What is glamping anyway?
At its most simplistic definition, glamping is a form of “glamorous camping,” or the ability to go and “rough it” in the wilderness, albeit with a number of modern conveniences to enhance one’s comfort level.
But it’s also a very personal definition, said Whitney Scott, chief operating officer at Terramor Outdoor Resort, a glamping retreat in Bar Harbor, Maine.
“It’s largely undefined because it’s everybody’s experience of what they consider camping,” Scott said. “Some people consider backcountry their camping, so even just having a hard-sided structure around them is glamping. Where others would say, ‘I need a concierge and a copper bath tub.’ You might tend to need to consider it glamping. It’s more whatever that person’s consideration of camping is and elevating it.”
That elevation was the impetus behind creating Terramor, an idyllic glampground in the woods of Maine, located within minutes of the bustling summer destinations of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. But this is a campground unlike any other in the area. Terramor tents are equipped with electricity and WiFi. They feature overhead fans and bedding that has had guests requesting information on how to purchase the mattresses and sheets. All tents are screened to protect the interiors from the Maine summer elements; the zippered front “door” works so well, guests can relax without an infestation of mosquitoes. Best of all, there’s no gear needed. So leave the pup tents, sleeping bags and portable stove at home.
Put it all together, and you have a marriage of escapes that might satisfy any number of comfort requirements.
Terramor is a first for Kampgrounds of America (KOA), the largest recognized network of campgrounds in world. “We started seeing ‘glamping’ become a trendy word,” Scott said. “There were resorts coming out that were only focused on glamping, and KOA wanted to discover where it, from a campground respective, fit into the new wave.
“There’s the person that doesn’t consider a campground necessarily a place where they want to go glamping. They want a kind of glamping-only experience on a very elevated level. Kind of like, ‘I want to get dirt on my shoes … but not a lot.’ We could facilitate that. We understand the outdoors and how to experience it. And we also know how to elevate it. So let’s take it to that next level and that’s really how the idea of Terramor was born, to create this new brand that really was about blending indoor to outdoor, luxury to rustic, in a glamping setting.”
The 60-acre property, already located in one of New England’s most-cherished summer playgrounds, already was special enough, which meant the erecting of Terramor didn’t involve any leveling of trees in its elevation. That fits with the overall goal of the resort in the first place: Love the land, don’t take away from it.
It also can serve as an entry point for the person who isn’t so sure about what the outdoors can offer. Glamping is an easy way to develop some creature comforts for them, giving them the outdoor experience so they can potentially experience more outdoor options. “It’s a great first step,” Scott said.
At the heart of the property is the communal lodge, a structure that houses the lobby of the resort along with its restaurant and bar. Visitors can grab a book from the nook and relax, or strike up a conversation with a fellow “glamper.” To-go lunches are available for those itching to head out and explore.
“We really feel like the lodge is the hearth of the resort,” Scott said. “That is where community is felt and we really wanted people to have this wonderful experience that they can kind of do anything there in a comfortable, warm space for them to come to.”
Visitors will find more than enough to keep them busy in the Bar Harbor area, but Terramor still offers some on-site activities, including complimentary yoga sessions, music from local artists, s’more sessions, and oysters and champagne gatherings in the lodge.
“The service experience is pretty elevated,” Scott said.
Based on its reception in Maine, KOA is looking to expand the Terramor brand to more campgrounds in its vast network.
Terramor Outdoor Resort, 1453 ME-102, Bar Harbor, Maine, www.terramoroutdoorresort.com.