Glamping - Eco Hotels

There is a new variation in the hotel and hospitality industry, known as “eco-hotels”, and it is gaining ground around the world, with limited development costs, which could be a great alternative for developers who want to do it all. In Chile, alone, there are already at least 5 such complexes already in operation.

Attracting a public that longs for new experiences, these complexes have one particular difference with traditional accommodation: they lack concrete and bricks. The combination of the words “glamour” and “camping” gives a new term to this sort of hotel, called “glamping”, which identifies a new type of tourist accommodation that attracts bohemians, young people, and those looking to vacation while staying in contact with nature.

This variation of hosting shows an element fundamental in all of the cases: merging nature and exploiting issues related to ecology and the geographical riches of the location. The trend was actually born years ago, when they started using “tent hotels” for tourists on safari in Africa, mixing top-notch hotel services with infrastructures that could be quickly built in areas that were not conducive to permanent, conventional hotel complexes. “Glamping” is a movement that has been growing with fervor in Australia and the United States, although Chile and its neighboring country are not far behind.

It was just learned that celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson or Tom Cruise would be customers at these complexes, in which ecology and the management of materials in a rational manner are fundamental ingredients. There is even a website dedicated to promoting the movement:

This segment is growing in Chile with the use of domes. These are geodesic domes built with aluminum tubing and a vinyl cover in the shape of a tetrahedral, as invented in 1949 by Richard Buckminster Fuller, the American designer and engineer. Fuller believed that human society would be soon depending on renewable energy, even in his time, such as solar and wind energy. His invention was used greatly in the ’60s, as well as the US army, the Russian army, and various commercial enterprises worldwide.

The “glampings” developed in Chile, under the dome concept, have between 6 and 20 dwellings. They offer hotel services, with personalized service, similar to what you might find in a boutique hotel, as well as adventure tourism options, such as trekking and fishing, with air conditioning, heating, and other amenities. Each one offers a different theme, most of which play off of nature, astronomy, mountains, etc.

The fee for staying at this sort of complex can start at US$130 per day for a 2-person dome, and reaching up to US$500 depending on the location.

This new cocktail, so to speak, mixes a low development cost, sustainability, and ecology, without lowering the level of services and comfort offered. The trend may just be beginning in South America, but it has the potential for great expansion, especially within Argentine Patagonia, where the landscape certainly lends itself to such an enterprise.