Editor’s Note: West Texas newspaper The Big Bend Sentinel reported Basecamp Terlingua owner and Sotol Festival founder Jeff Leach was indicted for sexual assault in February 2020.
West Texas landscapes attract visitors from all over the globe, and an unusual new lodging in Terlingua capitalizes on that beauty with bubble rooms that reveal those vistas from the comfort of bed.
Staying in one of Basecamp Terlingua’s bubbles is like staying in a deluxe, transparent tent with the amenities of a hotel room—a queen-size bed, Keurig tea/coffee maker, AC/heater, mini fridge, Wi-Fi, and a full bathroom with an indoor shower. There are also two outdoor seating areas, an outdoor shower, and a fire pit.
The bubbles’ windows open to the east, providing a view of the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park. When the sun goes down, the Milky Way and the stars blanket the sky.
Worried about privacy? Basecamp built L-shaped concrete walls to shield the bubbles from each another and from the town while leaving open the view toward the mountains.
BubbleTree, a company based in Paris, France, designed and manufactured the new lodgings.
Basecamp owner Jeff Leach says he first discovered the concept when he stayed in a bubble lodging at the Campera Hotel in Baja California. Inspired, he brought two bubbles to Terlingua, making Basecamp the first bubble hotel in the country.
Basecamp opened in 2017, offering vacation rentals in casitas and tipis close to the Terlingua Ghost Town. Two bubbles opened in December 2018, and booking has been brisk, says Heidi Bertels, Basecamp’s operations manager.
So brisk, in fact, that the next two-day weekend availability for the original bubbles isn’t until May 2020.
The popularity of the bubbles led Basecamp to introduce a new lodging, Bubble X, available to book starting Dec. 1, 2019.
Bubble X offers all the amenities of the two original bubbles, but includes much more luxurious features, including a living area with a fold-out couch, an outdoor hot tub, and a pool.
Located less than 10 miles from Big Bend National Park’s Maverick Junction entrance, Terlingua has seen tourism activity increase along with park visitation. According to the National Park Service, Big Bend traffic jumped 13 percent from 388,290 visitors in 2016 to 440,276 in 2017.
Tony Drewry, Basecamp’s marketing director, says Basecamp routinely hears from travelers looking for lodging at the last minute; many assume they can just show up to Big Bend and get a room at the Chisos Mountains Lodge, but the park’s lodging is often full. He says Basecamp plans to add more accommodations and develop guest options for a more immersive experience, such as tours.
“It’s not just a place to stay,” Drewry says, adding that guests can contact Drewry with any questions for a more memorable trip in Terlingua.
Rooms at Basecamp start at $109 per night. A night in the bubble start at $189 per night. Dogs are not allowed.