How Do You Go Beach Glamping? I’ll Take Mine with a Thatched Roof

I’m a sucker for thatched roofs. What summertime concert experience beats hanging out at a Parrothead’s thatched roof trailer bar while tailgating at a Jimmy Buffett concert? And there’s nothing more adventurous than a thatched roof villa in the middle of the jungle. The best place to enjoy a thatched roof villa, cabina, cabana, casita or palapa is on beach, accompanied a book or beverage of your choice. Here is a worldwide sampling of some fantastic thatched-roof-glamping-beach-book-and-beverage locations to consider for your next experiential journey.

Asia

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When a resort refers to itself as a “beach camp,” you instantly know you’ve found a place that understands beach glamping. Beach Camp Yala in Sri Lanka emphasizes a “passion for two things – wildlife camping and hospitality,” which is glamping, simply stated. A stay at Yala combines a great beach vacation with the option of a guided safari to view elephants, sloth bears, and the largest leopard population on the island.

Central America

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All of the luxury villas at El Secreto in Ambergris Caye, Belize have thatched roofs, and the name of the game is snorkeling and diving- with the Belize Barrier Reef right on the doorstep. El Secreto, or “the secret,” may be named for the fact that it has a “privileged and secluded location on North Ambergris Caye,” a prized aspect of glamping done right.

South America

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If kite surfing is your game, or you just want to try it, the thatched roof cabanas of Pueblo Barrancas in Uruguay are the answer. The luxury glamping dwellings are nestled into the hillside in plain view of the beach, and yurts are offered as well.

Europe

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You’d be right to guess Spain as a European country with thatched roof huts near the beach. At Casas Karen, they are referred to as “chozas de paja,” or “straw huts.“ Glamping.com previously highlighted a report from The Guardian that named Casas Karen number 7 on the Top Ten Luxury Campsites in the world. It’s said to be on “one of the last wild coasts in Southern Spain.”

Africa

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As I stated before, placing the word “beach” in the name of the resort saves a whole lot of trouble, and another prime location has embraced this wisdom. Dugong Beach Lodge in Mozambique has 12 luxuriously appointed, air-conditioned (thatched roof!) chalets inside the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary, all of which are exquisitely ensconced on a beautiful beach.

Oceania

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Located on a former cocoanut plantation on a fabulous beach on the Island of Fiji are 25 thatched roof “bures” and a luxury villa all exquisitely appointed by the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. It’s Fiji- need I say more? If so, check out Jen Bianco’s entertaining blog entry here.

The definition of glamping can vary widely. If glamping is your goal but you’re not sure, then adopt this simple rule of thumb- when in doubt, thatched roof=glamping. Now go hit the sand!

High Above the Panamanian Pacific

Are you a mountain or beach person? Why choose when you can have both. Set at an elevation of 3,116 feet above the Pacific Ocean in a forest with rivers and lakes, Luxury Camping: Altos del Maria has the best of the mountains with panoramic views to the seas. Altos del Maria is an exclusive community 60 miles south of Panama City that has recently opened this boutique Glamping property for those looking for a taste of the good life.

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Luxury Camping: Altos del Maria is set on 7,000 acres in the El Chamo region with trails ascending its peaks and dipping into the cloud forests of the Continental Divide. The average temperature here is a pleasant 75 degrees keeping the flowers in bloom and the wildlife thriving year-round. The Audubon Association even gave a nod to the area for its incredible biodiversity and 276 species of birds! Bird watchers get your binoculars ready!

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Keeping the property intimate and maximizing guests’ contact with nature, Luxury Camping: Altos del Maria has five free-standing suites. The luxury tents open up to views of the Valle Maria and the Pacific. Two double beds and an en-suite bath make them ideal for families.

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Perched on its own little hill and garden, the Camping Suite. Tucked away on its own little hill and garden, the Premier Camping Suite is a yurt for the modern nomad.

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The Yurt’s circular walls with lattice pattern and woven cupola make for a truly stunning space. Further enhanced by chic furnishings and a luxurious bath, it’s where every couple wants to be.

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Walk out to the private terrace for 360-degree views of the Valle Maria, mountain peaks, and ocean. Add coffee and it’s the perfect way to wake up.

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Senderos Restaurant is the culinary heart of Luxury Camping: Altos del Maria. The name translates to “trails” and is the pinnacle of international cuisine in the area. The menu takes inspiration from Europe, Asia, the Americas, including the surrounding region. Panamanian dishes to try are the Sancocho stew and a dessert of wine-marinated pears.

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Take a picnic to one of the six panoramic viewpoints or take nature walks along the property’s five trails, including one to the impressive El Chorro waterfall. Tennis and mini golf are also available if sports are what you crave. Plus, rappelling is coming soon!

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If the beach beckons you closer, the Panamanian Rivera is only 30 minutes away, starting with the curving coastline of Coronado Beach.

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Easy to access from Panama City airport, but a world away, Luxury Camping: Altos del Maria makes choosing between the exotic beaches and lush mountains of Central America an easy decision.

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

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.

Eolo Glamping Review

Arriving to Eolo in Patagonia’s La Anita valley is unlike any other hotel approach experience out there. Surrounded with nothing but windswept pampas and the peaks of the region’s iconic mountains as far as the eye can see, it’s hard to imagine that a luxurious property even exists round these parts. Surprising guests is part of what makes Eolo so alluring.

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After driving around, seeing nothing but the natural glory of Argentine Patagonia, Eolo appears as if out of nowhere, this low-lying lodge modeled after a classic sheep farm, an unexpected refuge in a desolate yet beautiful locale.

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Located 30 kilometers west of El Calafate, the touristy nucleus of this pocket of Patagonia where there are meaty restaurants and shops for souvenirs or whatever you may have forgotten to pack for the trip, Eolo really does act like a tucked away retreat. Set on a private 4,000-hectare estate with virtually no visible neighbor, you can’t dream up more reclusive accommodations in a region known for providing travelers with space, especially in the luxury market. And with only 17 private suites, things don’t ever get crowded at this property.

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Once you get inside, it’s all about subtle design touches, giving Eolo the warm intimacy of a private home. Worn-but-refined leather furniture, complementary antiques, carved wood, crisp linen, patterned area rugs and plush animal hide combine to create an atmosphere that honors the destination in a luxurious and relaxing way. There’s never too much to look but everything works together to deliver one design narrative: that there’s harmony between what’s inside and out.

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Private rooms are spacious and chic with beds facing floor-to-ceiling windows. (And the corner rooms get two!) There’s no hiding of Patagonia here. Same in the bathrooms, which are simple and rustic-looking. The showers come equipped with eye-level windows so there’s really no getting away from glorious views of the outdoors. And depending on which room you have, you could be peeking at Lago Argentino, La Anita valley, the Torres del Paine or the Rico branch.

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This is a Relais & Chateaux property so you know that food is going to be exceptional. Breakfast is a wonderful start to the day with a ton of sun usually flooding the dining room as you while away on fresh juices and flakey pastries.

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Your day will likely be spent on a excursion so Eolo can prepare a gourmet picnic lunch, which you’ve selected the day before, ticking little boxes to say you want sun-dried tomatoes in your sandwich and a brownie for dessert. You may not be at the hotel when you enjoy these treats, but the meticulously prepared boxes is one of the best examples of how exceptional the service is at Eolo. You feel like you’re being taken care of, even when you’re miles away from the staff.

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Dinner service is when Eolo’s full culinary prowess is unleashed when a menu of locally sourced deliciousness will be on offer. Each course provides a handful of choices – if you’re staying a few days you can sample them all – that will satisfy even picky eaters among us.

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A starter could be grilled local vegetables or soup while Patagonian lamb is usually among the options for a main course; but you are in Argentina, perhaps a perfectly seasoned cut of steak is the unbeatable choice. And don’t forget the wine. Eolo boasts a selection of vintages sourced from all over the great wine-making regions of the country.