Must Try: Glamping

You’ve likely heard of glamping by now. A relatively new trend in North America, glamping offers a refined outdoor experience that combines camping with glamour and has been popular across Africa, in Thailand, and other countries for years. We didn’t need convincing; the benefits of glamping are numerous. In fact, after a rainy, oops-we-forgot-everything-we-need weekend, we swore we’d never camp again until we heard of the concept. Sure, we see the charm in the whole “roughing it” experience, but if you don’t have the time or interest in that, glamping combines the best of both worlds. The less time you spend stressing and worrying about all the tedious “work” involved with camping, the more time you have to do other things… like get out of the office and explore the great outdoors for a change.

Glamping offers an authentic and exciting outdoor experience, with activities like wildlife viewing, hiking, paddling, cycling and sometimes even zip lining and horseback riding, with the luxury of a clean, comfortable sleeping area, full-course meals, guiding services and, in some cases, even a spa. Here are our top glamping destinations for Notable readers who live in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary or Vancouver brought you by yours truly and our wine of choice this summer (and welcomed addition to the glamping experience), Aveleda.

Northern Edge, in the pristine Algonquin Park, offers an assortment of wood-framed canvas cabins nestled in the best of the great Canadian wilderness, with perks like local and organic meals prepared by an in-house chef, yoga (with indoor and outdoor options, including a floating lakefront yoga platform) and top-notch glamping accommodations to complement traditional camping activities like kayaking, hiking, and swimming. If you’re looking for a unique weekend away, they also offer group packages like “Just the Girls,” an ultimate girlfriend getaway, or team-building excursions with coworkers and even yoga retreats.

Located only 90 minutes from Montreal is Kabania, a small eco-resort that offers storybook-like tree houses in the air, cabins that are equipped with solar panels, no shortage of hammocks throughout and a peaceful forest to explore. Located on the banks of Dufresne River and near Ouareau Forest Regional Park, Kabania is multi-seasonal and offers cross-country skiing, nearby downhill skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and nearby spa therapy and golf in the summer. Fellow young professionals Mathieu Gibeault and Marie-Christine Tremblay developed the unique concept. 

Sundance Lodges in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, offers a vast, pristine wilderness area in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and is only 45 minutes away from Calgary. The low-impact resort offers options in accommodations that range from hand-painted, self-catered authentic tipis to comfortable trappers tents (canvass lodges) nestled in the valley forest near the Kananaskis River. Scenic and photo-worthy outdoor activities include a romantic walk along the water, fishing from the river, and hiking. Nearby activities offer things like mountain biking, horseback riding and scenic white water rafting. 

British Columbia:
Located in Tofino Village on Vancouver Island as the ultimate fusion of raw and luxurious, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort offers large white canvas tents (some complete with ensuite bathrooms), plush white down duvets, heated bathroom floors, lounge and spa tents and top-of-the-line sporting equipment and adventure accessories. Located in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve Area, it is accessible via a 45-minute private seaplane transfer from Vancouver or a 30-minute boat ride from Tofino. The resort features 20 guest and family suite “tents” complete with antique furnishings, luxurious Persian rugs, remote-controlled, propane-powered wood stoves and lavish amenities. A spa tent provides some pampering to complete the vacation and guests may also use the two enormous cedar hot tubs and sauna. The resort offers five-course gourmet meals, complete with wine pairings from local wineries.

With the trend catching on, and an increasing number of glamping experiences offered across the country, a glamping trip may just make an outdoors person out of you after all… at least for the weekend.

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