Firelight Camps | Glamping in Ithaca, NY

by Tillie Eze

Glamping is all the rage as the luxury market continues to amass a large cult following. With every new trend or “it” thing, there’s a unique twist lurking behind, making it all the more special than what you were used to before. That’s exactly what glamping is like with Firelight Camps. It takes all the coziness of a rustic hotel and lumps it in center of nature. Don’t worry about eating lukewarm vittles cooked over a barely smoking twig fire, or resting your head on the ground in the middle of the forest – if you wanted all of that, you’d just go camp.

Founded by Bobby and Emma Frisch, Firelight Camps is one of the first glamping sites in the United States. With origins dating back to Africa and Thailand, this concept is fairly new to this side of the Atlantic. Stationed in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Firelight Camps opened with six tents and a small lobby tent, and has grown to 15 safari style quarters of hardwood floors, a king or queen-sized beds, furniture inspired by global campgrounds and a porch that would make any cabin chartreuse with envy.

So what is glamping exactly? Well, this isn’t a new term for me as I originally heard of it on an episode of The Only Way is Essex a few years back. It seemed like such an odd, horribly executed idea, that it just couldn’t be real. Imagine a group of glammed up women in chandelier earrings, full face of makeup, and lots of leopard print. Obviously, from that video, it’s not the best example of what to expect, or things do to when, but if that’s your only reference… we’ll, you know? Fast-forward to April of the following year when Coachella was packed with who’s who of the celebrity world, editors galore, and society influencers like never before. In that dusty oasis of loud rhythmic sound, they all needed a place to recharge their batteries, stay cool in an air-conditioned area, and shower – hence the Safari Tents.

But America has some of the most beautiful and scenic wilderness in the world, that it seemed a waste to hoard the notion for over-hyped events where guests who wouldn’t even acknowledge the lavishness of their abode. Leaving nature’s wonders ignored. Take me for example. I think nature is breathtaking and a vision no words could ever fully describe, but my disdain for the outdoors trumps it more than it probably should. Firelight Camps is a destination for people like me who will try anything at least twice (once to say I did it, another to prove I didn’t like it) an opportunity to meld worlds that we both love and hate to enjoy peacefully. Take part in the happy hour featuring regional wines, beers, ciders, and spirits, learn to play bocce ball with some new friends, or get deep tissue massage at August Moon Spa. And if you’re hungry dine at La Tourelle or John Thomas Steakhouse, because they happen to be located on the property.

“Our community is so supportive of young entrepreneurs, and there was a wealth of knowledge and resources here to help us build the camp. The Finger Lakes is one of the oldest and most vibrant food and farming regions in the country, and is quickly becoming known as an agritourism destination. It’s also home to an astonishing number of waterfalls and lakes, which is a huge attraction for outdoor lovers,” said Emma Frisch.

From waterfall hikes to serene spa experiences to wining and dining to just napping in the lap of nature’s luxury,  your next getaway should truly take you away, not force you to relinquish the comforts of life.

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