Sulfuric acid rain patters on my anti-corrosive windows. I wake up to the smell of a full course 3D printed breakfast popping itself out of the wall. Putting on a fresh linen robe, taking a sip of coffee, I stand in my luxury suite’s viewing lounge. A window box in the sky. Outside, the cloudy atmosphere of Venus.
I’m staying aboard the floating, Virgin Galactic Hotel Venus, on “Earth’s Sister” for the weekend. 32 miles above the scorching surface staring out into the clouds.
Drinking the rest of my coffee, lightning erupted across the Veneutian sky. Crackling, thick bolts spread out in all directions through the milky clouds. If you look one way in the overcast conditions you’ll see blue, gray, green and red all swirl about. Look another, and you see a charcoal tapestry rife with airborne tornadoes. But in this first class luxury room, a mere 20,000 dollars a night, you’d never feel more safe.
Built with reinforced everything, impressive is an understatement. And the privacy is spectacular. The units have every amenity. Bedrooms with glass ceilings revealing millions of stars send you into a deep rem sleep. My favorite, is this outer bubble den extending from the main living area with a 360 degree view. Included is a weightless room, it was the most freedom I’ve ever experienced. Purified germ free air flows throughout, and my body feels like I’m 30 years younger.
After breakfast I went into the central gardens for a stroll. Some concentrated CO2 from the Veneutian atmosphere is filtered directly into the flower beds to supercharge their growth. Wildflowers grow as tall a man with giant petals. As I circled back, the staff had put out a brunch buffet, all organic, all delivered fresh daily via Galactic supply shuttles.
The Virgin Venus is the first atmospheric orbiting hotel in the galaxy. Using tremendous balloons to support the superstructure of the Hotel and surrounding mini-city, the Virgin Galactic rig can support weights upwards of 20 millions tons. The property’s precise location is movable. Operating more like a cruise ship than weather balloon.
A private suite is always reserved for Sir Richard Branson, sitting atop the titanium spire on his greatest achievement. Branson’s mum, Eva Branson, his self admitted inspiration, is acting as Hotel Captain, and from time to time will navigate the ship herself through the more treacherous storm systems.
After walking the ballroom facing the stars, you find the shining room. The most beautiful area I have ever seen in any hotel in existence. Space elegance at its finest. Regal, but clean with hints of chromium. From there I went to the exercise room. Outfitted with every fitness device for health, it was obviously designed to extend lifespan. DNA fixers were installed to correct any radiation damage.
Working out on Venus is a blast. At around 90% of Earth’s gravity, you feel a certain lightness. A fun floating feel, ideal for lifting heavy hand weights. The marble space, a rock room, includes a body cleansing routine which I was asked not to reveal due to the system’s proprietary nature.
The rest of my day was spent relaxing, communicating with friends back home via my neuralink, and more eating. I skipped the wide range of Virgin sponsored activities, like paragliding through the upper atmosphere, skiing on a floating mountain range, or visiting volcanic Maxwell Montes.
I am happy to lounge in luxury, back in my suite, on the 10,000 nanothread-count sheets watching tv, being entranced by clouds. I had my choice of watching all the content humanity has ever created, every live broadcast, every film ever made, or anything at all from the deep well of the internet.
Some hotel goers end up making the Virgin Venus a semi permanent residence. Though the registry is highly guarded, I did spot some family members of political dynasties, bitcoin billionaires, Hollywood stars, Saudi Royals, and other tech titans mingling around the double sized olympic pool in the exclusive guest area.
Hilton Hotels are expected to finish construction on their own floating luxury resort in the coming years. N.A.S.A, and US Commerce department officials predict this technology will eventually become even more affordable, as other smaller competitors emerge and demand grows from the broader population.
I was given an exclusive stay at the constantly booked Virgin Galactic Hotel Venus, and enjoyed every luxuriously alien minute.
But alas, after 48 hours it’s time to go home. My rocket back to Earth departs the shuttle bay at 12:15 GMT.
The Virgin Hotel makes Venus a splendid destination planet. Come for the clouds, stay for the sky bar.