WASHINGTON, April 29, 2014 — Ayers Rock in Australia doesn’t only advertise the ‘roughing it like royalty’ glamping slogan, the buzz on the net says that Prince William and Kate Middleton intend to be staying there themselves. The royals are only staying one night, but that’s been enough to make glamping a hot topic on the web.
Camping under the stars used to mean managing without showers and sleeping on rough soil (along with the occasional rock), but that won’t do for royals and those that want to be treated royally. Glamping is upscale camping, and has actually seen a boost in popularity during the past few years during the recession. With the high cost of hotels or resorts, glamping has become an eco friendly alternative.
It’s not a new concept, camping has been around ever since the hunter and gatherers of old. ‘Roughing it like royalty’ started with Ottoman royalty as far back as 200 AD. Then came the safaris when Englishmen and Americans traveled to the African deserts to hunt and were housed in permanent canvas tents with all the bells and whistles – beds, tapestries, chef cooked meals and plenty of hired help.
But today glamping has taken on a life of it’s own and is available to anyone who can book an airline ticket or drive cross-country. It’s sleeping under the sky without compromising on comfort. And while the idea sounds simple enough, there are as many varieties of glamping as there are locations to glamp in.
Here are just a couple of must-sees that have upped the glamping game.
The site is called Longitude 131, and it has it all. There’s even a spa built into the complex. And while the ‘tents’ look more like treeless glass huts, the resort has all the glamping perks of top-end amenities. Each glamping tent also has a 360 degree view of land around Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park – and if it’s caught the eye of such distinguished guests as Prince William and Kate, it’s guaranteed to be spectacular.
The Resort at Paws Up in Montana is the most noted luxury glamping site in the United States. Their glamping sites have been set up on a 37,000 acre working Montana Ranch and the resort offers activities ranging from horse riding to hot air ballooning. It’s also a prime spot for fly fishing with the blackfoot river running through the land for a ten mile stretch. The tents look like tents (well… canvas) except they’re so much better and come with their own camp butler and chef.
‘Spa town’ has it’s own natural babbling brook soundtrack and the occasional elk might pass by.
Then there’s Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in Canada. Antique rugs, lamps, as well as heirloom china and silver make this glamping resort as whimsical as the nighttime sky above. And to make it even better the area is called an ‘eco-safari destination’ and can only be reached by seaplane or boat. Being surrounded by water means that activities like surfing, kayaking and more are readily available, plus horses are a main means of transportation. In a word: Awesome.
The cool thing about glamping is that instead of shaping the land around it like hotel resorts, these campgrounds adapt to their surroundings. That means no two glamp-sites are alike and the activities are truly unique. And while there’s nothing like the do-it-yourself camping, glamping has shown that there’s a lot more that camping is capable of. Roughing it like royalty (or with royalty, if you’re lucky) has never been so accessible.
But still bring some graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows – some camping essentials never change.