Convening with Nature … on Your Own Level

If you’ve entertained the notion of camping but could never actually bring yourself to forgo such crucial creature comforts as running water and comfy beds, consider the following ecosensitive luxury tented camps. It’s the latest trend for those of us who want to get back to nature — and still be pampered. Unfortunately, in some cases, it can be taxing on the pocketbook.

1-The Four Seasons ( just opened a swanky tented camp in the Golden Triangle region of Northern Thailand (near Chiang Rai, which is a 75-minute flight from Bangkok and served by local airlines). There are just 15 canvas tents outfitted with muslin-draped king-size beds, copper tubs, hand-carved crafts, and a spacious deck overlooking neighboring Burma/Myanmar and Laos. Guests can enjoy elephant rides through the bamboo jungle, river rafting, Thai massages, and campfire dinners. From $1,082 per night, with three-night minimum; includes lodging, all meals and beverages, activities, and transfers.

2-At Safari West (, a 400-acre wildlife preserve in Santa Rosa, California (an hour north of San Francisco), you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the Serengeti. Take a safari tour in an open-sided vehicle, where you’ll spot giraffes, antelopes, and other wildlife, and then enjoy a meal in the Savannah Café. Lodging is in canvas tents complete with wooden floors, animal-print throw pillows on the beds, and decks overlooking the preserve. $225 with breakfast.

3-On the western side of Vancouver Island sits Clayoquot Wilderness Resort’s Outpost at Bedwell River ( Its 18 canvas tents feature Adirondack-style beds, feather pillows, Oriental rugs, and remote-controlled propane stoves. Guests can sip wine before a meal of Clayoquot Sound oysters or Dungeness crab served on china in the dining tent. From $1,384 per night, with three-night minimum; includes lodging, all meals and beverages, activities, and some transfers.

4-Hot-stone massages and down comforters create a far-from-roughing-it vibe at El Capitan Canyon (, on the coast about 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara. The 26 raised tents have handcrafted willow beds and contemporary lamps, and activities include biking and kayaking. There are fire pits for cooking — though the Canyon Market sells gourmet sandwiches and s’mores. From $115, not including meals.

5-Located in Central Australia, Longitude 131° ( is in the shadow of Ayers Rock (also known by its aboriginal name, Uluru) and has 15 elevated canvas tents outfitted with king-size beds, CD players, private baths, and a sliding glass door that opens onto the dramatic red monolith. After a challenging hike, enjoy Hervey Bay scallops or kangaroo filets in the tented Dune House or under the stars at Table 131. From $1,105 per night, with two-night minimum; includes lodging, all meals and beverages, activities, and transfers (local air service available from most major Australian cities).