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Unexpected Tented Retreats

by Tara Bradley Connell

Safari tents took glamping to a new level. But you don’t have to be in an exotic locale to sleep under the stars in style. These unique tented experiences allow guests to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of their surroundings without compromising the comforts of home.  

Whether you are into roughing it at a traditional campsite or going for luxury with amenities that feel more like a spa-like suite than a campsite, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the fresh air and all-natural beauty of the great outdoors. 

Costa Rica: Nayara Tented Camp

The Arenal area of Costa Rica is known for its eco-friendly adventures. For those that want to immerse themselves in the Costa Rica landscape, Nayara Tented Camp, located in Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano National Park, opens Winter 2019. The camp will feature 29 luxury tents set in the rainforest with views of the Arenal Volcano. Each of the private, eco-friendly tents are air-conditioned canopy beds, expansive bathrooms with oversized tubs, and dressing rooms. Outside on the private covered and uncovered decks, take in the views al fresco with private outdoor showers, seating areas, and plunge pools – heated with warming waters from the rainforest’s natural hot springs. For larger groups or guests wanting a little more space, 14 of the tents can be linked together to create a larger layout.  

Shared amenities on the property include a pool with a swim-up bar and a new gourmet restaurant. A wildlife and sloth sanctuary make the area even more magical. Nayara planted 1,000 Guarumo trees, the sloth’s favorite habitat, as a sloth refuge. To truly get the adrenaline pumping, nature-filled activities include whitewater rafting, canyoning, canopy tours, and hiking through the rainforest and hanging bridges. 

New York, Colorado, Montana, and Texas: The Collective Experience

With The Collective Experience, tent-goers can choose from multiple locations throughout the country. And they’re just getting started. From New York to Montana, each retreat was designed to emphasize the aesthetics of the landscape. No matter what the locale, each tent features king-sized bed options, 1,500 thread-count linens, designer comforters, and in-tent massages.  

In Texas Hill Country, the Collective Hill Country retreat is on the 225-acre Montesino Ranch. The sprawling landscape offers plenty of room to run with horseback riding, wine tours, and a Beer, Brining & Branding culinary class. Tents have wood-burning stoves for cozy nights and nightly s’mores kits for evening campfires.  

It’s all about the mountain experience at Collective Vail, located at 4 Eagle Ranch in Wolcott, Colorado. Immersive experiences abound with whitewater rafting, hiking, and wine tasting at Vines at Vail Winery. Come dinnertime, the Three Peaks Lodge serves signature dishes sourced from the nearby gardens and ranches with favorites that include Rocky Mountain Chili and Colorado Catch Striped Bass. 

Collective Hudson Valley, located at Liberty Farms, is just a two-hour drive from New York City. The working four-season agricultural center offers a farm-to-table menu with locally grown ingredients. Berkshire River fly fishing, Tivoli sailing, and craft beverage tours ensure guests can explore as much of the area as possible. 

Utah: The Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch

Luxury tipis and tents are the best ways to take in the views at The Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch, located inside the Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument. Authenticity is key here with authentic hand-painted Native American Tipis and a wood-walled Cowboy Tent cabin. Amenities include king or queen bed option, decks with sitting areas, and lanterns for evening strolls. Natural resources heat the outdoor, open-air sustainable solar showers making them perfect for watching the stars. 

Sustainability spills into the menu at the Sweetwater Kitchen Dining Room, located in the main lodge. The farm-to-table restaurant offers an ever-changing menu based on the week’s fresh produce and ingredients from their organic garden, including complimentary breakfasts with gluten-free granola and eggs from their free-range chickens. 

The nearby beaver ponds are a popular site for animal lovers. During the spring and summer months, take in the mountain views with everything from hiking and mountain biking to fly fishing and horseback riding. The area is known for its diversity of medicinal plants. Learn about their healing properties with the Wild and Medicinal Plant Walks. What’s truly magical about this location is what happens after the sun goes down. The area’s lack of development delivers a night sky reminiscent of the Pioneer era. Take it all in with a nighttime hike or cuddled up with a blanket right by your tipi.  

Sicily, Italy: Sicily Glamping

Tented escapes in Italy’s Santa Maria del Focallo, one of Ispica’s beach towns in Southern Sicily, are just minutes from the sea. And many of the area’s main attractions are just a 15-minute drive away. Days at Sicily Glamping begin with a breakfast buffet in the veranda. Served Italian style, the owner’s mother makes fresh cakes, biscuits, and homemade bread every morning. Other items include Bio Farm fresh eggs, shelled almonds from the nearby trees, local fruits, vegetables, and plenty of extra virgin olive oil.  

The design of each tent enhances the area’s natural beauty. The owners named each one after the tree from which it sits. Styled like a mini apartment in Europe, tents come with single or multiple bedroom options and feature private bathrooms and outdoor camping kitchenettes. Other modern amenities include wi-fi, air conditioning, and a library of books. 

Travel through town like a true Italian – with one of the property’s rental bikes. Or spend the day at the sea. The beaches here showcase the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea with cliffs, caves, and hidden coves. 

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