TRANQUILITY, check. Adventure, check. Childhood camping fantasies relived, check! There’s something intrinsically nostalgic about the idea of tented accommodation in the wilds and luckily glamping allows a taste of the great outdoors without any of the pesky attendant problems that accompany most camping trips. The glamps noted below offer a wide range of experiences with the simple tent transforming itself into everything from a desert kingdom to a home on stilts. Furnished with every luxury known to many-starred hotels, there’s something about tents that appeals to our inner nomad – human civilization was born on the back of our desire to see the world.
The 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Cambodia
Picturesquely floating atop the Tatai river, the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge is a resort in the Cardamom mountains along the Thai-Cambodian border that stays true to its name. The entire resort is waterborne and lends itself to communing with nature in idyllic surroundings without sacrificing any of the creature comforts- whether its trekking in the jungle or kayaking this resort looks like it’s going to be spoiling you for choice!
Genghis Khan Polo and Riding Club, Mongolia
Located just outside the erstwhile Mongolian capital city of Karakorum and named in honour of the original empire building nomad the highly exclusive Club (no more than twenty to twenty-five guests are allowed) is open for just four months of the year. The Club was originally established to reintroduce polo to Mongolia and the sport still has a huge impact on its functioning and ethos. Guests are housed in traditional gers or yurts with the interiors conforming to a Central Asian fantasy.
Four Seasons Tented Camp, Golden Triangle, Thailand
If location wasn’t enough- Myanmar and Laos abut an area replete in bamboo jungles and majestic elephants- I have four words for you- hand hammered copper bathtubs. If that doesn’t conjure images that make you want to head there, I don’t know what will! The developers of the resort looked at making this ecologically sustainable and with location and luxury on lock, plenty of places to see and go and pachyderms free to roam, this sounds like the perfect escape.
Madivaru, Banyan Tree Resorts, Maldives
As gorgeous as Maldives usually is, the Madivaru resort on a coral island in the North Ari Atoll manages to exceed even those expectations. The resort is both in a spectacularly gorgeous location and ecologically conscious- for example, the tents here were built a few feet off the ground in order to obviate the necessity of cutting the bushes that grow there and no more than eighteen guests are allowed onto the island at any point in time.
Hintok River Camp, Thailand
Located on land belonging to a former Japanese military camp, the camp’s lush surroundings and location overlooking the famous River Kwai certainly allow for an interesting juxtaposition of lush natural beauty and historical weight. Whether it’s adventure activities or simply de-stressing, the Camp seems to offer something for everyone.
Wahiba Sands, Oman
The vast deserts of the Middle East are testament to the sounds of silence. No wonder then, that these deserts have given rise to cultures and civilization adept at survival and in appreciating the formidable majesty of these golden sands. Trying to marry Bedouin sensibilities with the luxuries of modern day glamping is no mean task but Scott Dunn offers the chance to head to the deserts and re-imagine life in the footsteps of the Bedouin (albeit as it would be if one were more than slightly well to do!). There’s something about the moon in the desert and in realizing that the ostensibly stark desert landscape supports an astonishing variety of flora and fauna as well as humans who have lived here for millennia. Besides soaking in these sights and sounds, an array of uniquely desert experiences are also on offer.
The Vanyavilas, Oberoi Hotels, India
Located at the edge of the legendary Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in an orchard with an estimated fifteen hundred fruit trees, the Vanyavilas is fantastic example of eco-tourism in one of its better avatars. The camp allows visitors to explore the tiger reserve and also the surrounding areas which are replete in both historical sights and flora and fauna.