My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Glamping: is it worth it?

'Glamorous camping': so is it worth forking out hundreds of dollars for a tent fitted out with Persian carpets? Heather On Her Travels says: "I can't understand this glamping thing - If you're going to pay top hotel prices why not stay in a top hotel and be done with it? Suppose I might be tempted in some East African game park though." I agree. If you're not into camping, can't cope with the bugs, can't get by without blow-drying your hair, don't want to 'go' in the bush, and don't mind throwing money around like Gigi Bondick, then it's probably worth it. I've glamped at bush retreats while researching books and while it was nice not to have to pitch our own tent, to sleep in a bed and have a private bathroom, I didn't think it was good value. If anything, they just weren't luxurious enough. If I hadn't have been researching a book and working all day, I would have been happier camping the trad way. I wouldn't call the Four Seasons 'Tented Camp' Golden Triangle or Al Maha 'glamping' as some writers do. They're luxury resorts with solid structures, swimming pools, spas, and restaurants. The Golden Triangle's 'tented' suites do have canvas walls but they also boast wooden verandahs, floors and doors, bathrooms, mini-bar and all the amenities you'd expect of a five star resort. As does Al Maha, where the suites (pictured) are proper buildings apart from their canopy-shaped roofs, and are as plush as any of Dubai's deluxe hotels with enormous bathrooms, heavy colonial-style furniture, and private plunge pools. You only know that if you do research - another reason why travel writers need to visit the places they're writing about. They do have Persian carpets though.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention. Of course I'm happy to go glamping if someone else is paying.

Lara Dunston said...

As we all are, I'm sure! Paws Up here we come!

Sarah M. said...

Thanks for this post. I've been curious about "luxury camping" destinations I've come across when researching eco-resorts for my blog ( They've all been priced beyond what I'm interested in (I blog about destinations that are earth and budget-friendly) and seemed a over-priced for what they were offering... good to see some comfirmation here. I love the silliness of the word "glamping," though!

Lara Dunston said...

Hi Sarah. Thanks for checking in and commenting. My next post was going to be on 'luxury on a budget' before we got distracted from the Lonely Planet scandal, so stay tuned. I'll try to get back to it in a few days.

In the meantime, you should take a look at the end of my Cool Camping creature comforts clever marketing etc post, as there is a link to a fantastic site where they have a long list of links to anything and everything to do with 'yurts'. Yurts are pretty eco-friendly.

Holiday pad also has lots of great and often affordable eco-options.

I'll check out your blog!

Anonymous said...

Temptation is an understatement when it comes to East African game parks for me. My decision not to go glamping, was that no one else was paying.

Lara Dunston said...

Hi Shanel

I've not yet experienced East Africa but it's not the list. Those luxe safari parks can be expensive, so like you, I'll be waiting until someone pays and a nice commission to do a story comes in! ;)