Glamping Spotlight: Aman-i-Khás, India

What could be more invigorating than waking up and walking out of your tent to see the starkly beautiful wilderness of the Ranthambore National Park? Aman-i-Khás is a luxury wilderness camp on the edge of the national park. Aman-i-Khás focuses on viewing wildlife and providing a five-star glamping experience. The name Aman-i-Khás comes from Sanskrit and Hindi words that mean “special peace.”

Aman-i-Khás is located in a rugged brushwood forest on the fringes of Ranthambore National Park. The surrounding area is composed of deciduous forest, open grasslands, and waterholes of a semi-arid expanse. The camp provdes access to the 1,334 square kilometers of the Ranthambore National Park. Ranthambore is a natural habitat for tigers and other exotic animals. In addition to wildlife sightings, guests can explore the region’s ancient forts and colorful rural villages nearby.

Aman-i-Khás offers 10 luxury tents each with soaring canopies. The tents resemble rich Moghul traveling tents of a days past. The frame is made of steel and is set on a raised concrete pad. The differences from an ordinary camping tent are immediately recognizable. The center of the tent, with its six-meter canopy, features an oversized daybed ideal for lounging. The bedroom area is fitted with a king-size bed flanked by twin writing desks. The bathroom area includes a shower, soaking tub, and toilet.

AmanTentInteriorPhoto: Aman-i-Khás website

Three separate tents house areas for dining, spa treatments, and relaxing. In the evenings, sit on the deck of your tent or join other camp visitors around the communal fireplace. Listen to the sounds of the wilderness settling down for the night, as you discuss the day’s sightings. The meals served include authentic Indian cuisine and a range of western dishes. Fresh produce and herbs used for meal preparation are grown in the camp’s own organic vegetable garden. Dinner most often concludes around a roaring outdoor fire.

The step-well pool, or bawadi, was modeled after the ancient step-wells that are traditional to the area. The design is a series of square concentric steps that converge deeper into the pool. The sunny terrace and grove of trees surrounding the pool provide privacy and make it incredibly relaxing. It’s especially refreshing to take a dip after returning from a daily excursion.

aman-poolPhoto: Aman-i-Khás website

Guided wildlife viewing excursions leave twice daily. Excursions last approximately 3.5 hours. The tours take guests into Ranthambore to spot indigenous wildlife. Prize predator sightings in the core of the park include tigers, leopards and smaller jungle cats. Chital deer, antelope and hyena can be seen roaming the savannah, while lakes and watering holes are home to the marsh crocodile and prolific birdlife. The open-top vehicles transport guests and provide excellent views. The best time to view game is in the early morning and late afternoon.

Visitors are invited to join guided nature walks through the low hills. These walks are led by a naturalist, as is another excursion that travels by SUV to the Banas Riverbed to spot water fowl and wading birds.

tigerPhoto: Aman-i-Khás website

Ranthambore National Park, once the hunting ground of the Maharajah of Jaipur, was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955. Following concerted conservation efforts and the launch of Project Tiger in 1973, the tiger population is now more visible and stable.

Aman-i-Khás is available for reservations from October to April, which is also the best time for wildlife spotting. Find out more about Aman-i-Khás.

Glamping Down Under, Spicers Canopy, Australia

In the heart of the spectacular Scenic Rim region, a rich eco tourism experience can be found at Spicers Canopy. First change the image in your mind from ‘camping’ to ‘glamping.’ Although encounters with Australia’s unique plant and animal life are a central focus, Spicers Canopy caters to adventurers who are accustomed to life’s luxuries.

Spicers Canopy is a permanent campsite neighboring 8,000 acres of Australia’s most scenic private nature refuge. The camp is a 90-minute drive from Brisbane. Situated high on a grass-covered plateau, the air is fresh and crisp. The views towards Mount Mitchell, Spicers Peak and Mount Cordeaux are stunning. At night, guests look into skies so clear that satellites can be seen tracking past the canvas of stars. Be sure to take in the mountain views when they are most magnificent, at sunrise and sunset.

GG2476-800x600-Canopy-single-beds_0Photo: Spicers Canopy website

Offering 10 luxury tents, rest assured your stay will be comfortable and private. The tents are fully furnished, offering a king bed (or twin beds), luxury bed linen, lamps, armchairs, bedside tables, polished floorboards, and a covered deck with deck chairs. A place purposefully with no cars, computers, or TVs is where you can truly escape. This is safari-style camping at its finest.

Each Spicers destination provides a comprehensive gourmet experience. All Spicers restaurants are led by award-winning chefs with a passionate mandate to provide exceptional food and wine sourced from regional and international produce. The large communal and dining area is beautifully appointed with a stone fireplace and polished floors. At its center is a large custom-made table serving as the backrop for many gourmet meals. Sit back while your dedicated chef prepares all your meals and drinks.

There is plenty to do at Spicers Canopy, especially for those looking for natural beauty and serenity away from the city. Guided walks are great for exploring the private nature reserve. Domestic livestock and native wildlife co-exist in the quiet Australian bush. Take a dip in the private swimming hole or venture into the nearby bat cave. Spicers Canopy has a long list of other things to do including massages, horseback riding, 4WD tours, yoga, sporting clays, and more at the nearby Peak Lodge which is a sister property.

IMG_2342a_0_0Photo: Spicers Canopy website

The Austalian-owned Spicers has made it their mission to give guests a total experience that is intimately unique. The Spicers  boutique hotel group includes seven luxury travel destinations in Australia. Spicers Canopy embodies the glamping experience; it combines the individuality and service of a private bed and breakfast with the style and quality of a grand international hotel.

Spicers Canopy is for adventurers and groups looking for a different luxury holiday. Learn more about Spicers Canopy.

Spotlight: Turtle Inn, Belize

Turtle Inn is a seafront getaway that combines natural wonders with luxury style. The friendly, attentive staff, three restaurants, a rejuvenating spa and idyllic seafront setting make Turtle Inn a perfect glamping refuge.

The 25-rooms range from villas, cottages, and beach houses. The classic thatched cottages and bungalows make you feel right at home on the beach. All the accommodations are decorated with handcrafted Balinese furnishing. The continual sea breezes keep everything cool. And, just steps beyond your private deck, the white-sand beach dissolves into the clear Caribbean ocean.

The unique location provides a wealth of exciting activities. The coral reef just offshore offers some of the best snorkeling and scuba opportunities in the world. Troll, spin-cast, or drop-fish in some of the most populated waters in the Caribbean. Barracuda, king mackerel, snapper, grouper, tuna and snook are among the many species that thrive here. Inland hikes to hidden lagoons, canoe trips up the Monkey River and the short bicycle ride into town will also enrich guests’ experiences in this magical country.

turtle-inn-3Photo: Turtle Inn website

Turtle Inn’s dive shop can accommodate the needs of both beginner and experienced divers. The Caribbean’s largest barrier reef lies just offshore from Turtle Inn, offering divers a magnificent diversity of coral and marine life to explore. There are a number of easily accessible cayes (tiny islands) with their own reefs and underwater ecosystems. Turtle Inn is dedicated to providing the best diving experience possible, regardless of skill level. They offer tours and a wide range of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification courses. Visit the Dive Shop for a complete listing of our classes as well as some important information on diving tours and snorkeling options. Belize proudly maintains a reputation as one of the world’s best scuba destinations.

The best beach swimming in Belize is located in Placencia. The sandy beach and calm, clear waters create perfect conditions for swimming and snorkeling as well as a host of other water-related adventures. Visit the Dive Shop for more information on renting sailing boats, snorkel gear, kayaks, and beach bicycles. Turtle Inn also has two infinity swimming pools, an oval-shaped infinity pool located between the Mare Restaurant and the Laughing Fish Bar and a triangular infinity pool with its striking ceramic turtle tiling and tranquil surroundings is located to the north of the property close to the Gauguin Grill.

turtle-inn-4Photo: Turtle Inn website

Dining open-air along the ocean’s shore is a feast for the senses. Savor fresh seafood and shellfish, the pure flavors of homegrown fruits and vegetables, or pizza from an authentic wood-burning oven. Then, relax with a cocktail at the seaside beach bar. Fresh seafood and traditional Italian cooking come together at Turtle Inn’s flagship restaurant, the Mare Restaurant. The Gauguin Grill features fresh, charcoal-grilled seafood including lobster, jumbo shrimp and snapper all served on woven plates accompanied by Balinese-inspired sauces. The Laughing Fish Bar provides a shady retreat to enjoy a wide selection of drinks. Bar stools sit directly on the golden-sand beach.

jpegPhoto: Turtle Inn Website

Turtle Inn’s history makes it a true labor of love. Less than a year after Francis and Eleanor Coppola acquired the beachside refuge in 2001, it was swept out to sea by the forces of Hurricane Iris. Turning disaster into triumph, the Coppolas led a two-year reclamation project, creating a magnificent resort that is consistently ranked among the best in Central and South America.

Learn more about vacationing here on the Turtle Inn website.