The History of Glamping

For over five centuries, dating at least back to 100AD, tents have been used for outdoor living. While, not always for such glamorous reasons as ours, tents provided transportable shelter and a place to carry out campaigns whether cultural or militaristic. Initially used for nomadic travel, over the years the tent was used for many other purposes and has remained a primary outdoor shelter to this day.

Around 200 AD, the Ottomans show up in a grand way, using tents for cultural or royal ceremonies. The Ottomans would be the first to develop lavish and extravagant tents as the initial purpose was a transportable palace for the Sultan. Silk fabrics, embroidery, expensive rugs and furnishings were all Ottoman contributions. The Mughal Emperor Akbar, is said to have lavishly patronized art during his era, his style was a mixture of Persian and Indian motifs, which gets reflected in the magnificent tents captured by the Ottoman army in the seventeenth century. The Sultan had his court in a huge encampment of hundreds, even thousands of tents, at the center of which was the ‘Tented Palace’ called the ‘Imperial Tent Complex’. The imperial tents were pavilions, walled in by a symbolic rampart of cloth and recognized by their size and the splendor of their decoration, both inside and out.

A form of Glamping immerged again in the early 1900’s in Africa  to cater to the needs of wealthy, demanding American and European travelers who sought adventure in the wild. Guests stayed at upscale safari camps in large canvas tents equipped with king size beds, luxurious bedding, Persian rugs, antique furniture and a wait staff to cater to their every need! The tents usually overlooked breathtaking views in all directions. Onsite chef’s prepared mouth watering meals and high tea marked each afternoon.

Today the affluent still embark on this upscale way of traveling while enjoying nature with all the comforts of home. Many 5 star hotels around the world are now bringing luxury tents in as an option for their guests to stay in so they can have a more eco friendly and unique experience.

The Martyn House has taken this a step further by creating not only luxurious tents, but ecologically conscious ones as well. Eco features include on demand hot water, composting toilets and natural cooling. Especially designed for us, our tents are unique with beautiful prints and gorgeous color!  They are furnished with European antiques and luxurious bedding. The tents are placed in various locations around the 18 acres of property. Each tent is completely private and has wonder views. We call it glamorous camping or ‘Glamping’