lifestyle - Glamping
Written by Karen Martin
The trend that wont go away, glamping – glamorous camping – allows you to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors with all the comforts of luxurious accommodation.
For those uninspired by the hotel experience, glamping offers a unique and memorable encounter with nature without the negative aspects of camping. There’s no fire to build, no tent to pitch, and definitely no sleeping on a groundsheet.
Your tent will be more of a permanent structure, fitted out with all mod cons, and with someone on hand to tend to your every wish. High-end offerings can include butlers, fine dining, spa tents, and more, with a level of service that focuses completely on your comfort.
A comfortable bed with high-thread-count bedding is just the start, but despite the luxurious amenities, glamping is still very much an eco-friendly holiday, with many sites run using the natural resources around them, lessening their carbon footprint.
The appeal of glamping is obvious: a beautiful natural location with the luxuries of a 5-star hotel. Nature is right on your doorstep, so you are close to all kinds of outdoor pursuits. No precious time is wasted going to and from your destination – this is your destination.
Candles, starry skies, and an open fire are a must. Out in the wilderness with no light pollution, you can see the night sky like never before, and, surrounded by cosy blankets and softly lit lanterns, you can fall asleep and wake up to the sounds of nature.
For city dwellers, glamping provides an escape far removed from the hustle and bustle and pressures of everyday life: a boutique camping experience in secluded locations with few other guests, or yours exclusively. Some camps are so intimate they offer exclusive use so you have the sights, sounds, facilities, and experiences to yourselves, as well as the undivided yet discreet attention of the staff.
Whether in a tent, yurt, or dome, glamping is the best way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury.
Take a peek inside a luxury tented suite and, at first glance, you may mistake it for a 5-star hotel suite. The lavishly furnished interiors can include four-poster beds, gilt mirrors, chandeliers, hand-woven rugs, objets d’art, and en-suite bathrooms with roll-top baths and rain showers.
From mountains to deserts, rainforests to beaches, tented suites can be found in some of the world’s most breathtaking places. Tented camps also go hand-in-hand with safari holidays, and many sites are located on the edge of national parks, nature reserves, and riverbanks, where you can spot the wildlife from your private veranda before heading out on a guided drive for a closer encounter.
Some African camps run seasonal or nomadic camps as well as their permanent ones, to ensure you have front-row seats for the annual wildebeest migration or to look for a specific species of wildlife. These experiences can be tailored to you.
Yurts, circular wooden-framed tents originally used as nomadic shelters, have had a luxurious upgrade, with improved outer material for better protection against the elements, and a taller structure for a feeling of space. Once designed to be easily portable, luxury yurts are now static, with hardwood floors or carpets installed, and bathrooms, decking, and even pools and hot tubs added to the side. With this cosiest glamping option, you can snuggle into your king-sized bed with luxury bedding and stare up at the stars through the large domed skylight while listening to the roaring log-burning fire.
A more modern take on the theme is the geodesic dome, a futuristic white ‘pod’ with a geometric structure that supports itself, with no need for internal supports. You can find these space-age domes nestled into the landscape, from Switzerland to Scotland, and Canada to Chile. They offer a light-filled, open-plan, chilled-out space, and the larger ones often have a mezzanine level to make use of the roof space. Luxury domes feature private bathrooms and come equipped with electricity and wood-burning stoves. The coolest pods have large windows and skylights so you can watch the sun go down and gaze at the night sky.
Wherever you are, being able to wake up to a magical sunrise, before stepping outside to enjoy all that nature has to offer from dawn to dusk, followed by a candlelit dinner served in the moonlight right outside your luxury suite, is an experience that will be hard to better, or forget.