The 10 best places to go glamping

The 10 best places to go glamping

Even if the idea of camping has you running for the hills in your silk pyjamas, the prospect of an upscale glamping retreat may win you over yet. The portmanteau of glamorous camping, ‘glamping’ will have you sleeping under the stars in utmost comfort, allowing even the biggest diva among your party to embrace the great outdoors, amidst some of the most breath-taking scenery on the planet. Fill your days with biking, kayaking or horse riding adventures, while, by night, it’s hard to beat gourmet alfresco dining beside an open fire. To help you choose your dream glamping destination, we’ve put together a top ten list of the best places to go glamping across the world, from Indonesia to Iceland. 

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Opt for one of eight safari-style tents, all kitted out with beds and furnishings on a stunning deserted beach location

Camp Cecil - Todos Santos Eco Adventures | Photo: Colin Ruggiero

1. Camp Cecil: Todos Santos Eco Adventures, Baja, Mexico

Begin your first luxury glamping adventure with a boat ride from La Paz on the Mexican side of the Baja California, to La Isla Espíritu Santo (Holy Spirit Island) where a morning swim will get you acquainted with the local polka-dotted whale sharks that roam there. More inspiring wildlife awaits in the form of sea lion pups and turtles in the Sea of Cortez, but first, get settled at Camp Cecil, the island’s first luxury glamping site, founded by a husband and wife team last year. Opt for one of eight safari-style tents, all kitted out with beds and furnishings on a stunning deserted beach location. Refuel with a gourmet lunch prepared by the on-site Italian before getting stuck in with optional afternoon activities such as kayaking, SUP, snorkelling or hiking in the area that Jacques Cousteau nicknamed the ‘Galápagos of the North’. Closed in September to October, the best time to visit Camp Cecil is in June and November when it’s peak-time in paradise, in terms of both weather and wildlife.

Camp Cecil, Todos Santos Eco Adventures

Camp Cecil | Photo: Colin Ruggiero

2. Dunton River Camp, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, USA

Glamping USA reaches its apex, up North in Colorado where a former 19th-century cattle ranch provides the ultimate base for a luxury glamping holiday in the San Juan Mountains. Guests at Dunton River Camp will find a series of fancy tents anchored on wooden platforms and complete with modern day must-haves such as a shower, gas stove, TV and WiFi. For daytime activities, zoom off around the mountains on complimentary bikes; sign up for horse riding in the high Rockies; fly fish in the Dolores River; or go rock climbing in San Juan. Later on, soothe your aching muscles in the natural springs at sister property Dunton Hot Springs.

3. Amanwana, Moyo (Bali), Indonesia

On Moyo, a secluded island reserve east of Bali, lies Amanwana, a wilderness retreat on the shores of the Flores Sea. Pitch up in luxury tents based within a secluded cove on this protected marine park, giving instant access to some of Indonesia’s best scuba diving and snorkelling experiences with pristine reefs and rich biodiversity just waiting to be discovered. Hop on board the camp’s Amanikan coastal cruiser for trips further out to sea, to Rinca and Komodo Islands where dragons await. Back on Moyo, alternative adventures such as jungle trekking and explorations to waterfalls, as well as trips to the indigenous rusa deer sanctuary, can be arranged by the camp, owned by luxury hotel brand Aman.

Amanwana

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Longitude 131° allows its guests to discover one of the world’s oldest living cultures, in utmost luxury, amidst flawless natural landscapes

Amanwana

4. Hoshinoya Fuji, Japan

If you’re searching for where to go glamping in Japan, look no further than Hoshinoya Fuji, Japan’s first glamping resort, two hours from Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya. Stay in the resort’s luxurious cabins sat proudly on a hill facing the infamous white-capped Fuji Mountain foregrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Kawaguchi. Each cubical lodging is designed in the style of a telescope, boasting floor to ceiling windows and a sun-facing balcony which features a heated ‘kotatsu’ blanketed table for those nippy winter months. When you tire of such a flawless view (unlikely), take a walk through the nearby pine forest to find Cloud Terrace, where the camping lifestyle truly gets started. Set up in a comfy chair around the open fire or enjoy star-gazing on a secluded hammock. For a more cosy vibe, try the suspended tents or the plastic igloo which comes kitted out with sheepskin rugs and a small library.

5. Longitude 131°, Australia

Named only by its geographic coordinates is Longitude 131°, based in the wilds of the UNESCO heritage listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Flanked on either side by red sand dunes and desert oaks, sit 15 luxury camping pavilions, backgrounded by the majestic outback scenery that Australia is famed for. In an area traditionally owned by the Anangu people, Longitude 131° allows its guests to discover one of the world’s oldest living cultures, in utmost luxury, amidst flawless natural landscapes.

Longitude 131°

6. Tented camp Under Canvas Zion, Zion National Park, Utah, USA

Just outside the realms of Utah’s Zion National Park, somewhere in the outlying red-rock desert, explorers will find a one-of-a-kind glampsite known as Under Canvas Zion where luxury tents on raised planks surround a toasty wood-burning stove. There are no sleeping bags or midnight dashes for the loo required as each tent features its own bed and hot shower room. When it does come time to leave the tent, you’ll be surprised by the sociable on-site restaurant which serves up slow-cooked BBQ, topped off with drinks and marshmallow toasting around the fire. Not far from the site lies one of America’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders; a desert of sandstone cliffs and hidden crystalline springs. Look up and you’ll also discover constellations for days, thanks to the lack of light pollution. Under Canvas Zion also follows an eco-friendly concept, with solar panels across the camp.

7. Free Spirit Sphere, Qualicum Bay, Vancouver Island

Meanwhile, on Canada’s Vancouver Island, a creative take on luxury glamping is available at Free Spirit Sphere. Choose from a series of handcrafted wooden spheres – part tree houses, part space capsules – suspended by ropes up to 4 metres above the forest floor and offering a variety of amenities such as electric heating, double duvets, skylights and wired speakers, as well as purified water, a sink and a fridge for added convenience. The area surrounding Qualicum Bay will keep you busy during the day, with its extensive forest trails, fly fishing opportunities and glorious bayfront sunsets to enjoy alongside the friendly local community.

Free Spirit Sphere | Photo: Kerry Maguire

Free Spirit Sphere | Photo: Tom Chudleigh

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After a five and a half hour flight from Cape Town travellers will touchdown on a runway of Antarctic-interior ice, making the journey a truly unforgettable one

Antartica | Photo: Henrique Setim

8. White Desert’s Whichaway Camp, Antarctica

For those who have a visit to Antarctica capitalized and underlined on their bucket lists, this one’s for you… but it won’t come cheap. Book a tour with White Desert between November and January to have the opportunity to stay at Whichaway Camp, a lodging which features cosy heated pods powered by solar energy and each with its own en suite shower. After a five and a half hour flight from Cape Town travellers will touchdown on a runway of Antarctic-interior ice, with a rugged 4×4 waiting to escort you to your destination, instantly making the journey a truly unforgettable one.

Antartica | Photo: Siggy Nowak

9. Buubble Lodge, Iceland

As the ultimate location to view the ethereal aurora borealis, Iceland’s glamping spots are nigh on impossible to beat. Instead of wasting a single moment in a hotel room, book in at the Buubble Lodge where you’re guaranteed to stay warm and cosy while having a 360° view of the sky. Each clear bubble comes equipped with a luxury bed and furnishings, with eye masks to prevent being rudely awakened by the sunrise. The hidden location of each bubble also ensures your stay is a private one, with the nearby service house complete with shower facilities and a kitchen. While, in the winter, the sky is often graced by the Northern Lights, in the summer the location is equally as charming, with flawless natural landscapes, birds, butterflies and even midnight-sun.

10. White Pod, Valais, Switzerland

Saving the Swiss Alps until last, we go now to Valais in Switzerland where the White Pod resort sits in the valleys of this famed skiing destination. Perfectly located to enjoy a spot of snow sports in winter, thanks to the resort’s own private ski lift service, out of peak season you can take advantage of the great melt to enjoy miles of stunning hiking trails which start moments from the accommodation. The ecological pods here at White Pod don’t come cheap but will impress you with their luxury amenities which include a king-size bed, wood-burning stove, full bathroom, WiFi and satellite TV. You can even opt for in-pod breakfasts and massage treatments before heading outside to enjoy a stroll through the peaceful surrounding forests and neighbouring towns to scout out some hearty local cuisine.

Todos Santos Eco Adventures | Photo: Keenan Shoal

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