A few months ago, I was surfing the Internet and saw an advertisement for “glamping” or “glamorous camping.” The photos showed swanky looking tents, delicious food, and smiling people who looked all happy and cozy in the great outdoors. Soon after seeing the ad, I found myself a a dinner with some of my cousins and I suggested we go “glamping.” They all laughed at me, convinced I was making this up or something I invented because I hate actual camping.
(To say I hate camping is actually a bit strong. I wouldn’t say I really hate it, but I can say that my camping experiences all consisted of going off into a field of prickly grass, suffering in the heat of the sun, and watching my dad build a small fire on which he proceeded to cook a can of Vienna sausage. And he did this Every. Single. Time. It’s the main reason why I refuse to eat Vienna sausage to this day.)
Moving along then…
During an editorial meeting at the beginning of the year, my editor asked me if I’d be willing to cover a story on glamping. A spa in Tagaytay is offering the activity to some of their spa goers, and if I were up for it, I could try it out and write about it! Of course, I jumped at the opportunity!
You can check out the article I wrote on the Homegrown.ph site. It’s called When Nature Goes Glam. Of course, that was written from a “business-y” perspective. Now that it’s been published, I can give my personal take on the experience.
When I arranged to go glamping, Nurture Spa’s owner, Cathy Turvill, suggested that I take a couple of friends along since it is really meant to be a group activity, and I will really get a feel of what they have to offer if I have some other “glampers” with me. So I took my business partner, Danella, and my best friend, Pia, along for the overnight trip.
After a quick drive to Tagaytay, where I used the time to interview our host, Nurture Spa’s staff greeted us with cups of basil tea and a short welcome song using local instruments. Then it was glamping time!
Things I love about Glamping: #1 – You don’t have to cook your own food.
Right after checking in and filling out a few spa forms, it was onto lunch. Now, I am one of those people that try to eat healthy, but rarely succeed. I mean, I like healthy food, but I’m not very good at making it or ordering it. Could be because I don’t really try, which I blame my parents for because in my house good cooking always involves olive oil and a knob of butter. But at Nurture Spa Village, everything is healthy. Never in my life did I think I would rave about grilled tofu. Sounds disgusting? It wasn’t. It was seriously my favourite dish. I liked it over the meat dishes they served us! And I often consider myself a carnivore!
We actually didn’t have the grilled tofu at lunch. It was served in the evening at our bonfire/ barbecue dinner. We happily gathered around the bonfire that we didn’t have to build and enjoyed a pretty evening under the stars.
“…that we didn’t have to build…” — That brings me to…
Things I love about Glamping: #2 – You don’t have to pitch a tent.
I have never been good at pitching a tent. Really. Just about every time I’ve tried, I’ve failed. What’s great about glamping is that not only has your tent been pitched for you, but the interior of the tent is set up like a hotel room. Our tent had three soft beds with comfy pillows and blankets. Each bed had spa products on it and towels shaped to look like animals (it’s a Nurture Spa thing.) Plus fresh flowers! When was the last time your tent had all that?!
During our interview, Cathy told me about how they have evolved from being a spa to becoming a spa product supplier. She named some of the spas they make products for, and hearing some of the more famous spas–including my favourite, Chi Spa–named as their clients, I was really curious to try out their products!
So now we have…
Things I love about Glamping: #3 – Spa Treatments!!
Okay. Admittedly, not every glamping trip will come with spa treatments. It just so happens that our glamping grounds were located on spa grounds and that at Nurture Spa, every glamper gets a free spa treatment! We all chose to get facials, which turned out to be a great choice. It showcased the best of what the spa had to offer, excellent treatment using all natural ingredients. The facial took an hour, and it came with a quick shoulder rub and some tea at the very end. We felt absolutely pampered, and ready for whatever they had lined up next.
Leading us to…
Things I love about Glamping: #4 – You don’t need to sit around and stare at each other.
My dad wasn’t the most creative camper. Really, we ate the Vienna sausage and kind of just sat around. There was one time when we went out on a lake to go fishing, but we discovered that it was just more sitting around. At Nurture Spa, there are a variety of activities to choose from. We chose to check out the self-defense classes, food preparation demo (they taught us how to make healthy shakes,) and the Qi Gong breathing exercises, which we actually didn’t get to do because we overslept.
In a nutshell, glamping is far from boring.
I returned to the city feeling fresh and renewed. I did not feel grimy or a little dirty thanks to the hot and cold showers that they provide glampers with. My cousins still laughed at me when I told them about it, and they couldn’t believe that I actually got to go. At least I have the article and the photos to prove that I didn’t just making this activity up, which also served as proof that it was a lot of fun!
People have asked if I feel like glamping is the new camping. No, it is not. At the end of the day, you’re sleeping in a tent. Is it the better camping? No, I wouldn’t say that either. I know that good old fashioned camping has its merits. What I can say, however, is that glamping is an activity all on its own, and one that needs to be enjoyed as such.