August 28 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
EDP Future50 firm Wild Luxury has invested £100,000 in extending its glamping operation in north Norfolk.
Jonathan Barber, who launched the business in 2011, has added Top Camp - a development of three luxury safari lodges - next to his existing eight lodge site in Thornham.
He runs a further ‘off-grid, wild location’ site with five lodges at Sedgeford.
Mr Barber said the extra luxury of the new development particularly appealed to adults.
The new lodges are six berth, built on a raised platform, with expanded kitchens and every mod con from fridges to hair dryers.
“They are for the laziest campers, people who don’t want to leave their creature comforts behind,” said Mr Barber.
After being featured in a national paper, Top Camp quickly sold out through to September.
He said: “We have had a very solid year. We had sold out our accommodation for the school summer holidays by January 9.
“Glamping generally is struggling a bit more than it has, but our location close to the coast gives us an advantage.
“It is important to put in absolutely the best fittings and we have got a name for the best kit.”
Mr Barber founded the company after taking his family wild camping in 2010; he travelled as far as Rajasthan looking at premium canvas resorts before finally settling on South African safari-style lodges.
He said they were on course to increase their turnover 20pc from last year and this season had increased their staff by four to 12.
The firm was given a boost in the winter when it was named by the Sunday Times as one of its 2014 Ultimate 100 holidays in the world.
A Norwich-based business which started as a “man with a van” operation is eyeing further expansion after seeing its predicted turnover increase from £6,000 to £340,000 within five years.