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For those who love the great outdoors, staying in a city hotel, or luxury resort by the beach simply won’t do. But whoever said that you couldn’t camp in style and comfort? We’re not talking about roughing it out with a DIY tent. Instead, we’ve soured the web for like-minded companies who put the fun, glamour and style in an outdoor camp site. Let’s face it, every now and then, we dream of escaping the fast pace of life and stress that accompanies it, and plot ways to break free, even if it’s just for a little while.
Glamorous camping — or ‘glamping’ — is a term we’re familiar with, and new luxury tented accommodation options continue to be set up in remote locations. With them come shinier facilities, increasingly unique locations and incredible scenery. A lack of Wi-Fi (on certain sites) provides delicious solitude, the isolated locations mean complete privacy, and clear night skies make the perfect backdrop for romantic dinners under the stars.
Sure, they aren’t easy to get to. Some don’t even list their addresses. But that’s all part of the journey of discovery and disconnectivity. Read on for Lightfoot Travel’s round-up of the best glamping grounds. No instruction manual, pegs or hammers required.
1. Galapagos Safari Camp
Location: Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
Galapagos Safari Camp is a 55-hectare farm in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island bordering the national park. Mixing lavish accommodation with comfort and adventure, nine canvas tents dot the landscape and come decorated with custom-made furniture. Each also comes with en suite bathroom and a fabulous verandah with views of the park and the ocean. Of course, scuba diving there is a must for avid divers.
2. San Camp
Location: Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana
Perched on the edge of the vast and mysterious Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, sheltered by a cluster of stately desert palms, are the 1940s white tents of San Camp. Each one has a bucket shower, flush loo, four-poster bed, mosquito net canopy, percale sheets and paraffin lamps (there’s no electricity at San Camp). Also on site is a magnificent mess tent containing a small natural history museum, a library, a tea tent spread with cushions, and a tented yoga pavilion.
3. Bespoke Hideaways
Location: Amman, Jordan
Immerse yourself in the magic of the desert at this Bedouin-style tented camp in Wadi Rum, a magnificent red desert in Jordan. Bespoke Hideaways is home to six tented suites featuring king-size beds, copper sinks and en suite bathrooms. Embroided cushions and soft lighting provide a cosy feel. Enjoy camel rides, aero sports, sand boarding and 4×4 drives on sand sunes during the day. As night falls, candles give the camp a mystical ambience that sets the scene for a romantic dinner under the stars.
4. Poronui Lodge
Location: Taupo, New Zealand
Hidden in the hauntingly beautiful Taharua Valley in the middle of New Zealand’s North Island is Poronui Lodge which boasts both guest cabins and canvas tents. Both are equally as inviting, but the crisp cotton sheets, hot running water, flushing toilets, and gourmet food and wine of the safari camp cannot be beaten. When you’re not relaxing in your hideout, you can roast marshmallows by the campfire, and nod off to the sound of the nearby flowing river.
5. Sal Salis Nigaloo Reef
Location: Exmouth, Australia
Sal Salis brings the concept of ‘Wild Bush Luxury’ to the stunning Western Australia coast. Nine tents are tucked away in the sand dunes, each featuring luxury bed linen, eco-friendly toiletries, a pumped-up shower and hammock. The chef provides deliciously contemporary cuisine with hints of bush food, there’s a bar you can help yourself to, and an open lounge filled with books and comfy seating. Plus, there’s also a chance for whake shark and humpback whale sightings.
6. Patagonia Camp
Location: Torres del Paine, Chile
Welcome to the ultimate wilderness retreat! Perched above a dazzling lake this quirky and cool eco-camp combines a camping experience with the comforts of a hip hotel. Patagonia Camp offers 18 circular-shaped yurts nestled in the forest. Each one features a king-size bed, handcrafted textiles and furniture, a private bathroom, and a terrace with views across Lake Toro and Paine Massif. There’s also a window in the roof for stargazing.
7. Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
Location: Namib Desert, Namibia
It doesn’t get more remote than Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia’s northern Damaraland. Here, eight spacious and stylish tents are surrounded by rugged gravel plains, mountains and large yellow sand dunes. Head inside and each one boasts all modern conveniences, elegant décor, and an utterly peaceful feel that makes you feel truly at one with nature. After a busy day, cool off in the plunge pool before diving into a delicious meal under the night sky.
8. Chhatra Sagar
Location: Rajasthan, India
Run by the local ruling family, Chhatra Sagar is a secluded luxury tented camp, reminiscent of a bygone era and oozing peace and romance. Each of the 11 tents are spacious, colourfully painted, and decorated with locally woven fabrics. Red rose petals are scattered with abandon, and a shaded deckchair on the porch is the perfect spot for a snooze or to sample the superb Indian home-cooking. Wish to explore? The camp will gladly organise farm and village visits (no cliche performances here!).
9. Whichaway Camp
We get it, an icy landscape isn’t one that comes to mind when you think of camping. But hear us out. Whichaway Camp is one of the most remote camps on the planet, but it doesn’t scrimp on chic. Six state-of-the-art dome-shaped pods merge old world African safari decor with space-age style and modern comforts; think double or twin beds, a writing desk, and en-suite toilet and wash basin. Indeed, they’re the cosiest place to come back to after time spent exploring ice caves and sharing picnics on glaciers.
Location: Moyo island, Indonesia
Amanwana is a unique and exclusive tented camp set within a wildlife reserve on the island of Moyo, to the east of Bali. Twenty eastern-colonial-style tents blend into the forest canopy and lead onto a gorgeous white sand beach. The tents have either a jungle or ocean view, hard wooden flooring, a spacious sitting area with facing divans, large bathrooms, glass window sides and a soft canvas roof. Want more? There’s also a communal lounge, spa tent and library.