Last week I had the chance to stay overnight in the Aurora Bubble Hotel, known as the 5 Million Star Hotel, so I took my Mum and we headed off to sleep in a bubble under the stars. A beautifully crisp winters day, we arrived into a winter wonderland, ready for the Aurora and to sleep under a blanket of stars.
The Bubbles act like a hotel and provide you with a room which is fully transparent, providing the perfect Northern Lights Hotel. Each Bubble sleeps two adults in a comfortable double bed, minimum age is six years old for health and safety reasons. The structure is completely inflatable and made out of a fire-retardant PVC tarpaulin, you literally sleep in a bubble. The structure keeps itself inflated by a slight over-pressure from a noiseless ventilation system. The system is designed to renew the air 2-7 times per hour, this also prevents any humidity. The system has an heating element with thermostat so the Bubble is cosy and warm all winter.
Nestled in a small Icelandic wood the Bubbles are the ideal Northern Lights viewing platform, lie back and watch the starry sky. Sleep under the stars, right in the woods, it's a very special night. Some of the Bubbles have a white panel around the bottom of the walls at bed height which gives a little privacy but this doesn't interfere with any Northern Lights viewing.
The location of the Bubbles is kept secret until you have booked but I can tell you that they are located in the countryside near Fludir and the Golden Circle. It's about an hours drive from Reykjavik and two hours from Keflavik Airport. The Bubbles are nestled in a beautiful spot, set back from the road and surrounded by trees. You can also see the volcanos Katla and Eyjafjallajökull in the distance.
This is an opportunity to truly chill out - lie back and take it all in. Sleeping under the stars and watching the Aurora Borealis dance above you might be a dream come true. It’s the ultimate glamping experience. So, if the sky is clear of clouds then you will hopefully have a good chance of seeing a starry sky with some magical Northern Lights dancing above your head.
The Bubbles are part of a tour offered by Northern Lights Iceland. This means that you can't stay without booking the full tour. The tour is fabulous and takes you in a luxury suburban jeep to the Golden Circle stopping at Geysir, Gulfoss and the Secret Lagoon. The tour group is small, maximum six people, and there are only nine Bubbles on the site so it feels very private.
Nearby is the town of Fludir where you could take in the waters of the Secret Lagoon. This is a unique natural hot spring, the oldest swimming pool in Iceland (made in 1891). The water holds at 38-40 Celsius (100-104 Fahrenheit) all year around. Swim and float around, try to find the hottest part of the lagoon. You can also take a short walk around the lagoon to see the beautiful landscape, original changing hut, natural geysirs heating the lagoon and the nearby greenhouse.
There is a service house on site which is a short walk from each Bubble. Here you will have access to two shower rooms with sink and toilet. There is also a small kitchen and dining space where you can store and prepare food and drinks. There is a fridge, kettle, coffee machine and two-ring electric hob with plenty of dishes and a dish washer.
If you are looking for food then there is Minilik, an Ethiopian Restaurant nearby and this gets great reviews. We went to Mika, a family run restaurant specialising in handmade chocolates and langoustine dishes. I highly recommend the langoustine soup and garlic bread.
As the Bubbles are small, there isn’t room for a suitcase or many belongings so pack light. A small rucsac or hand luggage sized case is ideal. Pack you pyjamas, wash bag, camera (and tripod for Aurora shots), a good book and your swimming stuff for the Secret Lagoon. Towels are provided at the Bubble but bring your own for the Secret Lagoon.
Wear good walking boots, a wind and waterproof coat, and layer up. You won’t need a towels or bedding, and the Bubbles have extra blankets, electric blankets and a spare air heater to keep you cosy and warm.
If you have hired a car and are driving on from the Bubbles then you can self-drive as there is a small parking bay on site but keep in mind that you still pay the full cost of the tour even if you are driving yourself.
The tour which includes a nights stay in a Bubble costs 59,900ISK per person (roughly $570 or £420)