Want to expose your kiddos to nature minus the mosquitoes and makeshift toilets? Glamping might be just the ticket!
Glamping (Glamourous Camping) is a trend that’s exploded in recent years, and it’s little wonder given the amazing natural wonders we’re surrounded by here in Asia Pacific, from elephants to whales to rainforests, jungles and waterfalls. There’s nothing like being in the heart of nature, without having to sacrifice creature comforts like a soft bed or running water!
We know it can be tough exposing kiddos to nature here in Singers – between the humidity, the constant threat of thunderstorms, and mosquitoes it’s not always such a joy being outdoors – but we’ve rounded up some of the coolest glamping experiences in the region so you can ease them in to the great out of doors, mamas!
Swipe through our gallery for our top glamping picks!
Lead image courtesy of Capella Ubud
We’ve shortened the name of this resort (Ramada Resort by Wyndham Eco Beach Broome) because it’s such a mouthful, but the bottom line is that it’s a well-priced option with family tents (King Bed + Bunk Bed) located in Western Australia’s stunning Kimberley Region. The beachfront resort is located smack on the Indian Ocean, and offers activities like kayaking, whale watching (June-September), fishing and stargazing.
Cool feature: The resort’s Eco Tents are solar-powered, with electricity for hair dryers and microwaves (though not at the same time), but no televisions.
Getting there: Catch a flight to Perth, then a 2.5-hour flight to Broome. The resort is a 90-minute drive (or 25-minute helicopter ride) from there.
Rates: Start at 225 AUD (S$215) per night, with various Stay 4/Pay 3 and Stay 7/Pay 5 options.
Ramada Resort by Wyndham Eco Beach Broome, Lot 323 Great Northern Highway, Broome, Western Australia, 6725, Tel: (+61) 8 9193 8015, www.ecobeach.com.au
Heading to Sydney? Paperbark Camp is a super cool glamping spot located a couple hours’ drive in gorgeous Jervis Bay, renowned for its white sand beaches and myriad wildlife, including dolphins, whales, penguins and more. The schmick safari-style tents – which almost seem more like villas – are set amongst tranquil eucalyptus and paperbark trees, with wrap-around decks, solar-powered lighting, polished hardwood floors and sumptuous beds. The standard tent can sleep two adults and two kids (NB: Kids must be ages 6 and up for safety reasons), while the plush King Deluxe Safari Tent has a sunken bath and outdoor shower, and can sleep up to six people.
Cool feature: Tents come stocked with hotel amenities like handmade soaps and lotions.
Getting there: Fly to Sydney, then drive two hours south to Jervis Bay.
Rates: Start at 525 AUD (S$501) per night, including breakfast and dinner for two people. A 2-night minimum stay is required on weekends. Click here for more deets.
Paperbark Camp, 571 Woolamia Road, Woolamia, NSW 2540, Tel: (+65) 61 2 4441 6066, www.paperbarkcamp.com.au
Margaret River is always a popular destination with Singapore families – between the wineries and the farms there is truly something for everyone. We love the idea of Soul Camping, which gives fams the chance to pitch a tent (or rather, they’ll pitch the tent for you) at a variety of locations throughout the Margaret River region. (In addition to their set spots, they’ll actually set you up anywhere in the region that it’s allowed!)
Cool features: We really like Soul Camping’s kid-friendly bonafides: all tents can sleep at least 3 people (the luxe 5m tent can sleep up to five people), and they even offer special sleep set-ups for kids and teens (including fairy lights, bunting and colourful rugs and linens).
Getting there: Fly to Perth and drive yourself to your chosen location, easy peasy!
Rates: Start at 180 AUD (S$172) per night for two people (extra guests are AUD 50 per night), with additional nights AUD 100 apiece.
Soul Camping, Tel: (+61) 448 874 318, www.soulcamping.com.au
This particularly eco-minded camp in Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains offers both glamping and a more rustic “Jungle Camp” option in tentsile tree tents. The main eco lodge within Botum Sakor National Park features nine safari-style tents with beds, standing fans, bamboo and rattan furniture, spacious patios, and ensuite bathrooms with hot water and rain showers. Activities include hiking, kayaking, and patrols with forest rangers to spot wildlife like elephants, tigers, gibbons, otters, birds and reptiles. NB: The camp is only open to children ages 8 and above.
Cool feature: A portion of revenues go directly to Cambodia’s Wildlife Alliance and conservation efforts in the park. Any additional profits are reinvested locally.
Getting there: Fly to Phnom Penh, drive about 4 hours, and catch a 40-minute boat ride along the Trapeang Run and Preak Tachan rivers. Click here for more details.
Rates: From 259 USD (S$352) per person for a 3D/2N stay including meals, accommodation, and boat transfers.
Cardamom Tented Camp, www.cardamomtentedcamp.com
Also in a protected wildlife reserve in Cambodia, Shinta Mani Wild is the brainchild of world renowned designer Bill Bensley. Sustainability and low impact are the name of the game, but they certainly didn’t skimp on the tents, which look absolutely jaw-dropping (and have plenty of space, with an average of one tent per 40 acres of land!). The resort features an on-site ranger station and also employs resident naturalists. NB: The resort only allows kids ages 13 and up.
Cool feature: Every guest has their own Adventure Butler, who can arrange activities ranging from zip-lining, to motorbike rides on local roads, to hiking, kayaking, fishing or foraging.
Getting there: Fly to Phnom Penh, then take a 3-hour car ride (transfers are included in room rates). You can even arrive by zip line if you so choose!
Rates: From 2,300 USD (S$3,130) per night, including all food and drink; private guided activities and excursions; spa treatments and transfers. Note that there’s a 3-night minimum stay requirement.
Bensley Collection Shinta Mani Wild, Bensley Street, Kirirom, Cambodia, (+855) 12 223 782, www.bensleycollection.com/shintamani-wild
There are just 20 luxurious tents (some jungle, some beach) on Moyo Island, which comprises 32,000 hectares of protected jungle and offers endless opportunities to interact with wildlife and marine life. Tents are eco-conscious with hardwood floors, walls and decks, but this is Aman after all, so they’re also massive, air conditioned, and feature gorgeous ensuite bathrooms and net-draped king-size beds. The resort also offers dedicated kids’ activities and offers both a special children’s menu and babysitting services.
Cool feature: The resort has a full fleet of boats, including outriggers, speedboats, catamarans and skiffs; we think the midnight starlight cruise sounds pretty amazing.
Getting there: Take a one-hour flight from Bali (US$450 per person, each way), or fly an hour from Bali to to Sumbawa Besar Airport and take a 45-minute speedboat transfer. Click here for more details.
Rates: From 800 USD (S$1,090) per night including breakfast, lunch and dinner and many activities.
Amanwana, Moyo Island, West Sumbawa Regency, Indonesia, www.aman.com/resorts/amanwana
The newest addition to Bintan Island, The Canopi, Bintan is a Tribute Portfolio Resort and the first glamping experience from Marriott Hotels. There are 100 safari-themed tents set along the manmade Crystal Lagoon, each with private patios and gardens, outdoor rainforest showers, and glamping perks like Wi-Fi and aircon. Kids are welcome, and the resort offers access to myriad outdoor pursuits including hiking, off-roading and kayaking.
Cool feature: The Canopi actually has its own private mangrove reserve, and offers private guided kayak tours to explore its flora and fauna.
Getting there: Bintan is an easy-peasy one hour ferry ride from Singapore, and about a 20-minute drive from the ferry terminal.
Rates: From 1,900,000 IDR (S$185) per night.
The Canopi, Bintan, Jalan Raya Haji KM 01 Kawasan Pariwisata, Teluk Sebong Lagoi, Bintan Island, 29152 Indonesia, www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/tnjtx-the-canopi-bintan-a-tribute-portfolio-resort
These just might be the glammest tents on the list: designed by Bill Bensley (he clearly knows his stuff!), each of Capella Ubud’s 22 tents features its own private saltwater pool, and offers killer views of rice terraces, the rainforest, or the Wos River. Tents have both indoor and outdoor showers, a free-standing copper tub, and plenty of outdoor lounging space. All tents can accommodate at least one child via baby cot or rollaway bed, too.
Cool feature: Mountain bikes are included in the room rate, and upon arrival all guests receive a welcome duffel bag stocked with “camp essentials”. WANT!
Getting there: Fly to Bali’s Denpasar Airport,then drive about 90 minutes (depending on traffic!) to Ubud. Airport transfers are complimentary with stays of two nights or longer.
Rates: From 8,505,700 IDR (S$830) per night, including breakfast, laundry, complimentary mountain bikes, daily excursions, and more.
Capella Ubud, Jl. Raya Dalem, Banjar Triwangsa , Desa Keliki, Kecamatan Tegallalang , Ubud, Gianyar , Bali 80561, Indonesia , www.capellahotels.com/en/capella-ubud
This beautiful, relatively new resort in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Luang Prabang isn’t all glamping tents, but its Hilltop Tents look so incredible (and we are such big fans of Rosewood) that we couldn’t resist including them on the list. Spacious tents incorporate the colors, textiles and patterns favored by the area’s indigenous hill tribes, complimenting the plush king-size bed (kitted out with Frette linens, thank you very much), oversized daybed, and massive outdoor deck overlooking the region’s tranquil mountains.
Cool feature: In addition to unique activities like a river cruise and heritage walk, the resort’s signature Rose Buds Programme for children offers up a bevy of kid-friendly activities that celebrate the area’s heritage and local culture.
Getting there: Catch a non-stop 3-hour flight from Singapore to Luang Prabang (Scoot flies non-stop three times a week). The resort is about a 20-minute drive from the airport.
Rates: Hilltop Tents start from 857 USD (S$1165) per night.
Rosewood Luang Prabang, Nauea Village, Luang Prabang, Laos PDR, www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/luang-prabang
Singapore’s first glamping provider, Glamping Society offers tent packages in both East Coast Park and the hip Punggol Container Park (near picturesque Punggol Waterway). You can choose from four different types of tents, and there are fun add-on options like a pizza, fairy lights and balloons. Punggol tents are air-conditioned (a must in Singers!), and tents are kitted out with beds, rugs and colorful cushions.
Cool feature: We think the Birthday Party Package (including pizzas, balloons, birthday cake and a float for up to 6 people), would be a big hit with kids.
Getting there: At East Coast Park, tents are pitched near Area G between BBQ pits 65-76. At Punggol Container Park they’re located on the far left side.
Rates: Packages start at $270 per night, including a picnic set-up, drinks and pizza. Guests are required to secure their own camping permit for East Coast Park.
Who knew you could have a Robinson Crusoe experience in one of the world’s busiest metropolises? Bangkok Treehouse is a super green lodge located along the Chao Phraya River that’s just about 20 minutes from the city center; guests stay in sustainable bamboo “nests” (some of which are open-air, others which have a small aircon unit) with beds, bathrooms and Wi-Fi. The 3-room “Family Nest” can sleep up to four people.
Cool feature: The Treehouse provides a 15% “digital detox” discount for anyone who checks their phone in a locker during their stay. Sadly this is only valid for Thailand residents, but it’s such a cool idea we had to give it a mention. They also vow to remove 1kg from the Chao Phraya River for every booking made!
Getting there: Though only 1.5km from Bangna Skytrain station, Bangkok Treehouse can only be directly accessed by foot, bike or boat. The hotel also provides airport transfers for 1500 THB (S$66).
Rates: Weekday rates start at 3600 THB (S$159) per night, including breakfast, taxes,
Bangkok Treehouse, 60 Moo1 Soi Bua Phueng Pattana, Bang Namphueng, Phra Padaeng, Samut Prakarn, Greater Bangkok, Amphoe Phra Pradaeng, Chang Wat Samut Prakan 10130, Thailand, www.bangkoktreehouse.com
A pioneer on the glamping scene, Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle gives guests the chance to interact with rescued elephants in a lush, open-air jungle setting near the intersecting borders of Thailand, Laos and Burma. Fifteen opulent tents are kitted out in dark wood with free-standing tubs, outdoor showers and handcrafted furniture that will make you feel like a 19th century explorer.
Cool feature: Guests can go trekking, visit temples, take a foraging walk, or even undergo Elephant Mahout training. The hotel is located in Thailand, but cross-border excursions to Burma are also available.
Getting there: The resort is a 45-minute drive from Chiang Rai (about a 1:15 flight from Bangkok), or a four hour drive from Chiang Mai. The resort provides transfers between the tented camp and its property in Chiang Mai; click here for more details.
Rates: From 84,000 THB (S$3,700) per night. NB: Only children ages 10 and up are allowed at the resort.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai 57150, Thailand, Tel: (+66) 53 910 200, www.fourseasons.com/goldentriangle
If you prefer beach to jungle, 9Hornbills offers stupendous “tented pool villas” overlooking Phang Nga Bay. Each green-minded tent (featuring low-impact insulation, low-energy fans, FSC wood and special aircon units) comes with a private pool, 24-hour butler service, a free-standing claw-foot tub, complimentary mini-bar, and outdoor rain shower. NB: 9Hornbills is for adults only.
Cool feature: Guests enjoy 24-hour buggy service and can also access the private beach at 9Hornbills’ sister resort, Koyao Island Resort.
Getting there: Fly non-stop to Phuket or Krabi, then take a 30 to 60-minute boat ride. Click here for more details.
Rates: From 7,629 THB (S$336) per night, including breakfast and complimentary mini-bar.
9Hornbills Tented Camp, 24/2 Moo 5, T. Koh Yao Noi, A. Koh Yao, Phang Nga 82160, Thailand, www.9hornbills.com