Green Travel

5 Wonderfully Earthy Glamping Sites

Camping has traditionally brought sophisticated urban dwellers out in hives, but the emergence of glamping—a hybrid of “glamor” and “camping”—has changed things. Now, luxurious yurt and tepee sites boast 100% cotton bedding, organic welcome hampers and indecently abundent tea lights. So no more struggling with a tent and airbed!

Glamping sites range from little more than a pre-erected tent with simple Ikea furnishings to something more akin to an upmarket hotel. Along the way many have missed the point—either too basic or too plush and removed from the natural surroundings.

Here is a look at five luxury camping sites that have achieved the perfect blend, providing absolute immersion in the great outdoors whilst maintaining a just-so degree of indulgence and luxury:

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Egypt’s Time-Forgotten Eco-Resort

The resort itself feels a little like the casbah in Star Wars (except without the space aliens and bar fights)

We are prepared to stand by this bold statement:

The Adrere Amellal is the single coolest eco-resort on the African continent!

Set within a scenic oasis, at the foot of a dramatic rock-mountain, amidst the desert in Egypt, the Adrere Amellal has the feel of a place time forgot. The local Berbers here still live much like they’ve done for centuries, wearing their traditional clothing, speaking their native Siwi (not Arabic) and harvesting the bountiful dates and olives by hand.

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Spend the Night in a Pipe

Spending the night in drainage pipe in a public park is a bad thing . . . usually

It’s almost like being homeless

All the charm and safety of a bomb shelter

Our rooms are no longer full of crap

We like to imagine that those were among the tag lines rejected by the Dasparkhotel, the accommodations in a suburb of Linz, Austria where guests spend the night in a recycled drainage pipe.

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The Best BPA-Free Water Bottles

Want to reduce the environmental impact of your next trip? Bring your own water bottle. Particularly if you are traveling to a tropical destination where you’d otherwise buy (and then later throw out) plastic water bottles.

Thailand alone is littered with up to a billion (with a B!) plastic water bottles according to some estimates. And water bottles are also an issue in the developed world. In the Washington DC area 1 in 5 single-use plastic water bottles sold end up in a public waterway. In London single-use water bottles became such a problem that their sales were banned.

In the face of that you wouldn’t think that you could make much difference. But let’s say you and a partner go on a two week tropical trip and each drink three bottles of water per day. If you each bring your own reusable water bottles that alone will prevent 84 disposable ones from clogging land fills or being strewn across the landscape. That’s enough water bottles that, were they placed end to end, would be higher than an eight story building!

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Controversy Tram Inn:
The Recycled Hotel

Spot Cool Stuff has seen our share of art made from found objects. One of our favorite Caribbean beach bars, Antigua’s Dune Preserve, was constructed largely with beach-scavenged goods. But the Controversy Tram Inn, located in the village of Hoogwoud, Holland, is the only hotel we know of with such a strong focus on recycled objects.

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