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How is it to sleep in a transparent bubble immersed in nature? How much does it cost? Where are the bubbles? But do they see you from the outside? And what about the bathroom? I will answer all these questions by telling you about my experience of Glamping in Provence!
Good morning dreamer,
since I have posted the first photo of the bubble hotel, you have all gone crazy! And I can understand, it had been in my wish list for years. But let’s start from the beginning.
I have just ended a road trip in Provence, a romantic escapade for our anniversary, a holiday that I basically chose to do to try out the Glamping experience. Three years ago I was preparing the itinerary for a road trip around France when on Pinterest I discovered the existence of these huge transparent bubbles to sleep in, which are spread out all over the country. You can understand my surprise, which quickly turned into love.
I then decided to sleep in a bubble for my anniversary, after a long day of traveling through France. How was the experience? I will answer all the questions one at a time.
How does it work to sleep in a bubble? Are the bubbles transparent?
This experience is called glamping, from the fusion of the words camping and glam, i.e. a luxury camping. Unlike classical camping where you sleep on the floor and bathrooms are often shared, the bubbles are glamping because you have an actual bed inside with a private bathroom, and with the possibility of renting a Jacuzzi.
You rent it as you would a normal hotel, through the official website Attrap rêves, where you can choose the type of bubble and the place. Not all bubbles are transparent! There are in fact different types of bubbles according to shape and décor, following carious themes, For example, I chose Zen bubble (also because it was the only one available), but there are other such bubbles in a “romantic” version, with half the bubble white and with only the ceiling transparent. There is also the bubble suite, with the bathroom included. So if you are particularly worried about your privacy or simply you scared of seeing weird lights and movements in the night, it is definitely better to opt for a white bubble.
Ok, you sleep in the bubble, but what about the bathroom? Do they see you while you sleep?
The private bathroom is about 3 minutes away from the bubble. So it is not really awkward! You will have a key in order to lock it and use it whenever you like. Consider that the bubbles are immersed in nature, in a land linked to the hotel (standard hotel in concrete :P), so it is unlikely for there to be strangers about. Moreover, every bubble has its own pathway with a hedge around in order to have both more privacy, and to be closer to the bathroom and the hotel with all of its facilities. From the video, you will be able to understand better how the bubbles are arranged.
What’s inside the bubble?
The bubble is constantly inflated by air, so when you get in you first have a small entrance, where you close yourself in with zippers, in order to enter the real bubble. The zippers stop the air from escaping, a bit like with astronauts coming back from space or like in quarantine in a zombie movie.
Once you get through this slightly uncomfortable, but fundamental, transition, you are inside the bubble. The “ceiling” is high, so you will not bump your head! The air is changed constantly, in order to keep the bubble inflated, hence you will not die suffocated during the night. The temperature can be controlled only to make the space warmer, not colder, with a small radiator. Remember that during the day it will be a lot hotter inside, while in the night it will be cozy under the covers.
You will find a bed, with both mattresses and pillows as in any hotel, and a telescope to watch the stars. The space is small, but you fit in comfortably.
Around the bubble you will have a little private garden with tables and chairs, to be able to enjoy sunset and sunrise, and where you can also have breakfast and dinner. There are lanterns in the ground around the bubble, so you will have lights around you even in the night.
The hotel has a restaurant, so you can either eat there or request a basket to eat next to the bubble. Breakfast is included and you will find it in a basket close to the bathroom. Coffee and cappuccino you can get them when you want them inside the hotel to get them warm!
Breakfast is rich, you will find: 4 brioches, 2 sandwiches, 3 jams, different lumps of sugar, butter and yogurt.
Where are the bubbles?
There are different places where to try the bubble’s hotels in France. I stayed in the one in Puget Ville, which has 3 bubbles, one of them is transparent, one half covered and one a suite. You will find them also in Allauch, Montagnac, Montpezat and in La Boulladisse.
Take into account that the bubbles are very sought out for, so unless you book a lot in advance, you might find your chosen town without any available bubbles. For example, I booked about 15 days ahead for the night of the 14th of July and I found only one bubble available.
How much does it cost to sleep in a bubble?
And let’s come to one of the more pressing questions…how much does it cost to sleep in a bubble? I can obviously tell you how much I paid, but prices, just like in any hotel, change during the seasons. I do not have any contacts with the site, so I cannot give you more information than any other normal client. I paid 139€ for one night, the 14th of July 2017, for two people with breakfast included. A lot? A little? That is up to you to say. Take into account that I usually spend a maximum of 80€ a night, so for me, it is definitely a lot, but you must remember it is a different experience!
Sleeping in a bubble, my experience – Positive aspects:
– I have wanted to experience it for a long time and I am glad I managed. At the moment it is quite an exclusive thing as there are not many of them around the world.
– Sleeping under the stars, especially for who lives in a city, like this for sure you would have never done it! I had never done it! Opening your eyes during the night you will see a beautiful starry night above.
– If you love nature, but you hate insects, this bubble is perfect!
– You will enjoy nature with all the comforts of a hotel, bathroom included!
– You will be able to add a stop in nature without having to add on more to your luggage, as you will find everything you need in the bubble.
– If you are looking for a romantic escape, this bubble is certainly perfect for couples. Many choose it as a hotel for their honeymoon. Animals and children are, in fact, not allowed.
– Instagram addicted? Yes you, don’t you want a photo in such a particular place? I will confess, part of my desire to try the experience including the chance to take pictures there, starry sky included.
Sleeping in a bubble, my experience – Negative aspects:
Many of these negative aspects are that only for me, obviously this being an article in which I tell you about my experience from my point of view, I will tell you all that did not convince me.
– I slept very little! The bed was very comfortable and the desire to watch the stars a lot. My problem though was first the sound of the wind shaking the trees, and then the light around me (including that of the moon). The noise from the wind scared me a lot more than once, so it was inevitable for me to keep waking up. While Gabriele slept quietly and peacefully next to me. And I expected the opposite!
– The transparent bubble is an interesting test. Before falling asleep, Gabriele was alarmed by lights and shadows, while I had trouble with shadows and noises from the trees during the night. If you are particularly susceptible, it might be better to opt first for the white bubble. Personally I wanted to really try the transparent version, because it was like sleeping in the middle of the woods, although in a comfortable bed and protected by a bubble.
– The telescope did not have a stand to support it, so it was rather difficult to use…also because the moon showed up very late. Moreover, around our bubble there were very high trees, which obscured the view of the sky. Perfect for whom wants to feel as though inside a forest, a bit less for who wants to see the stars.
– The personnel only speak French, although as Italians we managed to get along well! ;)
– The cost for only a night. Certainly, the bubble must have high maintenance costs, but for me, it is still a negative aspect to consider.
Will I go back to a bubble hotel? I don’t know! If I could come back, would I do it again? Definitely yes! Is it an experience I recommend? Yes, for me it was very stimulating, to try absolutely if you get the chance.
And have you ever slept in a bubble? How did you find it? Or did you opt for other types of Glamping? Let me know in the comments!