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What is Upscale Camping?

An outdoor dining area may be part of upscale camping.
Many national parks, especially in the American West, offer less glamorous camping options.
Some upscale camping places have saunas.
An upscale camping resort may offer a beautiful pool to its guests.
Having a full bed and luxury tent makes camping more glamorous.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2014
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Upscale camping also called glamorous camping or shortened to glamping is a new way to enjoy the outdoors, without sacrificing on the modern conveniences so many of us feel we can’t do without. Across the world, many resorts offer luxury tents or tent cabins with campgrounds that differ from the traditional "roughing it" of old time camping. In upscale camping, you might be offered wine tastings, access to beautiful swimming pools and saunas, full-scale spa services, and Internet access. Though camping in tents may still bespeak a rustic tendency, tents are fully waterproofed, have comfy beds, maid service, full bathrooms and temperature control.

There are a number of different upscale camping opportunities. Some are more accurately described as resorts, with a variety of resort activities to choose from. Others like KOAS (campgrounds of America) are merely upgrades of previously traditional campgrounds. Tent cabins are not exactly new, either. Places like Yosemite National Park have offered these for decades. The change in upscale camping though is that you get a more luxurious experience while still having the semi-private outdoor experience of camping.

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One of the benefits of camping is that it is often an inexpensive way to vacation. If you’re just pitching a tent at various local, state or national parks, you won’t pay anywhere near the same as you would if you were staying at a hotel or motel. The same cannot be said of upscale camping. Stays at super luxurious glamping resorts, like the Four Seasons Camp in Thailand, cost about $500 US Dollars (USD) per night, or over $1000 USD per night at the Ryabaga Camp in Russia. With most upscale camping facilities, expect to pay over $100 USD a night. On the other hand, if money isn’t an issue, upscale camping may be a way to get the sense and feel of camping without the dirt, poor sleeping accommodations, and threats of a ruined trip if the weather is uncooperative.

Sometimes price is reflection of not only services offered but the seclusion of the location. Certain camps may only be accessible by chartered flights, which may be included in the price of the stay. Some upscale camps also include meals with each night’s stay and are styled more on the old-fashioned summer “lodge.” A few resorts offer combinations of indoor and outdoor rooms, or tent cabins and cabins to give more options to guests.

Since upscale camping is a fairly recent practice, it’s a good idea to research any camps you might wish to visit, especially if they’re not close to home. Read Internet and travel magazine reviews, and check with travel agencies. With their increase in popularity, you can find glamping facilities across the world, in many different and beautiful locations at varied prices. Having some good reviews on hand can help you choose the camp that best works for you.

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