What is glamping

Photo Credit: Lara DiPaola / Scenic Route TravelingMom

If lobster corn dogs, custom cocktails and wood fired ovens trump hot dogs, marshmallows and campfires in your book, you might be a Glamper.

Having grown up in a family of “primitive” campers (aka tree-hugging hippies who’d never be caught dead in an actual camper, RV or anything providing creature comfort of any sort) I have many memories of roughinDestinationReviewg it. Frankly, I wasn’t ever a huge fan. The sooner I could get to a shower, blow-dryer and proper bed, the better.

When I first heard the term “glamping,” I was intrigued to say the least. So, what exactly is glamping?


Turns out the answer varies. For the most part, glamping is defined as a travel experience in which luxury amenities meet the outdoors. In some cases though it can be bringing a bit of the camping experience to a luxury hotel space, as was the case with a recent hosted stay I shared with friends and my youngest daughter Emily at the Four Seasons Baltimore.

I choose to bring along my littlest camper because, well … she fits the definition of “glamper” to the letter. This child would rather have her nails done than be within 20 feet of a snail, accessorizing is not optional, and the battle over why she can’t wear high heels to school is waged daily. Traditional camping is so not her thing. A pink sparkly tent* in a suite with a balcony overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, however, is.

FS glaming 2Here are some of the glamping amenities offered at the Four Seasons Baltimore, that are Emily approved:

  • Custom in-room candy and popcorn bar
  • Hand-Picked DVD selection
  • Child sized bathrobe and slippers
  • The HUGE tub and kid-themed bath products
  • A Radio Flyer wagon full of toys from the National Aquarium
  • Four Seasons Baltimore Camp shirt
  • Artisan hot cocoa made with Valrhona chocolate at LAMILL*
  • Mani-Pedi at the Spa*
  • Creating custom mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails) with Aaron the Mixologist at Wit & Wisdom Tavern*
  • Lobster Corn Dogs at dinner and meeting Chef Zack Mills. This was really a highlight for her, like meeting a rock star!*

Some of my Four Seasons favorites, glamping notwithstanding:

Photo Credit: Lara DiPaola

Photo Credit: Lara DiPaola / Scenic Route TravelingMom

  • Outstanding service
  • The fact that all the artwork in the hotel comes from Baltimore artists. Support local!
  • Mixology. This goes beyond cocktails and makes the drink into an experience in itself
  • The breathtaking views from the Spa can’t be found anywhere else in the city
  • Lobster Pot Pie. Served table-side with pomp and puff pastry making it a must taste and must see
  • Tip: Try to be seated near the kitchen. The sensory symphony of the wood-fire ovens, seasoned dishes cooking over open flames, the dance of chefs, artists using  plates as a canvases turning your meal into a work of art, is an experience one should not miss

The Four Seasons Baltimore does a great job of setting up family-friendly experiences, glamping and beyond. My advice is to call them up and work one-on-one to design your stay. It should also be noted that amenities are often added -and discontinued- seasonally, and for other cause. Again, contacting the property directly is the best way to be sure your stay is everything you hope it will be.

I’d say that, like most Four Seasons properties, what this property really does best of all is make you feel special. As any good luxury property should, after all you’re paying for top notch service.

* denotes a service that is not included as a standard amenity, but can be purchased individually or requested as an added option.