‘Glamping’ is the new buzz word in tourism which began in Europe a few years ago before crossing the Atlantic North America. But will it take off here in Australia?
Glamping is a blend of the words ‘glamour’ and ‘camping’, and simply the thing to do for committed young urban hipsters hitting the road in style to experience the great outdoors in organic, designer clothing.
The movement has inspired numerous websites and magazine, but what is considered ‘glamping’ is pretty broad and often doesn`t need to include a caravan, tent or RV. In Australia a lot of our eco or outback resorts with permanent tents would meet the European definition of glamping. In fact the UK press recently described Kate and Wills night at the luxury Longitudes 131 resort near Uluru ‘glamping’.
In Europe all sorts of cabins, lodges, cottages and even yurts have jumped on the glamping bandwagon. You can stay in Mongolians yurts from Ireland to Switzerland, from Portugal to Sweden these days.
For our own purpose and from our own definition we have chosen some of the most unique glamping experiences in Europe which include unique luxury onsite caravans or huts.
Kon Tiki Village St Tropez
Hailed as ‘the world`s poshest caravan park’ by the UK Guardian newspaper, Kon Tiki St Tropez is a piece the Pacific in the South of France with Ferraris, Bentleys and Maseratis pull out front of its stylish cabins and caravans. Glampers here can eat at Hotel Byblos or go clubbing in Les Caves du Roy whilst being super chic and outdoorsy.
Premium-spot in summer for six-person tiki huts with two living rooms cost around $AU520 a night so for six people that’s a bargain compared to a hotel in the regions.
Airstream Brussels Belgium
You can even go glamping in the heart of Europe’s capital, Brussels. Airstream is a sleek sliver 1950s caravan parked in the forecourt of the Vintage Hotel.
Outside Airstream is classic American 1950s but inside is 60s space age in the style of Barbarella or 2001, A Space Odyssey.
It`s been a big hit amongst glampers from all over the continent as well a locals booking in for romantic overnight stays. At around $AU300 a night and no bathroom you are paying for novelty.
Bella Pineta, Sardinia Italy
If you want authentic retro and nature a little off the beaten track the lovely Italian island of Sardinia offers a single upmarket caravan nestled in the grounds of a 17th Century country house.
This vintage 1970s caravan sits under a shady pinet tree on six acres and rather than being restyled with vintage antiques is an authentic well-kept 70s caravan that might carry you back to your childhood holidays in Australia. But it`s on trend being eco-friendly with solar lighting and wind-up lanterns. Glampers can enjoy alfresco dining and board games set up on a card table under the stars.
The village of Martis is a 5 minute walk away with shops and cafes and a 25 minute drive will bring the glamper to some great beaches. It`s affordable too costing around $635 for a week and with long bookings encouraged.