5 Best Luxury Tents
You don't have to rough it in the wild. Adam Barnes gets back to nature in style
Saturday 07 February 2004
Vast, Mughal-style tents soar to six-metre canopies, with cotton screens separating sleeping, bathing and dressing areas in this six-tent camp on the edge of Rajasthan's Ranthambhore National Park. Surrounded by the former hunting grounds of the Maharajah of Jaipur, the area is still home to leopards, tigers, hyenas, antelopes, gazelles and crocodiles. The tents are furnished with enormous daybeds, sunken baths, air-conditioning and heating. Open November to June. Single or double occupancy costs $2,300 (£1,265) for three nights full-board and one night at The Manor in Delhi. Transfers and park entry extra.
00 800 2255 2626; www.amanresorts.com
The Outpost, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Canada
The Outpost is situated in the north of Vancouver Island. A horse-drawn pioneer wagon takes you from the dock to your white canvas tent, which is based on those of the 19th-century prospectors. They had to cope without propane woodstoves, down duvets, Persian carpets and antiques; you, happily, do not. Cedar boardwalks link tents to shower facilities, lounge tent, massage tent and dining areas. There are miles of trails and old logging roads to explore, and days can be spent kayaking, canoeing, biking, hiking, riding, fishing or bear- and whale-watching. Three-night packages from Can$4,750 (£1,970) per person based on double occupancy, including return floatplane to Vancouver.
001 250 726 8235; www.wildretreat.com
Al Maha, UAE
Less than one hour from the high-rise hub of Dubai is the chic eco-tourism encampment of Al Maha, set in a conservation reserve. The tents are designed in luxurious Bedouin-style, with three staff to each suite and floor-to-ceiling windows offering desert views across a private pool. During the day, desert activities include horseriding, camel rides, falconry, dune-driving and nature walks, then, as evening falls, champagne sundowners in the dunes. Double occupancy from $1,170 (£645) per night, including meals and two activities.
00 971 4 303 4222; www.al-maha.com
Fundu Lagoon, Tanzania
This resort, on the south-west coast of the island of Pemba, is the creation of the British fashion designer Ellis Flyte (the staff waft by in kaftan-style tops and sarongs). Rooms are a safari-on-the-beach affair: dark-green tents under thatched roofs. It's rustic yet luxurious, blending into the vegetation, the main areas linked by wooden walkways. There's miles of white beach and not a lot else apart from watersports: snorkelling, waterskiing, fishing, sailing and kayaking. Pristine coral reefs surround the island, and it's one of the top diving locations in the Indian Ocean. Rooms are $300 (£165) per person per night based on double occupancy, all-inclusive; $240 (£132) from 1 March.
00 255 24 22 32 926; www.fundulagoon.com
Finch Hattons, Kenya
The safari style of the English hunter Denys Finch Hatton has come to epitomise the Out of Africa fantasy. Fine china, crystal and Mozart on the gramophone were the order of the day, and today that ethos thrives in the camp that bears his name. The bar is open all day, breakfast and lunch are served on the terrace with views of Mt Kilimanjaro, and dinner is a formal, six-course affair. Magnificent tented suites line the banks of the spring and have brass fittings, writing desks, en-suite bathrooms and forest views. The camp lies at the heart of Tsavo West National Park, part of Kenya's single largest game reserve. Tented suites cost $370 (£205) full-board (prices fall to $285 (£155) 22 April to 30 June.)
020-8750 5655; www.finchhattons.com
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