Glamping it up
Want to go camping in luxury and style without chipping those manicured nails? Let Kawai Wong and Cris Stringfellow fill you in on the basics…
Dear Time Out
I want to venture out to Tai O in my Sunseeker and frolic with the Chinese white dolphins before laying camp for the night under a starlit sky. I just have one problem. I’m a lady of luxury and I hate ‘roughing it’. I can’t seem to find a way to camp without ripping my Gucci sundress and chipping my Shellac nails. What can one do?
Very fussy camper
Oh darling, don’t sweat your MAC makeup! We totally understand your dilemma. It basically boils down to this – when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, you have everything to offer but the blood, toil, tears and sweat. You need all your creature comforts. We understand.
We’re surprised the world of glamping hasn’t collided with your’s before. But now that it has, let’s put you in the picture. The term is short for glamorous camping and it’s all about throwing out that tatty sleeping bag and replacing it with the camping equivalent of a four-poster bed. Time Out’s friend and seasoned glamper Donna Campbell explains the idea the best: if you’re going to sleep under the stars, better make it a five-star experience
Make your red-carpet entry into the glamping world with a pre-pitched tent which houses all the basic mod-cons. We recommend Palm Beach (www.palmbeach.com.hk), which is set out on a large patch of groomed-green by the never-ending Cheung Sha beach in Lantau. There’s a teepee area with about 10 large conical tents, each big enough to accommodate a four-member family comfortably.
There’s also an area with room for five oversized glamping tents to be set up. Each one has two bedrooms and a sitting room, and the accommodation offers all the basic luxury you’ll ever need. The shelter is installed with air mattresses adorned in linen and blankets. There’s also a multi-electricity socket (for your straightening tong) plus a portable air-conditioner. The site has hot showers and permanent toilets, and offers a variety of watersports courses. All you need to bring is a decent ice box (or fridge) to keep your Scottish smoked salmon and Crystal champagne chilled.
But obviously a pitched area might not necessitate the privacy you demand. Our guide to Hong Kong scenic glamping locations can help you (or your butler) pitch up at the right spot. The upside of going wild, of course, is that you have the freedom to extend (or shorten) your trip or go on any nomadic journey you please; but the downside is that there’s a lot more to lug around. Check out the essential glamping items in the photos above. In addition you will need a portable shower, toilet, diesel generator, air-conditioner...
But, fret not, if you don’t already have a helper who can organise your trip and pour your champers out for you, there are concierge services that can help – and all you need to do is to work your plastic magic. Premier membership concierge agency Quintessentially and One Concierge can organise impromptu specialists (from $10,000 for a weekend) to personalise your trip so that you don’t have to lift a single finger until the Range Rovers (and the butlers) carrying all the refrigerated Sift cupcakes and tents pull up at your doorstep.
Without further ado, turn over and show your butler where you want to go as you check out our glamping glossary and the ultimate glamping check-list.