HOTELS • November 2018
Sleeping under canvas needn’t mean giving up on creature comforts, says frequent glamper Madévi Dailly. From sea-view teepees in Madeira to snow-sunken Swiss domes, these five close-to-nature camps come with all the trimmings
Live out your cowboy fantasies on 37,000 acres of Montana’s great wilderness. Decked out with hardwood floors, enormous copper tubs and marshmallow-soft beds, the tented hideaways at Paws Up don’t give a minute’s thought to the notion of ‘roughing it’. Hone horse-handling skills at the in-house Saddle Club before hitting the trails – all 100 miles of them, roaming from wildflower meadows to snow-capped peaks and the mighty rapids of Blackfoot River. Back at camp, a butler is on hand to stock wood, shake cocktails or rustle up night-time treats for the fire, so you’ll hardly need to lift a finger. One-bedroom tent from £460 per person.
In Madeira, Canto das Fontes owner Roberto has turned his grandmother’s banana plantation into an organic farm that's a haven for seasoned glampers. Two teepees make the most of a steep stretch of land with startling sea views, best savoured from the comfy double bed. Guests are invited to tread lightly: showers are solar-powered, wild strawberries grow around composting loos, and feasts are thrown together from whichever vegetables, fragrant herbs and edible flowers are in season. Sun-blessed Ponta do Sol is nearby for a spot of swimming or surfing, but if you just want a refreshing dip then there’s the farm’s freshwater pool, fed by an impressive waterfall. Doubles from £65.
Impossibly romantic, Hintok River Camps are all stretched canvas, rough-hewn wood and bamboo-clad bathrooms. Sheep and deer roam the luxuriant grounds nestled in the heart of Kanchanaburi, a history-rich province in western Thailand dotted with caves, waterfalls and traditional Mon villages. After a day of stalagmite-dodging and zip-lining around the jungle treetops, a Thai massage makes short work of any lingering tension. Indulge in a long soak in the camp’s Instagram-worthy springwater pool, which overlooks a postcard-perfect stretch of the River Kwai. Doubles from £85.
Swap your ski chalet for a cosy whitepod in the Swiss Alps. Inspired by igloos, these geodesic domes sit high on the slopes above Lake Leman. Don’t worry about the chill: the snug boltholes are heated with a clever pellet stove, and zhuzhed up with all the cowhides, sheepskin and Swiss Army blankets you’ll need to keep toasty warm. If you can tear yourself away, there’s skiing, dog-sledding and paragliding right on your doorstep – or just take one of the old-school sledges out for a good old-fashioned run down the hill. Doubles from £505 for two nights.
There’s no shortage of otherworldly landscapes in Namibia, but for a true Out of Africa experience, head to Camp Gecko at the foot of Spreetshoogte Pass. Pared-down and rustic, the camp’s distinctive canvas tents blend into the surrounding bush. Recoup from the day’s drives on a private terrace – the perfect spot from which to watch visiting animals at the watering hole, or lose hours staring up at the starlit sky. Each tent even has its own open-air shower, should you feel a sudden desire to recreate that shampoo scene. Doubles from £95.