The Sybarite's guide to luxury camping

Leave your sleeping bag at home. You're far more likely to find a four-poster bed than a groundsheet at these deluxe campsites. Ryan Levitt lives it up in the great outdoors

Love the idea of a holiday in the wild but hate the thought of leaving your hair-dryer at home? You are not alone. While the thought of camping brings delight to the wind-blown faces of rugged types who think a soggy two-week trek with a leaky tent is holiday paradise, the bulk of Britain's sane population would tend to disagree. So why not enjoy the benefits of a tented lifestyle without all the mozzies by booking into one of these five-star resorts? Canvas has never looked so good.

Love the idea of a holiday in the wild but hate the thought of leaving your hair-dryer at home? You are not alone. While the thought of camping brings delight to the wind-blown faces of rugged types who think a soggy two-week trek with a leaky tent is holiday paradise, the bulk of Britain's sane population would tend to disagree. So why not enjoy the benefits of a tented lifestyle without all the mozzies by booking into one of these five-star resorts? Canvas has never looked so good.

Clayoquot Camping, British Columbia, Canada

Between the beautiful Bedwell River on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and one of its estuaries is the ultra-luxurious Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, a 21st-century safari-style collection of white tents built on raised wooden platforms and discreetly screened by salmonberry bushes. Three tents have views of the river, four are in the rainforest, and three are perched on a promontory with stunning mountain views. Cedar boardwalks link the property together with forest trails leading to the massage rooms, stables and watersport facilities. Guests can take a former navy landing craft mountain bikes or kayaks to explore secluded beaches and remote areas.

Travelbag (0870 890 1456; www.travelbag.co.uk) offers seven-night packages to Clayoquot for £1,929 per person, including return flights with Northwest Airlines from London to Vancouver via Detroit and all-inclusive accommodation. Valid for departures from 1-30 September.

Al Maha, Dubai

Thanks to to its natural surroundings and intimate scale, Al Maha makes a nice eco-friendly change for Dubai, which is more generally known for its grandiose gilt-encrusted mega-resorts. Half resort and half animal sanctuary in the heart of the desert, it offers elegantly furnished Bedouin tents. Thirty suites designed to resemble a traditional encampment spread over an oasis set within a 25-square-kilometre desert conservation reserve. Go on a camel safari, take part in a falcon-training hunt or just enjoy the view of the Arabian oryx, grazing sand gazelles, foxes and caracals (small cats) as they pass your private wooden veranda. Don't worry about where to put your butler. Should you need to bring a servant or security guard, a residential quarter for guests' private staff is available. And no need to worry about the heat - each tent has its own private, temperature-controlled pool. Beats a freezing, algae-clogged lake any day.

Emirates Tours UK (020-7590 1444; www.emiratestours.co.uk) offers three nights at the Al Maha Desert Resort on a full-board basis starting from £1,195 per person, based on two sharing. The price also includes return flights from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester or Birmingham, transfers and activities such as archery, falconry, camel and horseriding. This year, Al Maha will be expanded to form the heart of a new Conservation Reserve.

Wilson Island, Australia

This designer-tented experience is the first foray into the world of high-life eco-living for the luxurious P&O chain of Australian resorts. A maximum of 12 guests can commune with nature on Wilson Island - a protected wilderness area in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Guests can explore the pristine reef and beach environments, including turtle and rare-bird breeding grounds, or snorkel among the coral that rings the remote cay that surrounds the atoll.

Six stylish permanent tents, each with raised timber flooring, king-sized beds and a private deck with reef views, have been set up on the island. The interiors are light and natural in order to make full use of the island's glorious sun-drenched setting, with a separate building housing the shower and dressingroom for each tent.

The three-night Wilson Island Experience ( www.wilsonisland.com) can only be booked with two nights at another World Heritage protected P&O property, Heron Island, as a five-night escape from Thursday to Monday with the first and last nights' accommodation on Heron. Booked through Turquoise Holidays (0870 443 4177; www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk) the price is £698 per person, based on two sharing, including boat transfers, accommodation and all meals. When on Wilson, all wines, beers and soft drinks are also included. Additional nights on Heron can be booked from £84 per person, based on two sharing. It can also arrange international flights on Qantas to Brisbane and internal transfers to Gladstone from £884 return in September.

Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya

For camping with a sense of history, travel back in time to the world of Cottars Safari Service. From the Cottars Bushtops homestead and classic campsite, guests are escorted by porters and guides in the style of a 1920s safari. Authentic white canvas tents furnished with four-poster beds and original antiques greet all vacationers, while dinners feature extravagant silver-service spreads, bone-china and exquisite floral arrangements. Should the weather be a bit stormy, you can read from the vast collection of Africana literature in the finely appointed library while lounging on plush carpets and pillows. You will not be able to bag an elephant to transform its feet into a coffee table, but you will be able to relive the flavour of the days when linen suits and well-pressed khakis were the height of fashion. For a truly Charleston-era experience, enjoy one of the game drives in Cottars' exclusive wooden-bodied Out of Africa-style hunting vehicle.

For a private tailor-made journey through Kenya, Journeys by Design (01273 623790; www.journeysbydesign.co.uk) offers four nights at Cottar's Camp in the Masai Mara, two nights at Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley and five nights on the Kenyan coast from £2,900 per person, based on two sharing, including transfers, full-board accommodation and activities such as day and night game drives and escorted walks. Flights must be arranged separately, but return fares to Nairobi in September start from around £600 with British Airways (0870 850 9850; www.ba.com).

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