Urban Glamping with Hazel

I understand camping isn’t for everyone. There are bugs, variable temperatures, sleeping on the ground, no wifi – that’s why they invented Glamping! However, I also understand that glamping is still a little too roughing it/outdoorsy and remote for people – but what if you could ‘glamp’ in a city? Get the feeling of camping but have a vibrant urban landscape at your doorstep?

I have found the solution – tucked away between brick buildings in the European capital of Brussels – urban glamping. The boutique Vintage Hotel in Brussels not only went vintage in their décor and room design, they took it a step further and brought in a refurbished vintage Airstream camper and parked it on their front terrace. Poof – urban glamping!

I was pretty excited to try out this unique accommodation and still have the joy of easily getting to the bars, restaurants, and nightlife of Brussels.

The vintage Airstream was built in 1958, but has been fully updated with queen size bed, funky sitting area, TV, wifi, and shower.

It even came with a name, Hazel. In a previous life Hazel was a functioning camper that was used to travel the U.S. – oh, the places Hazel had been!

As I stepped up on the metal step and entered into my camper I sort of felt like Austin Powers was going to be lying on the bed greeting me! The décor was straight out of the 1970’s, colorful and graphic, which made the Airstream fit in seamlessly with the rest of the Vintage Hotel décor.

You are not just in the middle of a bustling city; you are also in the middle of the courtyard and entryway for the hotel. At first, I was a bit freaked out feeling rather exposed with the Airstream sitting right in the entrance with little tables around it so that people from the wine bar could sit around you, but it also felt very city like. I was in the middle of all of the action, and honestly once you closed your camper door and pulled the shades, you were in your own little camper world anyway.

And if you start to feel a bit claustrophobic, you can hang out on the terrace or inside at the wine bar at the hotel. The indoor wine bar also doubles as the breakfast area in the morning.

If you are urban glamping, then it’s all about the city and luckily the Vintage Airstream was located in one of the hippest neighborhoods in Brussels – Saint Gilles. You are surrounded by great restaurants, friteries, coffee shops, bars and shopping, all within a few blocks.

I enlisted the help of my friends who live in Brussels and we started our evening at the Vintage Hotel wine bar. Then, we went for Tibetan food at Momo’s in the neighborhood.

As we were strolling to the next bar, we came across a gallery exhibition opening and soon were sipping champagne looking at Jimmy Nelson’s “Before they Pass” photography exhibit that transported us to the far reaches of the globe. See – urban glamping can be quite adventurous!

I spent the next morning walking around the neighborhood taking in the cobblestone streets, Art Nouveau architecture that Brussels is famous for, and of course had to stop at the well-known neighborhood Friterie de la Barriere. I took my large cone of frites and mayonnaise and sat at an outdoor café and ordered a Lambic beer. Sure, this wasn’t hiking in the woods and cooking over a campfire – but urban glamping was a fun way to get the rustic with the modern. Sometimes you just need a little urban glamping pampering.

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