When most people head into the outdoors the idea is to strip themselves of modern conveniences. But there is another set of individuals who want to bring the luxuries with them. For this there is reserved an emerging style of outdoor resort accommodations known as glamping.
The term glamping just means glamorous camping, and it’s a trendy new destination experience that brings luxury into nature. It can be a luxury cabin, tent, tree house or yurt, and they come in all shapes and sizes, all over the world. These upscale accommodations bring visitors close to nature are increasingly popular, offering a website and destinations worldwide.
Glamping resorts offer a variety of accommodations. What these shelters have in common is that they offer amenities you might expect to find in a five-star hotel, but they are in the wilderness. There are roughly 3,000 properties around the world with some type of luxury component, and high demand means more are being developed every year.
The experience lets people who aren’t regular campers get out into nature, in the wild, or off the beaten path with someone else taking care of the hard, dirty work of camping. Staff can pitch the tent, cook the meals, prepare the campfire and pack a gourmet picnic for a day of hiking. They also offer activities from shooting ranges to riding horses, river raft day trips to guided wilderness hikes.
Hardcore camping enthusiasts may scoff at the idea of all this luxury, but there are plenty of people trying it out. Tour operators and outfitters have started focusing on destination-specific glamping.
Epic Private Journeys is a company offering high-end adventure trips all over the world that has added some luxe customizable camping trips, but they don’t come cheaply. In national wonders like Zion National Park, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon guests pay about $750 per night to bed down in a spacious canvas tent on comfy cots complete with expensive linens. They can top off their day with a sit-down gourmet meal with menu items like New York strip steak or seafood broil, served with wine or beer. It’s a far cry from hot dogs and s’mores charred over an open campfire.
The resort at Paws Up located on a 37,000 acre working ranch in western Montana was first up in recognizing the emerging market for glamping. About a year after opening, Paws Up added three upscale tents to its lodging options. The spacious canvas tents boasted king-sized beds, robes, slippers and guests were served gourmet meals. The tents proved to be so popular that Paws Up added more and now has 30 tents spread across five camps, with new extras like heated floors in massive en-suite bathrooms, and camping butlers to cater to the guest’s every whim.
Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons