Welcome Aboard Starship Bubble Hotel!


Nanjing’s winter might be mercifully short, but it still feels like a long, cold, dark stretch. With the usual entertainment options becoming more of a drag than a please at this time of year, perhaps a night in the nicknamed Bubble Hotel could be just the tonic.

Starry Lodge, to use its correct name, has two unique selling points; you sleep in a bubble, and you do so looking up at the stars.

Herein lie the first problem. Wishing to overnight in October, The Nanjinger was required to book more than a month in advance, leaving us at the mercy of whatever the gods felt like throwing at us on the night, which, as it turned out, was water, and bags of it. So there went the night under the stars.

Hence, we leave this particular review until now. With winter being low season, this publication suggests to wait until one of those cloudless clear days presents itself, then quickly book a bubble, and get oneself off to deepest darkest Jiangning; Starry Lodge being not far from the airport and near to Ginko Golf club, very doable by employing a metro/Didi combination.

Back in our hotel “room”, the rain pounding the bubble’s exterior certainly made for an entertaining and cozy evening, while the air con/heating system certainly had us believing in the practicality of a winter stay.

Worthy of additional mention is the airlock attached to every bubble, training in the use of such a necessity to avoid collapse of the bubble, while also adding a galactic voyage feel to the overall experience.

At the time of our visit, Starry Lodge had only been in business a few months, and it showed in the details. Customer service left something to be desired; housekeeping had failed to provide the promised complimentary bottles of water and to replace half-used bottles of shampoo leftover from the previous occupants. We were also promised a rooftop BBQ upon our booking, one that never materialised.

A blessing perhaps, for it forced our hand to find dining in the adjoining village. After all, local produce that is home cooked is hard to beat.

Yet, that is not why we came here. For Starry Lodge is a fun, unique experience and a great winter break that also makes for fantastic social media content. We won’t be back, but why would we?

Starry Lodge has up to 12 bubbles available, in three sizes; cozy couple, small family and large family/party. A small family bubble costs ¥1,000 per night in high season.

Starry Lodge 星空宿泡泡屋 is located at 秣陵街道观音殿44号. Reservations via Dianping.com or Booking.com.

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Frank Hossack
Editor-in-chief and Music Critic, Frank Hossack, has been a radio host and producer for the past 34 years, the past 25 of which working in media in China, in the process winning four New York Festivals awards for his work, in the categories Best Top 40 Format, Best Editing, Best Director and Best Culture & The Arts. 贺福是我们杂志的编辑和音乐评论员,在过去的34年里一直从事电台主持和电台制片的工作。在中国有近25年的媒体工作经验。工作期间他曾经四次获得过纽约传媒艺术节大奖,分别是世界前40强节目奖,最佳编辑奖,最佳导演奖以及最佳文化艺术奖。