Glampsites have increased in popularity since their inception in the mid-noughties. The staycation boom had already started pre-Covid but this year, foreign travel options are still looking decidedly shaky. Glampsite operators say this uncertainty has led to bookings going through the roof, with some already turning down summer bookings while off-peak slots are filling fast.
However, even in the midst of a market boom, there’s no place for complacency – 2020 profits were hit hard thanks to the spring lockdown, and it’s important for glampsite managers to keep in mind the long-game to ensure they see a healthy ROI in future.
So how can you improve your glamping facilities this year, so your site remains a must-visit destination in 2022 and even beyond?
Here, we take a look at two fantastic businesses – a glamping site and a pod manufacturer – that are ready to hit the 2021 season with a bang – and have no intention of slowing down thanks to some creative thinking and clever investment…
A glampsite that's truly glamourous!
Marking its 7th year in the glamping arena, Mrs Mills’ Yurts continues to add to its customer offering, with the most recent addition being a glampervan that can be taken off-site.
Mrs Mills’ Yurts is the brainchild of husband-and-wife duo, Nicola and Gary Mills, which launched in 2015 on National Trust Landmark May Hill, Gloucestershire.
Wanting to escape London and the suffocation of being in a great, grey city of busyness – and having watched too many home improvement programmes – the duo fell in love with a tired farmhouse on a hill overlooking the Cotswolds. Following a period of serious restoration, which involved the couple and their children staying in a kitsch caravan themselves, Mrs Mills' Yurts was born.
While glamping was still relatively new and a novel offering, Nicola was adamant that she wanted to put her style and taste into the business. And it was her love for novels, especially those by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which inspired the flamboyant designs and the names of the yurts too: Zelda, Hildegarde, Tanaduke and Gatsby.
Each yurt offers the ultimate indulgent glamping. Sleeping up to four people, each has its own private bathroom with luxury sandalwood toiletries and flowers, luxury linen and soft cotton towels and bathrobes, and extravagant sheepskin throws to keep glampers warm around the campfire.
Cream teas are offered on arrival and a mouth-watering breakfast hamper is also delivered, filled to the brim with local produce. The hosts also arrange for daily tea and buns served in the “home from home” kitchen, and offer an extensive and delightful range of home-cooked meals from the campfire menu.
For that added indulgence and to further relax glampers, three of the yurts also have a private wood-fired hot tub.
The start of 2020 saw Amory added to the family collection; a glampervan that can be driven off-site and to any destination where the heart desires.
Amory is the ultimate glampervan for wild camping; featuring a solar panel on the roof and the interior decked out just as the yurts themselves are – no corners are cut, that’s for sure. While many campervans come bare, Amory comes with everything from beautiful bedding and linen, through to champagne glasses, cloth napkins and even a cheese hamper to be enjoyed while on an adventure.
Restrictions permitting, people are now booking Amory for trips abroad as well as touring the UK. It offers the full glamping experience wherever the glamper wishes to experience it. Nicola and Gary have no end of secret gems to suggest, and Amory allows you to choose a difference location every day.
Nicola Mills, co-founder of Mayhill Glamping, said: “We pride ourselves on offering something totally luxurious, indulgent and extremely stylish at our rural retreat. Everything at Mrs Mills’ Yurts comes with a nod to the jazz age, from the sheepskin rugs and the garish gold beds, through to the wood-fired hot tubs.
“Our Yurts are indulgent hotel rooms under the stars - they’re to my style and taste and it’s always lovely to get such positive and warm feedback when people come to stay with us.
“We’re especially excited to launch our glampervan; we’ve had it just over a year now, but this year is when it’ll really get its chance to shine.”
As well as being within a short distance from many great local pubs, attractions and stunning walking routes, Mrs Mills’ Yurts is also a short distance from the Cotswolds, Cheltenham and the Wye Valley, situated between Gloucester and Ross-on-Wye.
Check out the glampsite at mayhillglamping.co.uk.
Boxing clever with Maverick glamping pods
Park operators are now looking at how every inch of property can be used to its full revenue potential, especially with increased demand for 2021 bookings.
With attention predominantly turning towards lucrative accommodation options, now is the time to test the viability of expanding sites before having to heavily invest in complex infrastructure and committing to a large-scale public offering.
Luxury temporary accommodation provider Caboose & Co. has produced a revolutionary travel pod, The Maverick, that will be the wingman of many a park operator this summer season.
Caboose & Co’s managing director Tom Critchley says: “Having managed temporary accommodation sites for over 15 years, I’ve a wealth of valuable expertise when it comes to guest hospitality and assisting pop-up hotels, resorts and festivals diversify their offering. We work with landowners seeking to transform their sites into sought-after holiday destinations – whether that be for caravans, glamping or camping.”
Born from wanting to solve the challenges faced when sourcing sleeping spots, Tom and his team supply shipping containers converted to the highest of industry standards, the cosy rooms can be simply and quickly deployed anywhere.
Joining its impressive 54-strong converted container fleet, the first-of-its-kind product named The Maverick has been brought to the UK staycation and glamping markets as a direct response to increased staycations following COVID-19 international travel restrictions. With The Maverick also available with a hard deck atop the structure, it enables outdoor hospitality and event organisers the flexibility to offer audiences their own private entertainment viewing platform combined with a next-generation glamping experience.
The Maverick is a flat-pack aluminum and GRP product that provides a versatile, stackable accommodation option that is quick to deploy and easy to store. As a revolutionary stride forward in the market, this fold-away pod provides a safe, lockable and storm-proof sleeping space for up to two people. Thanks to the product’s low-power requirements with a solar power pack, The Maverick allows easy off-grid deployment; with a set-up time of just five minutes this increases the industry’s flexibility for hospitality experiences to be offered in the UK’s most rural and scenic spots. And with the option to hire, it offers a flexible way to try before you buy. Priced at £3,499 + VAT, this heavy-duty unit is great for planning ahead.
Tom continues: “Our accommodation pods are designed to help holiday sites suss out whether their visions of creating the next tourist glamping hotspot is commercially viable before having to heavily invest. We offer a cheaper alternative that is ready to hook up as soon as it is on site, rather than the cost of a full infrastructure set-up from scratch.
“It also ensures that land can be carefully preserved without any adverse effects or trauma to the site. We also recognise that it’s all about minimal outlay and minimal damage to the environment whilst providing a simple solution to clients’ problems – whether that be to elevate an existing accommodation offering on-site, increase overflow capacity or simply improve the standard of guest experience.”
For more information see cabooseandco.com.