Camping in Style
Roughing it is a thing of the past when you and the kids check into a new breed of wilderness camps from Bermuda to Hawaii. Pitching a tent? Someone’s already done it for you. And instead of having to squeeze into a one-man cocoon that is always either too hot or not warm enough, at these camps you’ll sleep easy on canopy beds outfitted with lavish down pillows. After a hike, horseback ride or swim, you and your brood get to spread out in comfortable sitting areas and private decks, book a spa appointment or have someone fix you a cocktail. Never mind the flashlight. Your elegant tent is furnished with luxurious touches (area rugs, rustic wall art, throw pillows) and bedside lamps—the better to read at night with. So trade in that bug juice for a fresh made lemonade and get back to nature, in style.
BERMUDA: 9 BEACHES
WHAT TO EXPECT All 84 soft sailcloth-sided tents sit on stilts and feature queen beds, a futon sofa, ensuite bathrooms with showers, table and chairs and French doors that open to spectacular verandas from which to watch the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean.
WHAT TO DO Take a kiteboarding lesson, visit all nine beaches on a sea kayak or explore the island’s Old Railway Trail by bike.
WHO IT’S FOR There are Wi-Fi spots and an internet station for those who “unplugged” means checking email once a day (okay three times) only. The resort loans iPod shuffles free of charge. Ceiling fan not enough to keep you cool? No worries, each cabana is outfitted with air conditioning.
BOOK IT Six “Paradise Pier Cabanas” branch off on the pier over the deepest water at the resort and feature plexiglass floor panels so you can watch the Technicolor fish swim below.
DON’T MISS A Barefoot Gourmet Meal. You pick the time (Sunset? Sunrise? Happy hour?) and place (a secluded beach, a romantic cove) and the chef will organize a gourmet picnic complete with beach blankets, a cooler and wine bucket and tiki torches.
PACK RIGHT Caribbean Joe Malibu 28″ Hardside Spinner Luggage in Magenta is the bag for this tropical paradise.
LOCATION Spread over 18 private waterfront acres on the western-most tip of Bermuda. www.9beaches.com
COLORADO: DUNTON HOT SPRINGS
WHAT TO EXPECT An elegantly recreated 19th-century mining community complete with antique hand-hewn log cabins and a luxurious Tee Pee nestled in the Rocky Mountains. A river surrounds the property while the snow-capped mountains loom in the distance.
WHAT TO DO There’s more hiking, snowshoeing, skiing and fly-fishing than you’ll ever be able to fit in one weekend.
WHO IT’S FOR For the couple who seeks a Wild West adventure with luxe standards.
BOOK IT Sure, the log cabins are stunning but how often do you get to sleep in a Tee Pee decorated with a king-size pillow-top bed and Egyptian cotton sheets, bearskin rug and period furniture?
DON’T MISS A soak in one of four hot springs, a drink in the all-wood saloon bar and a peaceful read in the book-lined lounge.
PACK RIGHT Cowboys and cowgirls in training will love the Siamod Cozzani Leather 21″ Pullman Upright Suitcase
LOCATION The “Ghost Town” is located one hour from Telluride, Colorado. www.duntonhotsprings.com
BRITISH COLUMBIA: CLAYOQUOT WILDERNESS RESORT & SPA
WHAT TO EXPECT Along the Bedwell River’s edge and beneath a rainforest canopy are 23 deluxe white canvas prospector-style tents built on raised wooden platforms and connected by cedar boardwalks. Adirondack-style beds dressed with plush down duvets, antique dressers and lavish area rugs complete the look. A remote-controlled propane wood-stove keeps things cozy when the temperature drops. At Bedwell River Outpost, sumptuous meals are served in separate tents under heirloom oil lamps and candlelight.
WHAT TO DO Lush fern gardens, alpine valleys, volcanic beachscapes and thousands of pristine acres perfect for hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, fishing and whale watching.
WHO IT’S FOR Eco-conscious travelers who relish bird watching and naturalist hikes as much as Aveda body products and evening turndown service.
BOOK IT Suite Tents are located across a timber bridge and perched on a hillside overlooking the estuary. Furnished with a convertible chesterfield and a large lounge area with a small games table, they’re perfect for families with kids.
DON’T MISS An early morning walk around the campground to spot black bears feasting on berries in spring or early summer.
PACK RIGHT Piel Leather 24 Inch Duffel Bag features three front gusseted compartments, two inside pockets, and two side pockets for maximum space for clothing and accessories.
LOCATION Sound Biosphere Reserve, just 60 minutes by floatplane from Vancouver, Canada. www.wildretreat.com
CALIFORNIA: EL CAPITAN CANYON
WHAT TO EXPECT 26 roomy (12-by-14-foot) safari-style tents built on raised wooden decks and outfitted with hand-woven willow queen beds, bedside lanterns and private fire pits right outside zip-down flap doors. A car-free policy in the canyon means you won’t hear the SUV door slamming in the middle of the night.
WHAT TO DO Borrow a complimentary cruiser bike and explore on your own or take a horseback riding lesson.
WHO IT’S FOR Rushing to a campsite to find a shady spot, then clearing the ground for rocks to pitch a tent is not your idea of fun. At El Capitan everything’s set up for you so you can get right down to the business at hand: a surf lesson, kayaking, yoga class or doing nothing at all.
BOOK IT If you think a safari tent is still roughing it, then opt for one of 100 cedar cabins with all the creature comforts—electricity, kitchenette, Jacuzzi—you have come to expect of a romantic getaway.
DON’T MISS After a long day of hiking or wine touring, book an 85-minute stone massage right in your tent followed by a gourmet barbecue kit from the campground’s Canyon Market and Deli.
PACK RIGHT Travelers Club Sport Duffel 29 Inch Wheeled Duffel with Telescopic Handle has plenty of space for you to pack everything you need when planning an adventure. It features a spacious main compartment, two large front pockets and a convenient in-line blade wheel system.
LOCATION Nestled in the Los Padres National Forest, just 20 miles north of Santa Barbara, California. El Capitan State Beach is a five-minute walk from the camp. www.elcapitancanyon.com
HAWAII: MOLOKAI RANCH
WHAT TO EXPECT Once a Hawaiian fishing village, the Beach Village at Molokai sits within 65,000 acres of unspoiled pastureland. The 40 two-bedroom solar-powered canvas tentalows—outfitted with private open-air bathrooms and plenty of hanging out areas including a deck and covered picnic table—are perched on platform decks and clustered around a double-crescent white-sand beach.
WHAT TO DO Mountain biking, archery, cultural hikes, snorkeling, kayaking and hammock surfing.
WHO IT’S FOR Laid back families seeking a secluded haven complete with crystal waters, protected coves, nightly campfires and Hawaiian Aloha.
BOOK IT Ask the Beach Village Host to arrange a mule ride down the 1,500-foot cliffs to famous Kalaupapa.
DON’T MISS A Paniolo (Hawaiian for cowboy) round-up in an authentic rodeo arena.
PACK RIGHT Olympia Napoleon 3 Piece Luggage Set includes a carry-on and two rolling cases, perfect for mom, dad and the kid. An interior side hanging zipper pocket, removable shoe pocket & double side dual buckle tie-belt will accommodate all your travel essentials.
LOCATION Kaupoa Beach, the site of an ancient fishing village in Molokai, Hawaii. www.molokairanch.com