Glamping in Peace

Down the winding roads of the French countryside, past pastures, villages, and ancient steeples, the grounds La Chassagne rests on 33 gorgeous acres. Originally a farm, the Schuit family converted the land into a camper’s paradise—full of greenery, wildflowers, and a peace that permeates even the most devoted city dweller’s heart. There are a variety of accommodation options on the property, but obviously our preference was one of their two-bedroom glamping safari tents.

CampingLaChassagne(Ronnet)_safaritent2 Image Credit: La Chassagne – Safari Tent

The tent is made up of the classic canvas structure, but that is where the typical stops. The floor and furniture are handmade by the Schuit family that has run La Chassagne for over 16 years. Add the personal touches of gorgeous carpet, handpicked wild flowers, and the antique tea set; you have a home that is as charming as it is unique. The Schuit family added a kitchen to the tent as well, and aperitifs on your patio are all that’s needed to complete your paradise.

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The forest is a few steps from your doorstep, and it begs to be explored. Dubbed “The Pirate Forest” for the family’s 6 year old boy’s birthday party, the name stuck, and now the path is full of whimsical hand carved wooden creations that make the forest seem even more enchanting than it already is. The lush landscape helps shelter you from all outside stress or troubles, and you can lose yourself (but not get lost, yourself!) on the winding path over brooks and animal tracks.

CampingLaChassagne(Ronnet)_restaurantje Image Credit: La Chassagne – The Restaurant

If you wander closer to the farmhouse, you’ll find plenty of nooks in which to curl up and read, with only the rampant wildflowers to keep you company. The original farm’s buildings have been renovated to fulfill the modern needs, and the Schuits wisely kept the original structures and charm. The cottages, restaurant, and chicken coop blend together as well now as ever before, and they set the backdrop to life at La Chassagne. Have Maarten walk you over to see the new beehives, and learn all you can on the fascinating subject. Or eat from Mary Ann’s table hôtes and experience what French food tastes like with Dutch hospitality. Food warning: you won’t want to leave.

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Though it is tempting to spend your vacation within the grounds, you should try to tear yourself away to enjoy the neighborhood. The nearby Mupop Museum for Pop Music was just credited by CNN as France, and even Europe’s, best new museum. Interested in something a bit more antiquated? There is a medieval village, chateau ruins, and endless churches to explore and admire. Or simply take a drive through the French countryside—and wonder, with the multitudes who’ve gone before you, how the French can make dilapidated stone homes and fields of wheat so enchanting. Be sure to make it back for dinner. As discussed, no matter what your day entails, the table hôtes will be a highlight.

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Once inside la Chassagne‘s borders, your body’s pace will adjust and your mind will quiet. It is a place to reset, recharge, and remember the simpler pleasures life affords. Whether you stay three days or one month, whether you come as a single, couple, or family of 6, you’ll be better from the visit.

Blakely Downs

Blakely left her job as an advertising producer in New York to turn professional traveler with her husband. As they explore, learn, give, and get lost, thrilled, and changed through distant lands, she recounts it all on her travel blog and enables couch travelers everywhere. She now contributes to Glamping.com as a guest writer.

Villa Isabel: Nanchu Garden House

The Dominican Republic is a place that few visitors actually experience authentically. The majority of the visitors sit on the beaches, never leaving their all-inclusive resorts. Many visitors have an unrealistic fear of venturing outside of the compounds and guided tours offered in the beach towns, which is unfortunate. This type of experience lacks the local culture, food and soul of the country. Fortunately, there is Villa Isabel, which can offer you a comfortable authentic experience in the mountains, not too far away from all of the characterless all-inclusive resorts.

glamping porch stairs by trusted travel girl

Villa Isabel rests in the lush Dominican mountains of Jarabacoa. The property is stunning and very much epitomizes “Glamping”. Villa Isabel a beautiful mountain home with rustic char, where no detail has been overlooked, while still achieving a genuine outdoor experience. The area surrounding Jarabacoa seemingly takes you back in time to a more simpler way of life. I always try to travel off the beaten path, and this place is literally off the beaten path up a dirt road just 15 minutes outside of the town of Jarabacoa, in a gated and secure neighborhood. The entire area is surrounded by stunning scenery.

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image by trusted travel girl

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Villa Isabel boasts an unbelievable tropical Japanese style garden that was the creation of the owner Nanchu Espinola. This walking garden has over 600 meters of walkable paths throughout with rare trees, plants and flowers. The garden is quite the selling point of the property, and must be experienced to truly be understood and appreciated. The details of this garden are incredible, with curved pathways leading from one beautiful area to the next. With each step, the garden changes character, and induces a sense of calm and serenity. Locals from all over the area are familiar with Nanchu’s garden. At night, there is a beautiful lighting system that can be turned on, and the garden looks as though it has come from a scene in a romantic film. I highly recommend having dinner or drinks outside next to the garden and then going through a stroll down the lighten pathways at night, as it is absolutely stunning. It is so beautiful that Nanchu’s own daughter decided to have her wedding in the gardens on the property. Just past the garden, there is a river on the property that is just a 5 minute walk away from the main house. The river has fresh clean water and is perfect for an afternoon swim.

glamping kitchen inside villa isabel

glamping bedroom at villa isabel

The inside of the property is just as beautiful as the outside. The house has three bedrooms, one attached to the great-room with the kitchen and living room and the other two in a different building just steps away, with a wrap around porch. The main part of the house is one the outdoors via breeze ways at the top off the walls, making it feel as though you are outdoors, with the amenities of the indoors.

glamping deck chair by trusted travel girl

One of the most glamorous aspects of a stay here at Villa Isabel is the live-in maid and cook, Francia. Francia lives nearby on property and is available to freshen up the rooms during your stay as well as cook all three meals a day (you just need to visit the supermarket and pick up the food). To say that Francia’s cooking is fantastic would bet a large understatement. Her cooking is phenomenal, and many of her best dishes are local Dominican meals. This is an excellent way to experience some of the culture, by tasting local homemade meals that are typical in the Dominican Republic. It’s also very nice to not have to lift a finger, or go out to eat. It makes for a far more relaxing visit and for some memorable meals! Her three sons also live nearby to tend to the property and the gardens. Upon arrival one of them will be available to hand over the keys, and show visitors where light switches are, as well as the switches to turn on water pressure and the hot water for showers.

stone patch and nature walk by trusted travel girl

The property does not have A/C, but it does not need it. The mountain air of Jarabacoa is much cooler than the famed beaches of the Dominican Republic, and a great place to take a break from the heat and disconnect from the rest of the world.

water rafting valerie joy wilson

If you can pull yourself away from the peace and quiet at Villa Isabel, there are many activities to experience nearby. Rancho Jarabacoa is only 15 minutes away and offers white water rafting, horseback riding, city tours, tours to waterfalls, and… Nearby, the Akasha Spa rests in the quiet mountains just a few minutes away from Villa Isabel. There is also a popular waterfall nearby that is worth a visit via a quick hike.

glamping porch by trusted travel girl

The attention to detail in the garden, decor and fixtures on the property are impressive. Everything is very zen, and antique decor is interesting and tasteful. The entire experience provided at Villa Isabel doesn’t just promote relaxation and rejuvenation, it also helps you to meet locals and immerse yourself in the culture and food of the Dominican Republic. After all, isn’t that what traveling is all about?

Valerie Joy Wilson

Valerie is a solo travel expert and travel host. Valerie prefers to travel like a local and not a tourist, going off the beaten path and discovering hidden gems that only local’s tend to know about. She looks up to travel experts Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern and Samantha Brown. Valerie is an adventure and experience junkie with no comfort zone, and she prefers to travel solo.
Valerie shares her adventures, experiences and travel tips on her Instagram: @TrustedTravelGirl, SnapChat: TrustTravelGirl & Youtube as well as her website TrustedTravelGirl.com

Glamp Near These Amazing Natural Wonders

When it comes to experiencing the world’s most amazing natural wonders, most travelers come and go, spending only a short amount of time taking them in. But that’s not because they don’t want to spend more time, it’s because by the end of the day, they have to get back to a distant hotel or camp.

But what if you could stay nearby, perhaps even in eye shot of some of the world’s most amazing natural wonders? What if you could cut out the travel time and actually spent some quality time in the presence of nature’s most beautiful sights? It’s possible at these five glamping destinations.

1. Ayers Rock – Australia
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Where to Glamp: Longitude 131

Australia is full of luxurious places to glamp, but few boast as privileged a location as Longitude 131. Nestled in the country’s wild outback, Longitude 131 sits in shadow of Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock), a scared site for the region’s indigenous people.

The camp, with its 15 luxury tented rooms, brings an unparalleled level of comfort to the unforgiving setting and serves as a perfect jumping off point to explore the area’s many wonders.

2. Grand Canyon – United States
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Where to Glamp: Grand Canyon Under Canvas

Just 40 minutes away from the south rim of the Grand Canyon, Under Canvas’ new Grand Canyon location offers the region’s most luxurious wilderness accommodations.

In addition to day trips to the Grand Canyon, activities like whitewater rafting, horseback riding and zip-lining can all be arranged and found nearby. Back at camp, the canvas tents located within a 56-acre Ponderosa Pine forest and feature king beds and wood-burning stoves.

3. Mt. Fitz Roy (Patagonia) – Argentina
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Where to Glamp: Patagonia Eco Domes

Every nature lover and seeker of natural wonders has a trip to Patagonia high on their bucket list.

To sleep in eyesight of the region’s most famous mountain, Mt. Fitz Roy, booked an eco dom at Patagonia Eco Doms. This intimate, wild retreat features just 11 doms, each of which has its own bathroom and unique mountain view.

Nearby, famous treks and even more stunning vistas await.

4. Victoria Falls – Zambia
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Where to Glamp: Tongabezi Lodge

The awe-inspiring and impressive Victoria Falls is one of Africa’s most famous natural wonders.
To stay as close as possible without skimping on comfort, rest your head at Tongabezi Lodge. Hidden away on the banks of the Zambezi River, just upstream from the mighty falls, Tongabezi is comprised of six private houses and six river cottages that transport guests to a wild yet refined world.

In addition to trips to Victoria Falls, once-on-a-lifetime dining experiences, whitewater rafting, sunset boat rides and safari day trips can all be arranged.

5. Northern Lights – Norway
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Where to Glamp: Holmen Husky Lodge

The northern lights can only be viewed in a select few places around the world. Northern Norway is one of those places.

For a winter trip to remember, and a chance to see the majestic northern lights, head to Holman Husky Lodge. During the day, you’ll get to know and dogsled with the lodge’s team of Alaskan Huskies across beautiful arctic terrain. At night, you’ll retire to a custom, insulated teepee, each which feature a small wood-burning stove and unique floor to ceiling windows.

Main Image Photo Credit: Tongabezi Lodge – Victoria Falls

Trevor Morrow

Trevor Morrow is a Los Angeles-based travel writer, blogger, and photographer who specializes in luxury and adventure travel. His work has brought him around the world and his work has been published across the web by outlets like Men’s Health, Outside, Business Insider and more.