New Trend: What is hotel style glamping
Over the last decade, the hotel industry has been in somewhat of a transition.
The ardent quest of the average staycationer, holiday maker, urban explorer, or digital nomad has transcended the neon corridors and awkward morning buffet rituals. To remove the bustling lobby cluttered with mounds of luggage and snaking trails of arrivals and departures is to liberate the adventurer from one more set of bland inconveniences that absorb the precious time that any of us have. Airports and other transport networks may never truly escape from the limitations inherent to their function, but beyond those confines, we explorers should be granted passage no longer restricted to old traditions, unless we opt in to that of course.
The modern traveler has choices now. A lot of choices in fact. Conventional is old hat. To stray from the path and stay somewhere unique is part of the overall experience. Whether city or rural bound, the chasm of possibilities continues to expand when choosing where to rest our head.
Let's consider boutique hotels for a moment and the Wikipedia definition;
"A boutique hotel is a small hotel which typically has between 10 and 100 rooms in settings with upscale accommodations and individualized unique selling points (USPs)."
Boutique hotels started appearing back in the 80s with the likes of Chip Conley heralding the movement with JDV Hotels. The original premise was to create smaller hotel establishments that carry individual personas based on their location or theme. By the time Airbnb came along in 2008, there was already an abundance of boutique hotels around the world providing people with alternative short-term accommodation. Airbnb took the baton and went even further bringing living rooms, treehouses, lighthouses, and pretty much anything with walls and a roof to the masses for global individualistic travel experiences.
Glamping (glamorous camping) had appeared long before the boutique movement. In fact, it could be dated back to the 1500s when Kings would have palatial tents erected in fields as they traveled long distances. The term has become somewhat synonymous with festival goers lightening their wallets even further in the pursuit of hot showers and mattresses in yurts over portaloos and leaking ground soaked tents. Camping sites in Europe have evolved to incorporate more modern facilities though predominantly these are shared facilities and still relatively basic in operation and infrastructure. However, the next wave of glamping is something different…
Glamping has evolved to fixed structures in nature that offer the modern comforts and facilities of hotel living. No longer relegated to a field in the middle of nowhere, this level of glamping provides landscaped surroundings beyond electric gates. Materials and finishes are high end, premium services and amenities are baked in, attention is applied to the smallest details to ensure a quality stay for the discerning traveler. Expectations are intended to be surpassed. Modern technology blends with natural elements. Sustainability should be core to the values of hotel style glamping. The continued longevity and renewal of its surroundings are top priority. Gifting every guest with an immersive experience that provides escapism and wellness is at the beating heart of hotel style glamping and ensuring minimal impact to the environment whilst catering to modern needs is the balancing act to strive for.
One such hotel style glamping experience is Tara Hill Estate.
Nestled amidst 10 acres of hillside in the heart of the sunny south east of Wexford, Ireland, Tara Hill Estate provides luxury accommodation, relaxing surroundings and a base for outdoor adventures. From arrival, visitors ascend the private sweeping driveway up into the hill taking in the vista from the moment their stay begins. Reachable only by private pathways, guests are accommodated in luxurious one-bedroom Wild Rooms suites featuring underfloor heating, indoor and outdoor waterfall showers, king-size beds, duck feather and down pillows, quartz worktops, dedicated high speed wifi, self catering kitchenettes, and private outside dining and relaxation areas. The Wild Rooms boast 8ft high windows framing stunning views over the countryside and Irish Sea. The traditional courtyard is presided over by a 100yr old olive tree that is flanked on all sides by the old outbuildings, views of the sea and the Sea Forest Lodge. The Lodge is a converted working mill boasting an open plan mezzanine living area with spiral staircase to the master bedroom, self catering kitchen including washer/dryer and private bathroom, dedicated WiFi, and a private terrace garden.
Having only opened in June 2021, Tara Hill Estate has already welcomed more than 1200 guests through its gates. Modern technology has provided a seamless self check-in process. Every guest is equipped with their own personal guest app before arrival empowering them with all the guidance and information they could need to maximize their stay all from a mobile device. A number of experiences are now available to book through the app ranging from delicious breakfast trays brimming with wholesome goodies to fresh on-site stone baked pizzas, wine selections from the cellar, local organic salads, indulgent grazing boxes full of local artisan produce, and traditional hampers laden with premium treats. All can be ordered and delivered through the app. Other extras include private yoga or reiki sessions in the wellness room and guests can also stroll to the beach for a refreshing sea swim followed by a heated outdoor Wild Room shower. The hotel style glamping experience is powerful and revitalizing for both body and mind and should be something we all experience whenever we can. After all, nothing provides a more wholesome reset than the presence of nature.