10 of the best bubbles to sleep in, from Sydney to Iceland
Move over, glamping. Bubble hotels are the new big thing, writes Kate Powell.
Surely these are among the world’s most jaw-dropping accommodations, offering complete, uninterrupted views and unmatched immersion in nature. The ‘bubble’ hotel trend brings a new meaning to the eco retreat, inviting you to get lost among some of the most coveted landscapes in the natural world.
From sleeping beneath the Northern Lights, to the depths of magical forests, to cosily pocketed hideaways in snow-capped surroundings, here are some of the world’s best ‘bubble’ hotels, where you can enjoy five-million-star views without sacrificing traditional five-star comfort.
1. Finn Lough Forest Domes, Enniskillen UK
The full hotel experience awaits within one of the transparent spheres at Finn Lough’s bubble domes, hidden within the verdant forest lands of Northern Ireland. Romance is in high supply, with intimate privacy provided by natural seclusion, and uninterrupted stargazing offered from the comfort of a bespoke four-poster bed. Rise with the sun and be welcomed by daily breakfast provided – one of the privileges of still technically being located on the grounds of a resort, whose other accommodations and services can be found beyond the trees. These include a spa offering a lake sauna and epsom salt-infused float bath, cycling tours of the woodland trails and the resort’s own marinas offering private boat hire.
2. Beach Bubble, Finolhu Maldives
The white sands of Finolhu, Maldives’ self-proclaimed “grooviest” island, have a secluded bubble of their own to boast. Its beachfront location makes for a sweetly romantic beach getaway with a twist, available exclusively on one-night-only ‘Dream Eclipse’ experiences. Bespoke furnishings include a four-poster bed with soft, white drapes, and a separate adjoining bathroom includes a shower. In the evening, enjoy a private beach barbecue for two on the 1.5-kilometre expanse of sand. Wake the following day to the blushed tones of sunrise over the sea at your doorstep and breakfast on the water’s edge.
3. Buubble South Coast, Reykjavik Iceland
The transparent domes of Buubble, Iceland’s exact South Coast locations are only provided upon booking one of the exclusive overnight tours, but a stay here promises stargazers the opportunity to fall asleep to the alluring dance of the aurora borealis overhead, surrounded by dense pine forest. There are three separate bubbles, each accommodating two people and located a short walking distance from a service house with amenities such as a shower and Wi-Fi. The Northern Lights experience is available only through tours offered through the winter, which take guests from Reykjavik (around one hour from Keflavik International Airport) by luxury SUV to its hidden route, which includes walking directly behind the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall –an immense 65 metres high – to Black Sand Beach which, as the name suggests, is unlike any beach of Australia’s own white coastlines.
4. Bubbletent Australia, New South Wales Australia
Three unique locations offer unequaled overviews of Capertee Valley in New South Wales, around three hours from its bustling heart of Sydney. The bubbles – named Leo, Virgo and Cancer, presumably inspired by their coveted views of the night sky – are each hidden from the others, offering such welcome mod-cons as a telescope, fire pit and private deck. Virgo is the most opulent of the accommodation offerings; recline on its ‘love swing’ to enjoy romantic vistas or, better yet, take a soak in the outdoor wood-fired bathtub as the sun sets before sinking into crisp white linen in the climate-controlled bubble.
5. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Lapland Finland
On the footstep of Urho Kekkonen National Park – the largest in Finland, covering some 2,550 square kilometres – Kakslauttanen offers unique Glass Igloo accommodation amid one of the world’s most unscathed natural environments; the crystal water running through the streams here is so clean, it can be drunk straight from its source. Found along the road to the Arctic Sea, the four-person igloos include a toilet and shower, with a sauna available in a separate building nearby. Larger groups can choose the Kelo-Glass igloos, which accommodate six in a unique hybrid of log chalet with an igloo-style dome on one end. Whichever suits, guests can expect a cosy, snow-dusted retreat complete with an art gallery and restaurants on grounds, with views of the Northern Lights its centrepiece.
6. Ridgeback Lodge, New Brunswick Canada
Nestled between the Saint John and Kennebascis rivers, these Dream Domes hidden deep within the Kingston Peninsula offer some of the most beautiful stargazing and wilderness sightings in Canada. Rustic timber interiors are encased by pillow-like white textile walls, with pockets of forest views dotted throughout and, from a soothing queen- or king-sized bed, expansive dome views of the natural treasures beyond. A flush toilet and sink, glass-walled shower, electrical outlets and a French coffee press are some of the creature comforts on offer here, and a Japanese wood-fired tub is just outside, its privacy provided only by the surrounding forest.
7. Levin Inglut, Kittilä Finland
The spacious interiors and luxurious amenities at Levin Inglut are so indulgent that they are almost misleading, suggesting to guests that they may in fact be in a boutique lodge rather than here, under the Arctic sky in Finland. Guests can, in fact, spend an entire stay here without leaving the transparent, geometric casings; the white blankets of snow surrounding pose no threat here, with climate control inside the accommodations and heated, non-fogging glass promising perfect vistas without compromise. Premium igloos command prime location on the side of the fell, with unobstructed views of the sky and valley. Snuggle in fluffy robes (provided) on a motorised bed, which can be adjusted to the perfect position for stargazing or snoozing, and in the morning be welcomed by included breakfast, perhaps brewing yourself a fresh coffee in your Igloo’s own kitchen.
8. Attrap’Rêves, Marseille France
Tucked away in the Provençal pine forest in the countryside of Marseille, Attrap’Rêves offers five unique bubbles created by French designer, Pierre Stephane Dumas. In each, you’ll find a different theme covering all bases from earthy, down-to-earth designs to the trendy ‘Glamour Bubble’. A Japanese tatami-style bubble invites guests to house themselves seamlessly between the earth and sky, with ‘Zen’ timber furnishings and a private deck with outdoor setting to drink in the countryside around you and perhaps enjoy dinner, served to you in-bubble. Despite each accommodation inciting a feeling of seclusion by the greenery surrounding, they are each in fact a short stroll from the hotel’s main building, where an outdoor Jacuzzi and restaurant await.
9. Campera Hotel Burbuja, Baja California Mexico
Ten spacious, well appointed bubbles at Campera Hotel Burbuja are the only accommodation of their kind in North America, designed in France and boasting a stunning location amid the vineyards of Mexico. Sleeping two, each is equipped to handle even the harshest of the region’s climates, pressurised and climate-controlled with heating and cooling systems within. In a Bubble Suite, wake to views of the vineyards from the comfort of a full-sized bed, with the added comfort of a private bathroom complete with regional soaps and creams. Nearby, fall in love with Mexican wines at the multitude of excellent wineries that call Valle de Guadalupe home.
10. Bubble Lodge, Bois Cheri Mauritius
Completely, 100% renewable, these eco-friendly bubbles seek to deliver a wellbeing experience that brings its guests in harmony with nature without impacting the pristine environment it calls home. Located in Mauritius’ most famous Tea Estate, the bubbles offer sweeping vistas of the island’s South Coast with the comfort of air conditioning, a plush, queen-sized bed and a private bathroom. Enjoy a book in the lounge area, partake in tropical bliss in an outdoor shower and take a romantic dinner in the bubble’s spacious dining area in the evenings.
LEAD IMAGE: BUUBBLE TOURS, ICELAND