From lush forests to glacial mountains and vineyards, tented camps are the new byline in luxury, and it’s even got its own vocabulary. Gone are the days of dingy tents and flimsy collapsible chairs – glamorous camping, or ‘glamping’, proves that you don’t need solid walls to soak in the riches. Some of these tents literally take your breath – and your cash – away.
VANCOUVER ISLAND, CANADA
On the westernmost edge of Vancouver Island is the Clayoquot Sound World Biosphere, home to the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. This is black bear central, where you can catch salmon and halibut, ride horses, kayak, hike, or go on whale- or bear-watching trips. Accommodation is in elegant safari-style tents – located along the open estuary or in the rainforest – decorated with antiques, king-size beds, rustic wood stoves, and ensuite bathrooms with outdoor showers (some have private cedar hot tubs). The secluded hotel can be reached only via a 45-minute private seaplane transfer from Vancouver, which is included in their 3-7 night packages.
From CAD4,800 (S$5,100) per person; all inclusive (4D3N)
Chateau Ramšak is located in Slovenia’s picturesque wine region of Styria, a short distance away from the beautiful city of Maribor. Its vineyard is set in 15 acres of rolling green hills, where you can stay in one of its luxury tents (or treehouses) situated next to a picturesque pond. Ramšak has its own wine cellar with the largest wine press in Europe, and also the oldest tasting bar where you can opt for tasting sessions of their white wines. There are also wine massages. Accommodating only 2 adults, their Glamorous Tent S is set on a spacious terrace with private hot tub.
From €140 (S$226) per night, including breakfast
While Antarctica may not be on everyone’s romantic destination list, it’s definitely on many people’s bucket lists. If you have the cash, you can splurge it on a private jet (5.5 hours from Cape Town) to the Whichaway Camp on White Desert. Located next to an ice cliff by a frozen lake, the 6 dome pods (made from aerospace material) are en suite, luxuriously designed with an old world ambience. Embark on a number of excursions per day, from rock climbing to kite skiing and polar exploration, or relax in the communal pod.
From US$32,000 per person (S$42,400) all-inclusive (4 nights, incl. flight)
TORRES DEL PAINE, CHILE
Set in Torres del Paine National Park, EcoCamp Patagonia features eco-friendly state-of-the-art geodesic domes. To stay here, you have a few options of tours including the iconic W Trek (5 or 7 days), with views of skyrocketing mountains, deep blue lakes, and hauntingly beautiful forests. Hike to gorgeous Lake Grey to marvel at the calving glacier, and climb the steep moraine to the base of the Towers for an iconic view of the three monoliths of Torres del Paine. The domes range from Standard (shared bathrooms) to Suite, boasting sublime mountain views; there are also bar, yoga and community domes.
From US$1,850 (S$2,450) per person all-inclusive (5D4N)
Ladakh is a land of stunning landscapes with endless mountain vistas and river valleys with a strong Buddhist culture, characterised by numerous gompas (monasteries) set atop craggy hills or hidden in deep ravines. In summer, they become home to festivals featuring cham masked dancers. Set in the beautiful Indus Valley near Leh, Chamba Camp Thiksey (May to October) lies near the foot of the imposing medieval hilltop Thiksey Monastery, with the snow-capped Himalayas as a backdrop. By day, the camp arranges itineraries ranging from archery to morning prayers at Thiksey, and by night you retire to your air-conditioned, lavishly decorated en suite tent which comes with a private butler.
From Rs108,000 (S$2,250) per person all-inclusive
KHAO SOK, THAILAND
Elephant Hills is set in Khao Sok National Park, Southern Thailand’s largest stretch of primary rainforest that’s dotted with jungle lakes full of limestone formations. Marvel at the lush landscape, canoe down a river, visit local markets, relax at deserted beaches (or at the pool or bar), or spot some wildlife – from hornbills to gaurs – on a jungle hike; their unique Elephant Experience lets you interact with these magnificent creatures. There are two types of tents: the Elephant Camp, and the Rainforest Camp (floating tents in the park’s Cheow Larn Lake). Their popular 3D2N itinerary lets you stay at both, with activities included.
From THB21,340 (S$886) per person all-inclusive (3D2N)
HOKITIKA, NEW ZEALAND
Situated close to South Island’s spectacular West Coast Wilderness cycle trail, self-catering Hurunui Jacks campsite is nestled amongst ancient virgin forest on a private spot on the banks of the Kaniere River. This rustic canvas tent, heated by a wood-burning stove, is all about peace and tranquility – hit the cycle trail or sit back on the deck chair observing wildlife like bellbirds and fantails flitting through the moss-covered trees. The bathroom is a few metres away (where you can soak in the outdoor bath under the stars), and you can cook your meals in the retro camp kitchen.
From NZ$250 (S$240) per night
OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA
Okavango Delta’s floodplains is a vast network of natural watering holes, where hippos, zebras, and immense herds of buffalo stop for a drink; it’s also an excellent birding site. Zarafa Camp, located along the Zibadianja Lagoon, comprises four huge tents on private decks, each with separate lounge and bedroom, private pool and outdoor shower. While elephants can be spotted from the veranda, daily guided tours include open-vehicle safaris, hippo-spotting lagoon cruises, or strolling across the floodplains. Canon 40D cameras and Swarovski binoculars are loaned for free.While free loans are very hard to get, and they may be called different things such as grants, there are options available. … The reason it may be called a free loan is that there will be no interest charged visit US Financer , zero origination fees, and the cost of borrowing the money will be kept as low as possible.
From US$1,865 (S$2,470) per person per night, including safaris and meals