Camping always sounds fun until you actually do it. The abundant planning it requires, not to mention the work it takes to set up and break down a campsite, can make the experience more stressful than delightful.
For those who want to get back to nature, but with luxe amenities and less hassle, glamping — or glamorous camping — has become a popular alternative option.
The tents of traditional camping and luxurious glamping might all be made from canvas, but that’s where the similarities end. Think private bathroom. Real beds. Hot water. Air conditioning. In some cases, a private butler. All while enjoying spectacular views of sweeping vistas, incredible wildlife and unforgettable coastlines. This is nature served on a silver spoon.
At these 15 luxury camping spots around the world, you’ll be far from roughing it.
Under Canvas Moab - Utah, United States
Moab is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with activities for all seasons, from biking, hiking and white-water rafting in warmer months to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing once snow has fallen. It’s the ideal setting for a campsite, and Under Canvas delivers on the promise. Tents feature spectacular views of both canyons and plateaus, and both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park are minutes away.
Though Under Canvas offers a range of accommodations, its deluxe safari tents stand out; each comes outfitted with a private bathroom and a spacious deck with plenty of seating.
Daytime activities are capped with nights by the campfire, listening to live music and cooking s’mores.
The Resort at Paws Up - Montana, United States
Spending time on a working cattle ranch in Montana might not sound glamorous, but the safari-style tents at this camp rival the accommodations found at four-star resorts; features include sweeping decks with Adirondack chairs and bathrooms boasting heated slate flooring and “Montana size” (read: very large) showers.
When not eating smores at their private dining pavilion or enjoying a treatment at the resort spa, guests can experience the wild west by partaking in fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding or cattle driving.
But the most memorable experience is a horse-drawn wagon ride down to Blackfoot River — the river that inspired the novel and movie “A River Runs Through It” — for an authentic chuck wagon dinner, where the food is cooked over an open flame. A camping butler is on hand to ensure the rustic experience doesn’t sacrifice luxury.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort - British Columbia, Canada
Nestled between mountains on the rugged Pacific coast of Vancouver Island lies remote Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, accessible by seaplane from Vancouver or by boat from nearby Tofino. Posh tents emphasize comfort with wood stoves (necessary even on summer nights), heated bathroom floors and private outdoor showers.
Wilderness guides are on hand to show visitors the riches of the Clayoquot Sound with tailored adventures, such as river kayaking, surfing, whale-watching, archery, rapelling, horseback riding and biking. For the truly adventurous, there’s Cloud Day, a helicopter flight to a “remote alpine playground” 4,500 feet above sea level, near the top of Ursus Mountain. There, visitors can pick and choose their activities for the day — be it kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, yoga or just chilling with a glass of wine in an Adirondack chair, taking in sweeping views of the sound and surrounding slopes.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle - Chiang Rai, Thailand
If money is no object, this all-inclusive glamping resort in northern Thailand is a must-book. Tents feature handcrafted custom furniture and showcase stunning views of the surrounding Ruak River and bamboo jungles. All the tents have luxe bathtubs and outdoor rain showers, and special deluxe tents additionally feature wooden hot tubs, perfect for late-night soaks.
With just 15 tents, guests can have truly customized experiences as they get to know their neighbors — the elephants that live at the resort. Partnering with the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, the Four Seasons gives guests opportunities to observe and interact with these gentle giants. In addition to shadowing mahouts as they care for the elephants, guests can hike up to Camp Peak, the resort’s highest point, alongside them, and even eat breakfast with them as the sun rises over the mountains.
For those looking to see more culture and go further afield, tour guides can be hired through the Four Seasons for day trips to Laos and Burma.
Tiger Tops Elephant Camp - Chitwan National Park, Nepal
At this camp in the Himalayan region of Nepal, guests don’t just walk among elephants — they wake up among them.
Situated on the edge of Chitwan National Park, amid tropical gardens, Tiger Tops is comprised of custom-made, fully-furnished tents right in the middle of a herd of elephants. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee overlooking the elephants before joining them on a jungle walk or a trip to the river to watch them bathe. A jeep ride into the jungle promises sightings of more exotic creatures, including rhinos, wild boars and tigers.
The camp offers comfort to its visitors in the form of private bathrooms and electricity — and, crucially, aims to offer the same degree of well-being to its resident wildlife. There’s no chance of riding an elephant at Tiger Tops; the elephants live chain-free, and visitors are encouraged to get up close and personal by simply observing their daily routines.
Patagonia Camp - Región Metropolitana, Chile
Located in a forest of beech trees on the shores of tranquil Lake Toro, Patagonia Camp is a peaceful base for travelers exploring Torres del Paine National Park. From the well-appointed yurts, guests enjoy incredible views of the lake and the granite peaks of Paine Massif. Those lucky enough to book the superior yurt enjoy the additional luxurious touch of a private Jacuzzi.
The camp organizes expertly guided treks for all activity and comfort levels. For those not interested in hiking, there are fishing rods, paddle boards and kayaks available, as well as a small beach to explore. Guests can mingle back at camp in the lounge and restaurant, where traditional Chilean fare is served and the best of regional wine varietals flow. At the end of the day, travelers sleep under the night sky without feeling the chill of the night air — each yurt features a glass roof for optimal star-gazing.
Aman-i-Khas - Rajasthan, India
Set in a brushwood forest on the edge of Ranthambore National Park in India, the safari outpost Aman-i-Khas is made up of 10 luxe tents with soaring canopies and sunken marble bathtubs. Inspired by the rich Mughal traveling tents of the past, the accommodations are spacious, light and airy. A-list service comes in the form of personalized butlers, on hand as needed and during morning tea.
The real appeal here, though, is what lies beyond the camp. A safari guide leads guests on a jeep ride into the national park to see crocodiles, leopards, sambar deer and — if they’re lucky — Bengal tigers. Travelers may also enjoy a camel safari through the villages, followed by sunset drinks overlooking the rugged landscapes of Ranthambhore.
Longitude 131° - Yulara, Australia
Serenity and solitude distinguish Longitude 131°, a retreat built into the curve of a sand dune in the Australian outback. Fifteen luxury tents, and a particularly opulent two-bedroom premier suite called the Dune Pavilion, sit in full view of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, the sacred monoliths of Australia’s Red Centre outback region.
As posh as the accommodations are, guests will want to be outside — walking around the base of Uluru, learning about the flora and fauna of the outback, admiring indigenous art, and dining under the desert sky. At night, drinks and blankets are laid out for guests to enjoy star-gazing from the comfort of a private deck.
Treebones Resort - California, United States
The oceanfront yurts at Treebones Resort on the Big Sur coastline are spacious and cozy, with private decks offering spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. But the epitome of the glamping experience is the Autonomous Tent, a cocoon-shaped dwelling with its own large deck and fire pit, located at the edge of the resort. Unlike the other yurts, this one comes with an en-suite bathroom, including a clawfoot shower.
During daylight, guests can explore the picturesque coastline on foot or by sea kayak, with a private tour guide to show them the best trails and views. Back at camp, they can relax at the spa or in the heated pool, before taking in sublime sunset views.
Kapama Buffalo Camp - Kapama Private Game Reserve, South Africa
At Kapama Buffalo Camp, set high in the treetops of a private game reserve, travelers sleep in finely appointed private tents and awake to lions roaring in the distance. Ten luxury tents, propped up on stilts and connected by wooden walkways, boast rustic charm and unspoiled views of the reserve where wildlife roam freely.
Not surprisingly considering its location, the resort is known for its safari excursions. Guests are matched up with a driver and tracker who ensure a safe, memorable experience during morning and evening game drives. Sightings of the elusive “Big Five” animals — lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants and Cape buffaloes — are all but guaranteed.
At night, travelers can soak in their tent bathtub before enjoying traditional African cuisine served beside a roaring fire. With a maximum occupancy of only 20 guests, the experience promises the utmost in exclusivity.
Dunton River Camp - Colorado, United States
Perched on the banks of the Dolores River in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, this camp was formerly a 19th century cattle ranch, and features eight luxury tents where guests can unwind to the sights and sounds of Mother Nature during the summer months.
The bespoke accommodations include modern conveniences as well as spacious king beds and large soaking tubs. Each tent also comes with two mountain bikes for exploring the surrounding terrain. For R&R, the Spa Tent offers massages utilizing hot stones sourced straight from the Dolores River.
Little Raccoon Key - Georgia, United States
It doesn’t get more exclusive than this retreat on a tiny, private island off the coast of Georgia, available for only a single overnight booking at a time.
The single tent on property comes with a king-sized bed, bathroom facilities and unfettered access to all the island has to offer, including an array of wildlife — dolphins are spotted regularly, as are bald eagles, sting rays, bonnet head sharks and yes, raccoons.
Guests can harvest oysters and throw them on the grill, or make their own face mask out of the clay deposits on the shore. Sunset views from the retreat’s private beach are not to be missed.
Anegada Beach Club - Anegada, British Virgin Islands
Most people haven’t heard of Anegada, the most remote of the British Virgin Islands. But it’s precisely the island’s isolation that makes it such an ideal setting for this glamping resort, featuring an island's version of tents -- rustic-chic,thatched-roof palapas.
King beds, daybeds, fully equipped bathrooms and private oceanfront decks with side-by-side bathtubs make for a luxurious stay. For outdoor recreation, the ocean beckons; snorkelers and scuba divers will be amazed by the marine life seen in the coral reefs surrounding the island. Sun worshipers and beachcombers, meanwhile, will enjoy the quiet shores. And those up for more adventure can try out kiteboarding or bonefishing.
Entamanu Ngorongor - Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
With unrivaled views into the 3,000-foot deep Ngorongoro crater and across the Serengeti, Entamanu Ngorongoro is the ideal spot for travelers looking for extra comfort in Northern Tanzania. The retreat’s six luxury tents include en-suite bathrooms and indoor heating, not to mention generous living spaces with plush furnishings and decor crafted by local artisans.
Entamanu Ngorongoro is a safari favorite. Because of its proximity to the crater, guests on game drives can reach the crater floor earlier than other tour groups, improving their chances of seeing the “Big Five" animals. The camp also provides guided hikes and bush picnics, so guests can explore the surrounding scenic highlands and interact with neighboring Maasai communities.
Because the camp is set high on the crater rim, nights can be chilly. Luckily, blazing fires, hot showers, and top-notch food and wine back at camp keep guests warm.
Camp Cecil, Baja - Isla Espiritu Santo, Mexico
Camp Cecil brings new meaning to sleeping on the beach: Its eight walk-in tents open up to the ocean, with the Sea of Cortez just steps away.
Not all modern conveniences are on offer at Camp Cecil. For instance, there’s no Wi-Fi, and the toilet facilities are shared. But those willing to ever-so-slightly rough it will find much to enjoy, from exploring vibrant marine life — guests can try scuba diving, kayaking or even swimming with sea lions — to learning about Mexican history at nearby attractions.
At outdoor lounge areas, visitors can nosh on fresh seafood and innovative cocktails, then search the sky for constellations at night.