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Friday, March 23, 2018

Camping isn’t reserved just for those who are willing to tough it out… At least not anymore. Glamping is quickly becoming a popular trend and Pearl Mathias tells you where you can experience it

You’ve always assumed camping involved pitching a tent in the middle of a dense forest, being prepared for unwelcome creepy crawlies come night time and using makeshift facilities for your bodily functions. Well, it used to be pretty much this way, up until recently. A few years back, we would’ve never used the words luxury and camping together without creasing our brows. However, now the glamping trend, a fusion of glamour and camping, has taken root in some of the most beautiful locales across the globe. But, how did this trend come to be, you ask?

As a lazy species, we love creating easy alternatives for just about anything. Isn’t that how the stationary exercise cycle, the self-stirring mug and pet scratchers came to be invented? In the same way, making the arduous process of camping that much more comfortable is what glamping is here to do. Essentially, glamping is just comfortable camping, perfect for those who would love to immerse themselves in the splendour of nature without having to compromise on comfort.

Although the Turkish Ottomans didn’t exactly use the term glamping, it was they set who the precedence for what the trend is today. They would set up extravagant tent cities, complete with expensive furnishings, as mobile palaces for their sultans. Even in the early 1900s in Africa, American and European travellers demanded luxury while on their safaris. Their tents included lavish rugs, luxurious beddings and even a chef to cater to their needs!

Today, the United States, the United Kingdom and even parts of Africa have taken to this glamorous camping trend. But, we’re not far behind. Take a look at some places in India where you can glamp your heart out.


Forest Hills, Tala

At Tala, you can choose to stay in luxury villas, each with their own luxurious amenities. Pick from The Pink Parrot, The Blue Butterfly, The Woodpecker, The Camel Cabin, The Tree Hopper, The Tree Hugger, The Mud Huts, and the one abode we have our sights on, The Glass House. Apart from immersing yourself in the splendid scenery of the space, you can engage in adrenaline pumping activities such as rappelling, mountain biking and valley crossing. Their mantra completely resonates with the idea of glamping: Time isn’t a luxury, ‘me’ time is.
Check it out:

Suján the Serai, Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer is a beautiful place and this gorgeous site houses 21 luxury tents that are sure to enthral your senses. Complete with a spa, a personal butler and a plunge pool, the Royal Tented Suite, the Luxury Tented Suite and the Tented Suites have much to offer glampers. Get your fill of rest and rejuvenation right in the middle of the dessert as you check in to the elegant Serai that captures and enhances the spirit of Jaisalmer.
Check it out:

Aman-I-Khas, Ranthambore

Situated on the threshold of Ranthambore National Park, this luxury campsite is divided Mughal-style around a communal outdoor fireplace. When here, you can engage in camel riding through the villages as well as bird-watching treks in the gorgeous Banas riverbed. Set in a beautiful landscape, the air-conditioned tents are sectioned with the help of drapes. Pamper your senses as you make your way to the spa tent and treat your palate to delicious vegetables and herbs grown in the camp’s organic garden as you head to the dining tent.
Check it out:

The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambore

Another escape offered by Ranthambore, The Oberoi Vanyavilas offers panoramic views of the splendid jungle. Lose yourself in the beauty of nature and you’ll wake to the sound of chirping and croaking. The luxury tents are designed to reflect the majestic caravans that crossed the deserts carrying noblemen during days gone by. Dine amidst the melodious tunes of folk musicians and set out on jungle drives around the nearby Ranthambhore National Park and Tiger Reserve and you may even be able to spot the majestic Royal Bengal beauty.
Check it out:

Samode Bagh, Jaipur

With beautifully manicured gardens lining the area, Samode Bagh is a private garden that belongs to the Samode Royal family and is one of the oldest functional gardens in Rajasthan. The 44 luxurious tents are spacious and elegant, complete with plush marble bathrooms and a relaxing sit-out area. Dig into rich Rajasthani cuisine while you’re here. You can choose to do whatever you please, whether it’s camel riding or simply treating yourself to a pampering massage. Take an immersive walk amidst nature and soak in the call of the birds or simply meditate by the pool.
Check it out:

India definitely has plenty of places where you can enjoy glamping, but the rest of world has some splendid ones too. Take a look before you plan your next vacation.

Isla Espiritu Santo, Mexico

Sergio and Bryan Jáuregui combined their love for Espiritu Santo with their passion for adventure and detail to quality service. This is what led to the birth of Camp Cecil, which houses beautiful, luxurious tents. While here, you can engage in different water sports such as kayaking, snorkelling and swimming with sea lions! Or, you can simply lie back on the beach and sip on a delicious drink as you take in the scintillating view of the sea.
Check it out:

Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp, Thailand
Taking luxury camping to a whole different level is the Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp, which houses floating tented camps on the pristine emerald waters of Cheow Larn Lake in Thailand. Explore Southern Thailand’s tropical rainforest as you check in to one of the 20 tents that they have on offer. The camp is conscious of its natural habitat, and so it uses solar and wind energy and a unique waste management system to foster a sustainable environment.
Check it out:

Dunton River Camp, Colorado

Experience the best that Colorado has to offer as you check in to Dunton River Camp. You can pick between the Mountain Tents, nestled in the midst of the Aspen trees and the River Tents, which sit just above the West Fork of the Dolores River. Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature as you disconnect from the busyness in which city life engulfs you.
Check it out:

Treebones Resort, California
You can experience life in a yurt (a tent-like circular structure with wood lattice frames and covered with fabric) as you check in to Treebones Resort and enjoy beautiful ocean views. Here, you can indulge in campfire cuisine and dig in to produce from their on-site organic garden and local farms. What’s impressive is their sushi bar, where you can enjoy a romantic ocean-side meal.
Check it out:

We spoke to a few people who have been on glamping trips and asked them about their experience of luxury in the wild. Here’s what they had to say.

A restful time in nature

“The camps located in the midst of Nubra Valley are a perfect escape on a holiday in Ladakh. The tented accommodation is well appointed with private spacious bathrooms, wall carpets, innovative room décor and a private veranda, all of which are the ideal places to enjoy time out. The stay was rejuvenating and excellent.”
– Arunima Sharma, student

Glamping gladness

“A getaway from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai is what I crave for a lot! And, glamping is one such opportunity for me. I thoroughly enjoy being surrounded by nature, and if it’s accompanied by amenities and facilities, then that’s like the cherry on the cake!”
– Unnati Gala, student

Best of both worlds

“I’m hearing the word for the first time, but I’ve glamped without knowing about the trend. My experience was a serene one, as I got to be with nature while living in a tent amidst the Ranthambore forest. With an AC tent, a luxurious bathroom and bedroom, I was presented with the best of both worlds!” 
– Amit Patni, business owner

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