So your partner is the outdoorsy type, and, while you don’t mind a romantic evening gazing at the stars, you prefer a firm mattress to rolling around on the terra firma. You are the perfect candidate to experience a new hotel trend called Glamping or Glamour Camping. From Santa Barbara to New Mexico to the Serengeti, luxury style camping draws those of us who appreciate the outdoors but prefer creature comforts.
Your shelter from the elements in glamping comes in many shapes and sizes including tent cabins, safari tents, yurts, motor homes, tipis, tree houses even igloos. There is no end to the childhood (and adult) dreams that can be fulfilled.
I have long heard about luxury glamping in Africa, and we have seen examples from Hollywood in “Out of Africa” and “The English Patient”. But you don’t have to go on a safari to have a unique experience communing with nature. Glamping can be found across this vast country of ours – in mountains, at the seashore, on lakes and rivers and even in the midst of Manhattan.
In Southern California, Bjorklund Ranch in Goleta, just outside of Santa Barbara, offers a sizable Tiki Yurt that will accommodate up to 5 with activities to please just about every outdoor enthusiast. For around $200 a night, you can wander through 10 acres of a working ranch, hike up to a waterfall with a 9 foot deep swimming hole or just hang out on the deck and watch the stars come out as the sun goes down.
I first heard of glamping at El Capitan Canyon, also in the Santa Barbara area. At around $300 per night, you can stay near the beach in Cedar cabins and safari tents outfitted with western-style furnishings and fine linens. You can opt for organized activities and relive your childhood summer camp experiences, or just hang out, relax, and enjoy the beach and the canyon. If cabin fever is an issue, it’s a short drive up to the Santa Ynez Valley for some premier wine tasting.
But what if you are just too much of an urbanite to give up the city lights? Hyatt 48 Lex in Manhattan has a suite glamping package for you. For $500 you can sleep comfortably on beds set up outside on the terrace high above the frenetic streets. You can opt for sleeping bags to create an authentic camping ambiance or just snuggle into crisp hotel linens. Forget the world below, lay back and relax with snacks and wine and gaze at the high rises all around you.
If you want to know how the really wealthy glamp, take a look at AKA Central Park. For just under $2,000/night you can lounge on a plush queen size bed on the 1,000 square foot wraparound terrace of the 17th floor penthouse suite. And who wouldn’t pay the price when you consider that it comes with gourmet s’mores and AKA’s signature vodka.
Glamping is big, and the bigger it gets, the more creative it has become. Check out this ABC News slideshow and see if there isn’t something that piques your interest for your next getaway. The possibilities are endless. And luxurious.