Upscale Camping in the US and Canada
Glamorous camping or "glamping" has taken over the world of travelers who love outdoors and adventure but don't want to forego the comforts of a 5-star hotel. Affluent travelers can expect the luxuries of top-notch service and amenities in commanding outdoor environments -- just imagine sitting by a campfire eating s'mores while getting a manicure. The kinds of accommodations that fall under the “glamping” category are still debatable but structures that are anything but a cabin apply (think yurt, tent, treehouse, igloo, even a tipi). We rounded up the top places to "glamp" this summer, in settings that range from the American West to city zoos.
The Resort at Paws Up
Here's a salute to old-school Americana that comes with a hint of modern luxury. Touted as the original American safari, The Resort at Paws Up includes well-appointed tents for the well-heeled traveler (some tents comprise 2 and 3 bedrooms). Sprawled over 37,000 acres of Montana wilderness, the resort treats guests to outdoor adventures such as fly fishing, geocaching and hot air ballooning. Tents are equipped with a camping butler (a combination personal chef-housekeeper-activities director) and camp chef.
Jonathan LaRocca, Flickr
Thanks to AirBnB.com
, the site where people can list and book unique accommodations around the world, guests can officially stay at the Modern Glass Treehouse in Atlanta (the only means of booking is through the site). This 2-level, steel-and glass-structure forest retreat has 2 bedrooms (the top-floor loft is in the trees). Both bedrooms are equipped with their own kitchens and bathrooms. Though it’s set in the woods, the treehouse is also only 5 minutes from Atlanta -- offering the perfect balance between town and country.
San Diego Zoo
One of the most popular zoos in the US offers a Roar & Snore Safari program, where guests can stay overnight in a fantastic tent. This family-friendly experience includes well-appointed tent accommodations, dinner, evening snacks, breakfast and the opportunity to relax in a setting overlooking the park's African Plains field exhibit. So guests can see wildlife, from giraffes to rhinos, in after-hours action.
Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Once a hidden gem, this waterfront property is no longer a secret -- thanks to its prime location on Malaspina Strait on Canada's Sunshine Coast. The resort’s intimacy in a quiet, coastal setting has wooed couples for many years, and now everyone from families to those seeking girlfriend getaways are booking. Expect fine linens, a hydrotherapy tub with ocean views, rainforest shower, propane fireplace, shoji screens, private verandas and even floor heating.
Even if travelers had no choice but to sleep on a cot, they would stay overnight at Dunton Hot Springs. This former silver mining town turned luxury resort in Colorado's San Juan Mountains has lured celebrities and jetsetters alike with its stunning views of the Colorado Rockies, as well as its decadent spa fed by natural mineral hot springs and farm-to-table menu. Its new Christy's Tent, constructed out of cotton canvas, has 300 thread-count sheets, a gas stove, oversized en suite bath and shower stocked with luxury Ren skincare amenities and view of the Wilson Mountain Range, to boot. Due to its popularity, Dunton is launching a whole new tent experience called Cresto Ranch, with 8 luxury safari-style tents in an alpine clearing and restored 19th-century farmhouse.
Welcome to one of the fanciest yurts in California. The 30-foot Pacific Yurt (essentially a stronger tent with wooden beams and flooring and round, domed vinyl ceiling) in Big Flat, CA, comes equipped with a claw-foot tub, electric fireplace and spacious deck. The property is located beside the 165-mile-long Trinity River, which boasts year-round fishing. The Trinity Wilderness Area is also home to incredible bird watching ops; enjoy some of the 260 bird species that migrate through the area such as bald eagles, blue herons and ospreys.
C Lazy U Ranch
Known for its "5 spur service," C Lazy U had its glamp on way before it became trendy. Colorado's original luxury guest ranch has been luring travelers for more than 90 years thanks to its American West appeal. Just in the shadow of Rocky Mountain National Park and the Colorado River, the resort provides glampers a wealth of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, an outdoor pool, tennis, yoga, trap shooting, archery, hiking, fishing and paddle-boating. Glampers can choose from among 40 guest ranch accommodations that dot the Colorado hills, with amenities that range from a stocked mini-bar to private hot tub.
AKA Central Park
Welcome to the "concrete" jungle of New York City, where AKA, an innovative brand of fully-serviced residences, offers the city's first alfresco hotel bedroom and 5-star camping. Guests can sleep under the stars amid NYC's skyline in AKA's penthouse suite near Central Park. High on the 17th floor, the suite comes equipped with a 1,000-square-foot wraparound terrace, where a plush queen-size bed awaits you in front of a wood-burning fireplace. Also included are a telescope, gourmet s'mores and other snacks, champagne, A Vod (AKA's signature vodka) and morning coffee.