone Pod will get a discount their via Instagram posts of this most photogenic of baches. The going rate is $1 for every like your social media garners. Tagging #Instacation #opponz, and @OPPONewZealand, the likes will be counted at the end of your stay and taken off your final bill.
At $500 a night with an optional dinner and breakfast package for an additional $100, you do the maths: a sufficiently popular social media account could easily earn you a free stay in this gorgeous Greystone paddocks for 600 likes.
(The discount is capped, so don't expect to be reimbursed for any additional 'likes' earned on top of the initial 600 for food and board.)
It sounds like a winning formula for digitally savvy Kiwis who are rich in friendships, if poor in real-world dollars.
And yet there's something a little 'uncanny valley' about this Canterbury PurePod that equates social media impressions with the value of your custom.
Perhaps I'm just bitter that I don't have enough friends to get a discount on my booking. But I'm sure this is the holiday that Charlie Brooker was trying to warn us about when he wrote the TV series Black Mirror.
It's slick. Like the smartphone which the experience is advertising, the sliding glass panels and perfectly curated windows all look effortlessly trendy.
Everything about the experience appears to have been airbrushed onto the landscape with a rose-tinted smartphone filter.
The premise is to lull you into the final logical leap of conflating social currency with real, hard-earned, filthy lucre.
But what's the real cost of a 'free' #Instacation?
Like a proverbial swan, the Pod's social media influencer guest will be floating around the grounds trying to look as calm and composed for their photos as possible – while beneath the surface, they are rushing round the Waipara vineyards for the 72-hour period like a headless chicken.
It might be the true price is your time and peace of mind.
Should we be encouraging travellers to pursue internet fame as a viable way to offset their holiday expenses? Do we really want to take our Instagram followers on holiday with us? It hardly adds up to a relaxing break.
As Eleanor Barker recently wrote in a piece for The Herald, it's time we look more closely at the economics of so-called 'influencers'.
"We know that people come from all over to experience, capture and share the natural beauty of New Zealand and we wanted to reward them for that," said Kevin Cho, MD of OPPO New Zealand.
I say, switch your phones onto flight mode and open up a bottle of local Riesling from the Cellar Door. They can send through the bill when I'm done.
There's no such thing as a free holiday.
Guests can book their stay at www.OPPOInstacation.co.nz and will be reimbursed accordingly for the content they have posted within 72 hours of their stay. We'll have a writer experiencing the OPPO Reno Suite for themselves next week. Keep an eye on Travel to find out whether she can get to 599 likes.