There’s something inherently romantic about sleeping under the stars. The sounds, the setting, the vast, carpeted sky. But camping can also bring tinned food, sketchy public restrooms and a major bug factor. Thankfully there is a host of high-end properties around the world that offer all the adventure to set your heart aflutter and all the pampering to make your honeymoon dreams come true.
From Australia to Zimbabwe, here’s a list of our favorite spots that offer the opportunity to reconnect with nature — without sacrificing upscale amenities (think oversized copper bathtubs) and service (like a "camping butler" to set-up s’mores roasts).
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Thailand
Considered by many travel connoisseurs to be the most unique Four Seasons property, this tented resort sits in a lush, hidden-away part of Northern Thailand, in the so-called Golden Triangle that borders southern Burma and western Laos.
The tents: Spread out over different levels of bamboo jungle, the 15 deluxe tents each feature open floor plans with hammered copper tubs-for-two, outdoor rainfall showers, private decks, WiFi and elegant furnishings. Views vary, and some of the tents are a walk uphill from the main camp area, along stone steps and rope bridges and aren’t accessible by vehicle.
Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
The activities: The property is home to an on-site elephant sanctuary, and all stays include a half-day "training camp," during which guests will don traditional mahout (elephant trainer) outfits, learn simple commands and even how to bathe the animals — and then take an unforgettable elephantback ride through the jungle. (Sunrise treks are also available, and from time to time, some smaller pachyderms from a nearby elephant reserve make appearances at the main dining pavilion for prime petting and photo ops.) There are also boat rides down the Mekong River, day trips to the museums and temples of nearby Chiang Sen and the intensive Jungle Gym workout, which includes a hike, run and weights session. Or just hang out by the freeform riverside pool, grab a cocktail in the panoramic Burma Bar and enjoy a Thai herbal massage in the spa tent.
Honeymoon highlights: Start the day with a sunrise elephant ride, float down the Mekong on a bamboo raft (accompanied by a bottle of bubbly) in the afternoon, or pick up some kitchen tips with a class in Thai, Laotian and Burmese cooking, followed by a private candlelit dinner (room rates start at $2,080 per night for two and include meals, house wine and beer, mini-bar, WiFi, round-trip airport transfers, one half-day elephant experience, a spa treatment per person per day, a long-tail boat ride and Golden Triangle day trip. Two-night minimum; fourseasons.com).