Happy Glampers

By Stu Lancaster 2019-04-29 16:04:29

Luxury camping for the whole family

When I was searching for a weekend escape I was made a little apprehensive by the name ‘glamping’; it seemed like an oxymoron combining the word ‘glamour’ with the word ‘camping’, For me camping has connotations of inter-railing around Europe and being caught in a two week storm, water was coming into our tent at night and at 6am we would be awoken by roosters or drunk weekenders. However, I craved the outdoors and having a four-year-old meant that we secretly did not want to rough it.

Glamping is the new camping craze sweeping over China. Although it does not represent a full interaction with nature it is still represents a move away from the traditional hotel weekend break. Families are seeking alternatives to hotels, especially in the spring, when a hotel can represent a stuffy choice for children. If you are fortunate enough to have good weather, let your child run across the field to the various play stations whilst you sip away on some chilled Chardonnay (you have a fridge also) and bask in the rarity that is Shanghai sunshine.

If you are weather savvy and have access to a good weather forecasting app, use it. We took the bull by the horns and headed off to Fengxian on the Sunday after the Qing Ming festival. It was an expedition into the unknown but the term "glamping" did create enough positive vibes to sell the idea to my wife. This impressive campsite, consisting of private tents with outdoor activities, is situated within the Shanghai Haiwan National Forest Park, located 50 kilometers south of the city facing Hangzhou Bay.

Neoroll Glamping at Haiwan Park boasts 27 impressive tents, permanently set up and ready for your arrival. Built with an en-suite bathroom and a bedroom with either a twin or king-sized bed, these 45-square-metre tents provide the ultimate high-end camping experience. Maximum capacity for each tent is four (two adults and two kids under 12) and extra mattresses or sleeping bags are priced at RMB200 each night. The canvas roof tents have the necessary air conditioning to keep you cool in the coming heatwave.

If you are a hardened camper this experience may not quite satisfy you. If you simply want to get away from it all and sit in a field whilst your child runs his or her socks off, then this will represent a good travelling experience. There is an array of complimentary child-friendly activities available throughout your stay, so let the kids explore the grounds and immerse themselves in the fun of being outside. Whether they’re interested in archery, trampoline jumping or the slightly dangerous bubble rolling, every child will be entertained for hours. Furthermore, the camp does offer horse riding, go karting and canoeing all available at an additional charge and better yet they will construct a make-shift swimming pool when the weather becomes hotter (it is actually quite deep).

On this occasion I simply wanted to sit in my deck chair and read my book but there were a lot of activities that you could potentially do as well as barbecue. They provide all of their glampers with their own grill, various meats and you can cook into the evening. Then you can retreat into the high end luxury of your tent - a curiously Chinese combination of DIY fun and indulgence. All in all, this trip ticked all the boxes for me; mainly, my child had fun, hence it was a success. And actually the journey back by car was rather painless and can be done in less than 90 minutes.

Good to know

Travelling time from Pudong was approximately 90 minutes during rush hour.

• Glamping packages for a weekend start at 1,320RMB Neoroll recommends booking a month in advance.

• Neoroll Glamping’s site is set up inside the Shanghai Haiwan National Forest Park, located at the south end of the Hangzhou Highway and approximately 90 minutes’ drive from central Shanghai. Access is via Gate 1.

•Outbound journey: Take the fast train (K8351 or K8353) from Shanghai South Railway Station bound for Haiwan Forest Park Station.

•Bring toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gel as they are not provided for environmental reasons.

•Contact email booking@neoroll.cn