Design Your Stay in a Luxury Pop-Up

Alix M Campbell

Senior Contributor

Some places are so unique they deserve a one-off accommodation to truly experience them. The temporary set-up adds to the enjoy-the-present-moment feeling, where adventure is paired with state-of-the-art comfort. Luxury pop-ups are all about creating personalised experiences and memories that will likely last much longer than the housing itself. Exclusive travel companies like Blink by Black Tomato or Amazing Escapes let you pick and design your preferred housing at widely untouched locations.

Stay in a traditional yurt in the highlands of Iceland

The Fjallabak Nature Reserve in the highlands of Iceland is raw wilderness at its best. Located at the bottom centre of the country, the 47,000 hectare-large area is known for its breathtaking Landmannalaugar lava field, which can be translated as “people’s pools” referring to its natural hot springs. Here, at 500 metres above sea level, is where you’ll encounter your yurt to sleep in. This traditional tent structure holds up well in extreme climates and it offers enough space to accommodate your personal needs.

A yurt, in modern Turkish also synonym of “dormitory” or “homeland”, was originally used by nomadic groups in the steppes of Central Asia. Latticework made of bamboo or wood was covered with skins or felt to create this portable, round tent. Modern yurts might use steam-bent wooden or metal framing and a tarpaulin or canvas for cover.

You’ll wake up to an incredible backdrop of wild rugged mountains, picturesque lakes and deep valleys. Structures that were sculpted by volcanoes and geothermal activity and date back to 8-10 million years. The temperature ranges from 5-14 °C in summer (July and August) to around -6 °C in winter. Depending on the season you’re visiting, you might want to explore the various hiking trails in the area around the central volcano called Torfajökull, or just enjoy peaceful moments soaking in one of the various hot pools. In any case, you’ll bathe in serenity.

Experience Namibia’s Kalahari Desert in a lodge tent

Imagine a landscape painted in golden yellows, dusty reds and some green spots thanks to acacias and modest shepherd trees. An endless horizon framing the rolling dunes reaching from north eastern Namibia to western Botswana and into South Africa. “The Great Thirst”, translated from the word Kgala in Tswana covers an area of 900,000 km². The San People have survived here for 20,000 years as hunter-gatherers, living off wild game, insects and edible plants.

This large semi-arid savanna is a harsh environment with scorching temperatures during the day, and dry riverbeds that ache for good rains to keep exotic herds of animals like springboks, ostriches and oryxes alive. The Okavango is the only permanent river in the Kalahari and its marshes are a paradise for wildlife. The driest areas of the desert receive only around 110-200 millimetres of rain per year and the average annual temperature is around 18 °C with peaks of 40 °C and above.

These plains are where your comfortable lodge tent will await you as your home base for your desert adventures. The mobile tents can be adapted in size to accommodate any group of friends or family members. Suitable for every type of climate, they provide a cosy setting to enjoy these unique surroundings on your once-in-a-lifetime stay.

Sleep in a bubble tent in Chile’s Atacama Desert

The Atacama is the driest as well as the oldest desert on earth and stretches across an area of 1,000 km. It’s wedged between the Andes and a coastal mountain range, the Cordillera de la Costa, and only averages around 15 millimetres of rainfall per year. Its geological formations remind of lunar landscapes, and its soil can be compared to that of the planet Mars.

This other-worldly setting also starred in the television series Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets and is best experienced from the comfort of a bubble tent. This unusual luxury accommodation offers transparent ceilings to take in your stunning surroundings day and night. It allows you to fully immerse yourself in your environment and brings you as close as it gets to one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on earth.

Despite its dry ecosystem you can see some herbs and flowers in the Atacama like saltgrass or thyme. In areas with slightly more humidity you might even find a leafy algarrobo or a pimiento tree. The arid conditions are a result of blocked rainfall from the east by the Andes Mountains as well as cold water from the Pacific preventing rain in the west. This means that your bubble will stay nice and clear for you to watch the bright stars at night, far away from any source of light pollution.

Enjoy the true desert feeling in nomadic tents in Oman

The Musandam Peninsula in Oman at the northeastern point of the Arabian Peninsula is where the sprawling desert meets the coastline. Adventurers are able to fully embrace the nomadic spirit and bed themselves in Bedouin or Rajasthani-style tents that were optimally designed for desert conditions.

The area is known to be one of the least visited ones in Oman, which adds to the appeal of this region. This part, south of the Strait of Hormuz and between the Omani and the Persian Gulf, is cut off from the rest of the country and boasts a jagged coastline that many compare to Norwegian fjords.

Experience authentic desert culture while enjoying crystal-clear waters, vastly untouched nature and an abundance of wildlife. Various small villages inland are waiting to be discovered while you marvel at the unique backdrop of barren mountains sticking out of the ocean like fingers providing spectacular views of the area.

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