Eco-tourism is a fast developing industry, as travelers become more conscious about what type of holiday they choose. "Glamping" (glamor + camping) has thus become a popular option for many the eco-tourist, incorporating eco-friendly domes or igloos, that take the camping experience to the next level of comfort. Here's a look at two eco-dome sites in Europe.
Dome Garden, Gloucestershire, EnglandThe Dome Garden is a camping facility in Gloucestershire, featuring 10 domes in the heart of the Forest of Dean. The fully self-contained domes are up to 24 feet (7.5 m) in diameter and can comfortably house a family of six. The domes are light, sturdy and completely wind and water resistant. They also feature a clever insulation system - as the heat within rises to the top, it is then driven down into boxes of recycled glass under the floor by a solar fan. During the night, the fan can also be used to keep the dome warm and guests cozy.
Each dome is fitted with an eco en-suite where the water is heated by a boiler in the back of a stove, using logs that are harvested in the forest just yards from the site.
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The Dome Garden is open most of the year. Four nights' accommodation mid-week in a luxury dome starts at GBP325 (US$504).
Whitepod, Les Cerniers, SwitzerlandThe Whitepod resort offers a novel approach to exploring the Swiss Alps, with 15 domes pitched on wooden platforms. Each pod is protected from the cold and snow, equipped with a wood-burning stove, organic luxury bedding and full service bathroom. Guests also have access to the adjacent early 19th century wooden chalet, for a full breakfast service or evening drinks around the open fire. In addition, the recently built spa guarantees complete relaxation after an active day in the forest or on the ski slopes.
The resort features sustainable initiatives such as minimal daily water and electricity consumption, reduced waste production and the use of renewable resources.
The Whitepod Resort will open for the first time this December, with prices starting from €325 (US$437) per night. Prices include full buffet breakfast, daily afternoon tea, snow and ski hire and access to the private ski slopes.