When I began Footloosecamps in 2021, with a traditional Himachali Kathkuni mudhouse and a small camping setup, I didn’t know I would soon install luxury Geodesic domes onsite.
Shifting my focus from camping to glamping was the best decision ever.
Before installing the domes, the entire property — having 3 private rooms and a 4-bed dormitory room in the madhouse, and 2 Swiss tents — if houseful, was generating no more than 15,000 Rupees a night. Now, only one geodesic dome is getting me more revenue per night than the entire previous setup put together. Of course, it comes with a jacuzzi and more luxury than you can find in a similar setup across India, from the money point of view, it proved to be a great investment.
Imagine if 1 dome is generating such a rewarding payout per night, how much the current 3 domes I have onsite might just be generating?
Am I Bragging?
No. Those who often read my blog know that I enjoy sharing the hidden secrets of my life — especially if I successfully do a job.
I have shared similar insights on how I managed to travel to nearly 30 countries in less than 3 years when I was working as a full-time content creator. I have also written detailed guides on topics like How To Become An Influencer &. Get Paid To Travel. And I am writing this article for a similar reason.
Sharing knowledge never harms!
So if you are thinking of starting up a hotel business and generating assured revenue, mark my words — “there’s no better time to install a luxury geodesic dome setup than now”.
Here’s our site in Hamta with 3 of those structures and a very unique 100-year-old traditional Himachali architecture mudhouse. The mudhouse has been featured in various publications for its unique experience…
Instagram Is The Catalyst
Instagram plays a significant role in shaping the travel industry today. A beautiful Caucasian girl bathing in a hot infinity pool overlooking the lofty snowcapped mountains, and every girl wants to experience the same thing and make a similar reel.
For the travel industry, Instagram acts as a catalyst. A reel with 10 million views brings more enquiries today than a front-page advertisement in a national newspaper.
In promoting properties with Geodesic glamping domes, Instagram has played a major role. Speaking of Sethan Hamta Valley — where I run Footloosecamps Resort — there are 9 more properties having geodesic domes, namely, Glampeco, Nirvana Hamta Retreat, The Glamping Club, White Musk Resort, Backwoods Hamta and The Mystic Heist. Three more are under construction.
One of the properties charging a whopping 25 thousand Rupees per night for 1 geodesic dome is fully booked for the next 3 months, despite the fact that they have destroyed their Google ratings in less than 6 months of their operations. Why? Because Instagram sells and so does the concept of staying in a luxury dome.
Instagram has played a major role in promoting geodesic dome stays, across India. And those in business are going to make inevitable profits.
The Next Few Years Is The Golden Period
If I have even the slightest knowledge of how tourism trends work, I predict that the geodesic dome business in the Indian market, especially all dome hotels in Manali, will boom in the next couple of years until the bubble bursts. Those who get into business now will make good money.
Last year this time there were no dome stays available anywhere across southern India. Now, Coorg itself has 5 different locations. Even Wayanad has one. Other than that, many places in Uttarakhand, including Kanatal, have one. And the best part is, they all go houseful as soon as they open.
Different Sizes of Geodesic Domes
At the moment, the smallest size for a geodesic dome in India is 5 metres in diameter which is perfect for a tiny themed cabin.
Mostly used size is 6 metres in diameter. It houses a washroom, a king-size bed, a coffee table two chairs, and a wardrobe in the living area.
After 6 metres comes the 8-metre dome that has a comparatively bigger space. At Footloosecamps, we have one 8-metre dome that includes a duplex kind of setup — with a total occupancy of 4 people. Here’s the detailed list of items we have installed in the 8-metre glamping dome…
- Washroom (8*6 feet)
- A King size bed
- A 6*4 feet bed on top of the washroom
- a study table and a revolving chair
- a coffee table and 2 chairs
- a washroom
- full-length mirror
- a TV unit
- a 4*6 feet Jacuzzi
We have built a 30*30 feet elevated structure that leaves us with a massive balcony outside housing a hanging chair and more of a sitting arrangement. We are selling our 8-metre geodesic dome for INR 18,000 per night. As mentioned above, it has a total occupancy of 4 people, without the need for extra bedding.
For resorts, 6 and 8 metres geodesic domes remain the most popular choice. I have heard some companies selling geodesic domes in India also have 12 meter size available. But that will be too big I think. The 8 meter itself is way bigger than a decent-sized premium hotel room.
Best Locations To Install A Luxury Dome In India
So far we have seen geodesic domes set up in open spaces.
Let’s take Hamta Valley near Manali for example where we see the most number of domes across India. It is from Hamta Valley you get the entire Kullu Valley. The infinity view you get from inside a dome in Hamta Valley would be far better than somewhere in the crowded and bustling Manali.
A dome hotel in Manali’s main market would not attract guests as much as a similar setup somewhere away from the main market would.
Moreover, a person paying 10,000 Rupees for a night in a dome is an experienced traveller. He has already been to Manali and has no interest in exploring Mall Road or the crowded Solang Valley. He is looking for an offbeat experience. A dome located in the peaceful Hamta Valley would attract him more than the one located right on Mall Road.
Having said that, it makes more sense to install such structures where people can enjoy infinite views and some quality time. There’s no benefit in installing a dome in crowded areas.
Here are some ideal locations for opening a geodesic dome hotel in India…
- Hamta Valley, Manali
- Nubra Valley, Ladakh
- Jibhi, Tirhan Valley, Himachal
- Gulmarg, Kashmir
- Auli, Uttarakhand
- Ziro Valley, Arunachal
- outskirts of Shillong, Meghalaya
- Majuli, Assam
- Coorg, Karnataka
- outskirts of Udaipur, Rajasthan
- outskirts of Jaipur, Rajasthan
- Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
- Munnar, Kerala
- Wayanad, Kerala
- somewhere on the beachfront in Goa, but with a little seclusion
How Much It Costs To Install A Geodesic Dome
To install such structures you need to first complete the base. So let’s talk about it first.
There are two types of bases…
- Concrete base
- Elevated Iron structures
It’s comparatively cheaper to make concrete bases than iron structures.
You can either make a round base. Or a rectangular base.
If it’s a 6-metre dome, you need to make at least 20 feet structure (whether round or rectangle). In the case of a round structure, keep it 20 feet in diameter. In the case of rectangle 20*20. If you want to have an extended balcony for the guests make a bigger base.
I have three different bases at Footloosecamps Hamta…
- a cemented rounded base for one of my 6-metre domes that cost me nearly 1 Lakh in completion, including labour charges, and raw materials like cement.
- The elevated 20*20 feet rectangular elevated iron structure for my other 6-metre dome. It cost me nearly 1.80 Lakh Rupees including all material and labor costs.
- The elevated 30*30 feet rectangular elevated iron structure for my 8-metre dome. It cost me nearly 3 Lakh Rupees including all material and labor costs.
Once the base is done, comes purchasing the geodesic dome. There are three layers in any dome…
- The iron frame
- The insulation
- The leatherette
A 6-meter dome (including delivery and installation charges) can cost somewhere between 3 Lakh to 5 Lakh Rupees depending upon the geodesic dome manufacturer you are ordering from. I have ordered from a Gurgaon-based company. I don’t really recommend them because of many reasons but I do have a few names I recommend you order your product from.
Please connect on Instagram for suggestions or any further help you may need. You can find me on Instagram with the username FOOTLOOSE DEV. You can also WhatsApp me on my company number 8800763430 and I will be happy to help. Use the same number if you would like to book a night at one of the geodesic domes at Footloosecamps Hamta Vally Resort.
The 8-meter can cost somewhere between 4.5 Lakh to 8 Lakh Rupees including the delivery and installation charges.
Once you have the base and the installation of the outer material done, begin the interior decoration. The more luxury you install, the more it costs. I have invested about 5 Lakh Rupees in each of my 6-meter dome and about 10 Lakh Rupees in the 8-meter dome.
Here’s how they look from the inside…
Can They Handle Extreme Weather?
Yes, they can withstand extreme weather, including heavy loads on top. In Hamta Valley we get over 4 feet of average snowfall every year. And we haven’t seen the rods bending or something.
They can moreover withstand heavy winds and other forms of extreme conditions like cold and hot temperatures. You will just need to keep the insulation and maintain the temperature inside.
In Hamta, where we get as low as minus-10 or minus-15 degrees Celsius. We give gas heaters and electric blankets to keep the guests warm. In hot weather, you may have to install a heavy air-conditioning system and you’re sorted.
According to Wikipedia, a geodesic dome the triangular elements of the geodesic domes are structurally rigid and distribute the structural stress throughout the structure, making them able to withstand very heavy loads for their size.
I think it makes sense to invest in such glamping structures right now if they’re trending.
If you’re investing, say, about 10 Lakh Rupees in one structure and you sell it for 7000 Rupees a night. You can break in less than 150 nights. In most cases, it’s possible to bring your investment back within a year — even if you fail at marketing.
Moreover, it’s a temporary structure. This means you don’t have to register it as a guesthouse. You only need temporary camping permissions from the local tourism department and you are sorted.
Additionally, since they’re temporary structures, you can remove them and install them elsewhere. This proves to be a very good deal for those who don’t own the land and run the business on a leased/rented property.
Please also note that I am not overhyping or forcing you to install a dome. Do your research before you invest. And for the rest, including some motivation you may need, you can always connect with me on Instagram, or meet me personally at Footloosecamps Hamta Valley or Footloosecamps 2.0 THE HOMESTAY. Both our locations are in Manali only.