canopy-ridge-safari-tent
Photo from airbnb.com

Glamorous camping, also known as ‘Glamping’, sounds like an oxymoron. If you have ever been caught for 36 hours of constant rain in a leaky tent, the concept sounds like pure hogwash, however it does indeed exist. It is best described on the glamping.com website as, “… stunning nature meet[ing] modern luxury. It’s a way to experience the untamed and completely unique parts of the world—without having to sacrifice creature comforts.”

According to qualityunearthed.com, the term glamping became popular in 2007. But the whole concept of luxurious camping took off in 2013, based somewhat on the way wealthy Europeans and Americans would set up their safari tents when on adventure in Africa. They dragged with them Persian rugs, linen sheets, and many of the amenities of their high-end lives while ‘roughing it’ in the wilds of the savanna.

Ultra-posh camping can now be found in tents, treehouses, yurts, and tipis (also known as teepees) in locations all over the world. There are also more than 700 glamping sites in the state of Tennessee, according to glampinghub.com

One of the original types of glamping employs a safari tent. Canopy Ridge in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is located in the Smokey Mountains and looks down on the valley below. It is an Airbnb offering rustic luxury in the woods under the modern version of a safari tent. Instead of sleeping in a sleeping bag on the hard ground, they offer hand-made queen-sized beds with premium linens.

Treetop Hideaways is part boutique hotel, part glamping. There are two unique treehouses that are located on the side of Lookout Mountain. Surrounded by old growth forest, they offer the best of nature and civilization in the same location. 

Yurts date back to 1100 CE, and were first used in Mongolia. Eco-Chic Mountain Yurt Retreat in Maryville, Tennessee is surrounded by nature, and provides an opportunity to experience a Balinese style yurt. Since Wi-Fi is not available here, it is a great place to disconnect. The retreat center offers a kitchen, bath house, and meditation area. 

Through Airbnb, a private tipi rental is available in Morrison, Tennessee. With its own private deck, this tipi is heated and cooled, with two queen-sized beds and one twin bed. Lighting is by candles. There is a shared kitchen, and a fire pit. Lots of hiking, kayaking, and fishing near-by. 

Glamping can be as roughly rustic, or as glamorously elegant as desired. These are but a few of the offering available. One that is off the grid and off the charts is a geodesic dome that is part tent and part treehouse located in Grundy county. It has a view of the valley below, where the sun rises through the early morning mist. It was featured on Discovery Network: Building Off the Grid.

Glamping accommodations can be found on several websites, including arbnb.com, glampinghub.com, undercanvas.com, and glamping.com. The cost of glamping can run from basic, at $50 per night, to ultra-high end that can cost $3,000 per night. The average cost per night is about $160. Price is dependent on the number of amenities and the location.