Glamping or “glamorous camping” has caught on like wildfire, pairing the intimacy of camping with luxury travel. Along with the five-star safari, Luxe Lavs contributors Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno went Out of Africa and found elegant glamping destinations that merge rustic chic accommodations with high-end bathrooms, allowing guests to be at one with nature in an all new way.
In 2009, Emanuela Padoan and Federico Carrer brought glamping to Italy with Canonici San Marco Glamping Tents outside of Venice. Emanuela is the owner and interior designer for not one but two glamping resorts (the other is Glamping Sandat, the first of its kind in Bali, Indonesia). All the furnishings in the bathrooms, including their grandmother’s antique armchairs, are recycled and have been chosen with passion, discovered on their travels abroad. The materials used are mostly natural and eco-friendly. The sinks in the bathrooms in both destinations are individual onyx stone or fossilized wood. Showers are either bamboo imported from Bali to make a natural shower or a column of a Javanese wood. The shower tray is an old English basin. A white Balinese stone column usually used in ceremonies is transformed and filled with floating flowers to become an attractive pedestal sink. We love the attention to artistic items, but guests should note that only a screen separates the bathrooms from the main space.
Envision a sunset next to the calming sounds of a creek outside a five-star canvas tent and you have Sinya on Lone Man Creek, just 35 miles southwest of Austin, Texas. It is the creation of Owner and Designer Lynn Gallimore. Made from a hybrid of two different tent models, everything is reclaimed: The claw foot tub is a resurfaced 103-year-old tub; the pedestal sink is also antique, refinished from 1937. Since one can’t put hardware on the sides of a tent, Lynn used a muffler pipe welded and custom fit to hold the curtain. The floors of the cabin and bathroom are long leaf pine, hand-sanded and pickled with cowhide rugs. There’s an outdoor shower and a “hippie hot tub” – a converted livestock tank of galvanized metal, insulated and cedar covered. In warm weather, guests prefer bathing outdoors. The tub is efficient, with thermo siphoning; using only propane-power to run. Designed especially for couples to reconnect with their partner, Sinya makes it seamless with the backdrop of the rushing river.
In the middle of unspoiled wilderness, outside of Missoula, Montana sits Paws Up, a working cattle ranch and luxury resort situated on 37,000 acres. Here you can tire out on horseback, with a fishing rod, or hiking in the mountains, then head back to tented accommodations for relaxation. Paws Up has five camps with six tents each and feature en-suite bathrooms with heated granite-tiled floors and showers, thick bath towels and robes, and a selection of lotions, toiletries, and bath salts. The ceiling is transparent letting in natural light, the toilet separated by walls for privacy and scalloped glass sinks sit atop tree trunk slabs for a nice design touch. The “honeymoon tents” found at Pinnacle Camp and Cliffside Camp feature a copper bathtub at the foot of the bed for an extra touch of romance.
When Claudia and Andrew Stuart of Bushtops Camps began their tourism mission in East Africa, their goal was “to create the world’s most comfortable and luxurious safari camps in Africa’s most stunning locations.” By all accounts, they have achieved this with the two camps they created—Mara Bushtops Camp and Spa in Kenya’s Masai Mara and Bushtops Camp in Tanzania. We love the bathrooms of the Serengeti Bushtops Camp that opened in June 2010. The design of its 12 spacious tents is modern African style with each tent open on two sides, surrounded by a wooden deck, private hot tub, and wooden open-air rain shower. The indoor shower has pressurized water, and solar power with a back up generator ensures warm water throughout. All tents face the sunset and panoramic views of the magnificent Serengeti are an oasis for an aromatherapy massage on deck. Serengeti Bushtops Camp is also ideally positioned to view the annual migration of wildebeest over the Mara River.
Want to learn about more luxe lavs around the world? Check out:
- Why You Should Visit Denver Before Ski Season Starts
- Over-the-Top Hotel Suites in Major Asian Cities
- Luxe Luvs Around the World Inspired by Summer
By Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno for PeterGreenberg.com