{THE FAB FOUR: LUX­URY TENTED HIDE­OUTS}

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

Vanyav­i­las, Ra­jasthan, In­dia Close to the en­trance of the 40,000ha Ran­tham­bore Na­tional Park, known for its tiger sight­ings, the Oberoi-run 25-tent Vanyav­i­las is a faux-ad­ven­turer’s fan­tasy. Guests stay in plush can­vas pavil­ions with tented and pointed tops; there are four-poster beds, claw­foot bath­tubs, wa­ter­hens in the gar­dens and squir­rels slid­ing on the sloped roofs. The canopied ceil­ings are printed in sil­ver and gold with a pat­tern of el­e­gant lit­tle tigers that could have been de­signed by Cartier. There is a swim­ming pool sur­rounded by or­chards, day spa (a three-hour Sa­fari Sanc­tu­ary of steam, ther­mal ex­fo­li­a­tion, mud wrap, mas­sage and bathing rit­ual, per­chance), res­tau­rant serv­ing su­perla­tive north­ern In­dian cui­sine, and reg­u­lar game-viewing drives to the park. Bed­time read­ing? The Jun­gle Book by Rud­yard Ki­pling, nat­u­rally. At Vanyav­i­las, you are not within a whisker of rough­ing it. More: oberoi­ho­tels.com.

SK Clay­oquot Wilder­ness Re­sort, Van­cou­ver Is­land, Canada On the west­ern­most edge of Van­cou­ver Is­land, Clay­oquot Wilder­ness Re­sort is black bear cen­tral. You are in the griz­zled wild here, with accommodation un­der can­vas as well as all the camp’s leisure fa­cil­i­ties, save for the Great Hall, with din­ing room, bar and loung­ing area. Be sure to book one of the 12 lux­ury- cat­e­gory tents, which are newer and have en­suite bath­rooms (show­ers open to sky and stars) and dress­ing rooms. This is glamp­ing Cana­dian wilder­nessstyle with big, hand-carved beds, Per­sian car­pets and an­tique pieces of fur­ni­ture. Dip in the out­door wood-fired plunge tub to soak tired bones af­ter vig­or­ous rounds of ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing hik­ing, whale-watch cruises and bear- viewing sor­ties in the pro­tected wa­ter­ways and habi­tats of the ut­terly beau­ti­ful Clay­oquot Sound UNESCO Bio­sphere Re­serve. More: wil­dretreat.com. Lon­gi­tude 131, North­ern Ter­ri­tory I’ve never liked camp­ing — grap­pling with polyester sleep­ing bags, fend­ing off vo­ra­cious in­sects and walks in the dark to dis­tant

SK toi­let blocks. Thank­fully, the quin­tes­sen­tial Aussie ex­pe­ri­ence has been glammed up to within an inch of its life at this ex­clu­sive en­camp­ment on the edge of the World Her­itage-listed Ulu­ruKata Tjuta Na­tional Park. My lux­u­ri­ous dome-roofed bolt­hole — one of 15 ‘‘tents’’ named af­ter early Aus­tralian pioneers — fea­tures a Bose sound sys­tem and lux­ury bathrobes, re­verse-cy­cle air­con­di­tion­ing and even a turn­down ser­vice. There’s not a coin-op­er­ated bar­be­cue in sight; rather, din­ner un­der the stars at Ta­ble 131 — a can­dlelit af­fair that will have one mar­vel­ling at the Milky Way over the mille-feuille — or break­fast in the per­fectly civilised Dune House. And the piece de re­sis­tance of this most be­guil­ing hide­away, which cel­e­brates its 10th birth­day next month? Sim­ply flick a switch be­side that king-sized bed and watch a very fa­mil­iar red rock hove into view as the blinds go up. More: lon­gi­tude131.com.au. MR Sin­gita Sab­ora Tented Camp, Grumeti Re­serves, Tan­za­nia I had a tent in Africa. But not a tent as we know it. The nine can­vas guest shel­ters at this sa­fari re­doubt in north­ern Tan­za­nia are of such un­bri­dled lux­ury that Ernest Hem­ing­way would surely scoff all the way to his bedroll. On the western boundary of the Serengeti Na­tional Park, in the 140,000ha Grumeti Re­serves, the camp is a splen­did in­ter­pre­ta­tion of soft ex­plorer chic. It’s the kind of hide-out where one would not be sur­prised to spy Robert Red­ford and Meryl Streep strolling past, dressed to the khaki nines, a la Denys and Karen from Out of Africa. Each abode is a tworoomed tent — for loung­ing or for sleep­ing — with a can­vas bathroom and out­door shower screened by a bam­boo fence. In the camp’s so-called mess tent there isn’t a shred of mess — but you will find colo­nial lamps, crys­tal de­canters, hall­marked sil­ver cut­lery and starched napery. More: sin­gita.com. SK Full fea­tures by Su­san Kuro­sawa on Clay­oquot Wilder­ness Re­sort and Sin­gita Sab­ora Tented Camp first ap­peared in The Aus­tralian’s Wish mag­a­zine.

Re­becca and Scott Roth­ney with guide Thomas at Lewa Downs

Lon­gi­tude 131 in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory

Sin­gita Sab­ora Tented Camp in Tan­za­nia

Oberoi Vanyav­i­las in Ra­jasthan, In­dia

Clay­oquot Wilder­ness Re­sort in Canada

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