On a beach, at a farm, or on the grounds of a country house, all the world’s a bubble (when you’re in France).
Les Bivouacs de la Reine are space-age accommodation capsules on the grounds of a chateau that was built for Josephine, wife of the Emperor Napoleon, just outside Paris. These chic white-and-clear spheres (the smaller bubble can be used as a bathroom) offer a cozy spot for star-gazing, and some open intimacy – you can see everything, but only the animals can see you. French chateaux are certainly leading a revolution in avant-garde accommodation styling.
But as well as being pretty to look at and offering a pretty unparalleled experience in terms of reconnecting with nature, the bubbles are also low-impact and eco-friendly. The four-meter diameter room is made of recyclable plastic and consumes minimal energy. As a self-enclosed inflatable structure, it has no frame; the sphere maintains its shape by having air constantly pumped into it.
This means your environment is clean and allergy-free, with no humidity or condensation. Besides, who wants their bubble view obscured by water droplets? Watch out with sharp instruments, though, or your bubble will be definitively burst.
In the south of France, near Aix-en-Provence, Attrap’Rêves (Catch Dreams) has bubbles, dotted about in woodland, with names like Zen (Japanese: comprised of bamboo, wood, earth tones), Glamour (decked out in romantic red) and Mille et une Nuits (Arabian: in rich jewel tones).
These bubbles are available in other guest houses and on gîtes (farmhouses) all over France, and come in various models, as seen here: the CristalBubble, totally transparent; the Bubble Room, which has a white bottom half and transparent top section; and the Bubble Lodge “hut” with a second, non-see-through room measuring 2.7m diameter, which can be used as a bathroom.
Rates vary from site to site, but start at around $140 including tax, and the chance to rekindle your interest in astronomy, and to observe your surroundings at close quarters.
Places & Spaces is a travel guide that will inspire you to carve out a vacation on your calendar. All of the gorgeous locations and accommodations in our guide share our concern for the environment. From tent glamping to lavish built environments, fair warning, you’ll feel compelled to pack your suitcase.