Last Updated on July 7, 2023

Exploring the magnificent Finger Lakes region of New York, I discovered that camping and luxury can coexist in one place. I know, it sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true. New York glamping.

At Naturluxe & Stars guests get the best of both worlds, close proximity with nature and an abundance of comfort. The name relays what this experience is all about, comfortable beds and lots of amenities surrounded by picturesque surroundings.

Dawn Aprile is the owner of Naturluxe & Stars. Her business background and real estate development experience inspired her to create this very unique glamping experience.

There are 42 acres of private woods here for on-site hiking. Adirondack chairs and hammocks are strategically located throughout the resort. A mini refrigerator, microwave and Keurig coffee maker are located in the common area for guest use.

Glamping Options

Inside the Safari Tent at NaturLuxe & Stars New York glamping. Photo credit Walter Colley.
Inside the Safari Tent at NaturLuxe & Stars New York glamping. Photo credit Walter Colley.

Disclosure: Our writers only recommend vacation rentals they’ve experienced firsthand, and all opinions expressed are their own. This post may contain affiliate links that allow us to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Naturluxe & Stars offers three different styles and price points of tents. Bell Tents, Platform Tents, and Safari Tents each provide New York glamping campers their own personal experience.

Every tent includes beds with a plush, comfortable mattress with down pillows, linens, blankets, and comforters. Towels are included. Tents also have a reading chair and lamp, rechargeable battery pack, luggage rack, clothes drying rack, and a tent fan.

Safari tents are the most spacious, situated in an open stone area with a community fire pit in the center of the tent circle. These canvas tents are 14-feet x 24-feet long with a pedestal sink, toilet, and shower located inside the tent. There are six safari tents, each with a queen-sized bed or two twins.

Safari tents are perfect for those who want to access to nature but do not want to actually be in the woods. That would be me, so this tent type was an ideal choice.

I was thankful for electricity and my own sink, toilet, shower, and an incredibly comfortable bed. On one of the cooler nights, Dawn gave me a hot water bottle to put by my feet under the covers which kept me toasty warm. She learned that tip from her grandmother and is more than happy to pass it along to her guests.

The Bell tents are located on a hill in an open field overlooking the valley, closest to the Watkins Glen International Racetrack. I got to peek in a couple of those during my visit, and it’s amazing how roomy they are. These are 16-feet in diameter and accommodate one queen-sized bed or two twins.

Platform tents are situated in the woods along a mulch trail path. These tents are 12-feet wide x 14-feet long and accommodate one queen-sized bed or two twins as well. Platform tents provide more of a private setting and a good option for those want to be on their own but not too far in and close to the bathhouse.

Note: Naturluxe & Stars is open seasonally. The planned dates for 2023 are May 19, 2023 to October 8, 2023.

Even the Bathhouse is Great

NaturLuxe & Stars Bath House. Photo credit Walter Colley.
NaturLuxe & Stars Bath House. Photo credit Walter Colley.

Speaking of the bathhouse. What a pleasant surprise and part of the great experience here. It’s clean, modern, private, and smells good. This is definitely not a locker room setting. The bathhouse has clear polycarbonate ceilings so you can look up, see the sky, and feel more of a connection to nature.

Benefits of this Glamping Location

Another unique feature of this New York glamping location is that it’s next to the world-renowned race track, Watkins Glen International. You can hear the roar of the engines as the world-class racecar drivers compete.

NASCAR is this track’s biggest event. The US Vintage Grand Prix festival in September has a procession of vintage cars that people from all over the world come to see. On a side note: the fall foliage at this time of the year is absolutely gorgeous.

Some guests have even driven their cars on the race track. Only one-third of the guests come because of the track, the other two-thirds visit to explore the Finger Lakes region. Some have never been camping and some have but don’t want to deal with sleeping on the ground. So Naturluxe & Stars is the perfect choice.

Who Comes Glamping Here?

Dawn says she’s had guests from 15 states and three foreign countries including a race car driver from Costa Rica. Guests coming from Holland are friends and sponsors of a race car team and the location attracts college grads to healthy active people in their 70s, and all ages in between.

One guest drove up from Maryland on his Indian motorcycle to have a private retreat in a Safari tent. He returned this summer with his fiancé. A couple in their 60s came on their Harley and many millennials travel in on their motorcycles.

The only prerequisite to glamping here is that you must love the outdoors.

Other components that elevate the whole experience are the incredible views and the fact that the New York glamping site is close to the village.

Visitors will find that Dawn will also serve as your personal concierge. She wants guests to feel comfortable as well as providing recommendations for where to dine and what to do in the area.

Future plans are to expand and add a food and beverage venue to the site.

Things To Do in Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen waterfall. Photo by Lori Bruton.
Watkins Glen waterfall. Photo by Lori Bruton.

People who like glamping, also need things to do, right?

The Finger Lakes region is known for their wines so guests should not miss a Seneca Lake Wine Tour and Tasting.

Horseback riding at Painted Bar Stables is within close proximity.

I climbed up some of the gorge trails and loved the waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park.

After the hike, I was ready to be on the water. The young man at Summit to Stream took good care to set me up in an ocean kayak. Paddling around on the lake was a lovely experience.

The dinner cruise on Capt. Bill’s Seneca Legacy was probably my favorite adventure. If you ask me, life is always better on a boat. Thanks to Mark Simiele and the Captains for welcoming me not only on the dinner cruise but also on the sightseeing trip on beautiful Seneca Lake.

The Finger Lakes Wine Festival was going on when I was there. One of the vendors was also guest staying at Naturluxe & Stars. Thanks to Lisa, the Sunshine Girl, I left with a stylish pair of sunglasses.

Places To Dine in Watkins Glen

Kookalaroc’s is recommended for fresh seafood and more.

Graft Wine + Cider Bar offers signature selections that everyone raves about.

Jerlando’s Ristorante & Pizza Co. is a favorite eatery with an extensive menu. I ate here and received excellent service.

Nickel’s Pit BBQ is a place I can personally attest was delicious.

El Rancho is a locally owned authentic Mexican restaurant that’s quite a favorite.

My Glamping Adventure

Smores over the Campfire at NaturLuxe & Stars New York glamping. Photo credit Walter Colley.
Smores over the Campfire at NaturLuxe & Stars New York glamping. Photo credit Walter Colley.

When night falls (or whatever time you choose), you can return to your New York glamping tent to unwind and relax under the stars. Sit around the campfire and have some complimentary S’mores and be awe-inspired by the immense beauty of the universe.

People may come here as guests, but guaranteed, they’ll leave as friends. It’s a welcoming, comfortable, casual atmosphere. If you’ve never been glamping, I recommend staying at Naturluxe & Stars. You’ll be so glad you did!

Note: Naturluxe & Stars is open seasonally. The planned dates for 2023 are May 19, 2023 to October 8, 2023.

Interested in other glamping destinations we’ve loved? Check them out here.

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