Do you have city slicker friends who claim to love nature but won’t go anywhere without what they feel are the necessary amenities to life—namely, an actual bed to sleep on? (Maybe, like me, you will even admit that you’re one of these people.) The solution? Glamorous camping, otherwise known as “glamping.” As its name implies, it’s a more luxurious form of camping, since you won’t have to rough it by pitching your own tent or struggling to sleep in a sack on bumpy ground.
Here are just a few of the places where you can enjoy Canada’s great outdoors, without completely sacrificing comfort.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, B.C.
The undisputed queen of glamping, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort near Tofino on Vancouver Island has received attention from Condé Nast Traveller and The New York Times for its extravagant take on enjoying the great outdoors. Fully furnished Deluxe and Luxury tents, the latter with en suite bathrooms and heated floors, replace sleeping bags with queen- and king-sized beds. Fine dining, yoga classes, and lounge tents filled with games and arts supplies are all included in the experience. More info: Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
Free Spirit Spheres, B.C.
Have you ever wanted to sleep in a floating orb in a rainforest? Did you even think it was possible? Free Spirit Spheres by Qualicum Bay on Vancouver Island lets you live the dream, with three unique, handcrafted spheres to choose from. Suspended from the West Coast rainforest treetops, all of the spheres are wired for power and come with built-in speakers for those who wish to bring devices to plug in and play. Showers, a composting toilet, a sauna, and a covered deck with a barbecue can all be found below the bulbs. More info: www.freespiritspheres.com
Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario
Bruce Peninsula National Park has 10 yurts available for rent along the shore of Cyprus Lake. Each of these circular, tent-like structures—inspired by the traditional dwellings of Central Asia’s wandering nomads—comes with beds, a wood stove, a large deck, a propane barbecue, and—believe it or not—a door that locks. These yurts are super popular, so be sure to book ahead. More info: www.pc.gc.ca
Various Provincial Parks, Quebec
Designed in France, these ready-to-camp tents are available in 16 of Quebec’s 24 Provincial Parks. Built on a wooden platform, these canvas dwellings come with mosquito netting, a heating unit, and a rigid door. Fully furnished and equipped with beds, a small fridge, dishes, an outdoor two-burner stove, and access to showers and toilets, these Huttopia tents are definitely not your average camping experience. More info: www.sepaq.com
Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario
There’s no need to pitch a tent with the semi-permanent canvas-covered yurts at Pinery Provincial Park. With these accommodations available, you won’t have to waste any time setting up before heading off to explore the lovely sand dunes and beaches nearby. The yurts are mounted on a wooden deck two feet above ground and the bunk beds inside can accommodate up to six people. A table and chairs, electric heat and lighting, and a propane barbecue and picnic table are all included in the package. More info: www.pc.gc.ca
Sundance Lodges, Alberta
Stay in a tricked-out trappist tent, or better yet, a hand-painted Sioux canvas tipi, at Sundance Lodges in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. These distinctive lodgings in Kananaskis Country have wood-frame beds with foam mattresses, wooden floors, and fueled kerosene heaters and lanterns. They also come with fire pits, picnic tables, and communal areas with washrooms and hot showers. More info: www.sundancelodges.com
Yellow Dog Lodge, Northwest Territories
Set between Duncan and Graham Lakes northeast of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Yellow Dog Lodge has a one-of-a-kind, floating Dog House that can motor and anchor in the coves and bays on Duncan Lake. A 12-foot by 14-foot walled tent on a steel pontoon barge, it can hold up to four people with two bunk beds, a foldout loveseat, and an airbed. A wood stove, gas barbecue, and an on-board toilet make this a pretty novel portable camp. More info: www.yellowdoglodge.ca
Long Point Bay, Ontario
With private toilets that flush, hot showers, and electrical outlets, you might feel like you’re actually at the cottage, but the accommodations at Long Point Eco-Adventures’ Wilderness Suites are tents. There are fifteen of these suites, and they all come with queen- or king-sized beds, linens, hardwood floors, and private decks. Never mind the cottage—you’ll feel like you’re at a hotel in the woods. More info: www.lpfun.ca
Cabot Shores, Nova Scotia
Cabot Shores on Cape Breton Island is a wilderness resort with a variety of accommodations. Their Magical Yurts are Mongolian-style structures on raised decks that offer views of St. Ann’s Bay. There is also a tipi built on a wooden platform floor that can accommodate up to 12 adults with twin- and queen-sized beds. All of the lodgings offer access to bathrooms and showers nearby. More info: www.cabotshores.com