Glamping Twist

No need to rough it in the outdoors. These new high-end tent compounds maximally expose guests to nature while minimally treading on the land.
BY ELAINE GLUSAC — Summer 2019

What’s There: Neighbor to the existing Nayara Resorts in Arenal Volcano National Park, this camp opening this fall will spread 21 deluxe tents across a forested hillside with panoramic views of the active volcano. Designed by Luxury Frontiers, which has created atmospheric African camps such as Chief’s Camp in Botswana and Swala Camp in Tanzania, the canvas accommodations each include an outdoor shower, a canopied bed, a spacious bathroom with a freestanding bathtub, and a plunge pool filled from the nearby hot springs. Amenities to come in 2020 include a swimming pool with a swim-up bar and a restaurant.

Eco-Cred: Nayara has created a sloth preserve on a protected hillside habitat planted with 1,000 Cecropia trees favored by the animals.

Amp Factor: Twelve tents connect in pairs to make family tents. Guests will have access to all the amenities of adjacent Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens and Nayara Springs resorts, collectively including six restaurants and two spas.

411: From $1,200. 888-332-2961;


What’s There: Named for its spacious Danish-made Nordisk tents, this second Nordisk Village — run by Japanese hotelier Fujita Kanko — opened in the Nagasaki Prefecture last fall (the first debuted in Venice in 2017). Its 10 tents marry Danish minimalism to Japanese love of nature in the Goto Islands, home to one of Japan’s first Christian settlements dating back to the 16th century and, collectively, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nearby lie pristine beaches with sunrise views over the East China Sea.

Eco-Cred: The property recycles an abandoned elementary school campus, with the original wooden school building serving as reception, café, and restaurant. 

Amp Factor: Scuba diving and stand-up paddleboarding up the adventure appeal of the village.

411: From $290.


What’s There: Timed to the complete solar eclipse on July 2, this outpost will pop up from June 29 to July 3 in northern Chile’s Elqui Valley, a pisco-producing region that’s also a hot spot for stargazing as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. Hosted on private land, the compound offers eight 300-square-foot, double-occupancy tents with bedrooms and sitting areas as well as opportunities to horseback ride, hike, and view the eclipse.

Eco-Cred: The off-the-grid retreat — alert: no Wi-Fi — practices no-trace camping principles with a shared chemical toilet (though there are hot showers).

Amp Factor: The company plans to reprise its Outpost Patagonia in the Torres del Paine region next spring and will emerge again for the next solar eclipse, in December 2020, at Lago Colico in the lakes region.

411: The four-night stay starts at $4,995 per person, double occupancy, including ground transportation, meals, and guided excursions. 347-557-8999;


What’s There: Five new solar- and wind-powered camps string out along the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, a less-crowded alternative to the Inca Trail, in a glamp-to-glamp route called Peru Ecocamp. Hike from one camp to the next, each of which has an organic vegetable garden, bar and restaurant, and domed-shaped sleeping tents with wood stoves and private bathrooms, including showers. Average six hours of backpack hiking daily in cloud forests, along mountain ridges, and beside glacier-fed lakes.

Eco-Cred: Water is filtered and treated with UV light, making tap water safe to drink and reducing the use of plastic bottles. Composting waste systems fertilize the gardens.

Amp Factor: Trips end at the lost Inca city high in the Andes for one night at the eco-friendly Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

411: From $3,281 for a seven-day itinerary, all inclusive. 888-908-1252;


What’s There: In December, time-travel-channeling designer Bill Bensley of Rosewood Luang Prabang and Capella Ubud, Bali, fame debuted this project — his most remote — about three hours’ drive south of Phnom Penh in western Cambodia. Most of the 15 grand tents are spaced out on a 3/4-mile-long cantilever along a rushing river, each with dining terraces, outdoor bathtubs, and furnishings that evoke vintage 19th-century safaris. Kayak, take river-based wildlife safaris, and join anti-poaching ranger expeditions to check wilderness camera traps on the 860-acre property.

Eco-Cred: Bensley and associates are working to protect the estuarine ecosystem that connects Bokor National Park to Kirirom National Park. Harnessing the tourism economy to conservation, it provides job training, environmental education, and employment to locals.

Amp Factor: Guests arrive via zip line across the river, landing at the bar positioned next to a thundering waterfall.

411: From $1,900.


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