Tents, shipping containers and boats galore: Glamping in Greenpoint

The words ‘camping’ and ‘Greenpoint’ have always sounded totally unrelated…until now.

Glamping in New Yorka brand new business that opened last month, offers cabin, tent and boat stays on the Greenpoint waterfront for an outdoor urban experience.

Each of the nine cabins is made from salvaged shipping containers and is equipped with amenities such as free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and a bathroom with shower, as is the double-decker boat that remains moored in the Greenpoint Waters.

The campground is right on the grounds of the Skyline Drive-In Cinema. Photo: Provided by NYC Glamping.

There are also two tents with a more authentic camping feel, but they also have proper beds and bathrooms.

What is glamping, you ask? The word ‘glamping’ is a portmanteau of ‘glam’ and ‘camping’, and it’s the latest vacation trend. It is popular among campers who wish to enjoy nature without compromising their modern needs.

One of two tents currently available for happy glampers.  Photo: Provided by NYC Glamping.
One of two tents currently available for happy glampers. Photo: Provided by NYC Glamping.

Fashion involves tents, RVs, and cabins tricked out with amenities like running water, WiFi, hotel-like beds, and the perfect Instagram backdrop. Popular and local examples are east wind in upstate New York or wild gatheringin the Hudson Valley, both of which sport A-Frame cabins.

“New York City has always had its own take on everything, so here we go: urban glamping. No forest, no beach, but that’s glamping,” said Lana Surzhikova, NYC Glamping manager.

Photo: NYC Glamping Instagram

Perhaps the most exciting part of the experience is the view, Surzhikova said. Every cabin, boat, and tent is directly on shore and directly over the water toward the Manhattan skyline.

“It’s exciting because no one has done this in Brooklyn yet,” Surzhikova said. “Over the last few years that I’ve noticed, Greenpoint has become a destination. It’s a perfect location for glamping as it’s a perfect view of Manhattan from the best possible angle.

Photo: NYC Glamping Instagram

From the inside, it feels as remote as nature, but instead of hiking, NYC Glamping offers guests lists of nearby attractions to discover.

“Greenpoint is densely populated with all kinds of small businesses. So when we have guests here and they ask me what there is to do and eat in the area, we always recommend local businesses to them,” Surzhikova said.

Photo: NYC Glamping Instagram

Since opening on the 4th of July weekend, NYC Glamping has welcomed couples, families with children, solo travelers, birthdays, anniversaries, and even a couple who got engaged during their stay.

About 70% of bookings come from people who live in New York, but the rest come from across the United States, Surzhikova said. Next month, Surzhikova welcomes her first group from outside the country.

“I hear the feedback and understand where it’s coming from that shipping containers don’t necessarily qualify as glamping, so we’re expanding the variations of what we have,” Surzhikova said.

The company will add a converted school bus and another tent to its fleet of unique stays next month. NYC Glamping is booked every weekend for the next few months, but has weekday availability.

Photo: NYC Glamping Instagram

Campgrounds are at 1 Oak Street in Greenpoint, on the Skyline Drive-in Theater lot, where customers can watch movies from their car while admiring the water. In addition to free parking, each stay includes free tickets to a movie of the guest’s choice.

Shipping containers are lockable; there are security cameras in the common areas and there is a security guard at the entrance to the site at all times, the site said.

Surzhikova said that since the business is going so well, she is also in the process of developing a waterfront DUMBO location. The NYC Glamping team just needs to figure out how to keep the pipes from bursting in the winter, she said.

“When we started it was in the middle of summer and we didn’t expect it to go so well,” Surzhikova said. “We could do so much more and we have so many ideas that we can turn into concrete things.”

Stays start at $330 a night for peak dates. Prices may be lower on off-peak days.

Earnest A. Martinez