Let your guests enjoy the peace and space of luxury safari tents at your camping

Camping Les Charmilles is a small-scale terraced campsite aimed at families with school-age children. It has been nearly fifteen years since Martin and Maaike embarked on this adventure in the heart of Ardèche. Currently, they offer campsite pitches as well as rental accommodations, including seven YALA luxury safari tents. We spoke to owner Martin, who was just finishing some gardening work, about their glamping adventure and the changes in the industry. Peace and quiet, space and having your own sanitary facilities are playing an increasingly important role for guests, as they seem to especially enjoy the luxuries of having a safari tent with private bathroom.

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For starters, we asked Martin about the start of their adventure. ‘When we acquired Camping Les Charmilles, there were dilapidated buildings with weak walls. We completely refurbished it.’ The results are impressive; Camping Les Charmilles is a successful family campsite with a variety of accommodation types and a welcoming atmosphere. ‘We stand for quality and service with a personal touch. The campsite is managed by us and we do a lot of the work ourselves, perhaps that is why quality is so important to us.’

An important aspect of quality is the staff. ‘Finding professionals with a passion for what they do is becoming more and more of a challenge,’ says Martin. ‘You work with seasonal employees and the selection is getting smaller each year. That is difficult, because tourism is an experience product in which the people who work at our campsite truly make the difference. We believe it is important that the guests come first and our staff should have the same philosophy.’


The safari tents sell themselves, therefore we don’t have to spend as much on marketing to get fully booked!

Martin Hardenberg and Maaike Martojo,
Owners of Les Charmilles – France

Accommodations: From campsite pitches to canvas lodges

The combination of quality and prioritising the guests has also brought about the necessary changes at Les Charmilles, for example in the range of accommodation. ‘The demand for rental accommodations was increasing, that is why we invested in safari tents. This has proven to be a success; our luxury glamping tents are always booked up quickly. In fact, four tents are already booked a year in advance. For us, that is the sign that this was the right investment. We immediately ordered more luxury glamping tents.’

One of the advantages of rental accommodations is that they remain in place permanently and guests can arrive and leave whenever they please. This is a little more cumbersome when guests arrive with a caravan. “I love to offer my services to our guests by positioning their caravan correctly, and it is also the first interaction with the new guests. But it is not always practical.” In addition, classic camping with a caravan or tent is losing popularity, while glamping is becoming increasingly popular. ‘We notice the growing popularity of luxury camping. The challenge for us is mainly infrastructural. Due to our mountainous location, the installation of glamping tents is a challenge, especially in terms of drainage and electricity. Nevertheless, we are happy to make it work.’

At Les Charmilles campsite, Martin and Maaike have now installed a number of safari tents without sanitary facilities and six YALA Dreamer and one YALA Sunshine that feature private bathrooms. ‘Our campsite is ready for the future. The canvas lodges add to the feeling of luxury of our campsite. We also welcome many guests in these safari tents during the off-season. Glamping, in combination with our aqua park, is the golden formula, better than classic mobile homes. Guests truly return here for the unique accommodation options, the additional facilities, and our impeccable service.’

Added luxury

We already knew that providing guests with additional facilities works like a charm, Camping Les Charmilles perfectly demonstrates how to do this in practice. ‘Guests benefit from delicious local food in our restaurant with à la carte menu. This completes the experience. We offer a water park for the kids with canal play and water games. In addition, Les Charmilles also features a normal swimming pool.’ Guests will never be bored at this campsite. ‘We organise a range of activities, entertainment and we also have camping animals on site. In addition, the surroundings offer plenty of opportunities for adventure.’


  • Glamping tents generate three times as much revenue as standard campsite pitches
  • The YALA team is skilled and competent and has good technical knowledge
    of the product
  • Safari tents with a great return
    on investment
  • Safari tents extend the season

Why YALA luxury canvas lodges?

Camping Les Charmilles offers an exciting mix of accommodation types, alongside the regular camping pitches. From basic tents to simple and luxury mobile homes, safari tents without sanitary facilities, to YALA safari tents that feature private bathrooms and kitchens. One of the luxury safari tents even has a private Jacuzzi.

We asked why the choice fell on YALA luxury canvas lodges. The answer was simple: ‘Quality, look and feel are most important when it comes to lodges. We were introduced to YALA at the SETT in Montpellier, and the models on display there made an immediate impression on us. Subsequently, we came into contact with sales manager Monique, who is an expert in the field and also knows a lot about the technical aspects of the product. It simply is a great match.’

Glamping triples the turnover

‘We certainly dare to say that glamping contributes to a higher turnover. On an annual basis, a canvas lodge generates more than three times as much turnover compared to a regular campsite pitch. The investment is higher, due to the groundwork and the installation of electricity, but all in all, the payback period for us is about three and a half years – which is great! Moreover, this is the image we want for our campsite: to integrate the safari tents into the natural surroundings. We love the idea of this, but it is also compulsory here in France. An additional advantage is that the tents sell themselves, therefore we don’t have to spend as much on marketing.’


The tents have a fantastic appeal – when guests first saw the tents at our campsite, they immediately booked a stay for next season.

Martin Hardenberg and Maaike Martojo,
Owners of Les Charmilles – France

Despite the fact that the most luxurious accommodations are booked first, Camping Les Charmilles keeps investing in all segments: ‘We want to be able to offer everyone a suitable accommodation to meet their needs. The versatility makes us unique.’ The investments do follow a common thread. ‘We especially want to create more peace and quiet and space for our guests; the safari tents contribute to this. In the future, we would like to have 60% of rental accommodations instead of the current 20%. Safari tents and spacious accommodation types take up more space, which will likely result in our campsite becoming more small-scaled in order to provide our guests with the ultimate camping experience.’

Are you curious to find out how safari tents or canvas lodges can increase your turnover? Contact our experienced sales team today to discover the possibilities.

Interested in placing safari tents at your camping?

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