Mexico’s wine region, Valle de Guadalupe, is located just 20 minutes from the coast of Ensenada, and 1.5 hours south of the border at San Diego. A popular weekend getaway for Californians and Tijuanenses, Valle de Guadalupe features gourmet restaurants, interesting dining experiences, countless vineyards, and chic vacation rentals. Among the most unusual rentals are a set of Bubble Rooms at Campera Hotel Burbuja, North America’s only Bubble Hotel.
Campera Hotel Burbuja
Manufactured by a French company, there are dozens of “Bubble Lodges” across Europe, and each is designed for guests’ maximum interaction with nature. What is most unique about Campera Hotel Burbuja’s location in Mexico's Valle de Guadalupe is that each bubble is lined up in a row facing the property’s vineyards, allowing for privacy and an unobstructed view.
Because the amenities inside each bubble are so nice, it’s easy to forget that you are technically in a tent- making it a true glamping experience. We stayed in Bubble Suite #9, and I believe some bubbles have slightly different configurations so my description only applies to our experience. The bubble had an entry way in which the door must be zipped behind you before you unzip the door into the bedroom. This entryway was equipped with a chic hanging rack and space for luggage, as well as a minibar complete with local wine and other refreshments. Upon entering the room, you are greeted by the blue sky and beautiful view, and I was immediately surprised at how the openness made the room actually feel spacious.
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The beauty of staying at Campera Hotel Burbuja is to feel exposed and close to nature, but for those who don’t want to be woken up by the sunlight at dawn can opt to fully close all curtains (including a top curtain) on the canopy bed, also allowing for some privacy. The room is comfortably pressurized by an air system linked to a generator directly behind it- It seemed as though there was a generator for every two bubble rooms. Apart from that, the climate control within the bubble is fully customizable, and because the space is relatively small the temperature is set rather quickly. Because it gets quite hot in Valle de Guadalupe, the bubbles are covered with custom tarps from around 10am-4pm while guests are out enjoying the neighboring wineries and restaurants. At night, you can program the lights in your bubble to different color settings, illuminating your bubble in a hue that is also visible from the outside.
When we arrived, I was happily surprised to see how nice the bathroom was. It was spacious, well designed, and most importantly had running water, a fully functional toilet, and the shower had HOT water! The bathroom even featured a small skylight. The overall accommodations were beyond comfortable, and after a great night’s sleep I woke up feeling refreshed and energized. If you want to book your stay at Campera Hotel Burbuja, check out their availability on Airbnb or contact them through their website.
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Valle de Guadalupe
If you want to fully enjoy Valle de Guadalupe you should arrive with an empty stomach, because the town is full of gourmet experiences and highly trained chefs. It would take weeks or even months to enjoy all of the great food that Valle has to offer as the options seem endless and the menus often rotate, and unfortunately I only spent two short days in Valle during my stay.
And when it comes to wine recommendations I will not be your source because I actually don’t drink wine. Yes it’s true- I visited a winery but I don’t drink wine! Due to some allergic reactions I have had in the past to various types of wines I refrain from experimenting and trying them, especially while traveling. But, because we were in Mexico (and this may be my favorite part about Mexico), in many places you go you are able to enjoy tequila or even flights of mescal to taste. Luckily for me, I don’t have the same allergic reactions to tequila that I do with wine.
Where to Eat
La Cocina de Dona Esthela – I recommend arriving before 9am to beat the rush- this place is popular and for good reason. Each dish we tried was fantastic, but my favorites were the Birria and the Hot Cakes de Elote
Finca Altozano – Make a reservation if you can, but if you come on a whim then you should be able to find seating at the bar. It’s no surprise that here each dish was also delicious, as I have come to believe that everything just tastes better in Valle. I highly recommend the Octopus appetizer, the Lechon entrée, and the Churros for dessert
Pancracia at Agua de Vida – This restaurant came highly recommended but sadly we had eaten far too much at breakfast and lunch to be able to make it to dinner. I am looking forward to someday visiting Valle de Guadalupe again so I can dine here!
Snack for the Drive Home
Tacos el Trailero – if you are returning to California after your trip, consider taking the scenic route home and swing by Ensenada to see the coast and eat Tacos de Adobada or Shrimp.
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Another tip so you can plan accordingly- if you are driving back to California after your stay, know that Sunday afternoons tend to have the longest wait times at the San Ysidro Border- sometimes up to three hours. If you can plan your stay so you can drive back on a Saturday or a Monday, you will likely save a great deal of time.
Tell me- Have you ever visited Valle de Guadalupe? Or have you stayed in a Bubble Hotel? Let me know what you think!