This insane elevated tent will let you experience camping from a whole new perspective.
Set in the mountains of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, the Floating Retreat by Ardh Architects will allow you to stay in a tent that’s suspended in mid-air. While that thought alone may cause your stomach to turn, the unique lodging stands to be an exhilarating opportunity to test your bravery and dangle over some awe-inducing views.
The Dubai-based company is creating the campsite’s design in collaboration with Sharjah’s developmental leaders to promote environmental awareness. Sharjah is known as the third-most populous city in the UAE. While sites such as the Al Noor Mosque and Al Majaz Park are popular tourist destinations, Ardh’s new floating development will opens your eyes to the city’s natural beauty.
In renderings, the colorful overarching facade of the campsite stores up to 10 pyramid-shaped pods. Each lodging is set back off a long walkway, stretching from one mountain to another, and is attached to a set of suspension cords. The pods boast a simple design, made of only fabric and chromoly steel, and are designed to hold their shape with just two people inside. The lightweight, fireproof, breathable and waterproof materials used for the tents are also UV stable.
The pods can each be lowered around 330 feet (100 meters) in calm wind conditions. When the wind picks up, they’ll be lifted to prevent damage. You can adjust the suspension of the tents yourself using the provided controls. Designed with privacy in mind, the lodgings feature blur fabric on its sides, while the front of the tents are made of clear material to provide uninterrupted views. You can switch up the layout of your floating abode, with options geared toward work, rest and exercise.
These tents will also offer a host of luxe amenities that rival your favorite upscale hotel suite. Its key offerings include room service and entertainment, as well as Wi-Fi access via headsets and tablets. Each pod even has it own private bathroom as well as access to a five-star spa facility at the top of the mountain. During the winter months, you’re able to stay in the tents for 24 hours at a time, while from May to September, the tents are only available for day use, allowing you to enjoy the views and access the spa in pleasant conditions. A restaurant and concierge are located at the ground floor reception area, where you can also book private guided tours of the area.
In a statement, Emirati architect and Ardh Architects founder Oman Alowais says the Floating Retreat will have “the quality of calm such as the [one] experienced in places with mainly natural features and activities, free from disturbance from manmade ones.” And you can enjoy that calm throughout the campsite’s surrounding area, which offers a host of traditional camp activities such as mountain climbing, hiking, cycling and more—all with that same mountain-capped view.
If you still don’t feel compelled to try this one-of-a-kind experience, details on Ardh Architects’s safety protocols may give you a sense of relief. “The hotel staff and engineers on-site are trained to handle risks such as fire hazards, wind blow or stuck pods,” Alowais says in an email to Robb Report. “In the event that a tent becomes stuck, the cables allow the pod to swing to the side of the mountain, where the guests can be safely retrieved by the mountain climbing team and brought down to safety. The safety of our guests is our primary concern, and we have implemented measures to ensure that they can enjoy their adventure with confidence and peace of mind.”
The Floating Retreat is just one of many new glamping adventures that are set to open for business. Oculis Lodge also recently announced that it will begin welcoming guests this spring. Set in Washington’s Cascade mountains, the campsite is slated to house 12 dome-shaped pods with massive skylights, a private sauna and a Jacuzzi. Or you can check out the Four Season’s first adults-only tented camp that’s chock-full of luxurious amenities, including an outdoor gym and a stretch of private beach.
Interested in the Floating Retreat (and perhaps conquer your fear of heights)? Check out the Ardh Architects website for more information.