Geodesic domes have entered Canada’s glamping (a portmanteau of “glamorous” and “camping”) game as of late, providing an intimate and unique connection to nature for adventurers.
With their characteristic design and cozy interiors, geodesic domes have obvious social media appeal—something that has undoubtedly fuelled their recent popularity. But, more importantly, they also shine in the sustainability department thanks to a low ratio of materials-to-structure footprint. Rather than disrupt the surrounding landscape, these domes are designed to complement it— whether that’s the shoreline of a lively harbour in British Columba, a pristine New Brunswick forest, or Ontario’s rolling farmland.
With no shortage of windows or skylights throughout, these unique accommodations offer a chance to get up close and personal with nature at time when doing so has taken on a newfound importance for many Canadians after months (and months) of COVID-19-inspired restlessness.
Whether you’re in search of bucket list-worthy travel inspiration or are in the market for a safe escape in the near future, these five spots take it well beyond the typical tent.
Wildpod’s six luxury geodesic domes sit on the edge of Tofino’s downtown core on the shoreline of its active harbour. Boasting both a dramatic and soul-soothing backdrop, the yurt-like domes are so close to the bay that they offer an experience that makes you feel like you’re floating on water. Each year-round dome varies slightly, but all feature an ensuite bathroom with a shower, a queen-size bed, a kitchenette, and a propane fireplace. The star of the show is a massive panoramic window, from which whale sightings are often reported and (naturally) documented on social media. Making for incredible memories, Wildpod also offers reliable eye candy for seekers of those famous west coast sunsets.
Glen Oro Farm
Located just 140 kilometres from Toronto, Glen Oro Farm offers a new eco-retreat where guests can sleep under the stars, hike, or horseback ride through a winding landscape and peacefully reconnect with members of their bubble. While the scenic, 200-acre farm dates back to 1841, the six geodesic domes were fall 2020 additions to the property—and, clearly, very timely ones. The domes accommodate one to two people, and feature a king-sized bed, a stove, an outdoor fire pit, and both an en suite kitchenette and bathroom. In the Stargazer Dome, a ladder leads to a loft space with a cozy bed that sits directly under a skylight, offering unmatched views of starry skies.
Mount Tyron, Prince Edward Island
At Prince Edward Island’s all-season Treetop Haven, wellness and nature are central and intertwined themes. Here, five geodesic domes (or TreePODS) sit elevated in the trees, nestled within fifty acres of pristine east coast forest. This escape offers a literal breath of fresh air and the chance to quietly connect to nature through things like designated spots for forest bathing, peaceful walking trails (with snowshoes available in the winter), and reliable bird watching. For some guests, their surroundings and the TreePODS may be best enjoyed in a personal hot tub on their wraparound decks. Rounding out the wellness-centric getaway, yoga instructors and massage therapists are available upon request.
Kingston Peninsula, New Brunswick
Ridgeback Lodge offers a romantic, off-the-grid escape that removes phones, internet, and TV from the equation in its rustic log cabins and glamping domes. Located about 60 kilometres from Saint John, New Brunswick, the property features a private pond and hiking trails. The cozy Dream Domes are open year-round and feature a kitchenette, stove, shower, flush toilet, and dreamy five-star bed. Each has a private deck with a barbecue, and offers the option of a Japanese wood-fired hot tub as an appreciated add-on. In the warmer months, the simpler Stargazer Domes offer more basic accommodations, however, guests also enjoy exclusive access to a fully equipped cabin just steps away.
Free Spirit Spheres
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
The magical forest retreat offered at Qualicum Beach’s Free Spirit Spheres is like something from a whimsical daydream. Here, traditional geodesic domes are swapped for giant bead or bowling ball-like spherical tree houses that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Suspended by ropes in the forested canopy of Vancouver Island’s coastal rainforest, the custom luxurious wood and fibreglass spheres house a compact but comfortable layout that accommodates two adults. The truly unique accommodations double as works of art, yet somehow still blend seamlessly into the surrounding environment.