glamorous camping?

My boyfriend hates camping. The discomfort of sleeping on the ground, the syncopated cacophony of crickets and frogs, the inaccessibility to running water. But what about glamping?

This supposedly eco-friendly form of camping — think luxury safari complete with raised platform tents or yurts and real beds — might just appeal to him. The purist would probably disagree that this is actually camping or truly low-impact, but it’s less stressful on the environment than a conventional resort with reduced energy and water usage. And it’s one step closer to nature than a hotel or lodge would be.

[Image: Clayoquot Glamping Resort via Trendhunter]

From the NY Times:

At Mille Étoiles, a campsite with 14 yurts in the Rhône-Alpes region of France overlooking the dramatic Ardèche River gorge, the tents are built on oak and ash platforms and furnished (four-poster beds, oriental rugs, antiques) so guests feel, said Lodewijk van den Belt, one of the owners, “like you are in an Edwardian safari tent.”

On the California coast an hour south of San Francisco is Costanoa (, a lodge and camp surrounded by 30,000 acres of state parks and wildlife preserves, visitors would be hard-pressed to call their 76 tented bungalows “tents.” They are like stand-alone rooms with canvas walls and ceilings, hardwood floors and made-up beds with heated mattress pads (“So we can save energy by keeping the bungalow’s heat lower,” said Trevor Bridge, Costanoa’s general manager.)

While guests can choose to stay in the lodge or in a cabin, Mr. Bridge says the bungalows are sold out every summer and are popular even through the autumn (there are three comfort stations with bathrooms and showers). Campers can cook their own food on grilling stations throughout the campsite (picnic food and coal are available at the general store), or eat meals at the restaurant. There are an outdoor hot tub and a 24-hour dry sauna and spa. Weekend rates for a tented bungalow that can sleep three starts at $115.

Unfortunately, glamping isn’t always quite as economical as regular ol’ camping. At Paws Up in Montana, the rate starts at $695 per night for two (with all 3 meals included). And at Clayoquot on Vancouver Island, Canada, it’s about $4500 US for the minimum 3-nights’ stay — on par with the price of a luxe African safari.

Read more about glamping in the NY Times.

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