Sweet tooth? It’s a short walk to the Second Scoop Creamery. Lick your ice cream cone as you watch the sunset from the rooftop patio. Get to bed early. Tomorrow you’ll want to head to the private beach, start your day with a latte and crepes at the Sandy Feet Café, then relax in a beach chair with a good book.
The more energetic members of the crew can drop by Big Dakez Rental Hut to choose from a selection of non-motorized, eco-friendly self-propelled modes of aquatic transport like kayaks or stand up paddleboards.
Still not glampy enough for the cook in the family? Dine with a view of the lake at the Barefoot Beach House licensed restaurant. Later stroll back behind the bamboo walls, though tropical gardens shaded by tall cottonwoods to your private yurt. Check your email, watch a movie on the 42-inch flat screen TV or, if you’re in one of the Fantasy Suite yurts, soak in the 4x4 soaker tub in the glow of electric Tiki torchlights. Tenting in grand style.
For the hard-core camper who considers their own sleeping bag an integral part of the experience, but still hates the hassle of putting up a tent, yurts are available for rental at Ellison, Fintry and Kekuli Bay Provincial Parks in the Okanagan; Kikomun and Wasa Lake Provincial Parks in the Kootenay region; and at Allison Lake, between Merritt and Princeton. These yurts are equipped with bunk beds with mattresses, windows and insulation. As with Barefoot Beach Resort, cooking facilities are outside, in this case a fire pit beside your own picnic table.
At Fintry Provincial Park, The Friends of Fintry Society offer the added bonus of tours of the Fintry Estate manor house and heritage barns built by Scottish Captain James Cameron Dun-Waters in 1924 after his original house burned down. Tours include a peek at the stone grotto cave built to showcase the enormous Kodiak bear shot, perhaps on some glamping expedition, by the captain.
For enthusiastic anglers, Douglas Lake Ranch has four separately located rustic wilderness lakeside yurts that boast privacy and access to some of the best fly-fishing for rainbow trout in Canada. Equipped with a wood stove, futon couch, dining table and bunk beds, these serene sanctuaries sleep up to six people each. Cook your catch in the fully stocked kitchen, which has a stove, fridge and lighting—all fired by propane. Outdoors there’s a shower with hot and cold water and an outhouse.
Die-hard traditionalists may want to travel further afield to sleep in a teepee. Goldenwood Lodge, located 20 minutes west of Golden, has offered teepee sleeping accommodation in this forested birdwatchers paradise for the past 16 years.
What qualifies it as glamping? “Everything is there and ready to go,” say owners Barbara and Andy, who left Switzerland for Canada in 1995. “No hassle with setting up tents, beds or mosquito nets. On request we provide sleeping bags. There’s a day lodge with washrooms, showers, fire pits and free firewood.”
Spoil yourself with their gourmet breakfast featuring homemade bread and fruit preserves, as well as eggs from free-range chickens. Later, maybe a dip in the natural swimming pond or a spot of canoeing or mountain biking.
Fifteen minutes northwest of Golden, Quantum Leaps Lodge and Retreats rents out two 26-foot diameter teepees on the edge of the Blaeberry River. Let the gentle flow of the water lull you to sleep in one of two double or two single raised beds. Bring food and prepare your meals in the shared cooking area with a propane stove, sink with hot and cold water, and kitchen utensils.
Keep an eye out for squirrels, deer and the occasional bear from the outdoor hot water shower. There’s no electricity, so use your flashlight until you get a campfire started in the central fire pit in your teepee. Greet the next day with a walk around the sacred labyrinth. Then indulge in a hot tub or sauna followed by a Thai massage or foot spa treatment.