Great outdoors enthusiasts will wax lyrical about sleeping under the stars and the glory of getting back to nature but camping involves mosquitoes and possibly pooping near a bush. And it might rain. By contrast, one of the latest trends in unique accommodation, the bubble hotel, offers all the magic of being almost entirely immersed in nature while not having to relinquish any of your material comforts like a warm shower and a comfortable king-sized mattress. And a toilet.
Bubble hotels, basically inflatable transparent domes, are essentially the next evolution in glamping and have emerged as something of a phenomenon since early 2018. These quirky little see-through spheres are scattered around the globe from Iceland to Australia to Bali to Mauritius, and though they haven't made their way to all of the Middle East just yet, one tiny Arab kingdom features a whole host of them: Jordan.
The spherical hotels are concentrated primarily in Wadi Rum and Petra, dotting the landscape on the Mars-like terrain featuring stretching desert sands and sandstone mountains. They're a far cry from what you might imagine camping in the desert to be like, and often come complete with plush bedding, your own patio, and possibly a hot tub plopped on it. Here are 6 of the swankiest bubble hotels in Jordan...
*The values listed are indicated as averages for each hotel, but vary according to date and accommodation type.
Petra Bubble | $280 per night
Photo courtesy of IG account @merve.ut
Photo courtesy of IG account @explorerssaurus_
Providing the ultimate glamping experience, this hotel’s bubble suites are perched atop Petra’s mountains, and each of the 20 suites comes - wait for it - with its own hot tub and sun deck. The luxotel has three kinds of bubble suites; king size, twin and family, and is operating year-round. Visitors can literally experience the outdoors from the safety and shelter of their see-through dome, from the swelteringly warm summers, to the winters where there's snow covering the ground. More here.
Sun City Camp | $200 per night
Photo courtesy of Sun City Camp
An almost jarring combination of modern design and what the website refers to as a “bedouin living experience,” this bubble hotel is located in Jordan’s very own “valley of the moon”: Wadi Rum. 60 km away from the port city of Aqaba, Wadi Rum’s landscape - known for its Sandstone mountains - has served as the set for Mars in over 10 Hollywood blockbusters. Yes, including 2015 Mars flick The Martian. And this hotel knows its history, naming one of its signature suite types, ‘The Martian Room.’ More here.
Wadi Rum Bubble Luxotel | $322 per night
Photo courtesy of Wadi Rum Bubble Luxotel
This swanky stay comes complete with your own private hot tub, and your own hammock perched atop your patio so there's essentially never even any reason to go anywhere past your suite. This luxotel offers also offers stargazing activities, providing portable telescopes for interested visitors. More here.
Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp | $112 per night
Photo courtesy of IG account @sorayabakhtiar
This hotel, also in Wadi Rum, prides itself in the starlit skies it lies underneath, making the bubble suites the perfect form of accommodation for this particular spot in Jordan’s desert. Aside from four poster beds in every room - or bubble - the hotel also has a larger, Arabian tent inspired by the Bedouin heritage of Wadi Rum. More here.
Aicha Luxury | $282 per night
Photo courtesy of IG account @yurisu13
Aicha Luxury is definitely one that tops the list, with gorgeous, eclectic, multicolored bubble suites in the heart of the Wadi Rum desert. Offering a diverse range of bubble experiences, the suites’ designs vary from painstakingly detailed and luxurious oriental, to the - now classic - panoramic bubble, with transparent roofs. More here.