Festival Glamping

Now that winter has officially ended, many of us are already ‘springing’ ahead with an eye towards summer.

Over the past several years, festivals have become all the rage with music lovers. Despite their growth in popularity, there’s a growing number of music fans who don’t want to deal with some of the hassles and discomforts associated with these large outdoor gatherings.

A recent Festicket survey found that a large percentage of festival goers were not only willing to travel long distances to events, they wanted to do so in comfort.  While only 8% of people stayed in a luxury hotel when attending festivals in 2013, a whopping 80% are planning to travel in style and stay in a luxury hotel this year.

To cater to this growing market, more and more event organizers are offering “glamping” as an alternative for their more discerning ticket holders.  Here are some examples:


Wakarusa Music Festival– June 5-8th at Mulburry Mountian in Ozark, Arkansas:

The rapidly growing global trend of glamping has made it’s way to the Ozarks.  This is the classy and elegant way to experience the festival at its fullest.  So whether you’re going General Admission or VIP, specially designated glamping tents will give you the opportunity to rest up in luxuery (and privacy) in-between acts like The Flamping Lips, Michael Franti Spearhead, and String Cheese Incident.

Firefly Music Festival – June 19 – 22 in Dover, Delaware:

For 2014, Firefly camping will provide concert goers with unique and exciting amenities outside the festival gates including a farmer’s market, yoga, food trucks and even more live entertainment.  For $699, you can buy a Glamping Package that includes:

4 nights/5 days camping for up to 2 people

Private air-conditioned tent (12’ x 9.5’)

Minimum 20’ x 45’ site with space for a standard car or SUV

2 cots with pillows and blankets

Preferred check-in location

Power source for personal electronics

Glamping Lounge access

Complimentary shower fast passes

Private restroom facilities

Access to “The Post” for cell phone charging stations, ice sales, and water refills

tipi at alt fest 2

Alt Fest – August 15-17, 2014 in Northamptonshire, England:

If you’re into bands like The Cult and Marilyn Manson and want to survive The Alt in style, the organizers have you covered.  Compared to other festivals whose camping rates are based on a per-person charge, Alt Fest offers an inclusive flat rate to keep things simple.  Each of their glamping options comes with a variety of perks, such as memory foam mattresses, solar powered lighting, rugs, scatter cushion, and more.

The legendary US punk band, the Dead Kennedy’s once said, “Give me convenience or give me death.”  Thanks to glamping, attendees don’t have to lug all their camping gear back and forth and there will be no precarious tent-based construction to deal with.  Best of all, when the concert is over, you can simply walk away knowing that the Alt Fest “glamping gophers” will take care of everything.


The Indianapolis 500  – May 22-26th in Indiana:

Not all large gatherings revolve around music.  Although the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been used for a lot of things in its long and storied history, storied history, but never for anything quite like this.

For the first time, Indy 500 fans will be able to go glamping during race weekend.  The Speedway is offering packages ranging from $650 to $1,100 that include an assortment of luxuries, such as a tent with tarp floor and windows, queen-sized beds, a private shower area, electronic hookups and access to a glamping lounge.

All packages include four nights and five days.  Tickets for Coors Light Carb Day on May 23, Legends Day on May 24, and the race on May 25 are required and must be purchased separately. 

Luxury Submarines Are No Longer Just for Super-Villains

To set the record straight, Glamping is literally defined as a fusion of glamour and camping – a way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury.

Over the last few years, the term has taken on different meanings to different people.  For a property to be listed on Glamping.com, for example, we stipulate that it must somehow bring its guests closer to the natural environment in which it is located.  African safari tents and tree houses in California are two obvious cases in point.

To distinguish between the wide variety of glamping styles being offered today, we classify accommodations into separate categories.  This includes Tents, Villas & Huts, Cubes & Eco Pods, Yurts & Teepees, Tree Houses & Airstreams, Eco & Safari Lodges, and Cabineering.  In their own distinct way, each of these uniquely different options help travelers experience destinations in a much more “up close and personal” way.

So when we discovered that a holiday home-rental company called Oliver’s Travels is offering its customers the chance to spend the night in a specially adapted leisure submarine called “Lovers Deep”, we wondered just how far the boundaries of glamping could go.


The underwater marine hotel called “Lovers Deep” takes its guests (mostly couples) to the bottom of the ocean floor in places like the Red Sea and the Caribbean.

For about $292,800 per night, guests can spend the night at the bottom of the Red Sea or cruising the reefs of the Caribbean.  They also get a captain, a private chef and butler, speedboat transfers and optional add-ons that include helicopter transfers, beach landing, two-person shower, and champagne-soaked breakfast.

Guests who book the submarine accommodations as part of a honeymoon package are also offered a free lovers’ dinner menu that includes oysters, caviar and chocolate fondant with essence of pomegranate.

According to a February 16, 2014 report in Malay Mail Online, Lovers Deep is the latest in a new travel trend rising to the surface. In response to the banality of skyscraping properties, more and more hoteliers are plumbing the depths of the ocean for new and innovative lodging experiences.

The Manta Resort, for instance, offers a striking underwater room off the coast of Tanzania that includes a suite built four meters below the surface of the Indian Ocean, backlit by underwater spotlights.

photo from rusava.me Ithaa

Another example includes the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island hotel.  Set five meters below the surface, the fine dining restaurant features 180-degree views of the coral gardens. And the blueprints for a futuristic-looking luxury hotel in the Maldives reveal plans to build a spaceship-like edifice seven metres above water on five pillars. The lower deck, meanwhile, will be built up to 30 meters below the surface.


So now we want to ask you, our readers.  What does glamping mean to you and should these unusual accommodations be classified as glamping?

Yurts Go Global

For most people, the term “glamping” is associated with luxurious tents, and for good reason.  From Africa to the American West, savvy travel outfitters have been offering ready made safari-style tents to discerning travelers for many years now.

The art of glamorous camping, however, is no longer limited to just canvas tents.  Today, everyone from alpine skiers to birdwatchers seeking access to the great outdoors can choose between yurts, tipis, airstream caravans, and cabins to get closer to the action. Options can range from rustic, no-frills shelters to luxurious, temperature controlled enclosures offering up more resort-style amenities.

The Marine Corps Times recently published a story, Yurts Take Camping to  the Next Level, about one increasingly popular choice among glamping enthusiasts: yurts.  The following is an excerpt from that article:

First made famous by Genghis Khan’s fabled cavalry of Central Asian nomads who conquered Eurasia some 2,000 years ago, these circular domed tents still serve as homes for thousands of modern-day Mongolians.  These days, most yurts used for camping have at least plywood floors, canvas-and-lattice sidewalls and a skylight, and are typically equipped with at least beds, chairs, a table and cooking equipment. The higher-end yurts can rival fancy hotel suites.

Few people in the U.S. know yurts better than Alan Bair.

He fell in love with their simple, intrinsic beauty entwined with rugged, functional design about 40 years ago, so he built is own yurt in Oregon and lived in it through the mid-70s while working on reforestation projects.

It wasn’t long before word got out and requests began to pour in. Today, Bair’s Pacific Yurts not only is the original U.S. manufacturer, but it’s also one of the biggest, supplying everyone from resorts and state and national parks, to even the military.

If you stay in a yurt, chances are it will be one of Bair’s.

Over the years, he’s added plenty of improvements, while staying true to same basic design used by Central Asian nomads for thousands of years.

“The traditional yurt’s encircling rope or woven tension bands are now a steel aircraft cable sitting neatly on top of the lattice wall,” he says, while the latest in modern architectural fabrics have “replaced the outer covering of felted wool or canvas, and NASA-developed insulation provides lightweight but effective temperature control.”

Some of Bair’s favorite yurt getaways:


1. Orca Island Cabins, Alaska

Comfortable “off-grid” rental yurts located on a small private island in Resurrection Bay, just nine miles from Seward. Rates start at $239 per person per night and include round-trip water taxi to Orca Island, use of kayaks, rowing skiffs and stand-up paddle boards, fishing gear, binoculars and firewood.

cliffside yurt

2. Cliffside Park, Wash.

Yurt rentals for active-duty and retired service members and their families on beautiful Whidbey Island. Overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Peninsula, this Navy-run campsite offers six furnished 16-foot yurts with twin-over-queen bunk beds and a full-size futon. Rates: $25 per night in summer/$20 per night in winter.

umpqua lighthouse state park oregon

3. Oregon State Parks

“Yurt rentals are scattered throughout the state, but the majority are … along the beautiful Oregon coastline,” Bair says. With more than a dozen campgrounds now offering yurts, you can choose from rustic rentals situated near a central bathhouse or deluxe yurts with indoor kitchens and bathrooms. With its sandy beaches and towering sea cliffs, eight-person rustic yurts at Sunset Bay, for example, range from $36 to $50 per night.


4. Treebones Resort, Calif.

This 16-yurt resort includes “comfortable accommodations perched on Big Sur hillside with breathtaking ocean views,” Bair says. Enjoy the heated pool and outdoor sushi bar. An ocean-view yurt for two with a queen-sized bed starts at $255 per night and includes a breakfast buffet and morning yoga classes. All yurts are located near a central bathhouse.

Fort Tuthill Recreation Area AZ

5. Fort Tuthill Recreation Area, Ariz.

Near Flagstaff and operated by Luke Air Force Base, Fort Tuthill is the perfect launching pad for a slew of outdoor adventures that range from whitewater rafting to skiing and snowshoeing. Yurts include two twin bunk beds, a wood-burning stove, as well as a refrigerator and microwave. Take in the views from each yurt’s large deck. Rates: $25 per night in winter, $50 per night in summer.


6. Summit Mountain Lodge, Utah

A secluded luxury venue, the lodge offers 14 tastefully decorated yurts in southern Utah near several major skiing venues. Some include bathrooms, while others share a large bathhouse. Rates range from $75 to $225 per night. Be sure to ask for the 10 percent military discount.

Emily Elizabeth Smith. Austin, TX

7. Cypress Valley Canopy Tours, Texas

What Bair describes as “one of the most unique yurt rentals” you’ll likely find, these accommodations are built high in a Cypress tree and accessed by suspension bridge. You’ll have your own private bathhouse with a waterfall-filled tub that overlooks the ravine below. Located near Spicewood, Texas, overnights for two adults start at $300.

Main Forest Yurts FisherRidgeYurt

8. Maine Forest Yurts, Maine

Located 30 minutes from Portland, this 100-acre wilderness property includes comfortably furnished yurt rentals and plenty of tent sites. Best yet, stays are free for all active-duty service members and veterans.

savage river lodge

9. Savage River Lodge, Md.

These luxurious yurt rentals come complete with radiant floor heating, oversized shower, fully plumbed bathroom and king bed. Located near Frostburg, Md., double occupancy rates start at $225 per night.

killington resort

10. Killington Resort, Vt.

If you enjoy a good meal after a full day on the slopes, consider the Ledgewood Yurt at one of Vermont’s most popular ski resorts. Enjoy a snowcat-drawn sleigh ride to a comfortable heated yurt, where you’ll feast on a five-course meal. Prices start at $59 per night.