GLAMPING IT UP AT PAWS UP, MONTANA: by Denny McEllis
I had to fight off a list of writers to get the chance to go to Paws Up, Montana. This assignment is known as being a drop-what-you’re-doing-and-go opportunity and my Chief had barely sent me the confirmation email before I was booking flights.
Even the name Paws Up, Montana brings to mind one word rustic, leather boots, cabins, cedar woods, wild animals, bears and mountains. American mountains (cue eagle cry).
A global trend, glamping(short for glamorous camping) has caught fire and offers outdoor enthusiasts an upgrade on rest and recreation Paws Up is North America’s finest provider of this indulgent vacation experience and has opened its fifth and most extravagant camp this year the “Cliffside Camp”.
Paws Up have continually pushed the envelope with innovative glamping design and amenities and at Cliffside Camp they have swung for the fences in a big way.
Situated atop a majestic cliff that overlooks the Blackfoot River and boasts the most expansive views on the entire 37,000-acre ranch the aptly named Cliffside Camp features a dining facility, lounge and six safari-style luxury tent accommodations ranging from 605 to 977 square feet. Each tent is privately nestled in groves of pine trees for a natural privacy that offers the beautiful smell of pine-needles.
Four of the six tents feature two-bedrooms with a king bed in one and two twin beds in the other, making them ideal for families and the remaining tents are designated as “honeymoon tents” and feature a copper tub at the foot of a king bed, making them the quintessential romantic accommodation. However, by design I am here by myself and found the honeymoon tent perfect for a couple of nights away. Just me and the wild.
Maybe for this reason, one of the features I love the most is that each tent includes an ensuite bathroom with double sinks, heated slate flooring and large, glass-enclosed showers which is one of the main differences between glamping and camping- no sharing. The porch deck is rustic, with comfortable seating that provides a front-row seat to Mother Nature’s daily and nightly performances. There’s even air-conditioning, hardwood flooring and electricity.
Central to the Cliffside Camp is an impressive, private dining pavilion that not only offers restaurant-style seating, but a lounge area with couches and a fireplace.
Paws Up employs a private camp chef to prepare the delectable cuisine, and a camp butler attends to all of the guests’ needs. He was kind enough to prepare gourmet s’mores in the camp’s fire and even helped me plot out the best itinerary for my time away from the office.
“Year after year, we continue to see increased demand for our luxury tented camps,” stated Larry Lipson, owner of The Resort at Paws Up, “When designing Cliffside Camp, we incorporated insight from our guests and valued travel professionals to create the optimum level of luxury and singularity.”
Glamping is not cheap, but it needs to make no apology for it. The combination of the most spectacular views, rustic luxury of the highest level and the sort of attention to detail that makes you feel more like royalty than a mere guest makes it all worthwhile.
I will say that I believe it would be better to have someone to share the experience (and price) with, especially as the rates are based upon two adults and also include three meals daily. Starting at $1,475 (£944.00) per night the experience did have it’s lonely moments because there is only so much a girl can do in the forest by herself.