Travel trends come and go, and for every fad that eventually gets committed to the tourism equivalent of Room 101 (extreme heat holidays, anyone? - have a google) there is one that becomes entrenched in the collective travel psyche. Having burst onto the scene in the mid noughties, glamping has become something of a travel tour de force with the number of luxury tented camps and lodges across the globe exploding over the last decade. One region in particular, however, seems to have really committed to the theme and has the glamping gig down to a fine art: Asia. The combination of no-expenses spared comfort, artisanal design and beautiful locations puts it top of the class in the glamping stakes, and here are a few of our very favourite glamping spots in Asia…
Kishkinda Camp, Hampi, India
Kishkinda Camp is the latest offering from The Ultimate Travelling Company, a hotel group which, unsurprisingly given its moniker, lays claim to India's finest tented camps. Kishkinda is a triumph of colonial safari design with four-poster canopy beds, leather trunks and dark wood furniture; in fact, the word glamping can't really do justice to the camp's palatial peak-roofed tents. Then there's the camp's location, on the doorstep of the ancient village of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site littered with ruins from the Vijayanagara Empire, which was at the height of its power in the 15th and 16th Centuries.
Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Perhaps the most aesthetically unique camp on the list is Wild Coast Tented Lodge, which sits on a beach at the meeting point between the Indian Ocean and the lush jungle of Yala National Park, hands down the best place on the planet for leopard safaris. 28 arched fabric cocoons are dotted amongst the boulders and foliage of the rugged landscape and the tents themselves combine traditional colonial décor with contemporary design. Think free-standing copper baths, teak floors, private pools and chandeliers hanging from the vaulted canvas ceilings.
Capella Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
We may have jumped the gun on this one (given it doesn't actually open until May 2018) but such is our confidence that Capella Ubud will knock your socks off that we couldn't resist. Nestled between verdant rainforest, rice paddy fields and the Wos River, Capella Ubud exposes guests to the very best of Balinese scenery. Its 22 safari-style tents have private plunge pools and decks, traditionally ornate Indonesian furniture and open air bathrooms with roll top baths. The hotel also has an Auriga Spa, a library and two restaurants… they don't make camp sites like that in the UK.
Shinta Mani Wild, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Another new kid on the glamping block is Shinta Mani Wild, which doubles as a hyper-luxurious tented camp and wildlife conservation project. Shinta Mani is located on the border of three National Parks - Kirirom, Bokor and Cardamom, home to elephants, bears and tigers, but also prone to poaching, logging and mining. Owner Bill Bensley set up the camp in the unprotected corridor between the parks in order to protect the region and provide sustainable opportunities for the local community, therefore preventing said poaching, logging and mining. So not only will you get to stay in a custom-designed tent overlooking a fast-flowing river and experience the amazing wildlife in the surrounding area, but you can feel all warm and fuzzy inside that you're doing your bit to protect this astoundingly beautiful part of Cambodia's wilderness.
Four Seasons Tented Camp, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Last but by no means least is the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Thailand. Set amongst the bamboo forests of the northerly Chiang Rai province, each of its 15 spacious tents, which overlook the Ruak River, are treated as a work of art, decorated with themed décor and local artefacts. Think large decks, copper-hammered bathtubs and beautiful views up to the misty mountains of Laos. Guests arrive by traditional long boat and the camp offers a whole host of authentic local experiences, from visiting villages to touring temples and travelling to an elephant sanctuary.