From luxurious tented suites to charming treehouses, these retreats offer the bliss of the great outdoors with all the comforts of a posh hotel
If you want all the adventure and being-one-with-nature feeling of camping but are not particularly keen on roughing it out (and we hear you), glamping aka glamorous camping is for you. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors without compromising on creature comforts. Equipped with beds with pristine linens, en-suite bathrooms (even bathtubs!), high-quality amenities and offering curated experiences, these glamping retreats across India pull out all the stops.
1. Leopard spotting at Brij Jawai, Rajasthan
With just four tented suites, Brij Jawai is an intimate glamping retreat in the heart of Rajasthan’s leopard country. Each apartment-sized tent comes with a 25-foot canopied ceiling, chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling doors and windows, an open-to-sky shower area (plus indoor cubicle), and four al fresco sit-outs. The decor celebrates local materials and crafts—think hand block-printed fabrics from a local artisan, marble and stone from Banswara, Kota or Karauli, locally sourced one-piece stone bathtubs in each suite, and more.
Pro-tip: Book one of the two tents with a private plunge pool and endless views of the rugged landscape—guests have even spotted leopards on the opposite hill from here, so keep your eyes peeled! After your morning swim, ask for a floating breakfast tray to be delivered straight to your pool.
2. Beach bumming at Otter Creek Tents, Goa
If you think North Goa is too crowded, touristy, and filled with party people, Elsewhere will probably change your mind. Flanked by the sea and a saltwater creek, this secluded boutique retreat in Mandrem offers Portuguese-style beach villas and tents, all set amidst swaying coconut trees. Otter Creek Tents is a collection of three idyllic tents, each outfitted with a four-poster bed, en-suite bath, a sit-out with easy chairs, and a bamboo jetty jutting over the creek. The resort is open only between October and May.
Pro-tip: Book a massage in the privacy of your tent; depending on whether you want a therapeutic, calming, or rejuvenating massage, your therapist may use a combination of Ayurvedic oils, powders, and/or local alcohol.
3. A Himalayan sojourn at Chamba Camp Diskit, Ladakh
Nestled in an oasis in the remote Nubra Valley in Ladakh, Chamba Camp Diskit offers stunning 360-degree mountain vistas. Standing on thick concrete decks, its canopied tents are elegant and spacious, done up in earthy brown and orange tones. Colonial-style furniture abounds with travel trunk detailing. Each tent opens into a private sit-out with direct views of the Diskit monastery perched dramatically in a mountain gorge. The camp is open only between May and September.
Pro-tip: Ask the staff to organise a morning prayer ritual at Diskit Gompa, the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery in Nubra Valley where you can seek blessings from the towering Maitreya Buddha.
4. Jungle safaris at The Bison, Karnataka
Think rustic African-style canvas tents combined with the aesthetics of hunting lodges of the British Raj, and you will get an idea of what to expect at The Bison, which boasts of prime location on the shores of the Kabini River in Karnataka. The superbly appointed tents come with four-poster double beds, wooden floors, vintage artefacts, en-suite showers, and private sit-outs. All tents overlook the forest and most offer backwater views as well. For ultimate luxury, book The Little Bison, which comes with a valet and personal lounge and dining spaces.
Pro-tip: Sign up for a night motorboat ride on the Kabini backwaters and experience the forest like never before. Toast to nature with a drink from a small bar that’s set up on the boat.
5. A coffee trail at Tranquil Resort, Kerala
Tucked away in a 126-year-old, 400-acre working coffee and spice plantation in Wayanad, Tranquil Resort lives up to its name. While they offer a selection of rooms, suites, and cottages, it’s the tree house or tree villa that you want to book to live out your ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ fantasies. Both these spaces are expansive with a wrap-around verandah (which features interwoven coffee branches trellis) and eco-friendly wood and cane decor, plus sweeping views of the lush plantation below.
Pro-tip: Sign up for a cooking class with the head chef and learn to whip up some authentic Kerala fare.