Gone Glamping, Be Back Soon (Maybe)

Round Trip

Gone Glamping, Be Back Soon (Maybe)

By Shelley Levitt

Love the serene beauty of the great outdoors? Less wild about actually pitching a tent in the wild? Well, let us introduce you to glamping. It’s the latest (luxurious) rage in outdoor adventures.

It’s been about a decade since the term—a mash-up of glamour & camping—was first coined. Today, glamping is a thriving category in the travel biz. Directories like
Glamping.com & Glampinghub.com have hundreds of listings for pre-pitched tents, yurts & teepees, along with well-appointed huts, cabins, barns & trailers on every continent outside of Antarctica.

Trish Friesen, editor-in-chief at TripStyler.com, is a seasoned & passionate glamper.

What I love about glamping is you get up close & personal with a destination.

 She’s bunked in beautifully outfitted tents across the world, like the Fairmont Mara Safari Club in Kenya & the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle in Thailand. A bit closer to home, she also spent a few nights in a heated yurt in Oregon during a surf trip. “What I love about glamping is you get up close & personal with a destination,” she muses. “You’re not looking at nature from your perch surrounded by glass. You’re actually in nature. Plus, you get to have the under-the-stars experience without the dirt-under-your-fingernails experience.”

Gearing up to glamp? We’ve scoured the globe to bring you our top five glamping picks from California to Cambodia:

The Resort at Paw's Up: Greenough, Montana
Vacation like a haute Annie Oakley at this 37,000-acre working ranch, which was a glamping pioneer when it opened in 2005. By day, indulge your Wild West fantasies with horseback riding, hiking or even herding cattle. Then, return to your tent on the banks of the Blackfoot River or Elk Creek, where the slate bathroom floors are heated & your butler will happily prepare a bonfire, complete with s’mores fixings.

Get the under-the-stars experience without the dirt-under-your-fingernails experience.

Cabanas Cuatrocuatros: Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
The resort’s 18 tents, aka cabañas, are strategically set on raised decks to afford you a breathtaking view of the mountains & hypnotic circular vineyards. But the lifted living quarters aren’t the only elements at this glampsite that provide an elevated experience. The tents have fireplaces, air-conditioning, indoor-outdoor showers, luxurious bedding & locally made bath amenities. Guests have free use of bikes & golf carts; mountain biking & horseback riding can also be arranged. You can also book an overnight adventure on the property’s 50-foot sailboat, which sleeps six.

El Capitan Canyon: Santa Barbara, California
You can choose your level of comfort—& the tab—at this coastal eco-lodge. Accommodations range from cedar cabins to canvas safari tents & adventure yurts with skylights for easy stargazing. All lodging includes willow beds, duvets & western-inspired furnishings. Each campsite has a fire pit for grilling. But should you wish to expand your horizons, be sure to experience the dozens of the nearby Santa Barbara wineries & restaurants.

The Martyn House: Ellijay, Georgia
Hummingbird Haven, Nightingale Nest, Bohemian Bungalow & Ridge Roost are the names of the four tents on this 18-acre, adults-only retreat. That alone should give you a hint of the Southern charm you’ll encounter here. While each tent features premium amenities including a private bath & front porch, it’s the details such as the antique washstand sink in Hummingbird Haven & the ceiling embroidered with golden stars & mirrors in Nightingale Nest, that set The Martyn House apart. So whether you’re looking for a solo trip, a couples retreat or a squad getaway, The Martyn House ensures your glamping experience will be great one. In fact, groups of friends often rent all four tents & gather nightly at “Posh at the Pond,” an outdoor living room nestled in the woods, to sip wine & swap stories.

4 Rivers Floating Lodge: Koh Kong, Cambodia
The only way to reach this floating hotel on Cambodia’s southern coast is by boat. Secluded & luxurious, 4 Rivers is glamping for those who want to get away from it all in style. With their rattan platform beds, red chaise lounge chairs, domed ceilings & roll up canvas walls, the 12 tented villas wouldn’t look out of place in a high-end editorial. Prepare to log off & enjoy a digital detox while kayaking down the freshwater Tatia River or trekking into the rainforest.