Convert to canvas as you seek out great places to stay, in yurts on the beach, buses in gardens or grass-roofed boats in fields
Just ten short years ago, camping in the great outdoors meant a dusty tent furnished with a foam mattress and a fibre rug thrown in for good measure. But, that doesn’t cut it anymore. Today, you can choose between a floating cabin, an extravagant chateau-inspired tree house, or a cleverly converted shipping container set beside its own lake.
Glamping, or luxury camping, has undergone a rapid and metamorphic rise and become a mainstream favourite the world over. Today’s campers have upgraded to more comfort and love the quirky, fun, family-friendly appeal that glamping spells, not to mention that it offers more space and fresh air than your average cottage. Innovative offerings to an ever demanding clientele include high levels of luxury, such as hotel-standard beds and Egyptian cotton sheets, mini-bar, cappuccino maker, private hot tub, massage packages, among others. Today’s Traveller has found you glamping places where you can go wild, be alone, hike or bike – in short, thoroughly indulge yourself.
KHWAN GLAMPING BEACH RESORT, KOH SAMUI
Khwan Glamping Beach Resort is located just 50m from Maenam Nam Beach and 30m from Maenam Town Center. Forget your traditional resort or the beachfront hotel with sea view balcony – this is luxury glamping where luxury knows no limits.
Whether you’re visiting Koh Samui for business or leisure, check out Khwan Glamping’s luxury tented living space, which sets an example for sustainable living and provides the comfort and ambience of a home away from home.
The interiors of the luxury tents resemble an art hotel. Art lovers will find delight in the authentic and original pieces of art, designed by the resort’s hand-picked selection of artists. Discover the plush amenities featured in the chic boutique and gallery resort and enjoy a stay in one of the exclusive luxury tents, each designed with the help of a different original artist.
The resort offers high-end services, a large community pool with a pool bar and a spa in one of the luxury tented villas, with facilities for massage treatments. Fine dining is provided by Chef Mattias and includes Nouvelle cuisine and Fusion Thai food, seafood specialties and a wine selection.
Located in Harads, which is part of Swedish Lapland and only 50km from the Arctic Circle, Treehotel stands near the River Lule and is about 100km from Luleå Airport. Blessed with a magnificent landscape, Treehotel is a camouflaged cube of mirrors that nestles deep within a forest in northern Sweden.
Inspired by the film, ‘The Tree Lover,’ by Jonas Selberg, and created by some of Sweden’s top architects, Treehotel’s ‘tree rooms’ are aesthetically beautiful while respecting the natural environment. There are cabins that look like birds’ nests, one that looks like a spaceship and one inspired by the wings of a dragonfly. And, if you happen to visit between September to March, you could get lucky and witness the magical Northern Lights above the pines.
From Treehotel’s rooms you get a superb view of the Lule River valley, miles of forest and the powerful river. The entire experience promises to be unforgettable, starting with a friendly reception at Britta’s Pensionat before being guided to your tree room. Each tree room is unique and the modern design coupled with the forest’s tranquillity creates an instant feeling of luxurious relaxation.
Hosts Kent and Britta ensure that guests are indulged at every meal at Britta’s Pensionat. The 1930s-1950s retro setting is inviting and cosy, and this, combined with the tree rooms’ contemporary design, creates an entirely unique dimension for every Treehotel guest. Both summer and winter activities are on offer if you opt for a weekend stay. However, if you choose to simply enjoy the quiet, timelessness and harmony around you, that too, is an option.
ECOVALLEE YURT CAMPING, DORDOGNE, FRANCE
A haven from the buzz of everyday life, Ecovallee, in Dordogne, France, is a family-run camp, is set in 12 acres of land, just 300m from the fortified town of Lalinde. Reconnect with the natural world and simply be yourself as you practise yoga, meditation, and enjoy other healing therapies like reiki and kinesiology. Sleep in a yurt at the edge of the woods, shower under the sky and dine under cover in the outdoor kitchen. Lights, refrigeration and washing are powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity, while all structures are made using natural or recycled materials wherever possible.
As you walk down the path from the reception area, you will be greeted by hornbeam, beech, oak, acacia, sweet chestnut, hawthorn and pine. You step out of the woods next to a large, canvas-covered kitchen and eating area, overlooking the valley. This is a great place to sit and watch wildlife, and let your eyes roam over the trees on the far side of the field.
Stay in one of two18-foot big Kyrgyz-style yurts on either side of the kitchen. Made from coppiced chestnut and covered with canvas, they are equipped with two single beds and simple, practical furnishings. Large, comfortable hammocks around Ecovallée let you read, contemplate or have siestas.
Two small yurts, one a beautiful 12-foot coppiced ash yurt with its own outdoor kitchen and eating area, and a 12-foot yurt in the main field are also available for stay.
WHITEPOD: LES CERNIERS, SWITZERLAND
If you have a yen for exploring the Swiss Alps, here’s a truly unique way of doing it – go glamping in style to Les Cerniers, in Switzerland. Located at the base of the Dents-du-Midi mountain range in the village of Les Cerniers, Whitepod takes advantage of Switzerland’s intrinsic snow-capped beauty and the adrenaline-pumping adventure of the mountains to create the ultimate in glamping luxury.
Valerie Bonvin, Media Director for Whitepod, says, “Our concept is unique because of our combination of luxury and nature, which creates a unique way to travel.”
Whitepod camp comprises 15 geodesic dome pods, around a central chalet and spa. The Chalet Les Cerniers is the main reception of the resort and also houses the restaurant where guests can enjoy a complemintary buffet breakfast or evening drinks around the fireplace. Each luxury pod comes with a wood-burning stove to keep it warm, organic luxury bedding for ultimate comfort and full-service bathrooms.
Wake up to stunning views of the Alps and Lake Geneva from the pod’s large bay windows and private deck. Each pod can house two persons, while five of the pods come with mezzanines that can hold two extra beds for children. Depending on the season and the day of the week, the pods can be anywhere from $370-$600 per pod, per night. The extra beds for children over the age of 12 are about $70 per night during the week and about $100 per night during the weekend.
Whitepod attracts a lot of couples, as also people with their families or groups for seminars. What’s more, Whitepod resort has its own ski slope that extends over four miles of powdery snow and is perfect for beginners and intermediate level skiers, and the cost of skiing is included in the rate you pay for the pod. Also included, are the relaxation area services, such as a sauna and a Japanese bath. Less than 30 minutes away, fun activities such as paragliding and thermal baths are available.