Maybe you’ve never camped before. Or you just enjoy the finer things in life. Perhaps you were a camper before but resolved at some point to never sleep on the ground again.
If you’re any of the above, then glamping may be for you. This ‘glamorous camping’ is a booming trend across the travel industry. Luxury camps, often inspired by African safari camps, are popping up all over.
The concept is simple. Find a pristine, somewhat remote, untrammeled outdoor landscape, build a minimalist structure (cabin, yurt, tee-pee, treehouse, etc.), then pimp it out with all the amenities you possibly can. We're talking jacuzzis, fine linens, full leather sofas... you get the picture.
And, luckily, the Tri-state isn't immune to the glamping trend. Here are a few glamping options, all within driving distance from the Queen City.
THE INN AT CEDAR FALLS’ YURTS
Logan, OH 43138
(138 miles east of Cincy)
A yurt is a reinforced, circular tent descended from those used by nomadic peoples around Mongolia. Now there are companies that manufacture yurt kits in the U.S., and the Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills opened their yurts in 2017.
“They’ve been such a success,” notes innkeeper Ellen Grinsfelder. “Guests love them, guests of all agents. Repeat guests, millennials, grandparents and boomers — they’re all just loving the yurts.”
And these yurts certainly bring the glamour with robes, plush comforters, homemade cookies, and a hearty breakfast. They have AC and heat, as well as a microwave and an under-the-counter refrigerator. There are no TVs, but Wi-Fi is accessible.
Rates start at $199 per night, although there are peak and off-season rates too.
THE WILDS' NOMAD RIDGE
14000 International Rd
Cumberland, OH 43732
(180 miles northeast of Cincy)
Another yurt experience can be found in Cumberland, Ohio. Sitting on 14 square miles, The Wilds is a private, non-profit safari park that's also one of the largest wildlife conservation centers for endangered species in North America.
Their Nomad Ridge yurts are adult-only retreats for parties of two. The yurts overlook the rolling Wilds’ landscape from a private deck where you can gather around a fire pit and enjoy a view unobstructed by city buildings or urban lights.
Complimentary dinner and breakfast are included, as is one safari drive, and a concierge is available 24 hours a day. The yurts offer various bed options and all come with a deck and Wi-Fi.
Prices start at $365 per night on weekends ($100 less Monday through Thursday), and member discounts are available.
THE CANOPY CREW TREE HOUSE RENTALS
5675 Belmont Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45224
When in the Red River Gorge, it's important to enjoy the full beauty of the rolling Kentucky hills, forest canopy, and craggy cliff faces. But you don’t generally look up to find your lodging. With Canopy Crew’s tree houses, that’s exactly how you’ll find them.
Canopy Crew actually builds tree houses all around North America. It started when founder Django Kroner moved into the Gorge to rock climb. He built himself a tree house and lived in it for three years. When friends came over, they'd ask how they could get a tree house of their own.
Kroner apprenticed with a local arborist before launching his company in 2013. Two years later, he built his first guest-ready tree house, the 'Sylvan Float.'
That particular tree house is smaller and more rustic, with battery-powered lights and a compost toilet. The other two are the opposite. ‘Observatory’ boasts a glass ceiling and walls, complete with high-powered telescope. There’s a crane to hoist your luggage. ‘Tradewinds’ was built for families and has full electricity, hot tub, and a slide back down to the forest floor.
All are heated and insulated, have hammocks built into the decks, and offer easy access to hiking, rock climbing, canoeing and more.
Rates run between $150 to $550 per night year-round. Peak seasons are spring and fall and fill up two or three months in advance.
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Scroll back to the top and visit the photo gallery to see 'glamping' in action. Prices of venues may vary from the time this piece was originally published.