The idea of glamorous camping is the combination of two things in apparent diametric opposition- camping, which is sleeping in the elements, with glamor, which refers to luxury. Here we visit properties on the other end of the scale for a more rustic travel experience. These are accommodations for those of us who are more nature lover than jet-setter, with the luxury still present but dialed down to a modest level- camping with a touch of posh.
The Ponds of Dobcice
If you’ve ever imagined yourself living “off the grid” but want to try it before completely pulling the plug, consider a getaway to The Ponds of Dobcice. The Madlenka (pictured) and Valdala bungalows are perched over idyllic waters, but have no running water, no heat, and no electricity- heating and hot water is obtained by wood burning cook and boiler stove. Interiors are spartan but comfortable and appealing with clean lines. Here, you can reside for a short time as a true bohemian in Bohemia, the region of the Czech Republic where this resort resides.
The simplicity of accommodations in this category is often reflected in the name of the resort. Jungle’s Edge of Costa Rica is one such example. It is located near Playa Guiones, a well-known surfing spot in the Nosara region of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province. Surfing is definitely on the menu as is yoga, but try your hand at martial arts with a Muay Thai boxing and fitness retreat, then retreat to your cozy open air jungle hut, costing a mere $50 a night double occupancy.
Palpatha Eco Safari Lodge
Stay at the chalet, the name given to the abodes at the Palpatha Eco Safari Lodge in Sri Lanka, which anywhere else might be called a casita or a palapa for sleeping. But let’s call them chalets anyway. Why not, when you will feel like royalty abroad while on a leopard safari at the Wilpattu National Park, a short 15-minute drive away, or perhaps you’d like to view dolphins and whales in Kalpitiya? Then return to your chalet for the evening after an authentic Sri Lankan meal with a traditional ‘village’ experience, which is all-inclusive starting at a mere $95 per night per guest.
Shanthi Kunnj Homestay
The owners of Shanthi Kunnj Homestay refer to their place as “Paradise by the Riverside.” Situated on the scenic, guests have the opportunity for white water or still water rafting, and Bhadra Reserve Forest trekking. If you don’t mind trekking a little further, visit Bhadra Tiger Reserve to view tigers and elephants. The resort features handsome wooden structures with simple elemental names, like glass house, mud house, and log house. If you’re not familiar with India’s currency, then one glance at the price in rupees will make your jaw drop. It’s a bargain starting at 2750 rupees a night, or less than $50 USD.
The place is called Desert Days, which sounds like it could be a small town festival in Nevada. This however, is a resort in Negev, a desert in Israel, with nine “eco huts” built by hand, “according to the eco construction principles,” with mud and straw bricks, making them suitable for desert lodging. Spend your days in the desert at Desert Days in the three connected circular swimming pools, or practicing desert archery, and spend your nights relaxing in a hammock in view of the bonfire in your private yard, spending only $67 per night to start.