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Love the idea of camping but the reality of a comfy bed to crawl into at the end of the day? Glamping is for you, friend. Join interior designer Tim Leveson as he sleeps under the stars, the fancy way

Expect pure luxury at Spicers Sangoma Retreat in the Blue Mountains, where Tim was lucky enough to visit. Their tent suite offers the ultimate glamping experience, complete with a luxe spa bath overlooking the treetop canopies from which it’s perched.

Tim’s first experience of glamping was enough to convert him. Picture: Al Richardson

“The glamping tent that we stayed in, you enter upon a very comfortable queen bed with all this beautiful linen,” Tim describes.
“And then you roll up the canvas wall on your side and you’re literally looking over the cliff face, with an amazing view of the Australian bush.”

Despite its luxuries, there’s no denying Spicers’ tent suite is at its core, a tent, and staying there will magnify your sense of connection with the great outdoors just as those childhood camping trips with mum and dad did.

Inside the tent suite. Picture: Al Richardson

“A tent is essentially just a collection of canvas walls separating you from the outside, which is amazing,” Tim says.

However, their suite does include perks – let’s not forget the perks – including, but not limited to, a wood-burning fireplace, tea and coffee-making facilities, flat screen TV, daily-replenished mini bar and Bose sound system. With nothing but trees for stretches, you could have yourself a party.

“You’re in a beautiful hotel environment and yet you’re still really close to nature,” Tim says.
“So you can hear the wind and you can hear the birds and all those great things that make our landscape so wonderful.”

The experience of ‘getting away from it all’ began to dawn on Tim driving up to the retreat.

“I love how isolated it was – you drive down this small dirt road and then suddenly you come up to this stunning, architecturally designed hotel with a huge dining area, day spa and swimming pool, surrounded by all these beautiful areas to glamp. It’s really secluded.”

Nothing to hear but the birds and the bees. Picture: Al Richardson

Moving into the hotel, Tim barely saw another soul. “Although there were other guests, you don’t actually see each other because all the glamping rooms are separated,” he says.

For loved-up couples, the sense of leaving everyone and everything behind can be an appealing one – and Tim notices romance is not in short supply.

In the age of living fast, Spicers Sangoma, which means ‘healer’ in the Zulu language, is a place to bask in natural beauty and reset the pace.

“Everything’s expected to happen so rapidly these days, that to stop and take a breath and spend time in the raw Australian landscape is really refreshing and rewarding,” Tim says. “It makes you feel human again.”

The more relaxing way to get back to nature. Picture: Al Richardson

But why not just camp? For many, the stresses of camping can outweigh the rewards.

“If you don’t feel like hauling a tent to a campsite, struggling with pegs or trying to boil hot water on a little stovetop, then glamping is great because you have all your mod-cons for what you need to have a relaxing holiday, and yet you’re still essentially in a tent,” Tim explains.

“At the other end of the spectrum, there’s so many hotels out there and they’re all so similar – you sometimes can’t tell the difference from one to the other. Whereas glamping somewhere like Spicers Sangoma, you definitely know you’re not in a hotel in its traditional sense, and that’s what makes it really special.

“You’ve got to try it at least once.”

All-inclusive suites at Spicers Sangoma start at $1,199 per night.