Published: 06:00, 31 January 2021
A plastic bubble designed to give stargazers the chance to admire the night’s sky from the comfort of their bed has been erected in the grounds of a new hotel.
Formerly Kipps Hostel, the building will be kitted out with 10 rooms and run a self-check-in service - but bosses think the £150-a-night pod situated outside could be its most popular feature.
Director Kyle Dawson told KentOnline: “It’s the next level up from glamping.
“People like glamping, but they don’t like getting muddy, sharing a shower or being in the cold, so we’ve got something that mitigates against that.
“Half of the pod has a clear view of the sky and the other half is white plastic, so we’ve equipped the bubble with a projector that allows them to watch TV inside.
“We have a telescope in there so guests can do stargazing in the bubble. They can actually look at the stars while they’re laying in bed.”
The private decking area, in which the pod is located, also has a hot tub for those staying in the plastic bubble to use.
A cabin nearby has toilet and shower facilities, along with a living area.
Mr Dawson says the pod will be fixed to the ground “for stability” and will be equipped with portable heaters, a double bed, wine cooler and coffee machine.
“We wanted to offer something completely different to what any other hotel does,” Mr Dawson added.
“As far as I know, there isn’t another hotel that offers the same type of experience in their grounds.
“We’re trying to get funding to put together this kind of set-up in other places in Kent. We’re looking at Maidstone and seaside areas like Broadstairs.”
The owners had been finishing the hotel’s £200,000 renovation work last month, in the hope they would be able to start welcoming staycationers at the beginning of the year.
These plans were scrapped after Covid restrictions were tightened and a nationwide lockdown was imposed.
Bosses have now pencilled in the opening date for the middle of February.
But with tough Covid rules set to remain in place until March, the launch could be pushed back yet again.