Asia's best luxury tented camps

Asia's Best Luxury Tented Camps

(CNN) — The glamping trend has swept through Asia, with fresh luxury tented camps setting up from the region’s most pristine locations.

Asia's Best Luxury Tented Camps

The latest additions include the soon-to-open Cardamom Tented Camp as well as also Bill Bensley-designed Shinta Mani Wild, both in southwest Cambodia, as well as also Rosewood Luang Prabang from the jungles of Laos.

Better yet, many of Asia’s hottest spots provide glimpses of elephants, gibbons as well as also leopards through safari-style excursions.

Asia's Best Luxury Tented Camps

“the idea is usually different than an African safari,” John Roberts, director of elephants at the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, tells CNN Travel.

Asia's Best Luxury Tented Camps

“The nature of the forests as well as also wildlife allow you to be much more intimate. Even in deepest tiger, leopard, rhino, sloth as well as also bear territory — which has a not bad guide, you can safely walk as well as also spend time concentrating on birds, butterflies as well as also plant life between encounters with large mammals.”

Asia's Best Luxury Tented Camps

Looking for adventure which doesn’t sacrifice comfort? Here are the top luxury tent experiences from the Asia region.

Asia's Best Luxury Tented Camps

Asia's Best Luxury Tented Camps

Cardamom Tented Camp

Wildlife is usually slowly returning to the national parks around the Cardamon Tented Camp.

A collaborative project coming from YAANA Ventures sustainable travel group, Cambodia’s Wildlife Alliance conservation organization as well as also Thailand-based Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, the Cardamom Tented Camp sits on a protected stretch of land which was once a hotbed of logging as well as also poaching.
Accessible only by boat, the camp’s nine luxury tents overlook the Preak Tachan river as well as also nearby grasslands in a stretch of land in southwest Cambodia, between Botum Sakor National Park as well as also the Southern Cardamom National Park.

“The wildlife is usually slowly coming back after decades of unhindered poaching,” says Roberts, who is usually the group director of sustainability as well as also conservation at the camp, an initiative of Bangkok-headquartered Minor Group.

“We have Asiatic wild dogs, clouded leopards, mouse deer, sun bears, hog badgers, gibbons, macaques, elephants as well as also more.”

The tented experience is usually complemented by a riverside restaurant, a floating pier as well as also a slew of safari-style outings — led by Wildlife Alliance rangers — where travelers are bound to spot a mix of wildlife.

“the idea’s important to pick camps as well as also lodges which actively preserve the forest,” says Roberts.

“They will tend to possess the best guides who are often either local community ex-poachers or research scientists — or a combination of both.”

The camp is usually due to open November 1.

Shinta Mani Wild — The Bensley Collection

A fresh project coming from acclaimed resort designer Bill Bensley — in partnership with Wildlife Alliance, Fauna & Flora International, The Royal University of Phnom Penh as well as also the Cambodian government — Shinta Mani Wild aims to be an unparalleled wildlife sanctuary.

Hugged by three national parks — Kirirom, Bokor as well as also Cardamom — in southwest Cambodia, the 15 tents promise an immersive experience with nature.

A typical day could include multiple adventures, coming from river expeditions on what’s said to be Southeast Asia’s last wild estuarine system, to trekking through the forests where travelers can spot wild elephants, gibbons as well as also bears.

To spot animal migrations, the best time to visit is usually the dry season — coming from November to March.

Better yet, the beautifully designed tents incorporate elements of Cambodian architecture together with retro motifs which recall the days of colonial expeditions.

When open in mid-2018, the resort will feature a restaurant as well as also bar perched next to a waterfall serving locally sourced food, a spa as well as also also highlight conservation projects coming from The Shinta Mani Foundation.

Rosewood Luang Prabang

Also scheduled to open in early 2018, Rosewood Luang Prabang will sit about 10 minutes outside of Luang Prabang — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — in Laos.

the idea’s glamping 2.0 — picture a dense jungle, waterfalls, open-air showers, private dining decks as well as also a mix of 23 palatial villas as well as also luxury tents nestled in an untouched natural environment

In addition to the stylish accommodation, Rosewood also incorporates a Laotian bistro, bar as well as also Rosewood Spa from the works.

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

CNN Travel’s Elite Escapes visits the Four Season’s luxury tent complex in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province.

Claw-foot tubs, antique furniture, open-air showers, massive decks — the all-inclusive Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle transports travelers to the early days of exploration thanks to the handiwork of resort designer Bill Bensley.

there are 15 tents scattered amidst the jungle, plus one massive Explorer’s Lodge with two separate bedrooms as well as also a private plunge pool.

The setting of the Golden Triangle — where northern Thailand, Myanmar as well as also Laos intersect — combines dense jungles, grasslands, rivers as well as also a camp for rescued elephants.

The elephants make appearances around the tented camp from the mornings for bathing times with mahouts (elephant trainers) as well as also can be seen wandering around through the vast sanctuary.

Elsewhere on the grounds, travelers will find a bar with excellent sunset views, an open-air Thai restaurant, a wine cellar (where you can enjoy private tastings before dinner), cooking classes as well as also a spa which seems to float from the middle of the jungle.

Amanwana

Not many wild camps have views like This kind of.

Claiming its own private island as well as also marine reserve in eastern Indonesia, Amanwana takes camping to the next level.

Located on Moyo Island, the property’s 20 “tented suites” have been kitted out with high ceilings, air-conditioning, hardwood floors, king-sized beds as well as also large windows.

The two types — one surrounded by jungle, others beachfront — are within easy walking distance of the coastline, where snorkeling as well as also scuba diving will reward travelers with colorful reef life.

On the grounds, there’s also an open-air restaurant as well as also the Jungle Cove Spa — a chance to unwind from the company of macaque monkeys as well as also tamarind trees.

Those in search of more animal interactions will find loads of wildlife on jungle treks around the island.

which is usually, if the idea doesn’t find you first: Many types of fauna, including deer, are said to make appearances around the tents from the early mornings.

Sandat Glamping Tents

Hidden away from the jungles as well as also rice paddies surrounding Ubud, central Bali, Sandat Glamping Tents offers 5 luxury tents as well as also three lumbung — essentially thatched roof bungalows inspired by traditional Bali barns.

The whimsical accommodations marry elements of Balinese culture with romantic accents imported coming from Italy — where the brand introduced its first glamping experience near Venice, in 2009.

While each room has its own unique characteristics, many feature billowing drapes, Venetian-style chandeliers, four-poster beds as well as also private pools.

After a day of exploring the temples, biking through rice paddies or river rafting, there’s a lounge as well as also bar, a cathedral-like bamboo restaurant, or even a private dinner served under the stars.

as well as also if you’re here for a wellness retreat, not bad news: One of the prettiest parts of the property is usually the yoga pavilion — a gorgeous bamboo structure encircled by rice paddies.

Elephant Hills

Thailand’s Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp.

One of Thailand’s first luxury tented camps, Elephant Hills brings the tropical jungle right to your doorstep.

The company has two distinct camps — both inside Khao Sok National Park, in southern Thailand — which offer differing experiences.

As the name suggests, The Elephant Camp promises interactions with these gentle giants, many of which have been retired coming from the logging industry.

Visitors can admire the elephants in their natural habitat, as well as bathe as well as also feed them at select times during the day.

Meanwhile, the Rainforest Camp floats along Cheow Lan Lake, where canoes as well as also trekking adventures are close at hand.

although the best part might be the tranquility. Travelers open their tent flaps as well as also are just a few feet coming from the still lake — a peaceful way to start the morning.

To visit both glamping spots, travelers can opt for a Jungle Lake Safari, which includes a night at the Elephant Camp as well as also two nights on the lake.

Damodra Desert Camp

Offering a totally different type of safari, Damodra Desert Camp, in northern India, showcases the beauty of the desert.

Here, travelers can experience the vast, windswept dunes of the Thar Desert — about 18 miles outside of Jaisalmer, in Rajasthan — without sacrificing any creature comforts.

The Swiss cottage-inspired tents include air-conditioning, private patios, as well as also colorful upholstery which pays tribute to the area.

During the day, visitors will most likely partake in a camel safari or enjoy a sandboarding session on the dunes.

Come nightfall, the camp comes alive with live music as well as also Indian dinners — all under the starlit desert sky.

Norden Travel

Each of Norden Travel’s tents is usually slightly different.

Owned as well as also operated by a local Tibetan couple, Norden Travel — in China’s central Gannan region — the camp showcases the beautiful pastures as well as also rich culture with eight pinewood cabins as well as also four luxury yak-hair tents.

The rustic decor as well as also hardwood floors feels at once sophisticated as well as also cozy — the kind of place you could hole up for a while as well as also clear your mind.

Each tent as well as also cabin is usually slightly different — some nestled from the brush while others alongside the river — although all have outdoor seating areas, stoves, as well as also peaceful, pastoral views.

While the idea’s not quite a safari, a trek around the surrounding mountains as well as also hills will likely reward guests with sightings of gazelle as well as also pheasants, yaks as well as also of course sheep.

In addition, the camp also organizes horseback riding, village visits, guided hikes, yoga as well as also private tours of Labrang Monastery, one of the six major Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.

SUJÁN JAWAI as well as also Sher Bagh Relais & Chateaux

A rustic retreat in Rajasthan, SUJÁN JAWAI provides 10 white canvas tents as well as also all the modern amenities you could wish for, including an on-site spa, restaurant, swimming pool, yoga as well as also more.

Dotting the sandy Aravalli hills — a three-hour drive coming from either Jodhpur or Udaipur in northern India — the camp takes inspiration coming from its rugged surrounds, using leopard motifs, wildlife photography, as well as also lots of bright red accents throughout.

With their luxury tent as a home base, travelers can be as lazy or as adventurous as they please.

The options include private bush picnics, sunset game drives, afternoon tea, evening cocktails as well as also leisurely campfire dinners.

There’s also a half-day excursion to the incredible carved Ranakpur Jain Temple as well as also the 15th-century fort Kumbhalgarh — a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Even just wandering around the property — which is usually actively involved in big cat conservation — there’s no shortage of flora as well as also fauna to admire.

Of course, the best experience will be with guides in town. On a Jeep-led safari, the camp’s experts will lead travelers across grasslands, granite hills as well as also lakes for the best views of leopards, antelopes, crocodiles, boars as well as also flamingos.

SUJÁN JAWAI’s sister property, Sher Bagh, transports travelers to 1920s-style safaris within India’s Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve.

By day, enjoy safaris as well as also excursions as well as also British-Raj style lunches; by night, settle into a tiger-themed pad.

Tiger Tops

A twin-bed safari tent at Nepal’s Tiger Tops site.

A pioneer of sustainable tourism in Nepal, Tiger Tops was one of the first companies to set up a tented camp in Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in south-central Nepal.

“Perhaps because I spent so much time there, some of my most memorable (safari) experiences were in Chitwan,” recalls Roberts.

“coming from the breakfast golghar (a thatched, central building) at the old Tiger Tops Tented Camp, I watched rhinos mating, as well as a mother tiger as well as also her four cubs.”

In 2012, government policies required all hotels as well as also lodges to move outside of the national park.

Today, the company operates three locations across the country — including recently opened Tiger Tops Elephant Camp, with comfortable tented accommodations.

The British-Nepali company provides elephants a chain-free refuge in their natural territory, where travelers can interact as well as also observe the pachyderms’ daily routine.

Typical activities include cutting grass with the mahouts (elephant caretakers) to feed the animals or taking a jungle trek side by side.

Asia's best luxury tented camps

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