Mud, musty tents, cold weather, cooking for yourself on rusty gas stoves, smelly sleeping bags… yes it’s fair to say that camping has never held much appeal here at Sybarite HQ. However camping’s glamorous cousin, glamping – with its private shower tents, electric power points – is an entirely different matter.
Glamping represents a much more comfortable, dare we say it chic, way to enjoy the great outdoors. Ready to follow in the footsteps of Sadie Frost, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Jamie Oliver et al and give glamping a go? These are the addresses to hit…
Want to get up close and personal with Australia’s sacred Uluru (formerly known as Ayres Rock)? Most people pitch tents but Sybarites are not most people. If sleeping on the floor and communal showers won’t cut it, look to Longitude 131.
Overlooking Australia’s most endearing natural icon, Longitude 131 offers 15 luxury tents, elevated atop rust-red dunes, all equipped with organic linen lined king sized beds. Awake to your own private view of the sun rising over Uluru before wandering along to Dune House (the heart of the property) for a bonze breakfast. Freshly baked pastries, fruit and a la carte menu selection are served alongside premium espresso coffee, fine leaf teas – and panoramic views of Australia’s Red Centre.
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Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Planning a trip to Thailand? Leave Bangkok (the capital), Chiang Mai and Phuket to first timers and head to northern Thailand to explore the historic Golden Triangle region. Of course you’ll need somewhere suitably sumptuous to stay, which is where the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle comes in.
Deluxe tents feature custom-made wooden hot tub on the outdoor deck, king size beds and exceptional views of the Ruak River, Burma and the mountains of Laos, or panoramas of the lush jungle and Golden Triangle. Elsewhere superior tents boast elephant-tusk- styled door handles, air conditioning, Wifi and a refrigerated private bar. Regardless of whether you stay in a deluxe or superior tent, all are named after local hill tribes, fauna and flora and are uniquely decorated in an individual colour scheme with coordinated furnishings.
Edenwood Ranch & Preserve, America
Located in the middle of a wildlife reserve in Wisconsin, Edenwood Ranch & Preserve aims to immerse Sybarites in nature sans the dirt and mud. Translation? Edenwood has set up luxury tents so that we can all experience camping without the bugs and canned beans. (Amen). Expect hardwood flooring and walls, working sinks, toilets and cooking appliances in addition to electrical lighting and outlets.
The glamping tents are open from mid May-mid October and include access to adrenaline packed outdoor activities like canoeing, fishing, hiking and use of Edenwood’s archery range amongst others. One caveat? The ranch is a favourite for game hunters meaning herbivores and ardent animal lovers alike, may want to avoid…
The yurts at Priory Bay certainly put the ‘glam’ in glamping. Each of these tented structures is entered through a stable door with French windows which open out onto a small secluded terrace, where Sybarites can relax and unwind among dappled trees in their own private glade. And all are furnished with a king size bed (with luxury cotton linen), sofas, bean bags, soft lighting, accessories and exterior candlelit lanterns. Elsewhere ensuite bathrooms come complete with overhead showers or roll top baths and, huzzah!, flushing loos. Little wonder then, that Andrew Palmer – Priory Bay’s owner – says of the yurts: “We don’t view them as just tents, but regard them as some of our best hotel rooms, set in a natural location and closer to nature.”
It’s camping – but not as we know it. Sign us up now.
Located within the arid Namib Desert on the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, close to the iconic red dunes of the Sossusvlei, Kulala Desert Lodge comprises 15 thatched and canvas ‘kulalas’ – which means ‘to sleep’ in the Namibian language Oshiwambo. Each room is built on a wooden platform to catch the cooling breezes, while the bedrolls can be moved to the flat rooftop allowing outdoor enthusiasts to slumber under the stars of Namibia’s clear skies. Guided nature drives to the spectacular dunes are offered daily, as are nature drives and walks around the vast private reserve that encompasses an incredible 21,000 hectares. For an extra cost Sybarites can go on a hot air balloon safari, which includes a champagne breakfast, to view the vast Namib Desert from above.
By Kaye Holland.