I discovered glamping about 2 1/2 years ago and became obsessed with glamping as much as possible. I mean how could I not? It appeals to everything that an outdoorsy diva is. Glamping is glamorous camping. It combines the fun parts of camping with all of the modern conveniences and creature comforts that bougie people like me still want while we commune with nature and shit.
It’s become quite the trendy word, especially in the hipster millennial vernacular. Enter the Fyre Festival founded by Ja Rule and Billy McFarland and promoted by the likes of Kendall Jenner and other Instagram influencers. It was touted as this “once in a life time musical experience” in the Bahamas complete with luxury glamping tents (dubbbed geo domes), first class culinary experiences, and a line-up of chart topping artists across all genres.
What folks got when they arrived last night was terrible. Following #FYREFESTIVAL on the interwebs will keep you in stitches for hours watching the drama unfold. The tents looked like leftover disaster relief aid tents and there was none of the promised amenities. There was no beer and craptastic food. There were even lockers without locks. It was pretty awful.
Lucky for us one of the festival employees spilled all the tea on how it all went down so prepare to be apalled and shake your head…alot.
This troubled me. How dare they give my beloved glamping past time a bad name! Shame on you Ja Rule. Shame. On. You.
So let me clear up for you what a real luxury glamping experience entails. I promise it’s not this train wreck that the Fyre Festival became.
Here are my 8 Essential Ingredients for a Luxury Glamping Experience:
Conestoga River Ranch
1. Accommodations with an actual structure and floors – If you are exposed to the elements then it’s not glamping. You’re camping. True glamping has a sturdy structure and preferably a floor and not just the bottom of a tent or dirt. Every glamping experience I have had we actually had wood floors, whether it was a glamping tent, yurt, or cabin. No floors then it ain’t glamping. A nice rug or faux fur rug is even better.
2. Bedding – Luxury glamping means you will sleep in comfort. That’s paramount. A cot just won’t do. An air mattress is acceptable but it’s cutting it pretty close by my standards. A real bed is the ultimate amenity for luxury glamping. You need pillows for sleeping, decorative pillows, sheets, and blankets.
3. Climate Control – My favorite glamping experiences have had air conditioning, like the Texas Hill Country eco cabins. However some places have such a cool climate that they can get away with not having A/C as long as the structure allows for ample ventilation.
If the destination experiences colder temps, then they must have a heater of some kind. The best of the best, like Conestoga Ranch in Utah, had a heater and faux fur electric blankets! It was nice and toasty at night.
4. Ambiance – Luxury glamping is all about the ambiance. Strings of lights and lanterns are my favorite element to give a glamping tent that dreamy ethereal feel. I also love decorative touches like cute pillows and other little knick knacks around the space.
5. Appliances – Now here is where not all luxury glamping properties are created equally. Westgate River Ranch glamping tents have full size refrigerators and microwaves and a gas grill right outside. That was heaven. I’ve stayed in others that didn’t have that, but they did have on site restaurants with ahhmazing meals, so that made up for it. At the very least you do need electricity. No power, not glamping.
6. Wow Factor – There should be some type of service or touches offered that makes your experience pop. I’ve stayed places that delivered breakfast to the front porch of the tent. I’ve stayed places with a fire valet to come and light the fire pit every night.
I’ve also stayed in a yurt in a state park that wasn’t as fancy but it did have an outdoor deck overlooking a lake and included the use of a kayak. Another state park yurt had a moon roof dome in the top to give us awe-inspiring views of the stars at night and board games. There just has to be something to give the experience a wow factor.
7. Bathroom – Port-o-potties and glamping do not mix and a bush just won’t cut it. If you’re glamping then that means a real toilet and running water. Luxury glamping will provide a full private bathroom and shower. I love when I don’t have to leave my structure to get there but sometimes it’s in a separate structure and that’s manageable.
8. Security – There should be a way to secure your belongings inside of your luxury glamping structure. If you can’t lock it, then it must have a safe. Every place I’ve gone glamping either had a door that I could lock or a safe.
So kids, that’s REAL glamping. You need all of these components to qualify. I am a self-appointed glamping expert so I know what I’m talking about. You might have your own opinions on what constitutes glamping and that’s cool. You can write them on your own blog. Just kidding, tell me all about it in the comments. Mmmk?
I’m sure we can all agree that this hot mess of a $12,000 a pop experience that Fyre Festival became is most certainly not what a luxury glamping experience should be. Sheesh. Ja Rule holla atcha girl next time! I can help.