Three adventurous glamping holidays

Cynefin Retreats
A crisp autumn night is the perfect time to visit Cynefin Retreats

Banish leaky tents and cold baked beans by bagging a luxury camping spot. Nicole Garcia Merida reports.

Cosy minimalism in the Brecon Beacons

These luxury glamping pods are nestled on the edge of Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. Cynefin Retreats is “surrounded by towering and dramatic mountains”, says the Evening Standard’s Laura Hampson. You can expect “twinkling skies” and enjoy charming nearby towns, such as Hay-on-Wye. The pods are minimalist, yet do not skimp on luxury. Floor-to-ceiling windows stare out into the Welsh woodland and a glass door leads you to a spacious, cosy deck with a hot tub and barbecue grill. It’s “the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine and soothe your muscles after spending the day hiking, swimming or cycling”.

The area “is a nature-enthusiast’s paradise, with endless hill and valley ranges and forests rich in diverse trees and foliage”, adds Hampson. But if you’re more of an indoor type, the pods also feature underfloor heating and a wood-burning stove. You’ll enjoy it in any season, but a cold, crisp autumn night feels like the perfect time to go, whether you’re looking to go hiking or finally finish reading that book.


Blend in with nature

Lindis, Ahuriri Valley, New Zealand

The pods at the Lindis in the pristine Ahuriri Valley in New Zealand offer such an immersive glamping experience that it’s almost as though they’re not even there. The pods are made with reflective one-way glass, meaning they merge into and reflect the landscape while allowing panoramic views of the vast surrounding fields and snowy mountain tops. “The pods are the epitome of rustic chic, with an emphasis on the chic,” says Julie Delahaye in the Daily Mirror. They are decked out with luxury bedding, elegant wooden interiors and an en-suite bathroom.

Each pod comes with a private deck and a hot tub and the Lindis, the main hotel, is just a short walk away. It hosts an on-site restaurant with a delectable menu and a fully stocked bar.

It’s ideal if you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, too. “The pods boast some impressive eco-friendly credentials, such as geothermal heat pumps, rainwater harvesting systems and state of the art insulation,” says Delahaye.


A desert oasis

Al Badayer Oasis in the United Arab Emirates lives up to its name. This desert haven offers a “true taste” of the Emirati lifestyle, says Ashfaq Ahmed in Gulf News. Al Badayer is already a popular area for tourists keen on camping, but now those who don’t want the hassle of setting up camp on a sand dune can enjoy it too. There are ten deluxe tents to choose from, each “quintessentially Arabian” and fitted with modern comforts.

They overlook burnt orange sand dunes and clear skies that will make you feel entirely off the grid. You won’t be, though, as the complex boasts high-speed internet and cable television as well as an indoor pool and gym.

Al Badayer Oasis offers “customised desert experiences featuring dune bashing, buggies, quad biking, horse riding, desert safaris and camel tours,” says Ahmed. Falcon shows and archery games, meanwhile, afford a “true taste of Emirati culture”.