Glamping Man-cation: Guys Do it Differently

Ask a woman to go on a camping trip and her most likely response will be, “will I have to sleep on the ground?” Ask a guy the same question, and he will say, “when do we go?” The idea of glamping is more about the accommodation for women, and more about the activity for men. Tell her she’s going glamping, and she’ll be excited about deluxe accommodations and spa treatments in the splendor of the great outdoors. Tell him he’s glamping and, well, he might not want to call it glamping (but he’ll still want to go).

The mention of a “glamping mancation” to a red-blooded American male may make him wince. It isn’t that guys are against hanging out with friends on a camping trip and having a few extra creature comforts- that sounds like a great idea. Chances are the kinds of comforts that spring to mind are flat screen TVs, a mini fridge loaded with beer, and a king-sized grill or maybe a smoker for some barbecue. The real trouble comes from the word “glamping,” a combination of the words glamor and camping. No dude wants glamor associated with his camping.

If you peruse Glamping.com, here’s a description you will find on a typical listing:

Great for: Families, Couples, Honeymooners, Corporate Groups

Notice it doesn’t say, “guys on a fishing trip”? So with that in mind, here are some things that could drive a successful glamping mancation:

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• Guys won’t be as concerned with the accommodations like fussing over thread counts and turn down service. Guys will usually focus on the activity, as in what is offered at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana, which includes fishing, sporting clays, and snowmobiling.


• Take the activity up a notch by offering something out of the ordinary, like bungee jumping or airboat rides at Westgate River Ranch in Florida, or a sports car/off road experience like the Driven Experience at Gateway Canyons Resort in Colorado.

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• Speaking of driving, another way to get a guy to go on a glamping mancation is to say, “road trip!” The guys will love hitting the road with an airstream rental, like those offered by Living Airstream (Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Scottsdale, AZ).

Guys can do most things like fishing and canoeing on a regular camping trip. But what makes a camping trip a “glamping mancation” is enjoying great outdoor activities and having someone else prepare camp at the end of the day. Coming back after a long day of fishing to a place where the wood is chopped, the fire is made, the beer is on ice and the steak is already on the grill- now that ‘s luxury a man can appreciate, so he can attend to more important things like bragging about the day’s catch.

It’s an old cliché that guys don’t like to talk about their problems with each other, and likewise they don’t like to jabber about “glamping.” But that doesn’t mean they don’t like it. After a long day fishing, hunting, or bungee jumping with his pals, a guy can’t say no to chowing down on some great man food, then kicking back with an ice cold beer by the fire (and maybe sleeping on thousand thread count sheets. Just once. Shhhh!!)

Papaya Playa Project

Ever since the Papaya Playa Project graced the palm-kissed shores of Tulum, Mexico in December 2011 as a pop-up with a long-term plan, I’ve been plotting my visit.

As a glamping-obsessed adventurer with a penchant for design, I couldn’t ignore the location’s raw beauty and the architecture’s thatched-roof abodes. Plus, the lure of living like a beach bohemian without a hairdryer, plush hotel slippers, or the pressure to strut around in resort wear was a welcome departure from the Riviera Maya’s jet-set hotels.

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Stretching over a 900 meter ribbon of private oceanfront just a mile North of Tulum’s never-ending beach, Papaya Playa’s 80 bungalows dot the shoreline of the multi-acre property.

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Beyond the beach, pounded dirt pathways plying through the jungle thicket connect the glamp-ground’s casitas to its hub: A palm-shaded, amphitheatre-style restaurant that quadruples as a music venue, a place to chill with a cervesa when lounging at the Beach Club, and a space for the property’s once-monthly full moon parties. (If your stay coincides with a full moon party and you don’t want to dance until 3 a.m., bring ear plugs.)

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Each abode’s union of artisan furniture, beds adorned with cascading mosquito nets, basket lights, string-secured wooden towel holders, and custom-designed textiles is enough to make you say “Viva Mexico,” but it’s the eco angle that makes you pine after your perch; every building from casita to casa to the spa’s temazcal (Mesoamerican sweat lodge) is built using local materials.

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When I stepped into my circular beach-view abode complete with a 10-step pathway down to the shore, I immediately opened the sliding glass doors to let the wind and waves “soundtrack” invite me deeper into paradise. Settling into the wooden-slat chair on my deck, I realized how easy it would be to become a hermit—why would I leave such an idyllic perch? Yet, the lure of the property’s other spaces, think: the spa, juice shack, restaurant, bar, and beach palapas called me outward.

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While I loved my minimalist casita (with an air-conditioning upgrade), its designated four-post beach palapa became the object of my Papaya Playa desires. Topped with palm fronds from the property, a teal beach mattress lay underneath propped up by a handmade headboard. Not surprisingly, this is where I spent the majority of my time alternating between catnaps and Caribbean Sea cool-downs.

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As the sun retreated at the end of my easy-breezy beach days, looking back, I realize I was in no rush to wash off the salt and sand, and move on to guacamole and margaritas. With sustenance a short stroll away, and the sky splashed in tangerine and fuchsia hues, I was content to be—be in my bathing suit, be barefoot, be in the moment. That’s what beachfront glamping does to your soul.

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Know this: Rates include bottled water, palm-covered palapas, beach towels and parking. Complimentary WiFi is available in public areas, though it runs off a satellite so the signal may take the occasional siesta. If you sleep well in cool conditions, book a bungalow with air conditioning. Mosquito repellant is recommended for any off-beach activity. Adrenaline junkies: There’s a kiteboarding and surf school onsite.

Adventure Honeymooning North America

We traveled around the world for our adventure honeymoon but we have barely scratched the surface of our own country. We’ve stayed everywhere from five-star resorts in Asia to tree houses in South America and found we gravitate toward properties that embrace the great outdoors (especially when there is a Jacuzzi involved.) We dream of continuing our endless honeymoon throughout North America, and when we do these five Glamping properties are at the top of our list!

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Moab Under Canvas, Utah

Southern Utah has some of the most extreme landscapes in America, but Moab Under Canvas has smoothed its rough exterior for unfettered bliss. Adjacent to the geological wonders of Arches and Canyonlands National Park, this luxury camp has a front-row view of the red plateaus and craggy canyons. Its deluxe and suite tents are perfect for honeymooners with more sheltered locations, spectacular views, en suite bathroom, and fireplace. The Under Canvas team can arrange nearly any desert adventure or cultural outing you crave from walking in the footsteps of dinosaurs to river rafting the Colorado.

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The Resort at Paws Up, Montana

A ranch that doesn’t involve roughing it, Paws Up treats honeymooners to the pampering they need in the wild west. Built with newlyweds in mind, their Honeymoon Tents and Homes have ultimate privacy and romantic amenities. Book one of the homes and it comes with welcome champagne, a couples massage, a private wagon ride, and a candlelight picnic for two. Take advantage of the rivers, mountains, and their endless list of summer and winter activities like hot air ballooning, horseback riding, skiing, dog sledding, and more.

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Primland Resort, Virginia 


If Virginia is for lovers, Primland is their romantic escape. Set on 12,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the landscape is made for relaxation and invigoration. Soak at the spa, horseback ride, enjoy a round of golf, stargaze from the observatory, or lounge in your chic cottage. Named one of Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 100 Resorts in the World, they are sure to give honeymooners the five-star treatment.

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Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado

A truly unique destination, the resort is a restored Rocky Mountain ghost town, from the days of miners and covered wagons. Using existing historic buildings and period-inspired architecture, Dunton Hot Springs and River Camp marry its rugged past with modern enhancements, like a holistic spa, screening room, vineyard, and fine dining restaurant. Their Mountain Romance Package pulls out all the stops with a luxurious cabin adorned with flowers, chocolate-covered strawberries, and champagne, a 75-minute massage, unlimited use of the hot springs and sporting equipment from mountain bikes to cross-country skis. If your heart is racing at Dunton, it’s not just the altitude.

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Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, Canada


If North America seems too close to home for a honeymoon, try Nimmo Bay. Only accessible by air or water, this swath of British Columbia is where rainforest and glacier meet for untouched beauty and sophisticated adventure. Wake up with an outdoor rain shower and breakfast in bed…helicopter to a secluded island for a champagne picnic…kayak alongside humpback whales and sea lions…hike atop a 6000′ glacier to enjoy oysters on ice…your wildest wish is their command.

Anne and Mike Howard are creators of the around-the-world honeymoon blog HoneyTrek.com and Trip Coaches for anyone looking to travel the world safely, affordably and off the beaten path. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @HoneyTrek.

Anne & Mike Howard

Mike and Anne Howard left on their honeymoon in 2012 and have been traveling the world ever since. HoneyTrek.com chronicles their adventures across 7 continents, 44 countries, and counting! Their writing, photography, and the story of the “World’s Longest Honeymoon” can also be found on Condé Nast Traveler, BBC Travel, The Knot, Los Angeles Times, CBS, and dozens of other international publications. Connect with @HoneyTrek on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.