Glamping in Asia allows the best of all worlds, even for those that prefer residing in luxurious surroundings on their vacations! Many initially consider staying in a tented camp to be too rustic, but there are such a range of exquisite tented suites available that would be perfect for even the most discerning of tastes.
For me, ‘glamping’ is the perfect answer for those that want to be comfortable and well looked-after on their vacation, but also value privacy, exclusivity and flexibility! It is equally good for couples or families or groups of friends alike.
In Asia there are various options:
I cannot describe how wonderful it is; to sit at a beautifully decorated table at night under the flickering of the candelabra and listen to the sounds of the night. Glamping as a part of your safari or vacation to Asia connects you with the wilderness around you, allowing you to hear the night sounds as you sit around the campfire beneath a star-studded sky, discussing the excitement of the day.
These camps can be selected in the perfect places depending on what you want to experience, whether that is walking and exploring in the far north of India or relaxing on a beach and snorkelling in the glistening seas around Indonesia. I am delighted to include below some of my top recommendations for luxury tented holidays to Asia!
Chamba Camp in Ladakh, India: The former Buddhist Kingdom of Ladakh in the far north and the rolling hills and lush jungles in the north-east of India are two of my favourite hidden gems where you can have some of the most extraordinary cultural and outdoor adventure experiences. And for those with a penchant for finer things in life, there is no need to “rough it out”, as there are some fabulous glamping experiences in these regions that offer a perfect blend of quintessential nomadic intrepidness complemented by all the regalia and uber-exclusivity of a luxurious retreat.
Overlooking Ladakh’s largest monastery with a spellbinding backdrop of soaring Himalayan peaks, is Chamba Camp at Thiksey featuring en-suite bathrooms with hot showers, king-sized four poster beds draped in luxury linens, and private decks. A team of private butlers provide an exquisite service and delectable gourmet cuisine is curated by the camp’s private chef using locally sourced fresh produce.
Chamba Camp at Diskit, located in the remote and utterly surreal region of Nubra Valley. The journey from Thiksey to Diskit is thrilling, as you pass through the Khardung La Pass – the highest motorable road in the world, taking in some of the region’s most awe-inspiring vistas.
Aalia Jungle Bandarjudh, Himalayas: In the foothills of the Himalayas, located in the state of Uttarakhand is India’s newest luxury tented camp – Aalia Jungle Bandarjudh. Located in the vicinity of Dehradun, the camp is operational throughout the year and is an excellent base to explore the revered spiritual centre of Rishikesh.
Luxurious canvas tents with en-suite facilities and private decks and this lush region lends itself beautifully to a plethora of outdoor experiences including cycling expeditions, angling, cultural excursions in Rishikesh, wellness focused on Yoga and Ayurveda, river rafting, as well as zip lining and bungee jumping.
Kohima Camp, Nagaland: Traversing to the north-eastern corner of India, Kohima Camp in Nagaland offers an extraordinary opportunity to experience one of India’s finest and most unique cultural spectacles. This remote region is home to 16 proud ethnic tribes of fearsome warriors who once used to be feared head-hunters. Shrouded in mystery, the tribes have remained remarkably traditional and cut off from the mainstream society.
One of the best ways to experience their unique culture and rituals is during the annual ten-day Hornbill Festival in early December where all the 16 Naga tribes come together to showcase their cultural heritage through amazing performances focused around crafts, archery and wrestling, food fairs, singing and dancing, fun games such as chili eating contest and greased bamboo pole climbing, literature, as well as religious ceremonies.
The Kohima Camp coincides with the main festival and makes for a very comfortable base with private luxury tents, gourmet cuisine and services of a private butler.
Kaafila, almost anywhere in India! My favourite luxury, private mobile camp in India is Kaafila. Owned by my good friend Hashim, who happens to be one of the best guides and most knowledgeable naturalists in Asia, this camp can be set up away from civilization where yours is the only footprint. The camp is erected in the most fabulous areas for wildlife or culture; amongst magnificent, ancient architecture, between villages or on the fringes of remote National Parks, so one can explore in a truly uncommercial manner.
Amanwana on Moyo Island, Indonesia Set between lush rainforest and turquoise, coral-rich Flores Sea, and boasting some of the most diverse and spellbinding marine ecosystems in the world, the mystical island of Moyo is spread across 32,000 hectares of protected nature reserve. It’s a place where you can completely immerse yourself in nature indulging in incredible scuba diving and snorkeling, jungle treks, waterfall excursions and mountain biking, sailing and motorboat trips, as well as lounging on pristine white-sand beaches.
SUJÁN JAWAI, Rajasthan, India: The last word in style, this place is simply heavenly, set in the most beautiful valley. Here one can see the greatest concentration of the Indian leopard and see village life untouched for hundreds of years. Incredible rooms, food and service.
Oberoi Rajvilas luxury tented suites, Rajasthan, India: Although part of the large Oberoi hotel, they do have some tented rooms here which are beautiful. A halfway house, which gives you the feel of being in a tent yet allows you all the luxuries of a five-star resort. Located in the pink city of Jaipur.
SUJÁN The Serai, Rajasthan, India: Extraordinary camp in Jaisalmer at the edges of the desert. Simply beautiful, with cool, flowing tented rooms and the chance to explore the desert city which is simply stunning. Amazing food and décor.
Rosewood Luang Prabang Hilltop Tents in Laos: An ode to Laos’ rich heritage, this stunning luxury resort is a fabulous fusion of traditional Laotian and French colonial elements. The stylish hilltop tents overlook lush mountains and paddy fields. This is an ideal base to explore the ancient royal capital’s bustling streets and ornate temples, or venture into the lush surroundings on a Mekong boat trip to discover ancient caves and riverside villages.
Star bed at Jamtara Wilderness, India: One of the most exhilarating experiences is to sleep out under the stars with all the night sounds around you. Jamtara Wilderness, located at Pench National Park, has the most beautiful one I’ve seen in Asia. You sleep out on a raised deck in a four-poster bed, swathed in gossamer-thin nets, so you can still see the stars. Jamtara is perfectly located for tiger safaris into Pench National Park.
Images by kind courtesy of: SUJAN, The Ultimate Travelling Camps, Aman Hotels, Rosewood Hotels, Kaafila Camps and Jamtara Wilderness.