1. Treehotel, Sweden
- Nearest town: Harads, part of Swedish Lapland and only 50km from the Arctic Circle.
The Treehotel in Sweden is a camouflaged cube of mirrors deep within a forest in northern Sweden. The owners were inspired by the film The Tree Lover by Jonas Selberg and with the help of some of Sweden’s top architects, they were able to create ‘tree rooms’ that are aesthetically beautiful, but still respect the natural environment. There are cabins that look like birds’ nests, one that looks like a spaceship and even one inspired by the wings of a dragonfly. And if your timing’s right (roughly September to March is usually the optimum period), you might just spy the magical Northern Lights above the pines. For more on how, when and where to see the Northern Lights, check out our article!
- Nearest town: Sal Salis is pretty much out on its own (which is the whole idea) but if you want restaurants, nightlife and reef tours, the resort of Exmouth is just around the peninsula, a little over an hour’s drive away.
If paradise exists, it probably looks like Sal Salis: a safari camp protected between the dunes of Australia’s Cape Range National Park, with spectacular views of Ningaloo Coral Reef. The camp is environmentally-friendly and uses renewable energy, and there is no internet or phone signal, making this the perfect escape from the stresses of everyday life. White sands, crystal clear waters, bright stars above your head…what more could you want? Get out on the road and make the most of that wilderness while you’re in Australia, with these 10 amazing Antipodean road trips.
- Nearest town: Christchurch and the picturesque south coast are only around 10 minutes’ drive, heading away from the forest.
Chewton Glen is a luxury hotel with an arboreal twist, on the edge of Hampshire’s historic New Forest. Sleep like royalty in souped-up glass and wood tree houses, lofts and cabins, with every one a calm oasis. If you need a dose of civilisation, meander through the trees to the main hotel, where you’ll find a first-rate restaurant serving modern British cuisine throughout the day (a three-course lunch is £26.50*) as well as an oh-so-dainty afternoon tea.
- Nearest town: Puerto Natales, the ‘gateway’ and supply town for the Torres del Paine.
This sustainable resort in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park is something of a luxury camping paradise. Trust us, if you spend a night in one of the ecological geodesic domes, looking out across the dramatic snow-tipped mountains, fjords and glaciers just next door, you won’t want to leave. In total there are 25 bedrooms, and several shared ‘Community Domes’ where you can eat or plan your hiking route. One not to miss on the glamping map. See more of stunning South America, with our top 10 guide to its best beauty spots.
- Nearest town: Arrieta town, just under 2km away.
Retreat from city life (and the lobster-red throngs of tourists at the coast) and head for this eco-resort in rural Lanzarote. Stay in yurts and eco cabins kitted out with Balinese furnishings, powered by wind and solar power and set amidst a mesmerising expanse of volcanic landscape. As an added bonus, Lanzarote Retreats is also very close to Arrieta Beach, one of the most unspoilt shorelines on the island.
6. Tena Tena Camp, Zambia
- Nearest town: The city of Chipata is around two hours away by road.
Situated at the mouth of the Great Valley Rift in Lauangwa National Park, Tena Tena’s lodge has treetops for a roof. The cabins of this safari camp could not be any more idyllic and you’ll enjoy being here whether you go in search of big game (leopards, elephants and zebras to name a few) or not. If you ever dreamed of having a house straight out of Out of Africa, then now’s your chance to see what it feels like to live surrounded by the wild – with all the security in the world and a wonderfully comfy bed of course!
7. Whitepod, Switzerland
- Nearest town: Idyllic Saint-Maurice, near Lake Geneva, is 25 minutes away from the hotel.
As enjoyable in sunshine as in snow, these 15 igloos on a Swiss hillside are an slightly off-piste place to enjoy nature…and the commodities of a five-star hotel. If you have the energy to do anything more than recline on the huge comfy beds in front of an Alpine view, their outdoor activities programme will keep you busy all year-round – think glorious mountain walks, paragliding and pony rides in the summer, and skiing and dog-sleds in the winter.
8. The Roundhouse, England
- Nearest town: The Roundhouse is located at Bodrifty, about a 15 minute trip from Penzance.
This round cabin in the Cornish woods was designed in the style of Iron Age homes. Its fireplaces, Egyptian cotton linens and canopy beds ease you into holiday mode, and after that, there’s nothing to do except enjoy the tranquil sounds of birdsong outside your window. After a relaxing bath, swap fresh for saltwater with a dip in the (cold!) sea at one of west Cornwall’s gorgeous beaches, from St Ives to Botallack. Discover more of one of Britain’s most scenic destinations in our guide to the most beautiful parts of Cornwall.
- Nearest town: Other than a smattering of small rural towns, Bilbao is about 50km away.
Zuhaitz-etxeak is the Basque name for The Cabins in the Trees in rural Vizcaya. They are the highest in Europe and are a good way of making your childhood dream of sleeping in the treetops a reality. In this sea of branches and leaves you can enjoy complete isolation, while looking across to the mountains and spotting wild deer on the ground below. You won’t even be disturbed at breakfast – your morning feast will be winched up to you in a basket. But be warned, if you have vertigo, better not look down as you descend – it’s 17 metres to the ground!
- Nearest town: Tofino is about 20 minutes away by boat.
Famous for being Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds’ honeymoon spot (what, you didn’t know?!), this rustic resort on Vancouver Island is only accessible via a seaplane from Vancouver (or a boat ride from the town of Tofino). The tents are a refined combination of vintage and modern, without losing an ounce of charm, and (when you want them to be) they’re completely open to the vast pine forests and peaks of the Canadian landscape.
- Nearest town: The nearest hub is Arusha, nearly 200km away, where most people start their exploration of Northern Tanzania.
Entamanu Ngorongoro is one of Nomad Tanzania’s most epic campsites. The reception and dining area are styled like Mongolian yurts, designed to represent the nomadic culture of surrounding villages, while the rooms are based on traditional Meru tents and are exuberantly decorated with bright fabrics and leathers. Step outside, and you’ll find yourself on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, high enough and remote enough that you won’t be sharing those sweeping views across to the southern Serengeti with anyone else.
12. Hobbit House, Living Well Centre, England
- Nearest town: Penzance, on the local 409 bus route.
Fancy a stay in Middle Earth? Deep in the Shire – sorry, Cornwall – you can stay somewhere that’s more like a work of art that a house. Hobbit House is round, covered in grass and has large windows from which you can take in the surrounding landscape, which includes your own private patch of woodland. Spa treatments are on hand to make the stay even more peaceful.
13. Resort at Paws Up, Montana, USA
- Nearest town: Missoula is around 35 minutes drive away.
This resort is in the middle of an enormous 37000-acre estate and surrounded by the wildness of Montana, its luxury tents take the experience of glamping to a whole new level. On the banks of a stream, you’ll find tents with comfy beds, bathrooms that are as good as any five-star hotel’s and dreamy views of ranch life.
- Nearest town: Parts of the Kimberley region are so remote than they’re closer to Bali than to Perth, but the town of Kununurra is around an hour from the resort.
There’s the great outdoors, and then there’s the Outback. At El Questro Wilderness Park, you could bring your own tent and roll out a sleeping mat, or you can stay in the likes of the Emma Gorge Resort. Spend your days weaving around the nature trails beneath the rusty-coloured ridges of Western Australia’s Kimberley region, before retiring to your highly civilised cabin, or washing the dust off in the outdoor pool.
15. Stuc a’Chroin, Scotland
- Nearest town: Stirling is a 20 minute drive away.
This Mongolian-style luxury campsite is a perfect for a romantic getaway in the countryside. With its thick carpets, wooden stoves and many homey touches, Stuc a’Chroin feels like a home away from home. After resting like a king (or queen) get out and explore the beautiful Trossachs Natural Park and Loch Lomond.
16. Longitude 131°, Australia
- Nearest town: Ayers Rock Airport is a short drive away and flights run here from nearby Alice Springs (50 minutes) and other major airports like Sydney (3 hours).
Staying at Longitude 131° is a sensory experience and a half. Nothing will ever be the same after waking up overlooking the sacred and reddish Monte Uluru, one of the most iconic views of the Australian outback. Pick from 15 luxury tents and experience the true meaning of glamping holidays: enjoying that view through floor-to-ceiling windows at the main lodge house, before retreating to the lofty canopy of your tent at nightfall. We can guarantee that you’ll never have seen so many stars.
And in case you have no idea what we’re going on about…
What is glamping and how is it different from camping?
‘Glamping’ is increasingly popular, and for good reason, as it combines the fun of camping with the comfort of a hotel. Glamping sites are well-maintained semi-permanent or permanent structures, meaning fewer creepy crawlies and more creature comforts. So instead of a leaky tent you’ve had to put up yourself in a howling thunderstorm, stay in a pimped-up wooden wigwam or get back to nature in a ready-prepared yurt, complete with a full-size bed, rugs and even a dining table!
Where are the best glamping locations?
The whole point of glamping is that it’s not quite so dependent on the weather as your traditional camping, but it can be an incredible way to enjoy the scenery. Read on for 16 of the most beautiful luxury campsites out there…
More unusual and exciting places to holiday, right this way…
From Sweden to Slovenia, Alaska to Andorra, stay cool this year with a holiday at one of these ice hotels. Expect a frosty reception…
Fan of unusual hotels? Well, staying in a room with an under-the-sea view is no longer a sci-fi dream; get your snorkel gear on and take a peek at these crazy underwater hotels, from Dubai to the Maldives.
Checked in by a robot, sleeping in a capsule and a wake-up call from Godzilla? It can only be Japan.
*Published October 2016. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.