In our modern, tech-heavy lives, it’s becoming harder and harder to truly unplug and get back to nature. Enter: glamping (camping’s glamorous cousin).
Boasting soft beds, ensuite bathrooms, heating and lighting, gourmet dining, gyms and swimming pools, glamp sites are popping up across the globe – offering city dwellers all the accoutrements of a 5-star resort in some of the world’s remotest destinations.
From the red sands of Alice Springs to the dense bamboo jungles of Chiang Rai, these decadent glamping spots will give you a taste of the wilderness without the discomfort of old-school camping – no tent-pitching required.
Three Camel Lodge
Gurvansaikhan National Park, Mongolia
If you’re looking to go off the grid, there’s no better place than the expansive Gobi Desert. Shadowed by the Gobi Altai Mountains in the Gurvansaikhan National Park, Three Camel Lodge celebrates the traditions of Mongolia’s nomads and blends seamlessly into the rugged desert landscape.
Recognised as one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, it includes a main lodge and 40 gers (traditional nomadic tents). Open from mid-May until mid-October each year, the eco-friendly camp is geared towards outdoor adventurers, offering hiking, biking, horseback riding and camel trekking.
Among the vast plains, you’ll see native wildlife including ibex, mountain sheep and soaring raptors. Boasting unobstructed views of the desert and surrounding mountains, each ger features a hand-painted wooden bed, private bathroom, wood-burning stove and 24-hour solar electricity.
Guests can treat themselves to a pampering session in the desert spa and experience authentic Mongolian and Western-style dishes at the Bulagtai Restaurant and Thirsty Camel Bar.
Read Stephen Corby’s experience at Three Camel Lodge.
Tulum is one of the world’s hottest destinations right now, and with its spectacular white sand coastline, cobalt waters, funky bars and restaurants, and thousand-year-old ruins – it’s not hard to see why.
At the laid-back end of town, the new Nômade Tulum Hotel blends bohemian luxury with nature. With its own yoga pavilion, relaxing Yaan Spa, beachside hammocks and organic eateries, Nômade is a haven for travellers seeking to revitalise their mind, body and soul.
Hippie details, Mexican pieces and Moroccan influences are evident throughout its 38 rooms and 36 luxury tents – all of which include private bathrooms, air-conditioning, telephones, safe boxes, wi-fi and room service.
Accessible by car or (better yet) helicopter, Longitude 131 offers a luxury desert experience right at Australia’s spiritual and cultural heart. Glance out the door of your luxury tent and you witness majestic Uluru, Australia’s most recognisable natural icon and one of the world’s largest monoliths.
Set among the 126,000-hectare dual World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, 16 tented pavilions are decorated with Aboriginal art and crafts and provide custom furnishings, king-sized beds, spacious bathrooms, a complimentary in-suite bar, wi-fi and sound system.
Designed exclusively for guests, an exceptional outback touring program offers guided hikes and 4WD tours throughout the National Park, including visits to Kantju Gorge, Uluru, Kata Tjuta and the remote art community at Pukatja (formerly Ernabella).
Upon closer inspection, Marrakech’s Agafay Desert is less like a desert and more like a dry, rocky, moon-like expanse. Perched atop one of its rolling dunes, Scarabeo Camp affords stunning 360-degree views and glimpses of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains in the distance.
Fifteen cotton tents each offer a traditional Moroccan lounge, wooden writing desk, queen or twin beds, private terrace, ensuite bathroom and heating in the colder months. Guests can feast on flavoursome local cuisine in the communal dining tent or venture into Marrakech to explore its buzzing medina.
Outdoor adventure activities in the “stone desert” include quad biking, camel and donkey rides, trekking, dune buggy tours and horseriding. For those wanting to move at a slower pace, you can stargaze with the help of an astronomy professor, try a yoga class or enjoy a massage onsite.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
Chiang Rai, Thailand
Tucked away in a thick bamboo jungle, Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle boasts views of not just northern Thailand, but neighbouring Laos and Myanmar, too. Guests can hike the winding mountain trails, visit the Buddhist temples nearby and – best of all – spend time with rescued Asian elephant herds at the local conservation centre.
Each tent has its own themed decor with local artefacts, rustic wooden furnishings and an outdoor shower, as well as views out across the Ruak River, the mountains of Laos and the forests of the Golden Triangle.
After a long day exploring the jungle, guests can treat themselves to one of the Four Seasons spa’s signature massages, body treatments or relaxation sessions.
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