With indoor spaces being off limits or restricted (due to the global pandemic) and the great outdoors getting a bit chillier, there’s an accommodation option that strikes the right balance. Glamping. You’ve probably heard of ‘glamour camping’ – upscale, framed tents with real furniture (and often heating options, like a wood fireplace) and, typically, private bathroom facilities and a cookhouse. What could be a better way to socially distance, and yet experience Ontario’s beautiful September?
Here are a few options across Ontario:
You don’t need to book a trip to Africa to get that exotic Safari feel – at least when it comes to your accommodations. The camp’s Safari tents are decked out with vintage carpets, real wood furniture, armchairs, and crisp white linens. On site amenities include a saltwater pool and hot tub as well as hiking. Dine outside at the Watering Hole Lounge – open daily to serve cocktails and wood-fired pizza.
Located in Grafton, Whispering Springs provides guests with plenty of opportunity for pampering. Nearby Ste Anne’s Spa is one of the best in the province and Fieldstone House Spa is a charmingly renovated 1800s farmhouse. Additionally, on site yoga and massages are offered.
Long Point Eco Adventures
Think of these tiny, individual suites as your home away from home – but with an exceptional nature view. Each wooden ‘pod’ is equipped with its own bathroom facilities, so there’s no tromping around in the dark with a flashlight at night. Just outside your front door is a firepit stocked with wood, ready for marshmallow roasting. Breakfast is provided in the Marshview Lounge, a great casual restaurant which also serves lunch and dinner (including local Lake Erie fish).
There is plenty to do on site, including zip lining, canoeing, axe throwing, fishing, and biking.
Experience the true Ontario North, get away from city lights, and sleep under the stars. This Timmins site offers charming Prospector Tents complete with handmade log furniture that will make you feel like a real northern adventurer. If you don’t feel like leaving your lakeside oasis, you can order room service delicacies delivered to your doorstep. Local food abounds, including bison, pickerel, and wild rice. Enjoy the onsite lake by canoe or pontoon boat, or charter a shuttle to take you to local waterways and waterfalls if you feel like exploring beyond the Wild Exodus site.
Harmony Outdoor Inn
Have you ever heard of an ‘outdoor inn’? The concept is simple – guests enjoy individual accommodations across a forest site and then come together at a central lodge for meals and amenities. Simple tent accommodations are nestled amongst the trees and provide plenty of privacy and quiet to enjoy the natural surroundings. In this case, you bring your own sleeping back and bedding with you. The main pavilion offers facilities to cook your own meals (you bring your choice of groceries). Relax by going for a swim, hangout in a lakeside hammock, or curl up with a good book in a Muskoka chair.
Found near Parry Sound, this unique inn boasts 16 acres of forested land, perfect for exploring.
Get a different view of Muskoka away from the million-dollar cottages and glam boathouses. Check into a Prospector tent, fully furnished with its own shower and toilet, linens, and toiletries. In cooler months, each tent has a wood burning stove. Access a private cook house with cooking equipment to make your own meals. This outfit also offers ATV and UTV rentals and tours of the region.
Get an inside look at Algonquin Park without having to lug a heavy backpack, tent, and sleeping bag through the forest. You’re escorted to the resort by antique canoe or pontoon boat. Once you arrive, everything you need for your vacation is right in your platformed tent, complete with King bed and deck for lounging. A nearby shower and washroom building is provided. Hear the wolves howl, loons on the lake, and no traffic at this resort.
Dinner is served at the excellent resort restaurant, with meals prepared by a two-time Canadian Culinary Champion.
With tents described as Lawrence of Arabia meets Muskoka, you know you’re in for a treat. These roomy tents have impeccable interior design with potted plants, a coffee maker, a chest of drawers, a goose down duvet, and table and chairs. Relax in front of your own firepit with views over Lake Bernard. Enjoy the nearby communal building with board games, foosball, a sauna, and washroom facilities.
Dining options include the Copper Fox Lounge for libations and rustic chic Bernard Room for three meals a day.