I love being outdoors, nature, hiking and everything that goes with it. Well all, except actual camping. I can manage for a night or two but I won’t be very happy. There is something about sleeping in a tent on the floor or in a caravan that just makes me feel very uncomfortable and claustrophobic. Add to this having to walk through Hippo-infested areas in order get to the bathroom facilities at night, washing with wet wipes and/or squatting in greenery and no, I will freely admit, camping is not my cup of tea.
Lucky for me I am not the only one who feels this way and over the last few years a new trend has emerged: Glamping. Combining all the benefits of being in nature with creature comforts one usually doesn’t get when camping.
Options are plentiful these days and quite literally everywhere, catering to all tastes and budgets. I have waded through them and come up with the most exciting options to get you outside and let you sleep in style. Whether you want to experience authentic Mongolian lifestyle, get your Tarzan on in a treehouse or sleep in the desert without rolling in the sand, I’ve got you covered with these amazing glamping accommodations. Why rough it if you can glamp it?
Discovery Bedu – Wadi Rum, Jordan
Who didn’t love Lawrence of Arabia in all his splendor? To see the amazing sceneries live, you got to head to Wadi Rum in Jordan. In the Valley of the Moon, Discovery Bedu has set up the first luxury eco camp in Jordan. Definitely not your average desert camp, it is an intimate assembly of six tented suites with en-suite bathroom and of course, real beds. Each tent comes with its own deck allowing for magnificent sunset and sunrise views over the desert. The camp is run by local Bedouins and powered by solar panels and thus a perfect combination of experiencing authentic desert life without lacking any creature comforts.
In addition to enjoying camp life, there are plenty of activities to partake in. Here the desert is definitely very much alive: from outside breakfast overlooking the desert to sand boarding and camel trips, stargazing and guided hikes – you won’t get bored in the middle of nowhere. Or learn more about the local Bedouin life and challenge your trekking skills to find out who visited camp at night. The biggest advantage of it all? The very limited cell phone reception of course! Perfect opportunity to finally go on this digital detox you have been planning for far too long.
See more here.
Treehouse Lodge – Iquitos, Peru
Your stay at the Treehouse Lodge begins with an adventuresome arrival because getting to the lodge is only possible by boat or by plane. Located on the Yarapa River, a tributary of the Amazon it takes about 2.5 hours to get here from Iquitos. You will feel wonderfully off the grid by the time your arrive and of course, there is no cell phone reception or wifi here either – an excellent opportunity to get away from your Facebook friends and make some new ones.
The Treehouse Lodge offers eight treehouses with all amenities a glamping Travelette may want. More importantly, they also offer an A+ views over the mighty Amazon rainforest and you can fall asleep with real life forest sounds.
The lodge also offers plenty of activities that will bring you even closer to nature. From forest walks to canoe trips, all activities are as educational as they are fun.
Staying at the Treehouse Lodge doesn’t only mean that you get to sleep in over 10m height but daily life happens high above ground too. You are actually staying at little treehouse village in the midst of the green canopy and here you will make friends with nature in no time. After all, this is what you came for – channel your inner Tarzan and befriend monkeys, sloths, and butterflies. Welcome to the rainforest!
See more here.
Tuul Riverside Lodge – Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Located close enough to Ulaanbaatar for easy access, Tuul Riverside Lodge will make you feel like you are completely immersed in nature and back in time. Seas of grass and rolling hills – this is the true Mongolian countryside! The lodge lies between the sacred Bayanzurkh mountain and the beautiful Tuul river. The mountain is believed to be guarded by a gentle spirit so you are in good company here.
Tuul offers a truly Mongolian experience but with all the amenities you may want. You sleep in one of 16 traditional gers that come in various sizes and are made out of a wooden frame covered with felt. All of them are outfitted with proper beds, have warm water in their showers and yes, ladies, western style toilets. While this accommodation is truly unique the fun really starts once the sun is up and you made it out of your comfy ger. Now you have to choose from a wide variety of adventurous or cultural activities. Visit local herding families, learn how to cook a Mongolian meal or how to wrestle Mongolian style. If you want to channel your inner warrior princess you can even take part in the Warrior Training Camp. And of course, there is always riding like Chinggis Khaan through the steppe. All this sounds too adventuresome? Then just lay back and look up – stargazing has never been better!
See more here.
Black Isle Yurts – Black Isle, Scotland
Like the idea of sleeping in a yurt but Mongolia is a bit too far right now? Then head up north to Scotland where you will find the Black Isle Yurts. This is a family run business with beautiful hand-crafted yurts overlooking spectacular cliffs. Not only does they offer the perfect viewpoint to spot dolphins and other marine life but they also come with a private, isolated beach access. If you wonder how comfortable camping in Scottish weather may be, fear not, because Black Isle is a micro climate offering the driest and sunniest weather you will find in Scotland.
While the yurts are modeled after their original inspiration from Central Asia, they are made out of waterproof canvas instead of felt to account for the different climate. All yurts are fully furnished and personalized. Sleeping between 2 – 4 people each yurt is outfitted with a fireplace and a stove, a real bed and indeed, duvets and pillows. Brand new luxury washroom facilities are available at the Hub, only a short walk from each yurt.
Great news for dog lovers too, because the Black Isle Yurts are incredible dog-friendly. You are not only allowed, but very much encouraged to bring your canine friends and family members along for this true Scottish glamping adventure.
See more here.
Old Mac Daddy – Elgin, South Africa
The roof of the Grand Daddy hotel and its silver streamers have been iconic of the Cape Town city landscape for a while. For those who prefer to escape city life, they can now find them at the Old Mac Daddy farm in Elgin, an hour & a half drive from Cape Town. Surrounded by typical wine and apple orchards 12 caravans have found a new home here. All of them are individually themed and decorated by different local artists including Capetonians’ favorite cake makers: Charlie’s Bakery. So you can either sleep in cake heaven, get your personal Dora the Explorer on or find your inner child and play board games all night at Digit. To make this the perfect comfortable weekend getaway most streamers come with an extension of lounge, bathroom and terrace. Even the smaller ones come with their very own porch and views over the dam.
Take a dip in the pool or from their very own little lake beach and know that there is nothing trashy about this fabulous trailer park.
See more here.
Tree Top Hotel – Pakse, Laos
If Peter Pan wanted to go on holiday I reckon he would come to the Tree Top Hotel in Laos with his lost boys. This is a hotel experience like no other and definitely not for the fainthearted. Because not only do you sleep 10m above the ground, but the only way to access your room is by… zip-line!
The Tree Top Hotel and its intricate zip-lining system is a tourism initiative in Laos that supports local communities with minimal environmental impact. And of course, with the aim to protect the local wildlife. After all, you came to play monkey and to see some too.
You will have to take a hike from Pakse to get there but as we know the road is the destination so enjoy it. No cars, no fumes, no traffic – it’s a beautiful jungle out there. Stroll through coffee plantations and catch some splashes from the Tiger waterfall before the real adventure starts: zip-lining over a 100m deep ravine. The adrenaline rush doesn’t stop there because zip-lines are the new elevators. Tree houses are built in traditional style and made of wood, bamboo, and grass. They are fitted with all comforts and yes, there is even a bathroom with hot water – the lost girls still like to wash their hair at the end of an exciting day. Afterwards, fall asleep in your tree, stars above you, the sounds of crickets all around you and know that tomorrow you get to fly through the green canopy again.
See more here.
Whitepod – Les Cerniers, Switzerland
Care to glamp in the snow? Look no further but Les Cerniers in Switzerland, home of Whitepod. Here nature, high-tech and alpine life meet. Whitepod offers 15 pods that are geodesics, a spherical structure consisting of a network of triangles. This shape allows for optimal airflow and requires 30% less energy to heat or to cool the pod. Mind you, the former you still have to do yourself by adding logs to your very own fireplace. Pods are also a 20-minutes walk from reception allowing for ultimate privacy and spectacular views. All of them are super cozy, modern, and come with their own bathroom.
Ecology is a big part of Whitepod and includes waste management, restricted water and energy consumption, and the use of local suppliers whenever possible. Pods also blend in with nature and are white in winter and green in summer. Nothing spoils the spectacular views over the Dents-du-Midi mountains.
The true snow-bunnies amongst you will be happy to know that Whitepod comes with its very own ski lift and slopes right at your front door. However, sun or snow there are plenty of other activities to keep any mountain lover entertained all year long.
See more here.
Moab Under Canvas – Utah, United States
I have only been to Utah once but the thing that stuck most with me were the magnificent landscapes. To enjoy that up close Moab Under Canvas has set up camp between Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, 7 miles away from Moab.
With the slogan ‘camping as it should be’ (and I very much agree!), you have the choice between a variety of tents to suit all glamping standards. Safari and deluxe tents come in different sizes and some of the safari tents not only come with their very own bathroom but with their very own tipi. And who doesn’t want to sleep in a tipi? No uncomfortable blow-up mattresses in sight either, all tents are fitted with proper, comfy beds.
From here you can explore the natural wonders of Utah, either on foot, by mountain bike, horse, or in a hot air balloon. Need more excitement? How about rafting the Colorado or rock climb those stunning mountains you have admired from afar?
Get a picnic lunch packed to take on the road or up on that mountain and head to town for a dinner if you feel like company. If you prefer the solitude and a starry sky then rather enjoy a campfire barbecue that will make you feel like a true cowgirl.
See more here.
Otentic – Deux Freres, Mauritius
Otentic’s location description already screams adventure: canoeing distance halfway from the waterfall and the crystal lagoon of Ile aux cerfs. If canoeing isn’t your thing they have access by car too but you already know what you are in for when you visit Mauritius first tented glamping site.
Guests come here to have an authentic Mauritian experience and enjoy the unspoiled countryside. For that Otentic generates their own energy through photovoltaic and solar panels and the whole camp is built from wood and recycled materials.
Twelve safari tents sit on wooden platforms, 5 – 10 feet above the ground and come with special shades that protect from both, sun and rain. Each tent is 50m2 so you will never have to suffer from the fact that a 2-person tent never offers enough space for two and of course, they come with a proper bed and bathroom.
For those who don’t care about one-pot cooking, Otentic offers a pool-side restaurant with Mauritian specialties and yes, an espresso machine to get your morning kick. You may just want to get into that canoe after all because with all its amenities the lagoon is still Otentic’s biggest draw.
See more here.
Azulik – Tulum, Mexico
Do you want utter seclusion, yummy food and falling asleep to the sounds of waves crashing? Head to Azulik for the perfect backdrop if you want to get lost for a few days. Just a short ride from Tulum Azulik offers 39 treehouses that offer perfect immersion into the stunning surroundings. It is an eco-resort of note and yes, that also means no phones, no TV, and no electricity.
While the resort is geared towards couples, you are of course welcome to take your BFF instead for some R&R. Lounge your day away on the white sand or jump around in turquoise water right in front of your very own treehouse. If a view is all you seek then your private terrace with comfy day beds are all you need to enjoy a sunset or two. And of course, there is always the spa because what real glamping trip would be complete without a massage or two? At Azulik, you can discover the healing power of ancient Maya traditions and leave all worries behind in the Temezcal, a Mayan sweat lounge. If you dare wonder if such luxury can still be considered glamping there is always the clothing optional policy on their beach. Surely that will remind you of the Blue Lagoon, the ultimate glamping experience!
See more here.
Treehotel – Harads, Sweden
At the Treehotel the name says it all – you will sleep in a treehouse which offers all amenities of a hotel. Treehouses offer contemporary design and are surrounded by untouched nature. Inspired by the film “The Tree Lover” the Treehotel plays with the philosophy of the role trees play in our life and the importance to reconnect with them. Go green and just relax in your tree-room where you will be spoiled with views over the Lule river valley and endless forest.
We all know that tree-hugging is good for the soul but the Treehotel has still gotten some of Scandinavia’s best architects together to fulfill the standards of city slickers as well. Needless to say that the whole hotel is as eco-friendly as it gets and runs with minimal environmental impact. All treehouses were built on live trees and rooms have been constructed in a ‘tree-friendly’ manner. While you may not get 5-star comforts here you know you can sleep with a good conscious. Or as the Treehotel describes it: “While we want to have our hotel in the middle of nature, we want to do it on nature’s terms.”
See more here.
Do you know of other fabulous glamping destinations? Maybe even in your home town? We would be keen to find more so please share them in the comments!
Disclaimer: This post contains sponsored content.