Glamping—one of the hottest trends in the travel industry—merges the best of both worlds. When camping goes glam with a tree house, trailer, cabin, cottage, yurt, or tent, there’s truly something for everyone. Here, the experts at glamping.com(which features a curated collection of properties around the globe) share some of the latest accommodation trends such as wagons, shepherd huts, and luxury lodges.
While glamping.com says 2017 was the “Year of the Tree House,” and before that, Airstream trailers were all the rage, current shelters in the spotlight include anything from domes and caves to ice hotels, glass towers, trains, and planes. Domes may appeal to year-round travelers who can take a winter excursion to the Whitepod in Switzerland—said to be like staying in a snow globe with the benefit of wood-burning stoves, plush bedding, full bathrooms, and views of the Alps. Then there’s Permanent Camping at Mudgee in New South Wales, Australia: an ecofriendly tower built for two with walls that open to bring the landscape inside. At the Jumbo Stay in Stockholm, Sweden guests can spend the night aboard a grounded jumbo jet in accommodations such as the Engine Room or Black Box Suite.
Travelers connect with nature in different ways, according to the experts at glamping.com. For some, being near the ocean can be peaceful, while others prefer a more grounding experience like being in a cave. Staying on a working farm, vineyard, or cattle ranch with deluxe accommodations offers another unique experience. At Montana-based The Resort at Paws Up, guests can participate with cowboys in a real cattle drive activity when booking a stay in the three-bedroom North Bank Camp.
Other North American glamping destinations include Headwaters Jupiter in Florida where upcycled shipping containers make up the main lodge. Surrounded by nature with over 500 feet of frontage on the headwaters of the wild and scenic Loxahatchee River, the site sits across from a wilderness preserve complete with trails. There is a destination or accommodation for whatever your adventurous spirit may crave.
If grand adventures are your goal, but you don’t have much experience with the wilderness, consider pitching a well-appointed tent in your own backyard. In fact, the glamping portmanteau inspired avid traveler Terry Ellis, owner of Room Service Interior Design in Troy, Michigan to create a vignette for an event at the Michigan Design Center where her design studio is located.
Ellis explains that she wanted to expand on the concept of glamping in a sensory way for an ethereal feeling without sacrificing the finer things in life like luxurious linens. Because her creation, “To Big Sur With Love,” was situated indoors, she added natural scents and sounds with candles and music. “That way everything looks, feels, smells, and sounds like the outdoors, giving you the feel of escaping in nature,” she says. “The rest of the world goes away.”
The spacious tent she designed was made from sheer, white fabric. “It had an airy quality that let the light shine through, so it would be translucent at night,” says Ellis. Those who want to furnish their own “glampsite” can wheel anything from a comfy bed to a bar cart outside for an overnight stay. Enhance the environment with a candle chandelier (stocked with battery-operated candles) and some lanterns and twinkle lights for a little sparkle.
Artwork offers another layer of luxury, like the landscape painting Ellis commissioned for the tent that was made with metallic-gold paint. “It’s the juxtaposition of nature and glam,” she says. Tree trunk tables found on Etsy joined natural accents like geodes and river rocks.
Accent rugs, such as indoor-outdoor varieties and animal hides, suit this type of setting, says Ellis. Wool blankets with a Southwest feel are luxurious and durable, while greenery accentuates the natural environment. “Even silk plants will do,” she adds. A rocking chair signals a slower pace, while creating the perfect perch to sit and watch the stars in front of a fire pit that simulates a campfire.
Lastly, a pair of binoculars placed on an open book was part of her peaceful presentation. “Take away the technology and you might get lost in novels,” says Ellis, who wouldn’t leave home without a good read when glamping. “The escape from technology and our busy lives . . . puts you in touch with nature without being uncomfortable.”
Whether you decide to seek out a formal setup in the wilderness or create your own deluxe accommodations, it’s time to consider going glam.