A night in the Bubble Hotel – the Himmelbett – at Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland and found it a memorable experience.
Under the stars
The whole canopy of the heavens was spread above us, the bright half-moon almost dazzling. «I never would have thought that we would see the stars so clearly from in here». «Amazing», I reply, «and so bright. Pure moonshine». We had made ourselves cosy in a double bed in the plastic dome. We were deep in the Thurgau countryside, between the vines and the trees – and out of sight, it goes without saying! We could just hear a couple of cows in the distance, but they didn’t bother us. Far from it. «It’s absolutely idyllic here».
Welcome to the transparent bubble tent
As soon as we arrived at the Kartause, I were shown how to treat the Bubble. Two pleasant ladies explained that the internal and external entrances should never be open at the same time: «otherwise the air escapes, and the roof will literally fall in», according to Corinne Rüegg Widmer, head of Communications and Marketing at Kartause Ittingen. However, we succeeded in managing the entrances, and really that was the only complicated thing about the plastic bubble.
«I never would have thought that we would see the stars so clearly from in here.»
But… then where does the air come from that blows up the bubble from the inside?
Behind the plastic bubble, hidden in the trees, we find a compressor concealed beneath a bamboo cover. It works astonishingly quietly: we can hardly hear a thing from inside the bubble, even though the air is recycled every ten minutes. We are told that it’s even possible to control the air temperature with a switch. The thick woolly sweater that I brought, fearing that the inside might not be heated, is unnecessary.
«I’m a bit nervous»
We linger over our evening meal until almost 10:30 pm, and then it’s time to give the plastic bubble its first real test. Oh, but we have to do our teeth first. The bathrooms for use by bubble guests are located on the Kartause grounds and just a few metres from our sleeping quarters. We’ve been provided with a little torch in case we need the bathroom in the night. «I’m looking forward to it, but I’m a bit nervous», I tell, as we’re about to head into the bubble. He just smiles and tells me: «You’ve never had a real adventure.»
«We’re very lucky with this fantastic weather. Rain would have been fun too, though.»
It’s time: we lie down on our backs and gaze up at the starry sky. I’m fascinated: «It feels rather as though we’re beneath the stars in the open air, except that we’re not…». Jannik comments that we’re lucky with the fantastic weather. «Rain would have been fun too, though», he adds. I agree silently and set the alarm clock to make sure we don’t miss breakfast – although really, I’m sure that we’ll wake up in time – after all, we haven’t got any curtains or shutters here. After a bit, we fall asleep.
At precisely 8:30 am, my alarm clock shrills and I have both slept right through, and, despite the fact that the day must have dawned long before, we never opened an eye until my phone alarm went off. Probably the bed was particularly comfortable.
«We’ll definitely be back.»
We get dressed and head for the breakfast buffet. We’re already breakfast aficionados, but this buffet manages to impress us: an extensive array of fresh bread, fruits, yoghurt, sweet and savoury options. We happily order latte macchiato to accompany our feast. While we’re eating, we look out of the window. It’s started to rain. Who knows? In any case, we’ll definitely be back. We’ve agreed on that.