September 27, 2021

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Colorado’s best glamping spots offer luxury tents, covered wagons, clear-top bubbles and yurts

8 min read

According to my trusty dictionary, glamping is “the activity of camping with some of the comforts and luxuries of home.” This might be a good time to also define camping: “a place where an army or other group of persons or an individual is lodged in a tent or tents or other temporary means of shelter.”

If you’re familiar with glamping, you might picture a platform, perhaps with a hardwood floor, and an actual bed on it, protected by a canvas tent that’s tall enough for an adult to stand in. Perhaps there’s bedside table. A hanging lamp. A rack to store a backpack or suitcase off the floor.

Glamping can be more than just convenient — it can be luxurious, seemingly created for Instagram influencers. Unlike camping, there’s no setting up the tent, rolling out your sleeping bag, bringing your own toilet paper, and packing out what you pack in.

Yet glamping is changing and going beyond the basic bed in a fancy tent. These days, throughout Colorado you’ll find a few variations on this concept for your next adventure in lodging. Here are a few to consider for your next trip.

Kinship Landing in Colorado Springs offers a camping platform where guests can set up their tent and/or hammocks and either cook on their stove or eat at the downstairs restaurant. The platform has a private bathroom. (Provided by Kinship Landing) 

1. Kinship Landing opened in downtown Colorado Springs in 2020, a conveniently located hotel for visitors who might want to walk to the new U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum or be a short drive from Garden of the Gods Park. One of its coolest features, however, is its camping deck, an unexpected glamping option. Unlike when booking a typical hotel room, you must bring all of your own camping gear. Unlike a typical camping trip, there is indoor plumbing in a private bathroom and a restaurant downstairs.

“Some people come to experiment with camping or setting up a tent for the first time,” said Bobby Mikulas, CEO and co-founder of Kinship Landing. “Others are seasoned professionals, and still others come simply to enjoy hanging in a hammock overlooking the Front Range and falling asleep outdoors. It’s an extremely popular offering at Kinship Landing.”

The cost is $20 per night per person and the camping deck can accommodate six people (anyone younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian). Mikulas and his team have a sense of humor about this unusual offering, on display on their website’s FAQ. “Q: What if I feel, lost, hungry, and afraid? A: You can text yes, but remember unlike the Weminuche Wilderness, you have access to our first floor full bar and café by simply descending 40 vertical feet via a class 2 staircase.”

A luxury canvas-sided tent at the Royal Gorge Cabins at the Royal Gorge features many hotel-like comforts - thick mattresses, lighting, a sitting area, wooden floors and more.
The glamping tents at Royal Gorge Cabins at the Royal Gorge near Canon City feature large beds with thick mattresses, a sitting area, wooden floors and many comforts – without the closed-in quarters of a hotel. (Provided by Royal Gorge Cabins) 

2. The Royal Gorge Cabins, 8 miles west of Cañon City, has nine well-appointed modern cabins and eight luxury glamping tents with views of the Royal Gorge Bridge. These seasonal (May through September) single- or double-queen tents are walking distance from an all-hours bathroom and shower. There are also fire pits, lounge chairs on the patios, and access to outdoor games like cornhole. With deer antler chandeliers, cushy headboards above fresh sheets on firm mattresses, and leather couches to sit on, it feels glamorous inside these airy tents.

“It gets to the point where you question, ‘What even is glamping, anymore?’ ” said Andy Neinas, owner of the Royal Gorge Cabins, after seeing not only great interest in the tents, but also requests for more amenities. “We started out with simple canvas tents on wooden platforms, and then people loved those so much that they wanted heat in the cold and air-conditioning in the hot weather.”

The tents cost $209 to $269 per night. The 2.0 tents, completed in 2018, have radiant heat concrete floors, swamp coolers, and more space to spread out. There are plans to build tents that have private bathrooms.

While the cabins here were built specifically to have a seamlessness between indoor and outdoor space with sliding glass doors, floor-to-ceiling windows on some sides, and fireplaces that are both inside and outside, glamping 3.0 will essentially become private hotel rooms with canvas walls and ceilings for a similar kind of indoor and outdoor experience.

The luxury tents at the Vail Collective feature large beds with thick mattresses and quality sheets and blankets, a sitting area, lighting, wooden floors and other comforts - and a touch of the wildness of camping.
The luxury tents at the Vail Collective include large beds with thick mattresses, antler chandeliers, sitting areas and other comforts – with a touch of the wild outside of four solid walls. (Kate Osborne Photography, provided by Vail Collective) 

3. Truly, what is glamping … without “artisanal s’mores” anyway? You won’t have to find out if you opt for a few nights with Collective Vail in Wolcott. In the midst of 1,000 acres at the 4 Eagle Ranch, there is a grouping of tents not far from the Three Peaks Lodge, where farm-to-table meals can be enjoyed during a stay (breakfast is complimentary).

Guests choose between a Summit tent or Journey tent, depending on price and amenities desired, but both have electricity and high-thread-count linens. The Summit tentshave private en-suite bathrooms with plush bathrobes you can wear when you relax on your private deck to watch the horses at sunset. The Journey tent – without the private bathroom – is the bargain, starting at closer to $200 per night this summer, compared to Summit tents that go for around $500 per night, depending on time of year. With an on-site winery and complimentary Sage Social Hour nightly for guests, followed by those artisanal s’mores around the evening campfire, there’s a sense that being taken care of is what makes it feel like a luxury, not just the comfy bed in the tent.

There is a 15-minute walk across the sagebrush from the check-in cottage to the tents, but your luggage can be delivered.

Meals are delivered to your luxury tent at Black Tree Resort at Lake George
Meals are delivered to your luxury tent at Black Tree Resort at Lake George. To-go lunches are available. (Provided by Black Tree Resort) 

4. Black Tree Resort in Lake George has its own spin on roughing it in style. Glampers have use of their own golf cart to get around camp, though private bathrooms for the tents are a short walk away. These tents have two queen beds, draped in Pendleton wool blankets for that Western feel. Fresh meals are delivered to your tent three times a day. All for about $600 per night.

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