Go glamping and never fight with tent pegs or sleep on hard ground again

It’s a relaxing outdoor getaway, without the physics-defying feat of pitching a tent, the swarms of biting insects, or the grueling sleep on the cold, hard ground.

Glamping is the glamorous, Instagram-worthy version of camping, with the fine linens and niceties of a luxury hotel in the tranquil setting of a secluded campsite.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” says Pat Gauvin, co-owner with his wife Emilie of Cielo Glamping Maritime, near Haut-Shippagan, in New Brunswick’s famous Acadian Peninsula. “Our domes are quite private and you feel like you are in a tent but the security and luxury that you have in a fancy suite in a hotel. They are right there in nature by the water. can hear the birds.You can smell the cool salt water coming from the bay.”

Cielo has a suite of geodesic dome “tents” set up in the woods on its 19-acre property. They are canvas and wood structures that include queen beds with luxury linens, private hot tubs, patio grills, pellet stoves for chilly nights, and air conditioning for hot days. Each comes with hammocks, a well-equipped kitchen and, perhaps most importantly, a private bathroom with a hot shower.

The domes are placed to isolate themselves from each other and face Baie St-Simon to the west, offering stunning views of the sunset over the water.

Several miles of trails wind through the Cielo Estate forest, and dark nights without urban light pollution offer incredible views of the starry sky. On rare occasions the Northern Lights have put on a show, more often during the colder months at this year-round glamping resort, Gauvin says.

Glamping is becoming increasingly popular amid the pandemic as people seek “to spend time in nature, disconnect and relax,” says Scott Beaulieu, co-owner of Ekö Nature GlampingEko Nature Glamping

Cielo also has a commercial kitchen and bar, where it offers charcuterie boards with farm-to-table fare; one night a week, the chef offers a full dining experience featuring local specialties including oysters, scallops, lobster and snow crab. Culinary nights also feature produce grown in Cielo’s own garden, local craft beers, live music and entertainers.

There is a sandy beach on the bay in front of the domes where guests can dig for clams as well as an oyster harvesting demonstration site. There are also plenty of opportunities for visitors to go fish for their own supper, says Gauvin.

But guests come — from New Brunswick, Quebec, Europe and the United States — less for all they can do than for the opportunity to do very little, he says.

“People [come here] to relax and rejuvenate after their hectic lives,” he says.

A few hundred kilometers away, on the other side of New Brunswick, the new Ekö Nature Glamping eschews the seaside experience for views of mountains, rivers and Lac-Baker, near Edmundston in Madawaska County in the northwest corner of the province. The Maine US border is a short drive in one direction and the Quebec border a short drive in the other.

Co-owner Scott Beaulieu said the resort opened last year despite the pandemic because he felt the glamping experience was exactly what people needed.

“It was kind of a dream we had been working on for a long time…and I decided last year during COVID to go ahead with the project. I felt a lot of people needed to move on from time in nature and disconnect from the real world we live in right now,” says Beaulieu.

Ekö Nature’s domes include a pellet stove, heat pump for cooling, toilets and luxury bedding. People love camping, but they also love hot showers, private toilets and hot tubs, he says.

There is no TV or internet access. Visitors have their cell phones, but they quickly find that they don’t turn to them that much, he says.

“The main goal is for them to spend time in nature, disconnect and relax,” he says.

Ekö Nature’s four domes sit on the mountainside on the Beaulieu family’s 235-acre property and offer panoramic views of the mountains and the entire lake. There are over 50 kilometers of hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, quad biking and fishing trails.

In the summer, the sun sets over the lake, and in the fall, the landscape lights up with the bright orange, yellow, and red hues of the fall foliage. The resort offers accommodation year-round and in winter, the hiking trails become snowshoe and snowmobile trails and there is the Mont Farlagne ski resort nearby.

The quaint tourist village of Lac-Baker has quaint restaurants and plenty of outdoor activities, but the main attraction is the peace and quiet, Beaulieu says.

“Guests have incredible panoramic views, the lake and the mountains…and all the accommodations they would want in a hotel,” he says. “You almost feel like you’re alone in the desert.”

Ekö Nature’s four domes sit on the mountainside on the Beaulieu family’s 235-acre property and offer panoramic views of the mountains and the entire lake.Eko Nature Glamping

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