Glamping: From Luxury Tent to On-Site Butler

August 16, 2013 by   - () Comments Off on Glamping: From Luxury Tent to On-Site Butler

A cozy yurt ticked on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. The 116-foot-diameter yurt sleeps up to four people and comes with windows overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Bird Islands. Inside, you will find double and twin beds, a dresser and a picnic table. Outside there is a spacious deck and a firepit. The yurt does not have electricity but comes equipped with a skylight instead. The yurt is located in a secluded area but is not far from the main lodge. Photo courtesy of

“Glamping” – a new trend when glamorous meets camping – is the kind of vacation that straddles two worlds: the rugged outdoors and keep-your-hands-clean comfort of home.

“The idea started when the British would go down to Africa for Safari’s and they would have their big luxurious canvas tents, pack a bed,” said Ruben Martinez, co-founder of “To the best of our knowledge, that’s what the idea started and over the last few years the trend has grown.”

The Toronto Metro News reported that sometimes, the difference between camping and glamping is minimal: a canvas tent and a real bed, versus nylon and a bedroll. But most anything can be “glamping” if it’s not a traditional house, hotel, RV or cabin and provides immediate access to nature.

“These places keep popping up,” Martinez said. “They range from relatively simple tents, tree houses, yurts to the really extravagant.”

How extravagant?

“Some of these places have butlers, they have wine service, fantastic views, king-sized bed—you name it,” he said. “Some of these places can be pretty ridiculous.”

One of Canada’s most glamorous is the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort.

“We’re in the heart of Clayoquot Sound in the middle of the UNESCO world bioshpere,” Katherine MacRae, director of marketing for the resort. “We’re 40 minutes by boat to the closest town and there’s no road access.”

The all-inclusive resort includes the seaplane trip from Vancouver, locally sourced five-course meals with wine pairings and activities.

“We have world-class salmon fishing out here, horseback riding is one of our big adventures,” said MacRae, adding there’s also a spa, hiking, skeet shooting, kayaking, archery, rock climbing and paintball.

MacRae says her resort was the original North American tented Safari. An all-inclusive tent for two costs costs $9,500 for three nights.

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