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Spending the night in a clear bubble in the middle of the desert at the Wadi Rum Night Luxury camp was an experience unlike any other. Pros: An Instagram-worthy hotel that has you feeling like you’re sleeping on another planet. Cons: No typical “luxury” amenities like room service, a pool or a spa, so don’t be fooled by the name and expect 5-star service.
During a recent trip to Egypt and Jordan, my dad and I decided to do something just a little bit different: sleep in a bubble tent in the middle of the Wadi Rum desert, a glamping (glamour camping) experience that left me feeling as if I were sleeping on Mars.
Our decision to try out the bubble tents was a last-minute one, but luckily, I was able book two Full of Stars bubbles (one for me and one for my dad) just a couple days before our stay for 190 Jordanian dinars ($268) each, which included a night in the bubble, dinner and a full Arab breakfast, plus a camel ride. If you aren’t feeling the bubbles, you can choose to stay in a tent instead, but I was excited to try something different. Had I stayed for four nights or more, I would have used my Citi Prestige to book in order to get the fourth night free, but I don’t recommend staying more than a night or two unless you are a real history or photography buff. A one-night stay was the perfect amount of time, and I booked directly on the Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp website using my Chase Sapphire Reserve to get 3x points per dollar on travel.
The Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp is located in the middle of the Wadi Rum Protected Area, about five miles from Rum Village and its visitors center, and a short walk to the highest dune and the Jebel Annafishiya rock inscriptions. Wadi Rum itself is just under a four-hour drive from Amman, less than a two-hour drive from Petra and also close to the border of Israel. The Night Luxury Camp was pretty much in the middle of the desert. The camp consisted of 25 tents and bubbles, a dining tent and a sitting tent. It was far from any other desert resorts, so I felt as if I were truly away from it all.
Though my bubble was one of the smaller hotel rooms I’ve stayed in, it was also one of the most unusual and special. I was given the Mars Number Four “room” (probably the most interesting room name I’ve ever been given).
The nonsmoking bubble, called the Full of Stars accommodation type by the hotel, was a clear bubble with a king bed, parquet floors, a mosquito net, air conditioning, a small table with two beanbag chairs, a coat rack, slippers, bathrobe and electricity.
I couldn’t believe how comfortable the room was, and I was happy to see there was a full bathroom with shower. Despite the smaller size, the shower passed the TPG shower test! (I’m 6 feet, 7 inches.) I was surprised to note the toilet and sink were modern (full plumbing) and up to hotel standards.
The bubble had shower amenities as well, and though the shower area was more private, there was even a clear ceiling there so I could check out the desert sky while scrubbing off the desert dust.
Clearly, the highlight of this bubble wasn’t the size or even the amenities. It was the views. At night I could see thousands of stars lighting up the sky right from my bed. I could pull the curtains for privacy, but I wanted to get the full night-sky experience and wake up to a beautiful desert sunrise.
Leading up to my room, there were walkways lighted with candles so that if you went to dinner in the dark you could find your way. I also had a small outdoor deck with seating where I could sit outside and soak it all in.
Food, Beverage and Amenities
All of the food and beverages were buffet-style, and it really hit the spot.
After a long day out in the desert trekking around, I was starving by the time I got to the hotel, so the buffet-style dinner in the restaurant tent was right up my alley. Obviously there were no other restaurants around, so I was glad I liked the food at the camp, otherwise I wouldn’t have had any other options. The food was nothing incredible, but it was solid, especially for just a one-night stay. The seating area was comfortable and fit the whole desert vibe.
Most of the food was traditional Jordanian, with rice, meat, vegetable and flatbread.
My rate included a camel ride, which I didn’t end up taking advantage of due to time constraints. Plus, I wanted to spend quality time with my dad, and camel rides just weren’t his thing. The point of our whirlwind trip was quality time together, which I value way more than riding a camel anyway.
If I’d had more time, I could have also negotiated with the hotel to purchase packages that included 4×4 desert drives, sandboarding and Jeep adventures.
Sleeping in a bubble tent in the Wadi Rum desert was one of the most unique hotel experiences I’ve ever had. I highly recommend doing it for a night or two, especially if you need a peaceful getaway.
Have you glamped in Wadi Rum? How do you feel about glamping in general? Tell us!
Featured image courtesy of the author.
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