Stargaze & Watch the Sunrise from a Luxury Bubble Tent
Just a 15-minute truck ride through the roadless desert from Rum Village, Wadi Rum Night Camp is a beautiful glamp-ground with three sizes of luxury tents—but what people come from all over the world to experience are the bubbles. Named the "Full of Stars Hotel," this collection of inflated, domed structures is made partially of transparent plastic, and they bring you as close to the outdoors as possible. Guests fall asleep under the brilliant night sky from the comfort of real beds (complete with high-end linens) and wake up to an unreal desert panorama. The bubbles are temperature controlled, and each has its own private bathroom and small patio.
With space for 25 reservations each night, Wadi Rum Night Camp is on the small side, lending a boutique feel. The buffet is impressive, especially at breakfast when stacks of piping hot shrak (flatbread similar to lavash) are made before your eyes. There are only a dozen or so bubbles in the camp, and they book up fast—you'll want to reserve well in advance.
Book a "Martian Dome" at this Family-Friendly Tourist Camp
SunCity Camp is an established favorite among tourists in Wadi Rum. This large camp has a variety of accommodations (including family-size, tented chalet suites) and lots of activities, making it a top choice for big tour groups and travelers with kids.
SunCity is far from a hidden gem, but that's not necessarily bad here. Rooms have modern amenities (even the most basic tents have their own bathrooms with a shower), the atmosphere is lively, and it's hard not to love the showmanship that goes into the large-scale Bedouin traditions like cooking zarb: a tower of meat and vegetables cooked in an underground oven and, in the case of SunCity, eventually revealed to a gathered crowd of oohs and aahs.
The best overnight option at SunCity is, without a doubt, their "Martian Domes," named for the 2015 blockbuster that was filmed nearby. Similar in concept to the aforementioned bubble tents, the Martian Domes are this camp's most unique place to sleep—and the most luxurious. Each dome is air-conditioned, comes with a (non-alcoholic) mini-bar, and has its own spacious terrace with mountain views. If you aren't able to book one of the domes, don't fret: you'll still enjoy the wildly photogenic view of a dome-dotted desert.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Get the Best of Both Worlds at a Resort-Style Lodge
The closest you'll come to a resort in the immediate vicinity of Wadi Rum is the Bait Ali Lodge. A sprawling compound between the Desert Highway turnoff and Rum Village, amenities include air-conditioned chalets, a shopping bazaar, its own amphitheater, and—no, that's not a mirage—even a swimming pool. (There's also a campground, but if you're booking here, camping is probably not what you're after). The restaurant has a wider range of options than many camps in Wadi Rum—think organic produce, ice cream, and other continental standbys—and guests enjoy a party atmosphere complete with DJ and traditional barbecue each Friday.
Get (Far) Away From It All on a Digital Detox Retreat
Wellness-focused retreats have been popping up throughout Jordan, and it makes sense—yoga and meditation are made that much better when you have a dramatic, ancient desert as a backdrop.
Get your own slice of serenity for a night with a "digital detox" yoga retreat in the desert near Wadi Rum. You'll be picked up and taken to an area with no cell service or wifi (not hard to come by in these parts) to zen out. A chef will prepare healthy meals, and you'll sleep al fresco. Depending on your group's interests, you can participate in a meditative walk, vinyasa flow yoga sessions, a fire ceremony, and a drum circle—or simply opt to spend your evening stargazing.
The digital detox can be a one-night excursion, or you can take part in a multi-day yoga retreat or horseback riding tour that incorporates an off-the-grid experience. Ask a local specialist for details.
Have the Desert to Yourself on a Bivouac Camping Trip
If you aren't looking for a wellness experience but like the idea of solitude under the stars, you can book a bivouac camping trip in the desert. A knowledgeable Bedouin guide will drive you to a secluded spot and set up a simple campsite with mattresses and blankets while your group explores the area—take a hike, scramble on rock formations, or bring sandboards to ride the dunes. Enjoy sweet sage tea and traditional Bedouin fare around the fire before getting perhaps the best sleep of your life in the silence of the remote wilderness. Continue your journey the next day.