Move over, camping. Glamping is in.
There's a strange phenomenon going on in New York City: luxurious camping. According to this recent Associated Press article, luxurious camping, also known as "glamping," these so-called camping options give customers the option of sleeping underneath the stars without actually having to give up the creature comforts of a five-star hotel room. With Upper East Side hotels offering patio tent beds, or a Central Park establishment that includes an outdoor bedroom - complete with a fireplace, a TV, a queen-sized be and a stargazing telescope - it seems like glamping is catching on, regardless of the fact that it goes against pretty much everything that camping is supposed to be in the first place.
We can hardly blame New York residents for wanting to escape stuffy hotel rooms or cramped apartments in favor of a night underneath the stars. A good camping trip is escapism in its finest form, providing a solitary removal from the bustle of everyday life. Whether you hit the woods alone or with a group of buddies and family members, camping gives you time alone with your thoughts or allows you to form strong new bonds with the people in your life. The experience of roughing it in the wild, away from the countless distractions of city life, away from the pressures of the work week, can hardly be described for people who have never experienced it.
So suffice to say that we understand why New Yorkers, residents of one of the biggest and loudest cities on the planet, want a few nights of peace and quiet. But sorry, glamping isn't real camping. These New York hotels are offering what can best be described as "imitation camping." There's a certain pride to pitching your own tent, cooking your own food, and creating your own forms of entertainment that campers just love. The hotel camping experience steals all of these: the tent is pitched for you, the entertainment is in front of you, on the same television set that camping is meant to leave behind, the city is mere steps away, with limitless options for food and other activity, and instead of a snug sleeping bag and the stars, you get the same hotel bed you've slept in hundreds of times before. Add a rate of $2,000 a night, and it's difficult to fathom why anyone would choose glamping over a true back-to-basics camping trip.