There’s a new hotel in town and this one is truly unique. Set on the mountainside not far from the centre of Morzine is Les Bulles des Mines d’Or, a magical bubble hotel unlike anything else you will find in the Portes du Soleil region. We stayed one night in the newest of their bubble rooms and were completely spellbound.
Falling asleep under the stars and waking up to the sound of birdsong and distant cowbells is usually a reward for hardy campers only (like when we went bivouacking in the French Alps one summer). Staying in a hotel or one of the many luxury chalets on offer might be more comfortable, but you miss out on the stunning mountain views that come with an overnight stay actually on the mountainside.
Imagine, then if you could combine the two. A cosy bed and being at one with nature. Welcome, then, to Les Bulles des Mines d’Or, a magical bubble hotel in Morzine, France.
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Les Bulles des Mines d’Or
Les Bulles des Mines d’Or, roughly translated as the bubbles at Mines d’Or, opened in 2018. They were started by Aurélie Marchand and her husband, a local couple who were born and bred in Morzine. Having seen pictures of similar bubble hotels (or, if you like, bubble tents) in other parts of the world, Aurélie was keen to create something similar in the mountains.
Not long after the couple bought a chalet near the Mines d’Or lake, at the bottom of the Manche Valley, and quickly discovered that this was the best place to build their own bubble hotel.
Today there are three bubbles, transparent spheres that sit spread out across the property. The first two bubbles to come into being were the “Bulle des Hauts-Forts“, which sits tucked away above the chalet in its own private corner of the mountainside and the “Bulles du Lac”, which comes with its very own hot tub on the private terrace.
Our bubble was the “Bulle Perchée“, which sits perched on a wooden platform 6m above ground, cocooned by trees. Unlike the other two spheres, which are solid structures, the treetop bubble is inflatable. This Swiss Family style bubble only opened last summer.
Each of the three bubbles offers something different: the Bulles du Lac has its own jacuzzi but is the least private of the three. The Bulle des Hauts-Forts is hidden away in its own little corner of the property offering privacy as well as sublime views.
And then there’s the treetop bubble, which was definitely my favourite. Accessed by a wooden footbridge, this is a great spot to really get away from it all and be at one with nature. Admittedly in a communing with nature without having to give up any creature comforts.
Speaking of not giving up on little luxuries, there’s an outdoor hot tub for the treetop bubble and the Bulle des Hauts-Forts. This is positioned on the terrace outside the main chalet.
So how does it all work?
The bubbles are available on a bed and breakfast basis or with dinner included. Aurélie does not live on site but is there to greet you when you check in (check-in time is later afternoon sometime between 4.30 and 6.30pm). Guests are asked to park at the nearby car park for the Mines d’Or Lake and you are then fetched in a rather nifty blue quad bike.
“I don’t want anything to distract from the experience,” says Aurélie.
This all makes sense when you arrive down the small dirt road that leads to the property. The bucolic setting is so peaceful that you can understand why Aurélie wants to keep cars away.
Once you’ve checked in, you are really left to your own devices. If you’ve ordered dinner then this is prepared in advance and left for you to enjoy when and where you like. During warmer months – or when its not raining – then there are lots of dining spots to choose from. We would have loved to have had dinner on the private terrace outside our bubble but the weather had other ideas.
The dinner options are simple with the choice of a Savoyard board of local cheeses, charcuterie and bread; a Pierrade, a kind of barbecue; and Raclette or Fondue. For dessert there’s a blueberry tart.
Meals are prepped and served in ground floor of the Chalet, which is just a short walk from all three bubbles. This is also where breakfast is served (Aurélie arrives at the crack of dawn to leave fresh pastries). There’s a drink’s fridge plus a coffee machine and a selection of teas.
This downstairs cosy lounge and dining area is also where you’ll find the shower and toilet. Yes, that is the one down side to sleeping in an inflatable igloo, there are no private bathrooms.
Sleeping in a bubble
Although I was excited about sleeping in a transparent sphere I did have a few reservations; how dark would it be at night (I have a slightly irrational fear of the dark), how early we would wake up given there were no curtains and what kind of privacy do you have. After all, the bubble is entirely see-through!
I shouldn’t have worried.
Despite having been a rather grey and dreary day, the clouds lifted that evening so by nighttime the sky was filled with stars. Sleeping under them while tucked up under a duvet in our double bed was heavenly.
It could have been our position under the trees but we didn’t wake with the first rays of sunshine either but slept until gone 8am. A veritable lie-in these days with kids. Aurélie also provides eye masks if you do tend to wake at the first sign of light.
And finally, the privacy element. Hidden away as we were amongst the trees this was not a problem and there was no need to get changed under the duvet after all. The other two bubbles come with curtains so you can keep both the sunshine and any passing guests out of sight.
What you need to know about staying in Les Bulles des Mines d’Or
- The bubbles are currently only open from May to September however plans are in place to open during the winter holidays too, hopefully by next winter.
- The village of Morzine and nearby Les Gets are approximately 1.5 hours from Geneva Airport with direct flights to the UK.
- Morzine is home to oodles of summer activities including hiking, swimming, white water rafting, superb canyoning and of course spectacular alpine scenery.
- There are lots of things to do in Les Gets in the summer too. Les Gets is also the home of downhill mountain biking.
- Les Bulles are best suited to couples and can not accommodate families; leave the kids home!
- Each bubble comes with a private terrace, electricity and a Dyson (hot/cold) air conditioner as well as a large double bed and wardrobe.
- Massages can be arranged and there’s a small gym on site – also housed within a bubble.
- The location of Les Bulles des Mines d’Or is perfect for exploring this corner of the French Alps and there are some great walks in the area.
- For more information about Morzine and to plan your trip, visit the official tourism website: www.morzine-avoriaz.com