Sure, the idea of cooking over a campfire can sound romantic — but really think about it. Step one: you’ll need to light a fire. For the semi-capable outdoors men, this should be a walk in the park. Well, except for the fact that you’ll most likely need to haul in your own firewood, and that’s if the area you’re camping in allows campfires in the first place. Next up: the food. Depending on how gourmet you want to get (a can of beans and a hot dog just won’t cut it), you’ll need to plan a campfire friendly menu and bring all the supplies with you, most likely in a heavy cooler. Exhausted yet? Don’t worry, I won’t even talk about the pots, pans, utensils and how to clean them all after they’re dirty. The answer to your camp cooking dilemma — glamping.
Yes — while roughing it on your own in the woods (including cooking your own meals) can be a rewarding experience, why not elevate your next camping trip to a glamping trip and sit back and relax while your camp butler toasts you the perfect marshmallow for your s’more. And yes, I just said camp butler.
Now that I have your attention, here are just four (of endless) glamping dining experiences worth salivating over. But proceed with caution; you’re likely to never pull out that old camp stove again after reading about these:
The Resort at Paws Up, a 35,000 acre ranch in southwestern Montana, is a culinary beacon within one of America’s most wild settings. Aside from the series of culinary events which Paws Up put on every year, like Montana Master Grillers and Montana Master Chefs, the property offers dining experiences that’ll “wow” even the most seasoned glamper. During warm weather months, you’ll be treated to a massive buffet lunch at Chuck Wagon, an outdoor dining are set along the crystal clear Blackfoot River, where chefs smoke and grill every kind of meat imaginable. Back at your luxury campsite, your camp chef will whip up a gourmet dinner and your camp butler will toast you the perfect marshmallow for your s’more.
Australia’s outback is one of the world’s most unforgiving places — except if you’re staying at Longitude 131. As the outback’s premier luxury glamping destination, Longitude 131 offers plush accommodations, views of Uluru (a.k.a. Ayers Rock, the sacred site for resident Aboriginals) and one of Australia’s most memorable dining experiences. Dinner at Table 131° will find you and your dining partner sitting at a private outdoor table while the sun sets, candles flicker and one of the most stunning starry skies reveals itself above you. While it may be hard to concentrate on the food, you’ll be treated to a delicious three course meal and plenty of fine Australian wine.
Nestled deep in the Costa Rican rainforest, Finca Bellavista is comprised of a series of tree houses located high in the tree tops where guests zoom by on zip lines and local flora and fauna serve as entertainment. But back on the ground, Finca Bellavista takes their food seriously. To get in touch with mother earth (as if living in a tree wasn’t enough) you’ll be able to tour and tend to the property’s substantial gardens with a resident gardener. After harvesting a selection of the day’s bounty, you’ll then head to the community kitchen for a cooking class where a chef will teach you how to make empanadas, picadillo, soups and more using your garden fresh ingredients.
It’s no surprise that Four Seasons Bora Bora, a resort that is synonymous with the word honeymoon, is home to some of the world’s most romantic dining experiences. While private dining can be arranged in your over-water bungalow or on a secluded stretch of beach, for the most romantic dinner in the South Pacific you’ll want to choose the Four Seasons Bora Bora’s private island dinner experience. You and that special someone will be rowed by canoe to a small private island where champagne and canapés await. As the sun sets, you’ll be treated to a decadent meal created specifically by the Executive Chef after a previously arranged personal consultation. And as if the night couldn’t get any more spectacular, you’ll end your meal watching a private Polynesian fire dance performance.
Photo Credits: The Resort at Paws Up, Longitude 131, Finca Bellavista by Anders Berch, Four Seasons Bora Bora.
Grant Smith is a travel writer who provides readers and viewers with the information they need to get off the Internet and on the road saying, “I’m going to have an awesome time!” Wherever he goes, Grant travels with a budget-aware eye, but isn’t afraid to splurge on travel experiences that are truly worth it. When he’s not living out of a suitcase, Grant lives in Southern California.