Glamping Hub meets the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

By Rachael Land

This year marked the 47th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, where nearly 900,000 spectators travel from all over the world to see the sky filled with hundreds of hot air balloons. This nine-day event is filled with several sessions, from early-morning mass ascensions to balloon flying competitions, laser light shows, balloon glows, and fireworks! It is known as the largest display of hot air balloons in the world, as well as for globally being the most photographed event.

The event

If you're interested in attending, especially to see the magical morning ascension, you better set your alarm early! Attendees arrive to the grounds between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Have no fear, though; the fiesta has endless coffee vendors and breakfast burritos to keep you warm and motivated (and don't forget the green chili).

Regardless of whether or not you're a morning person, there's definitely a session for you. One great example of this is the Special Shape Rodeo, where new shapes come to life for the first time; it's one of the most popular events to witness. My favorite? A flying pig!

The glamping set-up

There were many firsts for me on this adventure—my first time visiting New Mexico, my first time attending the Balloon Fiesta, and my first time ever glamping! Not only was it my first, but it was the Fiesta's first year offering this type of accommodation, too. Sure, they have multiple RV parks and affiliated hotel partners to chose from, but glamping?! Just steps away from the event entrance, you can sleep on-site and skip the morning commute. Talk about convenience!

Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was the position of each tent: a dozen white tents organized in the shape of U with each tent's opening facing the magnificent Rockies. Inside the U-shape formation was a very inviting communal area accompanied by a fire pit, lounge chairs, a game of corn hole, a few barbecues, and a trailer that offered complimentary coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts each morning. Located along the perimeter were the bathroom and shower trailers, which were sparkling clean and even played music 24 hours a day.

Inside the tents

As I entered the tent, I was greeted with a lovely welcome basket, filled with snacks, a few toiletries, and some branded merchandise from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta—what a treat! As far as amenities go, the tent was outfitted with a comfy queen-size bed, a decorative rug, two nightstands with lamps, a bench, a mini-fridge, coat hangers, and a space heater. Temperatures dropped as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night, but that didn't phase me in my cozy tent.

I bet you're wondering about security when your room has canvas walls and a zipper closure. Rest assured, the glamping site was well-staffed with 24-hour security, and each guest was provided with a custom padlock. Not once did I ever feel unsafe or fear that my personal items were at risk, which made my stay even more enjoyable.

I also bet you're wondering about any potential noise complaints. Given the close proximity of the tents, I was surprised that I rarely ever heard my neighbors, even with their tent at just a few feet away. Moreover, due to the luxurious set-up that glamping offers, the generators not only provided power to each tent, but also a gentle white noise that helped put me to sleep each night.

Glamping Hub at the Fiesta

Having a brand presence on the festival grounds was an incredible experience. As a partner, our goal was to help the Fiesta promote the new glamping accommodations that they're offering. With the success we had this year, we expect to see them increase their number of tent accommodations and enhance the overall glamping village experience for years to come.

Another goal of ours was to simply get our brand and name out there. There were many attendees that didn't know what "glamping" meant, making the education part of our time there very exciting. I feel there is always a strong connection when it comes to talking about the passion of travel, and the Fiesta was the perfect platform for these conversations.

(There were also quite a few guests who knew what glamping was—and even a handful that had been a guest via our platform before!)

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was only the first of many partnerships Glamping Hub will be a part of, but it sure set the bar high. I would encourage everyone to attend this event. Whether you like to travel or you're a sucker for unique experiences, this is the event for you—it's definitely bucket list-worthy.

It's time to consider glamping under a sky full of balloons!

Want to check out other glamping options in New Mexico? Click here to keep exploring on Glamping Hub!

Blogger Spotlight: Lauren enjoys serenity near Santa Fe, New Mexico

By Jessica Armstrong

Just outside of Santa Fe, glampers and friends will find these charming casitas waiting to give guests a unique experience in nature. Lauren Monitz can give you the full "Down Lo" on her stay at this gorgeous property and all the glitz, glam, and nature that came along with the visit.

From nights spent under the stars and getting to know neighboring guests to day trips to Santa Fe, Lauren was a big fan of her glamping getaway and you will be, too. Find out more about what makes these casitas so special as Lauren recalls her stay below!

Lifestyle blogger, Lauren Monitz, poses in front of her casita rental.

Lifestyle blogger, Lauren Monitz, first arrives at her casita rental, ready to explore.

What was your initial reaction upon arriving to your glamping spot?

“This is camping?” It’s a massive, beautiful compound.

What are the three words you would use to describe your getaway?

Serene, rustic, and eco-friendly.

The two-person casita, beautifully decorated with string lights.

The stunning casita is beautifully decorated, adding a little charm and delight to Lauren's glamping experience.

What activities did you most enjoy while glamping at your destination?

Getting to meet the chickens!

What are your tips for new glampers and beginners?

Glamping is a good way to ease yourself into camping. While most properties have some sort of technology to stay connected (TV and/or Wi-Fi), try disconnecting. It can feel really good to get off the grid for a bit and forge real connections without any distractions.

 The fully-furnished and stunningly decorated master bedroom overlooks the surrounding fields.

The cozy master bedroom invites guests to enjoy a full night's rest, after which they can wake up to the beautiful Santa Fe sunrise.

What are your five go-to’s for your glamping stay?

Take advantage of the peace and quiet of the ranch, but explore the area, too. You’re only 20 minutes from the art and history of downtown Santa Fe. The hosts are amazing chefs; get to know their culinary skills by hanging out in the kitchen.

Get to know the other guests. The ranch house is meant to be a shared community space—you may just leave with a new best friend. The property is huge, and there are plenty of places for hiking or biking, but you could just as easily park it in the hammock all day. And don’t forget about the hot tub!

Private pond perfect for relaxing by is found in the rental's backyard.

The private backyard is the perfect place to relax and escape the southern heat.

Can you share with us the top five items you always make sure to pack for a camping or glamping getaway?

  1. A headlamp, because it can get really dark.
  2. Layers, because you never know how cold it can get.
  3. Snacks, because you may be far from food options, and you don't want to get hangry!
  4. Yoga pants for comfort.
  5. Cards, board games, or music for entertainment.

What is your biggest piece of advice for planning steps before booking a trip?

Be open-minded with dates and destinations. Search by types of accommodations (like tree houses or caves) for a unique getaway.

Gorgeous dusk view from the casita rental.

Gorgeous views of the vast landscape surround the casita and stretch as far as the eye can see.

Where are you looking to glamp next and why?

I would love to do a safari in Africa and wake up next to the animals. Hakuna matata.

What was your most memorable moment from your glamping stay?

The nighttime—the skies get impossibly dark and the quiet envelops you. It’s the soundest sleep I’ve had in awhile.

Lauren enjoying the stunning sunset view.

Lauren ends her exquisite glamping experience, day-dreaming about the next adventure.

Find your perfect New Mexico getaway here!

Follow along with Lauren and see where her adventures will take her next on her blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.