In Travel

Dome Dwelling: The World’s Best Bubble Hotels

While five-star hotels may have remote control everything, butler services and fluffy, cloud-like robes, what they don’t have is 360 degree, uninterrupted views of the twinkling night sky.

Cue bubble hotels. Touted as the new glamping, they’re clear, climate-controlled domes that deliver the luxury perks of a hotel while still allowing guests to enjoy unrivalled views of nature – all-night-long.

From air-conditioned bubbles with views over the Australian outback to heated domes looking out onto the Northern Lights, if you’re searching for a new experience – and some stunning photos to boot – a bubble hotel could be the answer.

Here we look at four of the world’s most extravagant.

Bubbletent, NSW, Australia

After a spot of stargazing on a trip to Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, an entrepreneur couple wasn’t content to simply head back inside their concrete accommodation.

“We couldn’t do what we thought came natural to a place like that: which was sleeping under the stars where we weren’t freezing,” writes Sonny Vrebacm of the resulting project: Bubbletent Australia.

While the views here are second to none, the facilities at Bubbletent Australia don’t fall short either. Across three different setup sites, the properties boast a telescope with which guest can take a close-up photo of the moon using only their smartphone, an iPad with birdwatching apps, curated playlists and a Swedish wood-fired hot tub.

Of course, it would be criminal to interrupt epic views of the Australian outback with a pair of curtains. So, Bubbletent aims to protect your modesty from the outside world by making the location of the hotel private. Without a booking, all they’ll share is that their sites are roughly halfway between Mudgee and Lithgow in NSW and overlook the second largest canyon in the world, Capertee Valley.

5 Million Star Hotel, Iceland

One sight that seems to pop up on almost every traveler’s bucket list is the Northern Lights. And there’s no better way to watch the spectacular natural light show colourfully dance across the sky than from the comfort of your own heated bubble bedroom.

Aptly named the 5 Million Star Hotel, this bubble hotel is located 250km north of the Arctic Circle and, at the right time of year, gives otherworldly views of the Aurora Borealis and the Milky Way.

The bubbles aren’t simply a hotel; they’re part of a tour company in which the bubble is your R&R spot after a day of exploring. Before dozing off in the dome, you’ll head off on an adventure that will see you visit hot springs, natural parks and the stunning Gullfoss waterfall. To put it simply, you’ll be able to cross off half of your travel bucket list in one day.

Finn Lough Resort, Ireland

bubble hotels

Image: Finn Lough Resort / supplied

Who says you have to sacrifice luxuries like four poster beds and freestanding stone-cast bathtubs when staying smack-bang in the middle of nature?

The domes at Finn Lough Resort in Ireland ensure you’ll have all the perks of a high-end hotel – like the above as well as a robe, slippers and, handy for dusty mornings, a Nespresso machine – while surrounded by the dense forest and serene lakelands of Lough Erne.

Far from roughing it, the resort also has chalet accommodation, a restaurant, wine cellar and whiskey tasting room. So, while being in your private bubble may feel like you’re worlds away from civilisation, you’ll be happy to know you’ll still have access to some of the finer things in life. After all, who doesn’t want to enjoy a tumbler of aged whiskey paired with some French cheese under a blanket of stars?

Bubble Hotel, Bali

Whether it’s vast endless blue views of the Indian Ocean in Uluwatu that you crave, or those of tangled vines in lush, primeval jungle in Ubud, Bali’s Bubble Hotel has you covered. With private locations in two of Bali’s most idyllic areas, the beauty of Bali’s bubble hotels is undeniable.

However, unlike some of the other plush bubble hotels, Bali’s version isn’t for the faint hearted – especially the bubble in Uluwatu. Its incredible view is owed to the fact that it’s located half way down a cliff-face, meaning you’ll need to hike down a steep trek to reach it. However, once you’re there, you’ll likely never want to leave – and not just because of the lofty trek back up. The ocean views need to be seen to be believed.

If you’d prefer a less adventurous journey to your hotel, try the version in Ubud. Here, you can lounge around in netted hammocks dangling tens of metres above the jungle or splash about in an infinity pool situated right by your bubble – which thankfully is a short, easy and flat walk straight from your taxi drop off spot.

(Lead image: 5 Million Star Hotel / supplied) 

Published 15 May, 2019