The global “glamping” phenomenon has reached the shores of Fire Island.
LoveFINS, which runs the marinas, restaurants, regular camp sites and other amenities at Watch Hill and Sailors Haven, has built four sites for glamping, or glamorous camping, leading into this year.
This is the first season that LoveFINS has been operating the glamping stations at Watch Hill, which is part of the Otis Pike High Dunes Wilderness.
The preserve is the only federally designated wilderness in New York State.
“This has been the latest trend in the outdoors, elevated camping, or glamorous camping,” explained Doug Biviano, who runs LoveFINs with his wife, Lee Biviano.
The two live at Watch Hill throughout the warmer months.
They had been watching the trend evolve, “and thought it would be tremendous on Fire Island, where lodging is very limited,” said Doug Biviano. “On Fire Island you’re very limited to expensive weekly rentals or the very few hotels that, again, are very, very expensive.”
Or, you can go glamping for as little as $95 per night, depending on the day and season.
“We wanted to bring low-cost, overnight lodging to Fire Island that also embraced the wilderness and the amazing natural resources of the seashore, and we thought that glamping would really connect Long Islanders and people from all over with our amazing seashore,” he said.
LoveFINS also manages 22 regular tent campsites, and a group site.
But back to the glam.
Glampers get to hang out in the beach wilderness in style.
Each site boasts tents that are about 14×16 in size with rails that run along the sides and two openings for cross ventilation that are draped in mosquito netting as well. Inside the tents you’ll find two queen beds, a nightstand, dresser and reclining chairs.
From the tent you can spill out onto a covered porch that’s equipped with a large ice chest, Adirondack chairs and coffee table. The site comes stocked with ice, charcoal, soaps and shampoos upon arrival.
The beds are made up with different sheets and comforters, depending on the season.
“Pretty much everything you need,” Biviano said. “And next year it will probably evolve a little bit more. We had one request this year for us to send the chef out to cook up some steaks.”
Already, the glamping sites are largely booked from now through Labor Day.
There is no running water or electricity, but there are bathrooms and showers at the beach and LoveFINS provides rechargeable LED lanterns with USB ports for your devices.
“One night I was walking through there and someone brought a projector and they were watching a movie,” Biviano said. “So they actually make for a nice silver screen.
“You can just see from walking through that people are really loving it.”
Photos by Mike Busch/fireislandandbeyond.com