Camping has been elevated to luxe levels for quite some time—giving us the term “glamping” in the process. But these days, it’s hardly the only travel experience that looks and feels a lot more luxurious than it sounds. Today, in addition to sleeping under canvas without sacrificing a single modern convenience, you can sail in style on a souped-up barge, spend the night in a ravishing RV park, and scale to new heights on a tricked-out trek. Here, four of the latest high-low arrivals that have got us packing our bags
Words: Andrew Sessawww.architecturaldigest.com
Next month, Belmond’s Afloat in France will add two new 12-passenger barges to its fleet of beautiful river and canal cruisers. In Champagne, Belmond Pivoine will travel on the River Marne and Canal Lateral de Marne, pausing for tastings and tours in Reims and at Château Vaux-Le-Vicomte. Belmond Lilas, meanwhile, plies the Canal de la Marne au Rhin between Arzviller and Strasbourg in Alsace, the region known for its Rieslings and France-meets-Germany culinary delights. Designed by The Gallery HBA, in London, both boats reflect the colors of the landscapes through which they’ll float, with Pivoine done in yellows and white and Lilas in lilac.
Open since September in the redwood forests of Northern California’s Sonoma County, AutoCamp Russian River is about to begin its first full summer of operation, with 24 high-design Airstream trailers lined up RV park–style beside a midcentury-modern-inspired lounge pavilion. Santa Barbara’s Dan Weber Architects handled the overall aesthetics of that clubhouse and those brand-new custom Airstream suites, while San Francisco’s Lauren Geremia—known for her decorating schemes for the homes of Bay Area startup and tech execs—took on the trailers’ interiors, combining Coyuchi linens, Schoolhouse Electric lighting, and custom commissioned artworks with Casper mattresses and spalike bathrooms that feature walk-in showers and Malin + Goetz amenities.
Photography: Aubrie Pick / Courtesy of AutoCamp
Lodge-to-lodge trekking to see the best of a place’s natural wonders would be so much more luxurious without all that pesky hiking, don’t you think? The new series of five small Six Senses resorts opening across Bhutan in late 2017 offers just that. The circuit, which comprises just 82 suites and villas in total, connects Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang, and Paro. Each lodge reflects the architecture of the particular destination—the one in Punakha takes cues from local farmhouses, for example, and the one in Paro incorporates elements of nearby stone ruins. Six Senses will shuttle guests from one to the next in luxury hybrid SUVs, no walking required, though day hikes will be available at each stop, with breaks for pop-up gourmet picnics and mountaintop champagne toasts.
Photography: Six Senses
As for glamping, among the poshest forthcoming tents to be pitched are the 22 at the Capella Ubud, opening this fall on the Indonesian island of Bali, along the banks of the sacred Wos River. Bill Bensley—who masterminded Chiang Rai, Thailand’s legendary Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle—created the 22 tented villas here, each with its own pool. Benseley’s scheme takes its cues from the colonial decor brought to the country by 19th-century European settlers, combining that aesthetic with local touches. Here, not only are the resort’s villas tented, but its gym and main pool, too.
Photography: Krishna Adithya Prajogo / Courtesy of Capella Ubud