This year try Glamping – a camping experience complete with luxury amenities.
There’s a lot to be said for truly roughing it: for stuffing all you’ll need for a week or two in an enormous, internal-frame backpack, then striking off down the trail—or leaving it—for the deep backcountry. You’ll brave mosquitoes, predatory mud, comically prolific deluges, and maybe an encounter with a large, hairy, beady-eyed beast intrigued by the scent wafting from your single-burner stove. When you return, you’ll be painted with several layers of hard-earned clay and a weathered tan, you’ll be hairier yourself, and you’ll regard the frenetic pace and excess trappings of the modern world with a cool and detached squint.
But—there’s also glamping. Some of us don’t desire getting back to our wilderness roots in quite as direct and primal a manner, yet find the big fancy hotels and resorts too clinical and insulated. Luxury camping offers the chance to immerse ourselves in a wild or semi-wild place, all while enjoying at least some version of the comforts of home.
The nice thing about glamping is it allows people who honestly don’t like roughing it the opportunity to still commune with and appreciate big, powerful terrain: to see it under starlight, at sunrise and sunset, and in all the other magical guises the traditional camper and backpacker are usually privy to. Furthermore, functioning in an elegant but rustic frontier between high-end accommodations and the leaky tent, glamping offers common ground for friends, couples, and families who, between them, include both hardcore campers and those requiring a daily shower and a soft bed off the ground. Everyone can share in the experience without uneven sacrifices.
Here are seven possibilities for worldwide glamping, from the Pacific Northwest to Southeast Asia—but there are many other gems scattered everywhere.
Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes (Washington, USA)
This spread on San Juan Island in western Washington State offers a great perch from which to enjoy this beautiful intersection of lush Northwest coastal forest and the wild Pacific. Glampers can choose from a range of accommodations, from semi-primitive “canvas cabins”—which still have sofas or lounge chairs—to the “canvas cottage” with full bathroom, electricity, and even a chandelier.
Huon Bush Retreats (Tasmania, Australia)
Relax at this out-of-the-way, eco-friendly destination set in the verdant Huon Valley of Tasmania. Whether you choose a cabin or a tepee (there are also more traditional campsites), you’ll enjoy an invigorating blend of glamour and simplicity: no distracting Internet access, but electricity, solar showers, kitchens, and a romantic outdoor bath.
Serengeti Migration Camp (Tanzania)
The grasslands and woodlands of the Serengeti Plain are among the most famously wildlife-rich landscapes in the world, and this elegant safari resort places you near the heart of the action. Twenty dignified safari tents—with hardwood floors, leather armchairs, and other amenities—provide decadent lodging, all set near the epic migration routes of wildebeest and other hoofed mammals that help anchor the Serengeti ecosystem.
MaryJanesFarm (Idaho, USA)
One of the pioneering glamping destinations in the U.S., MaryJanesFarm in west-central Idaho offers the chance to stay on an organic farm set amid scenic splendor. You can unwind in pleasant canvas tents with full-size beds, wood stoves, a heated clawfoot bathtub of your own outside, and other rustic features. You’ll have access to recreational trails roaming half-timbered hills, and you can actively participate in the well-known farm’s everyday functioning.
Meadow View (Portugal)
You’ll love the atmosphere of Meadow View, set at the margin of a small village amid a pastoral landscape of olive groves, grazing livestock, and splendid highlands. In addition to easy access to nearby towns, you’ll have the unique benefit of your own herb and produce garden at hand near a fully outfitted luxury tent —not to mention a short stroll to the Village Fonte, a fountain emitting delicious mountain water.
EcoCamp (Patagonia, Chile)
Could it possibly get any more memorable than bedding down in a geodesic dome surrounded by the rugged wilds of Patagonia? Amid tastefully refined decor, you’ll be able to gaze up through the roof of your dome to a magnificent night sky. You’ll spend your days on guided treks into the glacier-swathed mountains of the surrounding Torres del Paine National Park, then enjoy regionally sourced food and wine in the evening.
Hintok River Camp at Hellfire Pass (Thailand)
While the “Hellfire Pass” name reflects an intense human history, the present-day location of this luxury safari resort is a place of serenity and reflection. Your temporary home will be roomy canvas tents with bathrooms and air-conditioning, cast against lush and evocative surroundings. You’ll be able to gaze out over the legendary River Kwai, dip in a spring-fed pool, and even enjoy a traditional massage—not bad.
Embrace your spirit of refined adventure and dive into the increasingly varied world of glamping today. Wherever you explore it, you’ll likely find the blend of untamed scenery and elegant accommodations an intoxicating one.
About The Author: This post was contributed by Kari Holton, on behalf of Deals.org.uk