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NYC’s Governors Island Becomes Venue for “Glamorous Camping”



For city slickers looking for an adventure to somewhere that feels kind of far away but is still in the city, they can now get a room at Governors Island, or more accurately, pitch a tent and camp out.

Governor’s Island features a campground of high-end tents which is now the newest spot for what’s known as glamping, or glamorous camping. Rates that can run more than $700 provide full beds, high thread-count sheets, bathrooms, plush towels, electrical outlets, barbecue grills and an on-site restaurant offering prime cuts of meat, according to Voz Is Neais News.

None of the traditional campfire and campout items are really present, making this experience unusual enough to stand out from a traditional campout somewhere like the wonderful Catskill Mountains.

“We’ve tried to create an experience where people can put all those concerns aside and connect to the place that they’re in, the people that they’re with and themselves,” Peter Mack, CEO and founder of Collective Retreats, said. They developed similar camps in Colorado, Montana and Texas.

There are 27 tens with shared bathrooms that are meant for overnighters who aren’t spending a lot of time there. The 10 larger summit tents offer guests their own bathrooms, en suite bathrooms, spa robes and one traditional favorite, a campfire s’mores kit, VIN News reports.

Governors Island is a 172-acre island in New York Harbor that is not far from the southern tip of Manhattan and separated from Brooklyn by Buttermilk Channel. It is part of the borough of Manhattan. The National Park Service administers a small portion of the north of the island as the Governors Island National Monument, while the Trust for Governors Island operates the remaining 150 acres, including 52 historic buildings. Today, Governors Island is a popular seasonal destination open to the public between May and September with a 43-acre public park completed between 2012 and 2016, free arts and cultural events, and recreational activities. Ferries from Brooklyn and Manhattan make the island accessible.

Visitors to Collective Governors Island have specific windows both to plan their stays as well as how they get to and from their tents during a visit, VIN News reports. Once the ferries stop running once it gets late, people staying at Governors Island have to stay within the campgrounds, but in the mornings they have the run of the island to themselves until the boats start operating again, according to VIN News.

The goal is to turn the island into a year-round destination, Michael Samuelian, president and CEO of The Trust for Governors Island said. His organization oversees the island’s redevelopment. Examples of what the company does it have the site host events including musical performances and art exhibits.

Collective Retreat’s pitch for a luxury camping ground on a portion of the island made perfect sense, he said. Putting up tents and communal bathrooms requires less infrastructure than building a full-scale hotel, which is on the ultimate goal list, VIN News reports. The trust can start accepting overnight visitors and figure out the transportation and other needs to make it a full-time, year-round destination, according to VIN News.

“It’s absolutely worth it because big-picture, this is the direction we need to go,” Samuelian said.

By: Suzie Armstrong

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