I have a mutual agreement with bugs; I don't sleep where they live, and they're not welcome where I live. While I love day hiking, forest bathing, outdoor summer concerts on a picnic blanket amid the fireflies, botanical gardens when the roses and lilacs are blooming, and the scenic splendor of national parks, at the end of the day I want a hot shower, air conditioning, and a comfortable bed to sink into. The last time I went camping was six years ago in Colorado - 10,000 feet up Pikes Peak for the annual car and motorcycle Race to the Clouds. (Ah, the things we do for love.) It was wild spending so much time atop Pikes Peak but definitely not private in the crowded camping areas and definitely not luxury. The next time I break my overnight arrangements agreement with nature, I'm so ready for glamping.
The concept of glamping (aka glamorous camping) originated in Africa with temporary, luxurious, mobile-style camps that have evolved to now more permanent accommodations seemingly dreamed up just for luxury travelers to get through this year. Glamping experiences can offer varying degrees of isolation from close to highways or set up in remote locations, and amenities range from outhouses to ultra convenience like A/C and full baths. (Yes, please!) Glamping can be all-inclusive or room-only and include diverse structures like canvas tents, yurts, tipis, airstreams, and even wagons! Glamping can feel like your own 5-star resort in private, scenic locations, or you can choose to be truly out in the wilderness. What kind of glamper are you? Here's your ultimate guide on glamping to find out!
Premium Tented Camp Hotels
These are stand alone permanent structures that are like hotel rooms with canvas walls. They can be enjoyed year-round and are a more affordable glamping option, with a shared breakfast included in a food hall. Bathrooms can be en suite or shared with other campers. One potential drawback is limited privacy, being easily overheard through the sheer canvas tents. Overall, services are more limited and lacking in fully curated experiences. The price point is great for getting into glamping and ranges from $150 - $700 per night per tent. Some really cool camp hotels can be found in the national parks, the Catskills Mountains, the Hamptons, Asheville, Marfa, and Texas Hill Country.
Luxury Tented Camps
This is where all the comforts of a five-star resort enter your camping experience, usually part of an all-inclusive resort including activities and all meals. Encampments are much smaller - from totally private up to 15 tents, often in isolated locations with absolutely stunning views. Bathrooms are mostly all en suite, and your tent will have various levels of permanent, solid features, full electricity, luxury bedding and amenities, and perhaps a private pool outside. These range in price from $1,000 - $5,000 per night per tent, based on property and season. Incredible examples of luxury tented camps include Camp Sarika at Amangiri plus glamping on ranches (Ranch at Rock Creek, Resort at Paws Up, Siwash) and even spread out at wilderness lodges (Clayoquot, Dunton River Camp).
Ultimate Glamping Experiences
Looking for the most premium glamping adventure possible? We can have your entire encampment set up exclusively for you and your party in completely remote areas, including national parks. All the luxury amenities will be available - four-poster beds, separate living and dining tents, heaters, composting toilets, tubs, and hot showers. Your personal gourmet chef is included and will prepare meals like in the photo above! For an additional expense, you can have your own adventure team (who camp away from you) to coordinate hiking, dune buggie rides, overnight rafting camps, boating, day tours, and more. The price starts at $10,000 for two people for two nights, and you can have up to 15 people in your party to help with the shared expenses and bring the per person costs down a lot. For example, this experience would cost around $12,000-$13,000 for six people. A significant savings!
Top Glamping Sites
North Rim of Grand Canyon, Arizona
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Zion National Park, Utah
Lake Powell, Arizona-Utah border
Yellowstone National Park, right outside the park in exclusive locations
Escalante National Monument, Utah
Nine Muses Travel works with a wonderful American tour operator who offers fully refundable deposits with very flexible terms for all glamping vacations. If your whole trip is a glamping theme, I recommend 3-5 nights with plenty of pre-booked private activities to keep everyone engaged. If you're hitting the road by RV or staying in hotels, adding 2 nights of glamping makes your vacation uniquely magical!
Contact Nine Muses Travel when you're ready to camp in glamorous style