The glamorous outdoors: the 5 most luxurious glamping destinations

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Published July 20, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Leave your tents and sleeping bags at home: there’s a new type of camping that promises adventure and fun but without all the dirt and grime. “Glamping,” short for “glamorous camping,” is the fast growing trend that allows you to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors while residing inside a luxurious accommodation. Whether it’s a family vacation or a romantic get-away for two, glamping is the best way to relax and have fun in some of the most beautiful locations around the world.

Here are a few places where you can enjoy the great outdoors in true luxury. 

The Ranch at Rock Creek: Philipsburg, Mont.

Nestled in the mountains of Montana, the Ranch at Rock Creek resides on a 10 mile expanse of wide open countryside, including four miles of flowing river running alongside Rock Creek. Relax amid the natural beauty of living on a Western-style ranch, all while enjoying the top tier of luxury. 

Immerse yourself in nature by staying in the rustic Canvas Cabin tents, complete with glamorous amenities such as a gas fireplace, a screened-in porch, a private bathroom, and a luxurious bed. In total there are eight cabins, four ideal for couples and four for families. 

Cabins designed for couples include the Rainbow and Apache cabins, which consist of a king bed and a queen pull-out, as well as a comfortable sitting area that is perfect for relaxation with a loved one. The Gila and Bulls cabins feature two queen beds complete with a romantic love seat. 

The four Family Canvas Cabins include two rooms divided by a curtain, in addition to cute and comfy reading nooks. The Grayling & Lake family cabins offer a king bed in one room and two twin beds in another room. The Brook & Cut-Bow cabin, which houses a king bed in one room and two twin beds and a trundle in another, is perfect for families of up to five. 

Carol Ann Kelley-Elwell, director of marketing and media relations, says one of the best qualities of the ranch is the guests. “There’s a cross-section of people. We have couples, families, and people who come for girls’ weekend and bachelor parties.” 

The couples’ cabins cost $950 a night per person and the family cabins cost $1,200 a night per person. While a little on the pricey side, these rates include all meals in addition to one morning and one afternoon activity for each guest. The activities are innumerable and change depending on season but include fun options like paintball, archery, hiking, and mountain biking. 

“What sets our glamping site apart is its setting,” Kelley-Elwell says. Where else can you enjoy listening to the gentle murmur of a running river right outside your door? In addition, there’s a top notch staff and notably luxurious amenities. 

“The quality of the goods is the best. We spare no expense. It’s like staying at a 5-star hotel.”

Canonici di San Marco: Mirano, Italy

The perfect combination of culture and nature come together at Canonici di San Marco, located in Mirano, Italy, only eight miles from Venice. Relax in the beautiful countryside and enjoy the luxury of the campsite, as well as explore the cultural experiences available in Venice. 

Emanuela Padoan, one of the owners, says this is what makes Canonici de San Marco a unique glamping experience. “Guests can visit Venice in the evening and return afterwards to the glamping site to enjoy the peace of the countryside.” 

While Canonici di San Marc isn't exactly like popping a tent, the property is surrounded by nature.  It currently offers two lodges, with prices differentiating slightly depending on the season. The price ranges from 120-140 euros (about $145-$170) daily with each extra bed at an additional cost of 20-30 euros (about $25 -$35). These lodges, which can house 2 to 6 people, offer a spacious bedroom, a relaxing lounge area, and a big bathroom overlooking wheat fields. 

The gorgeous rooms consist of four-poster beds, colonial-style fans, antique sofas and armchairs, and antique wooden wardrobes. Large French doors open out onto a wide terrace perfect for sunbathing during the day or watching the sunset in the evening. The room also welcomes you with scented soap necklaces, romantic candelabras and candles, crystal champagne flutes, and DOC Prosecco wine to complete the feeling of ultimate luxury. Even with the grandeur and old-world feel, the lodges come with heat, air-conditioning, and even Wi-If. 

Padoan says this glamping site is perfect for travelers who can appreciate the rich Venetian culture. “Our guests are young and old couples, people who love nature and culture. It’s anyone who enjoys travelling and good Italian food.” 

An added bonus to this destination is the personal attention you receive from the owners. Due to the small number of guests permitted at a time, guests have a truly personal experience. The owners’ hospitality makes time spent here memorable for all guests. The balance between peaceful relaxation and the vibrant cultural atmosphere of Venice makes Canonici di San Marco a vacation too perfect to miss. 

Sinya on Lone Man Creek, Tex.

If you and your significant other are looking for the ultimate romantic getaway, this super exclusive spot is perfect for you. How many guests can say they've enjoyed a safari-style retreat made for two overlooking Lone Man Creek in Texas? 

That’s right. The entire campsite consists of one tent for two people on five acres, and the entire staff consists of one person: the owner, Lynn Gallimore. 

Sinya devotes itself to giving its guests the ultimate luxury, but at the same time maintains eco-friendly practices, or as Gallimore puts it, “camping with a conscious.” She says she is devoted to making her guests happy. 

“Everything you could imagine needing is there for you.” Gallimore becomes your go-to- girl, cooking all the meals, as well as being your personal concierge.  This one-woman show doesn’t disappoint. 

Guests stay inside of a canvas tent, complete with high-end furniture, a king-sized bed with goose-down linens, air conditioning and heating, kitchenette, and a century-old bathtub to relax and bathe in with scented milk. Staying at Sinya costs $245 per night from Sunday through Thursday and $275 per night for Friday and Saturday, with a two night minimum and three night minimum on holidays. 

Gallimore says this style of glamping is for those “like-minded, who want something different, something secluded and private without being in the middle of nowhere, who want to celebrate a honeymoon or an anniversary or  just want a romantic getaway.” 

On-site activities are more low-key, like swimming and fishing in the creek, going in the hot tub, lying down on a hammock on the veranda watching wildlife, and walking on the walking trails. But the town of Wimberley, only five and a half miles from the campsite, has a lot of adventurous activities to offer, such as hiking, biking, tennis, zip-lining, and wine touring. 

And after a day full of outdoor activity, Wimberley has some delicious eats to offer. The restaurants are unique and lively, playing on the vibe of the Texas area. So get ready to be swept away by the romantic privacy and natural beauty of this site. Talk about love at first sight.

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort: Tofino, Vancouver Island, Canada

Located near Tofino, Vancouver Island, Canada on 500 acres and set back onto 1 million acres of state park, the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort will take you far from your hectic, big city life and take you worry-free into their beautiful and remote safari-like environment. 

The ultra-luxurious eco-resort is reminiscent of late 19th century Great Safari Camps, and offers, among other things, a cookhouse, two dining tents, three spa tents, work out facilities and a complimentary Internet cafe. 

What’s great about this glamping hotspot is that it’s all-inclusive, so you can enjoy all the wonderful amenities the resort has to offer without worrying about the cost.  Included in your glamping package is your deluxe tent, all of your meals, massage treatments, adventure-filled activities with guides and instruction and even the 50-minute sea-plane flight from Vancouver to the resort. 

The resort boasts, because of its proximity to the ocean, that it has “both the best land and sea activities,” such as black bear watching, horseback riding, deep-sea fishing and river rafting. Even better, at night, an activity director will plan the next day with you individually, depending on your experience level, as well as expected weather and tides, which allows the resort to meet the desires of any guest. 

Sue Bosdet, director of marketing and sales at Clayoquot, says “the resort attracts corporate America and their families. Big city corporate CEO’s from New York and Los Angeles come with their families to get away from the city and experience something new.”

The resort offers its guests the option of staying three, four, or seven nights from the end of May to the end of September. Three nights in the deluxe outpost tents cost $4,750 CAD per person (about $4,700). Children are at a discounted price, $1,500 per child for three nights. The camp offers eight deluxe outpost tents as well as twelve luxury en suite tents, at a higher price. 

As you walk into your tent, you will see a welcome basket, earthenware cooler and spring water, luxury skin/body care products and other complimentary goodies. The resort offers an “Elders Package,” that lets up to two people, 55 and older, stay for free when travelling with families of six or more. 

The resort is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, meaning the resort is eco-conscious, which promises a pristine landscape and a vibrant wildlife for you to enjoy.

Whitepod: Les Cerniers, Switzerland

This truly unique and high-design glamping destination offers an alternative way to explore the scenic Swiss Alps in style. Located at the base of the Dents-du-Midi mountain range in the village of Les Cerniers, Whitepod uses Switzerland’s natural snow-capped beauty and the adrenaline-pumping adventure of the mountains to create a resort luxurious enough to be crowned glamping royalty. 

Valerie Bonvin, the media director for Whitepod, says Whitepod is an experience like no other. “Our concept is unique because of our combination of luxury and nature, which creates a unique way to travel.” 

The Whitepod camp consists of 15 geodesic-dome pods that surround a central chalet and spa. The Chalet Les Cerniers is the main reception of the resort and also houses the restaurant where guests go to enjoy a complementary buffet breakfast or evening drinks around the fireplace. Each gorgeous pod has a wood-burning stove to keep the pod warm, organic luxury bedding for ultimate comfort, and full-service bathrooms.  In addition, the pod’s large bay windows and private deck provide a breathtaking view of the Alps and Lake Geneva -- a panoramic view so good you’ll have to see it to believe it. 

The pods can hold two people, and five of the pods come with mezzanines that can hold two extra beds for children. Depending on the season and the day of the week, the pods can be anywhere from $370-$600 per pod per night. The extra beds for children over the age of 12 are about $70 per night during the week and about $100 per night during the weekend. 

Bonvin says the camp attracts a lot of couples, but people also come with their families or groups come for seminars. If you want to get the most at of your experience, she says the best time to come is between January and March. 

And what we really love about this glamping spot is the private ski estate. The Whitepod resort has its own ski slope that extends over four miles of powdery snow and is perfect for beginner and intermediate level skiers. Even better, the cost of skiing is included in the rate you paid for the pod. Also included are the relaxation area services, such as a sauna and a Japanese bath. Less than 30 minutes away, fun activities such as paragliding and thermal baths are available. 

Simply put, Whitepod has perfected the winter glamping get-away.  

 

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