Getting back to nature means different things to different people. Some prefer strapping on a backpack and hiking as far into the wilderness as possible, while the very thought of sleeping on the same hard ground as unidentifiable bugs and earthworms while keeping one eye open for hungry predators, lacks all appeal to others.
There are luxury cabins in the mountains which offer satellite TV, in-room mini-bars, spas, and even fine dining options. If a guest wishes to explore nature via a well-marked path cleared of all debris or opt for a soothing therapeutic massage instead, they are away from the city and this works just fine for the less adventurous.
What if it was possible to experience the best of both worlds? Sort of. While it may not be rough and tumble enough for the rugged outdoorsy type, glamping, or camping in luxury, is quite the rage among the more affluent who prefer pretending they are braving the wilds. Who knows, perhaps in their own minds they actually are. And that’s okay as long as they have a great time and all their needs are met. Which they will be if they consider getting away from it all at either of these places.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
The only way to get to this privately owned eco-safari-style resort is via a floatplane. Once guests arrive at the dock they are transported to the resort area in a horse-drawn buggy.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is only open to guests during the warmer season and consists of 25 of the most elaborately furnished tents, complete with electricity. The top-of-the-line tents come with heated bathroom floors, toilets designed for a king’s behind, doubles sinks, private outdoor showers, a gas powered remote controlled cast iron wood stove, and of course, room, or tent, service is a given. The resort calls it luxury gone wild.
The tents are either located on the water’s edge or on a hillside overlooking the breathtaking views. Guests will sleep in comfort with goose down duvets and pillows, along with expensive linens. Thick soft cotton towels are provided for those long hot showers in the great outdoors. Let’s not forget about the complimentary plush bathrobes, slippers, top-quality toiletries, natural sunscreen, and free insect repellent. Should a guest have the unfortunate experience of spilling duck sauce or a spot of fine imported wine on themselves, there is a full complimentary laundry service.
This 600-acre playground offers horseback riding, helicopter adventures, fishing, opportunities to restore your zen, exploring the shorelines, river rafting, ocean kayaking, archery, guided exploration hikes, or just relaxing while being waited on hand and foot by a staff that almost outnumbers the guests.
If getting back to nature is on your priority list, for as much as $2,200 per person per night, you too can stay at Clayoquot Wilderness Reserve. Or you can do what most of us would do by hiking an uncharted trail, collecting your own firewood, and opening a can of Beenie-Weenies for dinner.
Cabanas Cuatrocuatros – Mexico
Much more affordable is Cabanas Cuatrocutros where guests can stay amid the vineyards and mountains of Mexico, located right next to the Pacific Ocean, for only $150 per night.
The 19 tents are all elevated on platforms and each one has a king-sized bed, A/C, a mini-bar, a chimney, and a relaxing terrace to sip on a glass of wine while viewing the gorgeous backdrop. The inner walls are wood lined, and they have full bathrooms with showers.
Located in Baja California, only eight miles from the city of Ensenada, this small resort is easily reachable from the U.S. by car. Once you arrive, there is hiking through the vineyards, mountain biking, whale watching, horseback riding, and even zip lining. Nearby there are opportunities to go skydiving, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, golfing, or just roaming the streets of Ensenada to check out their galleries and local flavors.
You can also check out the best sunsets in the world from the restaurant/bar where fine cuisine and local and imported wines are served, while you mingle with other guests or any locals who happen to stop in for a cold one or a meal. After dinner is a great time to stop by the resorts holistic relaxation center to help relieve the stresses you may have come here to rid yourself of in the first place.
Fireside Resort – Wyoming
If a tent, regardless of how extravagant it may be, is still way too much for you to even consider, but communing with nature sounds like a great idea, look no further. Go to Jackson Hole. There are 23 small cabins resembling the tiny houses people are building these days, and they all come with a full kitchen, bathroom, and other amenities to make life in the wilderness more comfortable and a lot less like actually being in the wilderness.
You can catch the latest headline news on the cabin’s TV before lighting a campfire in the provided pit. You can also burn the wood that has already been chopped up for you and neatly stacked in a pile. Simplified luxury is what the resort calls it. The cabins come furnished with king-sized TempurPedic mattresses for a comfortable beauty sleep and a leather pull-out sofa which also has a TempurPedic mattress.
Though guests are completely encapsulated by nature, skiing, snowboarding, stream fishing, hiking, exploring, and other activities are but a stone’s throw away. With excellent restaurants like the Mangy Moose and well-known bars like the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar all close at hand, visitors can enjoy the best of Jackson Hole before returning to the quietness of their more or less semi-remote accommodations.
If fighting the crowds in some heavily advertised tourist location is what you live for, ignore everything you just read and more power to you. But if getting your head on straight in some quiet place away from the unruly masses is more of what you need, even if you can’t do it in luxury, natures calling. Get hiking.