Nature Immersed Glamping Destinations


The search is always on for the unique, the nature immersed experiences – this is what drives most glampers . If you’re looking for the next luxury stop, then here are a few out-of-the-box destinations that are sure to please!

It takes a seaplane ride to arrive at the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. 45 minutes out of Vancouver will take you to the island where luxury tents make a comfortable stay – plush beds, en suite bathrooms, heated floors, running water, and thermostat-controlled propane wood stoves. Activities like bear-watching and zip-lining will fill your stay and horses are the main means of transportation.

Take yourself 5,000 feet elevated into the Swiss Alps and you’ll find yourself at Whitepod. The area is explored mainly through skiing, with the option of snowshoe, dogsled and foot. Here you have a choice between 15 geodesic domes that blend into the Alp landscape with white canvas in winter and green canvas in summertime. The view, as you might expect, is truly inspiring.


If you want to see what it’s like to live out-of-this-world, the Earthship Biostructure may be the closest you can find. This desert setting in Taos, New Mexico, gives an otherworldly feel to this off-the-grid resort – which is still able to offer the amenities of wi-fi and TVs (complete with netflix) through electricity gathered by sun and wind. Everything is built with natural or recycled materials. Rainwater storage is utilized for drinking and showering, as well as for watering the garden.

Then there’s the famous Uluru’s Longitude 131 set in the red sand dunes of Australia. There are just 15 tents, which are more aptly described as freestanding luxury rooms. One-way privacy films coat the expansive windows, so you’ll feel out in the open and perfectly hidden all at the same time. The location is neighbor to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, meaning the views are uninterrupted and the local plants and animals are in your “backyard” of sorts.

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What’s made of 25 individual domes and 3 community domes? The EcoCamp in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia! The EcoCamp is the Park’s first sustainable accommodation, with geodesic domes that resemble high-tech igloos with transparent ceilings for stargazing. Complete with private terraces, comfortable beds, private bathrooms, wood stoves, gas heaters and splendid views of Torres del Paine peaks. There is no lack of luxury, either, when it comes to the community domes and their Chilean cuisine restaurants.

Add the word “Ger” to your glamping dictionary. At the Three Camel Lodge in Gobi, Mongolia, you’ll experience the traditional mongolian herder tent in luxury. Here there’s a selection among twenty Deluxe Gers that are all handmade using lattice wood covered in felt and canvas.Unlike the typical Mongolian herder your stay will find you in perfect comfort with wood stoves, private bathrooms and king-sized beds, with a view marked by the iconic Gobi-Altai Mountains.

Treehouse enthusiasts will appreciate Chole Mjini, the “castaway fantasy” set in the remote Chole Island in Tanzani, Africa, where they have seven treehouses to choose from. This castaway fantasy is complete with all the creature comforts, including outdoor showers with hot water. The resort has worked alongside the local island community to add a taste to your visit unlike anywhere else, and activity options – including diving, island excursions, swimming with whales, sunset sailing and more – are certain to leave an impression.

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If you can manage a slot or two out of the 14 allowed spots inside Chumbe Island Coral Park in Zanzibar, Tanzania, it’s certainly worth a stay. Exclusion stems from the need to protect this island coral reef sanctuary, visitors will stay in eco-bungalows with waterfront views. Each bungalow has it’s own sleeping area, living room, hammock, self-contained bathrooms to ease the body and mind between adventures. Everything is included when staying at this glamping spot, including guided snorkeling in the reef sanctuary.

Australia’s Wildman Wilderness Lodge is rebuilt from the same materials as the former Wrotham Park Lodge which was shut down 1,740 miles away. While the materials may have been recycled, nothing about this resort feels second hand. Being settled in the scenic land of Mary River National Park Wetlands gives visitors front row seats to the rivers, billabongs and wallaby wildlife. Safari tents are well equipped with all the luxuries of comfy beds, en suite bathrooms, running water and electricity, while the camp land is kept clear of unwelcomed guests such as crocodiles.

For an unforgettable and unparalleled experience you might try the Human Nest at Treebones Resort. While the stay might not be particularly luxurious – you’ll have to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow to lug up to the nest – it will make an impression. The view from your perch will take in the Los Padres National Forest and the Pacific Ocean. Ah, California you don’t disappoint!

So… do you still have room on your glamping bucket-list? 🙂

Desert Luxury at Longitude 131

I looked out of my plane window and saw a reddish-orange desert landscape peppered with a surprising amount of green shrubs.  I stared at the flat, barren land surprised at how vibrant it was.  This isn’t at all what I expected from Australia’s desert and outback.  However, this vibrant color in the desert was the beginning my many surprises and yin yang experience in the Red Centre.

From the air you could barely notice them, but suddenly I was able to pick out the semi circle of 15 white roofs peeking out through the red and green landscape.  I fixated on the roofs and their proximity to the Uluru – one of the world’s largest and most spiritual monoliths.  This was the draw of Longitude 131 – proximity to this important landmark in Australia.  However, while most people go to the Red Centre of the Northern Territory to primarily see Uluru with lodging being an afterthought – it was opposite for me.  It was the opportunity to stay at the all-inclusive Longitude 131 that was my impetus for coming to Uluru.  Some might say my priorities are screwed up, but after two days soaking in the experience of Longitude 131, I think my priorities were just fine.

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I had camped out in the dessert before in Northern Africa, however upon arriving at Longitude 131, the premier glamping destination of the Northern Territory, I knew this was going to be nothing like I had ever experienced before.  This exclusive glamping spot good enough for the Royal Family and Oprah is best known for their luxury, service, seclusion, and view of Uluru.  This was a place where you came to relax, learn, and soak in the culture and environment around you.

For me it was also a place of complimentary contrasts – yin and yang.  I felt these opposite yet complementary forces at work constantly during my time at Longitude 131.  This feeling for me started with the desert landscape and continued to the tents, the food, and the people I met.

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A Tent With a View

I arrived and was shown to my personal glamping ‘tent’.  It was part canvas tent, and part pre-fab building elevated off the ground making it look as if my room was floating above the red sand desert floor.   Each tent had a 3 walls and one wall that was a huge window.  The window looked out on your own personal view of Uluru.  After all, Uluru is the main attraction.  The room was even designed so that in the bathroom (thanks to sliding mirrors) you could also see your own personal view of Uluru.

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The design of the room had an earthy feel and old world charm with muted colors, dark wood, wooden trunks, and a chaise lounge.  Yet the old explorer feel had modern touches with an iPad and Bose speakers in each room with preloaded playlists for romance, chilling out, rock & roll, and local indigenous music.  The turn down service included fur covered hot water bottles to warm your bed during the cold desert nights.  And each tent was stocked with a selection of teas and Nespresso coffee maker.  Overall it reflected a sense of place with respect of its surroundings and history.  I didn’t really want to leave my gorgeous room, but with so much to see and do at Longitude 131, I knew I couldn’t stay in my comfortable tent forever!

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Experiences with a Luxury Twist

Longitude 131 wasn’t just about luxury accommodations – it was about celebrating the culture and spirit of the area.  Each day there is a touring program that is run by a Longitude guide, and is centered around sunrise and sunset – two very special times at Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park.  You go as a group to the experiences which makes them not only educational but social. The first night we went to the cultural center in the park to learn more about the Anangnu people and their history.  Then as the sun started it’s descent into the red horizon, we went to a private viewing area for the sunset complete with champagne.

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After the sun had set and the pictures were taken, we were whisked away to Table 131, a one-of-a-kind dinner under the stars.  This was my first taste of the talent of Chef Seona Moss.  She infused local ingredients unique to the desert into her creations and each plate was served up with incredible attention to detail – even in the dark under the stars.   After dinner we were handed a glass of port and treated to a star talk to learn about the astronomy of the Southern Hemisphere by our guide Andy.  He didn’t just talk about stars, but also the rotation of the planets and solar system, moons, black holes and star stages.  The dessert is the perfect backdrop with no light pollution for stargazing!

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Each experience was focused on learning the stories of the Anangnu.  The song lines (stories) reminded me of ancient mythology tales full of love, loss, and super powers.  The experiences also included some hiking and light walking.  Backpacks, water bottles, and fly nets were provided for every guest for the outings.  Each experience in the evening ended with cocktails and canapés in the outdoors.  A beautiful setting for happy hour as you watch the fantastic colors on Uluru change by the setting sun and get to know your fellow travelers.

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Guides as Teachers

“There are millions of wattles!” our guide Graham remarked with a laugh.  His comment made me laugh as I wasn’t even sure what a wattle was. However, I did know that a wattle was a plant, as Graham had been educating us and subsequently quizzing us on the plants and trees during our Kata Tjuta hike.   For some reason all I could remember was the word “wattle”, but all of the other names describing the specific wattles were lost on me in a sea of new information we were receiving on the hike.

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On each outing we had a different guide for the experience – this was done on purpose so that we could get different perspectives.  I really liked this aspect, as each guide’s passion and interest seemed to come out in their stories.  Some of guides I connected to more than others – but all were extremely knowledgeable and professional.  Graham had been there a long time and had visited years ago when the land ownership picture was quite different – so he offered a very unique perspective on the history.

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However, my time with Mark was probably my most memorable.  Mark is Scottish and as unique as they come.  He was extremely interested in the Anangnu culture and often spent time in their village connecting personally with them.  He did a nice job of helping me understand the Anangnu’s deep connection with the land.  He was the best studied in the native language and the stories in my opinion.  He even taught me how to count in Pitjantjatjara language. I spent one morning with him walking around Uluru learning of some of the important song lines.  He even provided me time on my own to simply walk and soak it all in.

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Modern and Indigenous Flavors

Just as Longitude 131 successfully mixes luxury with a rugged environment, Chef Moss infuses indigenous plants and fruits into her impeccably presented recipes at the Dune House (the communal dining and lodge facility).  She’s been the head chef at Longitude for 4 years and regularly goes out into the Anangnu community to learn from them in how they use the nature around them in their culture and cooking.  She’s even working on taking on a local apprentice or starting some programs for the locals.

The presentation was so colorful – like a piece of art coming out on each plate.  One lunch Chef Moss made an entire menu using edible flowers.  However my favorite presentation was the ceviche served in a shell on a bed of red sand with a small rock placed on the plate representing Uluru.  I was amazed at how fresh the food was in this barren desert land; utilizing fresh parsley, mint, and fennel making you forget entirely that you were in the middle of a desert.

These contrasting yet complementary feelings were the foundation for my stay at Longitude 131.  Relaxed yet active, luxurious yet rugged, old world yet technologically advanced, old ingredients and new – all perfectly mixed together to create the ultimate glamping experience in Australia.


Spicers Canopy Scenic Rim Trail: Nature By Day Luxury By Night

I pulled up in my rental car and was greeted by Hanna and James, our guides from Spicers Canopy. James took my bag and whisked it away informing me it would be waiting for me at my tent when we finished our hike. Hanna took me to a truck where she introduced me to my fellow hikers and glampers – 3 women who, like me, were also traveling solo. When you think about luxury lodging, you seldom think about experiencing it solo. You normally save luxury experiences like glamping to be shared with someone. However, you don’t have to save ‘special’ experiences to be shared with someone, if I did, then I’d probably never travel! My time at Spicers Canopy was a great way to experience glamping solo because it wasn’t solely about the resort and luxury, it was about how you got there and the people you were with.

Our hiking guide, Hanna, handed us day backpacks already packed with rain gear, a hat, lunch, snacks, and a camel back water system. This wasn’t just luxury camping, it was luxury hiking too. I wasn’t used to getting this type of pampering when I hiked, but I think I could get used to it! We started up the Scenic Rim Trailhead towards the summit of Mt. Mitchell. Spicers Scenic Rim Trail is located in the Great Dividing Range of Southern Queensland Australia. A region rich in exploration and history, which is a perfect distance from Brisbane for a weekend getaway. We started with a gradual climb through cartoonish looking trees and plants I had never seen before native to Australia. We arrived at the summit in time to eat our packed lunches of wraps and fruit; needed nourishment after the climb.

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As we hiked up Mt. Mitchell you could see the big picture of the day’s hike. James pointed out white dots down in the distant valley, the tents of Spicers Canopy, which would be our camp for the evening. He also pointed out the Spicers Peak Lodge perched on top of a hill across from Spicer’s Peak which would be our end destination on our last day of hiking. As I looked at the Spicers Canopy tents in way off in the distance I was excited at the prospect of a glamping experience after challenging hiking day. After all, the last thing I wanted to do after a challenging 8 mile hike was pitch my own tent, start a fire, and cook myself crappy camp food.

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Seeing the camp gave me the energy to get through the 2nd half of the hike which veered off the nice park maintained trail and into proper bush walking. We followed Hanna and James as they led us through the tall grass and down the steep embankment – we were blazing our own trail now! We passed the time by getting to know each other better swapping stories and personal information making us forget about the miles we were logging. After a few more hours we came up over the ridge and saw our first look at the campsite, which had 10 perfectly placed safari style canvas tents with porches all looking out on Mt. Mitchell. The sun was startingto get low and the camp had a golden glow. Or maybe I was blinded by the golden bubbles handed to me as I arrived at the communal lodge building. Ryan and Finley, the Spicers Canopy chefs, handed me a glass of champagne, welcomed me to the camp, and invited us in to enjoy homemade scones, jam, and cream by the fire. I’m an avid hiker, but this was the most memorable way I have ever finished a day hike. It felt great to take off my boots and daypack and sink into the big couch cushions enjoying the smell of a roaring fire with a glass of bubbly. “I earned this”, I thought to myself!

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The hiking was done and the pampering had just begun. We were shown to our tents where our bags awaited us as well as a big queen bed full of pillows making it look like a marshmallow to sink into. The tents were powered by solar so each had two bedside lamps and one overhead lamp. The bed as well as a lounge chair looked out on Mt. Mitchell. It felt wonderful to think that we had been way up there at the peak earlier in the day. I put on my fluffy white robe and walked to the bathrooms in the communal building that was also home to 3 sleek, modern bathrooms with showers. The hot shower felt wonderful on the chilly evening. (Image – Spicers Canopy 2.jpg)

Soon it was time for canapés and wine served around the fire as the lodge was filling with aromas from Ryan and Finley’s cooking. The kitchen was open which allowed and encouraged everyone to interact. After a day of hiking I had gotten to know my fellow hikers pretty well. This glamping experience was more of a group experience instead of a romantic weekend with privacy. And personally I preferred this as a solo traveler who loves hiking. Part of the fun for me was getting to know my fellow hikers.

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The best part about glamping after a hike is you get to enjoy guilt-free eating! A feast was delivered to the communal table; onion brie tart with balsamic vinegar, coq au vin, and sticky date pudding with ice cream for dessert. Not the typical camping food I am used to. The fire was dying down, my belly was full, and the wine had taken hold, it was time to retire to my tent. The air was crisp outside which quickened my step, however as I stepped up on my porch I glanced up and was stopped in my tracks. The luminous Milky Way was staring back at me with such sharpness I was mesmerized and the chilly night air became an afterthought.

I finally pulled myself away from stargazing and unzipped my tent to fall into my marshmallow bed, exhausted. When I turned down the duvet I found a hot water bottle nestled in my bed – the perfect sleeping companion for this solo glamper on a cold autumn night. In this environment it was easy to get a good night’s sleep so that I could get up and do this all over again with my fellow hikers tomorrow!

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More Information: Spicers Scenic Rim Trail is a new inventive 3 day hike and glamping experience covering approximately 19 miles around the Great Dividing Range Mountains in Southeast Queensland Australia. You glamp for 2 nights at Spicers Canoy and the third night your hike ends at the luxurious Spicers Peak Lodge where the pampering continues surrounded by real walls.