September 26, 2017 at 6:30 AM
If the mere concept of camping — sleeping on the earth amid the insects and bitter cold with zero access to hair dryer — disturbs you to your very core, fret not. An increasing number of travel sites and property owners have a plusher alternative: glamping (glamorous camping), which offers sophisticated outdoor lodging without all the hardship. To help find the best glamping option for you, we’ve given some area sites the identities of celebrities to highlight their perks and level of swank. Because, as we know, there’s more than one way to be glamorous.
2000 Busted Rock Road, Meadows of Dan, Va.
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West sit on top of the celebrity A-list, and a stay at any of Primland’s three tree houses will you make you feel like the Kimye of the woods — the highest, mightiest and most glamorous being around. The tree houses are studio cabins perched on sturdy tree tops about 2,700 feet up, which means guests’ neighbors are the hawks roaming the sky. A wide open deck gives visitors views of the Dan River Gorge and Blue Ridge Mountains. The houses are complete with TV and Wi-Fi, plush furniture and bathrooms with soaking tubs. Primland even offers room service to the tree houses. “You are in the wilderness, but you feel like you’re on top of the world and there’s no one around you,” says Julee Midden, Primland’s director of sales and marketing. “It’s just a perfect seclusion.” Exclusivity, a strong aspect of the Kimye brand, also translates to Primland’s tree houses: Midden suggests booking six months to a year in advance.
Rate: $938-$1,015 per night
Open through: Christmas or sometime in January (depending on weather)
Occupancy: 1 or 2 people per tree house
Savage River Lodge
1600 Mount Aetna Road, Frostburg, Md.
The yurts and cabins at Savage River Lodge let you do what Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have done since 2004: fly completely under the radar. Tucked away in the corner of the Savage River State Forest, where there’s minimal cell service and Wi-Fi, these grounds take you off the grid so you can unplug and relax. (But since everyone knows that no one COMPLETELY unplugs these days, guests can access Wi-Fi at the main lodge just a short walk away.) Amenities include king-size beds, mini-fridges, gas fireplaces and muffins delivered each morning. “You can also have an in-yurt massage,” co-owner Jan Russell says. “It’s roomy, and very peaceful and quiet.”
Rate: Yurts start at $260 per night; cabins start at $240 per night
Open through: year-round
Occupancy: 1 or 2 people per yurt; up to 5 per cabin
964 Zinks Mill School Road, Montebello, Va.
A squad leader like Taylor Swift has to plan all the functions — good thing Rock-n-Creek Cabin was built for pampering a large group. The 2,100-square-foot cabin has three bedrooms, a study and a fully-equipped kitchen — all you have to bring is your clothes and personal toiletries. When you arrive, you’ll find a TV, central heat and air conditioning, a wood-burning fireplace and even a car service, so your group can go to the nearby vineyards and breweries without drawing straws for a designated driver. Proprietor Richard Christy is also a certified chef: Guests can either place a family-style to-go order with him, or he can swing by the cabin with his chef’s gear and create a farm-to-table four-course meal. “People are stimulated by the fact that they can get away to a remote area, but can sleep inside in a comfortable cabin and don’t have to cook if they don’t want to,” Christy says.
Rates: Starting at $195 per night for 2 people, $315 per night for 6, additional fees for more guests or amenities
Open through: year-round
Occupancy: Up to 11 people.
The Shawnee Inn
100 Shawnee Inn Drive, Shawnee on Delaware, Pa.
The Shawnee Inn offers two types of glamping: One is a stay in a big riverside tent on a lawn overlooking the Delaware River. But if you want to be a real Johnny Depp and retire to your own little isle (albeit one not as roomy as the 45-acre island Depp owns in the Bahamas), then there’s Shawnee’s island glamping, which places you on a small island in the middle of the Delaware River. The island, which houses four tents, is accessible by canoe, and once guests have made it over there, they’re in for the night. Don’t freak out, though. Glampers will have everything they need on the island, including snacks (read: s’mores), Wi-Fi, electricity, bathrooms and even a camp attendant who’ll cook up a fireside breakfast.
Rate: Riverside starts at $154 per tent per night; island starts at $185 per person per night
Open through: Oct. 22
Occupancy: 1 or 2 people per tent
Blue Haven 151 Farm and B&B
10531 Patrick Henry Highway, Roseland, Va.
The ever-minimalistic, TV-eschewing nomad Shailene Woodley would just revel in the simplicity of the two refurbished vintage Airstreams at Blue Haven 151 Farm and B&B.; One of them, dubbed “Bella,” sleeps five, and the other, “Woody,” sleeps three; each has a kitchen and bathroom, as well as air conditioning and heat. Continental breakfast served at Blue Haven 151’s guest house is also included.
Rates: $99-$130 per night
Open through: Oct. 30
Occupancy: Up to 5
576 Yellow Hill Road, Narvon, Pa.
Lake-In-Wood Resort exists for people like Angelina Jolie who need a location that’ll keep their approximately 1 million children entertained. “We have paddleboats, a lake for fishing, a beautiful pool complex, a hot tub, a few playgrounds, basketball courts and mini golf,” says Sue Gelsinger, the campground’s guest services coordinator. “And that’s just a normal day.” The resort also plans themed weekends throughout the year, including a chili cook-off weekend and a laser tag weekend, all of which are listed on its website’s calendar. In terms of lodging, the resort offers an array of unique little shelters that’ll impress the kids, from a tree house to a caboose to double-decker bus — all of which have beds, mini appliances, TVs, Wi-Fi, heat and air conditioning.
Rate: $128-$199 per night; $768-$1194 per week
Open through: Oct. 30
Solid Ground Shelters
Based out of Ruckersville, Va.
Mariah Carey, who is nothing if not the center of her own universe, doesn’t go to parties: She demands the parties come to her. This brings us to the Ruckersville, Va.-based Solid Ground Shelters, a service that creates a luxury camping site for you and all your friends — as in multiple tents complete with beds and furniture — at whatever location your inner diva desires. Is there any place they won’t go? “Nope,” co-owner Lauren Cecil says. “We’ve been asked to go to the Bahamas. We’ll honestly go anywhere. It’s like a hotel that you’re putting anywhere you want.”
Rates: $500-$600 per tent (two-night, 10-tent minimum per reservation.)
Open through: November (date is tentative based on bookings and weather)
Occupancy: Up to 4 people per tent, depending on the type
Rose River Farm
3099 Old Blue Ridge Turnpike, Syria, Va.
If you, like the sentient sweaty bandana known as Matthew McConaughey, often jog, hike, swim, stretch or do push-ups outside (shirt optional), then Rose River Farm is the glamping spot for you. There’s an abundance of outdoorsy things to do in and around the site, including horseback riding, guided kayaking, fly-fishing, and hiking at the nearby Old Rag Mountain and White Oak Canyon. But this is glamping, after all, and Rose River has its share of swanky amenities. The cedar yurts boast leather furniture, full baths, covered porches, fire pits and Wi-Fi. “You really get to experience nature,” owner Douglas Dear says. “But at the end of the day, there’s a nice hot shower, comfortable bed and all the modern conveniences.”
Rate: $250 per night, $1,150 for a week
Open through: year-round
Occupancy: Up to 4 people per yurt