By Lois Friedland, About.com Guide
“Glamping” is an increasingly popular way to set yourself up in exotic or unusual destinations. The word is a mix of “glamorous” and “camping” and includes a wide range of accommodations from basic tents and yurts with comfortable beds, to luxurious two-room tents with king beds, handmade furniture, heated bathroom floors and butler service.
Here are seven choices, ranging from posh to simply comfortable, plus Web sites where you can find many more places to go glamping. Prices vary wildly, from about $60 a night to more than $1,000 a night. Many of the more expensive glamping choices include activities ranging from day safaris in Africa to hiking and kayaking in Canada’s wilderness.
The Resort at Paws Up, Montana
The Resort at Paws Up, a ranch resort in Montana, has a couple of glamping options. The two-bedroom tents in Cliffside Camp, which opens in summer, 2013, are located atop a soaring cliff that overlooks the confluence of the Blackfoot River and Elk Creek. These tents have climate-control cooling fans and heaters, and luxurious bathrooms with jetted tubs.(The honeymoon tent has a copper tub.)
In the Moonlight Camp, there are one-bedroom tents and two-bedroom tents, that even have heated slate floors and double sinks in the bathrooms. This camp is located less than 1,000 yards from a great fly-fishing spot on the ranch’s 10-mile stretch of the Blackfoot River. Guests dine in a central pavilion in each of the camps.
Sanctuary Swala, Tanzania
Sanctuary Swala sits in a private section of Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Stay in one of 12 canvas pavilions shaded by acacia trees and within view of a waterhole, where lions, leopards and bull elephants come to drink. Don’t let the word “canvas” mislead you. Inside these pavilions there are king or twin beds, sofas and bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers. Personal attendants address each guest’s needs.
Ketchup’s Bank Glamping, Australia
Ketchup’s Bank Glamping is a luxury bush retreat in a secluded setting in the Scenic Rim, a 90-minute drive south-west of Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The eco-tents are a far cry from classic Aussie bush camping. Lie in bed or sit on the deck and enjoy a view of the eucalyptus trees and the mountains in the distance. Evenings, toast marshmallows on your campfire.
Safari West, California
Stay right here in the U.S. at Safari West and you may find yourself eye-level with inquisitive giraffes. Designed like an Africa tent camp, these tents are on platforms set in a section of the 400-acre wildlife preserve. Lodging is not luxurious, but the chance to see exotic animals is outstanding because Safari West is the home of zebras, giraffes, cheetahs and other exotic creatures. (And the wildlife preserve is in the middle of California’s wine country!)
Yurt Camp in Patagonia
People travel to Patagonia for adventures in a wild, rugged landscape. Why not stay in one of 18 yurts set in a beech-tree forest facing Lake Torro and the Paine Massif. These yurts are decorated in woven fabrics and locally handcrafted furniture. They are heated, have king or twin beds and private terraces.
Clayquot Wilderness Resort, Canada
Clayquot Wilderness Resort, near Tofino on Vancouver Island in Canada, has roomy prospector-style quarters set on raised platforms. The deluxe tents, connected by boardwalks and set in a rainforest, have thermostat controlled propane wood stoves and Adirondak-style beds. Private Composting Environmental toilets are located just outside of each tent and a private shower in the nearby shower house is dedicated for each Deluxe Tent’s personal use. The newest tents have ensuite bathrooms with in-floor heating, flush toilets and indoor/outdoor showers with double showerheads.
Staying here, you’ll get a chance to experience adventures in the wilderness, from wildlife viewing and learning how to surf on pristine beaches, to hiking in forests and kayaking on a mountain-fed river or horsback riding.
A Roundhouse in England
An Iron Age Roundhouse isn’t a tent or a yurt, but it’s an entertaining choice for an overnight if you’re visiting Cornwall, England. You’ll find one at Bodrifty Farm. Unlike ones built in the distant past, this roundhouse has a a handmade four-poster bed with flowers woven into the willow headboard, Egyptian cotton sheets and a duck-down comforter.
Geodesic Domes in Patagonia
You can stay in a geodesic dome at EcoCamp, which is set at the foot of Las Torres in the Patagonia wilderness. Choices even include a dome suite with a loft!
At night, you’ll have a spectacular view of the stars. During the day guided treks will take you to riverbanks where guanacos roam, and views of icebergs floating on Grey lake.
Web Sites Listing Glamping Vacations
Another choice for interesting locations is Glamping.com.
GLAMPING.COM, the industry authority on all things glamping for the discerning experiential traveler, is a highly curated collection of glamping properties around the globe. GLAMPING.COM believes in extraordinary travel – destinations that offer unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. With over 800 glamping sites on six continents, the company’s mission is to empower people to try this form of experiential travel with hand-selected, personally vetted properties. Find inspiration on www.glamping.com and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @glampingdotcom.