The Best Summer Glamping Spots to Book Now
Lugging around a heavy knapsack, struggling to start a fire, overdosing on jerky—remember the last time you went camping? (Or, more accurately, the time you vowed you’d never trek into the wilderness again?) Perhaps you’d reconsider if you saw the accommodations that are passing for tents these days. Luxury camping, also known as glamping, is redefining what it means to be one with nature, and roughing it has nothing to do with it. Here are 10 luxury glamping resorts that up the ante on style and comfort.
Jen has been a staff editor at Architectural Digest, Travel + Leisure, and Martha Stewart Weddings, and her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Afar, and Elle Decor. When she's not snowmobiling in the French Alps or tasting scotch straight from the barrel in Scotland, she's at home in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
Collective Retreats is like a more permanent hospitality take on the pop-up shop craze. The gist: the company sets up luxury safari-style tents in places where hotels are all but impossible to build—a working ranch in Vail, Colorado, say, or an organic farm in New York’s Hudson Valley. But the accommodations are anything but rustic, outfitted with antler chandeliers and sheepskin throws. It may be hard to leave the confines of your king size bed, but you’ll be rewarded with memorable experiences, including wilderness horseback rides and ATV trail tours.
Dunton River Camp
A 19th-century cattle ranch that spans nearly 500 acres in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains is the backdrop for Dunton River Camp. Here, eight cozy tents feature soaking tubs, stylish hide rugs, and campaign-style furnishings inside and out, on expansive porches that overlook Aspen groves or rushing waters. Mountain bikes are provided to take you from your room to the resort’s other enviable sites: a spa specializing in botanical treatments; The Farmhouse, where you’ll enjoy seasonal dishes made with foraged ingredients and wines from the on-site vineyard; and a fire pit for stargazing with a side of s’mores.
For an affordable take on the trend, hipster darling El Cosmico offers tents, teepees, and yurts on its 21-acre campsite in buzzy Marfa, Texas. Spare yet comfortable, the tents come with heated blankets, minimalist wood-and-metal furnishings in rainbow hues, and (because no millennial truly wants to unplug) electrical outlets so you can stay connected using the WiFi in the lobby. Just don’t expect a laundry list of activities outside of some concerts or an open-air broadcast of Marfa Public Radio. Low-key relaxation is the name of the game here: you’ll find it in an afternoon nap in the hammock grove, a steam in a solar-powered shower, or a soak in a wood-fired hot tub.
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The Resort at Paws Up
A River Runs Through It. It’s the name of the film by Robert Redford that was shot here, but it also sums up the Resort at Paws Up’s designated glamping area, 36 canvas tents nestled along the Blackfoot River. Even the spa is housed in a series of tents bordering a tranquil meadow. If your idea of roughing it includes accommodations that are bigger than your apartment (some are 1,220 square feet) and a personal butler who can arrange everything from fly fishing to ATV riding through the property’s 37,000 acres, then this is the place for you.
The Ranch at Rock Creek
While most glamping sites are content to cultivate an air of adults-only sophistication, the Ranch at Rock Creek invites the kids in on the action. Set on a 6,600-acre parcel in Montana’s Big Sky country, the sprawling family-sized accommodations—they’re over 1,000 square feet—are all business up front, party in the back: a log cabin facade gives way to a luxe canvas tent decorated with gas stoves, hardwood floors, and leather armchairs. Designated mountain bikes give you access to all the property has to offer, from a cedar sauna session at the spa to trout fishing in stocked ponds.
Want all the perks of staying in a national park without the hassle of rolling out the sleeping bags? Under Canvas provides tricked-out tents that are the ultimate in pampered luxury, in unspoiled locations like the Grand Canyon, Zion, Glacier, and the Great Smoky Mountains. Opt for the Stargazer, an intimate marquee with a king size bed situated under a skylight for optimum nighttime viewings. During the day, the camp can arrange for helicopter tours or Jeep safaris. Have something more sedate in mind? Try a sunset yoga session backed by Zion’s red rocks.
For a rustic stay that has all the nostalgia of going back to summer camp, consider Firelight Camps. Located in the hippie holdout of Ithaca, New York, on the grounds of La Tourelle Resort and Spa, the tents have hardwood floors, beds topped with fleece blankets, and electric heaters for cooler nights; there’s also mesh netting to ward off unwanted company of the insect variety. The site provides immediate access to the hiking trails of Buttermilk Falls, but less aggressive pursuits also await—think bocce on the lawn, a tour of the Finger Lakes region’s unassuming wineries, or a waterfall treatment at the resort’s August Moon spa.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
Luxury doesn’t come cheap at British Columbia’s Clayoquot Wilderness Resort—one of the world’s most expensive lodgings—but the amenities are well worth the over $3,000 per night price tag. Located a 30-minute boat ride from the laid-back surf town of Tofino, in a reserve that’s been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the spa retreat offers a true five-star stay with 16 safari-style tents that feature en-suite baths with heated floors and outdoor showers, cast-iron stoves, and vintage oil lamps. After a day spent bear watching, kayaking, or fly fishing, a gourmet meal made with locally caught salmon and vegetables from the resort’s garden complete the sybaritic experience.
If you prefer your morning hikes with a side of ocean views, this camp two and a half hours north of San Francisco is for you. Terra Glamping’s 10 waterproof canvas tents are perched some 430 feet above the Pacific and come equipped with designer furnishings, queen- or king-size beds topped with plush down comforters, and hammocks for lazy afternoon naps; a wash trailer nearby provides hot showers and flushing toilets. One thing you won’t find: WiFi. Not that you’ll mind. A telescope on the porch lets you spot migrating whales on the horizon.
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The pros of West Coast camping—no bugs, zero humidity—are considerable, but East Coast bivouacking has become a significantly more pleasant experience thanks to Posh Primitive, a 100-acre camp in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Though less extravagant than others on this list, the resort’s log-trimmed tents come outfitted with antiques and locally made furnishings, and beds are topped with cozy Pendleton blankets to provide all the comforts of home. There’s a communal bath house and an all-inclusive dining lodge that turns out farm-to-table staples, but the real luxury comes in your proximity to a bevy of natural diversions, including white water rafting and zip-lining parks nearby.
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