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There is little that immerses eco-travelers in nature like camping, but when one doesn’t have to deal with the struggle of pitching a tent or sleeping on lumpy ground, the blanket of stars above will probably twinkle even brighter.
Combined, the words glamorous and camping become “glamping,” and the increasingly popular experience makes for happy campers — or “glampers” — who get to revel in the great outdoors without truly roughing it. From upscale safari tents in Kenya to a Swiss treehouse perfect for playing hide-and-seek, here are six glamping spots that will sway luxury clients to check out of their conventional hotel rooms.
British Columbia: Clayoquot Wilderness ResortTwenty luxe white-canvas tents outfitted with antique furniture and heirloom china and silver accessories make up the all-inclusive Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in British Columbia. The executive chef conjures up locally sourced Cascadian cuisine, such as seared albacore tuna with poached fingerling potato salad or Muscovy duck breast paired with yam puree, fresh vegetables and orange duck jus. Adventure activities, including mountain biking, ziplining and archery, are offered and personalized to each guest’s experience level.
Chile: EcoCamp PatagoniaChoose from four geodesic dome experiences at the green-conscious EcoCamp Patagonia. Spaces range from 108 square feet — ideal for solo travelers who don’t mind sharing a bathroom — to 398 square feet, which includes an open terrace, an enclosed porch and a second-story loft. A Community Dome offering meals and cocktails serves as EcoCamp’s social hub, while the Yoga Dome invites guests to partake in yoga, stretching or dancing. Tours that trek through the adjacent plains, glacial lakes, waterfalls and mountains can be booked separately.
England: Priory Bay HotelSet apart from Priory Bay Hotel’s classic accommodations and perched above the private tree-lined beach is its chic collection of island-made yurts. Though each Mongolian tribe-inspired abode is styled by a different designer, all have stable doors with French windows, a secluded terrace, an en suite bathroom and a king-size bed. Guests who opt for the yurt experience can still tee off on the property’s six-hole golf course, play a round of croquet or enroll in a falconry course.
For those who would rather not "rough it" while getting up close and personal with nature, glamping at the stunning Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in British Columbia is a favored option. // © 2015 Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
A Suite Dome at EcoCamp Patagonia in Chile has comforting amenities such as a private bathroom and a heater, but is still eco-friendly with beautiful wildlife just outside.// © 2015 EcoCamp Patagonia
Yurts at Priory Bay Hotel in England include stable doors with French windows, a king-size bed, an en suite bathroom and a secluded terrace, as well as access to the property’s activities (a falconry course, for example). // © 2015 Priory Bay Hotel
Spot wandering wildlife when you kick back in your Honeymoon/Family Suite tent at Elephant Pepper Camp, located in Masai Mara, Kenya. // © 2015 Elephant Pepper Camp, Kenya
Switzerland’s Treehotel offers an array of extraordinary glamping experiences to choose from, including the Mirrorcube, which effortlessly blends in with its pine-tree surroundings. // © 2015 Peter Lundstrom, WDO/Treehotel
Only bamboo railing and lightweight drapes separate guests from nature at Bangkok Tree House in Thailand. // © 2015 Bangkok Tree House
Kenya: Elephant Pepper CampRecently refurbished, this elegant encampment in the heart of Maasai Mara National Reserve includes eight one-bedroom tents and two larger tents with a master bedroom and a sitting room. Rinse off a day of game drives and bush walks with a hot shower, as running water is accessible in select tents. Guests can also arrange for a private Italian dinner (vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available) or read a book from the on-site library as the sun rises over the open savannah plains.
Switzerland: TreehotelTreehotel is the realization of a common childhood daydream: living in a magical treehouse. Suspended approximately 13 to 19 feet above ground and overlooking the Lulua River, this contemporary glamping experience ensures deliberately minimal impact to the environment. Though the design of each “treeroom” is extraordinary and unique, the Mirrorcube is a standout pick. A bridge leads up to the camouflaged abode, which has exterior walls covered in reflective glass that mirror the pine-tree surroundings.
Thailand: Bangkok Tree HouseWhen the label of a lodging option scrambles the phrase “a room with a view” into “a view with a room,” guests can correctly assume they’re in for some serious eye candy. Sleep soundly from 23 feet up in the air at this island oasis sans walls or ceiling — just bamboo railing and lightweight drapes that sway gently in the breeze. Though local creatures such as lizards, cicadas, fireflies and birds might show up uninvited to the treetop party, free around-the-clock ice cream and complimentary Wi-Fi access (to share envy-inducing images on social media) offer ample consolation.