Part two in a three-part series on "glamping" (glamorous camping).
After two unforgettable nights of glamping at Tent City, one of two glamorous campsites at Paws Up Resort in Montana, I was going back to civilization. Or thats what I thought. My home turned out to be just as remote, in an isolated forest on the resorts 37,000 acres. In fact, when I arrived to William Clark, one of the ten new Wilderness Estates at Paws Up, I felt as far removed from the rest of the world as in my glam tent at Tent City. But the differences were huge inside my stately residence for the night, I had WiFi, a surround-sound entertainment system, and five 42" flat-screen TVs. There was even Nintendo Wii in the loft game room upstairs! Granted, I was still so far and remote that my cell phone wasnt getting any reception. Not that it mattered much . . .
I had only one day and night to spend inside the 3,248 square-feet of my Wilderness Estate, so what was a girl to do? There was so much to sample and so little time. I did manage to relax on the sofa in the expansive great room with a soaring vaulted ceiling; enjoy the jetted spa tub in my own master bathroom outfitted with a spacious slate shower, organic toiletries, and plush towels; feel the evening breeze on my sprawling private deck overlooking a stretching vista of pine forests and meadows; and watch a strip of light slowly fade on the horizon at 10:30pm through the panoramic bathroom windows (so much nicer than looking at my own image in the mirror!). And then there were things I wished I had time to do: soak alfresco in the six-person hot tub on the deck; sleep in under sumptuous bedding of the king-size bed in my master bedroom (one of three inside each Wilderness Estate); space out by the stone fireplace; and make myself a meal in the fully equipped cooks kitchen.
The accommodations at Paws Up run the full gamut from stylish tents at Tent City and River Camp to cozy Big Timber Homes, the historic Morris Ranch House, and even a remote encampment in the back woods. There really is something for everyone. But the rustic elegance, total privacy, five-star perks, and marvelous views of the Wilderness Estates are bound to blow your mind. Youre out there in thick woods, yet just a quick ride away from fine dining, pampering spa treatments at Spa Town and a range of activities such as horseback riding, rappelling, river kayaking, ATV riding, skeet shooting, hiking . . . you name it. You even get your own eco-friendly electric car that's so silent the animals won't hear you coming perfect for a personal safari ride.
Driving around the quiet forest roads was one of the highlights of my stay with the windows down, taking in the scent of sage and pine as was my gourmet Americana dinner at Pomp, the acclaimed restaurant at Paws Up. I had an appetizer of heirloom tomatoes from the resorts organic garden; an entree of grilled elk loin served with golden lentils, snap peas, and grilled black velvet apricot; and a desert of huckleberry ice cream with almond cake.
Rates start at $2,690 per night (based on two people) and include three meals daily and roundtrip airport transfers. To book, call 1-800-473-0601 or visit www.pawsup.com.