To understand The Private Collection by Exclusive Tents, editor Hamish Kilburn sits down with the brand’s founder, Paul Zway…
Built with couples, families or small groups in mind – as well as for poolside, day beds and beach use – The Private Collection of innovative tents by Exclusive Tents are designed for tomorrows travellers.
Uniquely, these small-scale tents are created to be placed close to each other and still be able to maintain the social barrier that will allow for safety and luxurious comfort.
To understand more about the collection – and the man behind the Exclusive Tents brand – I caught with Paul Zway.
“In this Post-Covid world, only glamping offers the security of a natural form of social distancing.” – Paul Zway, Founder, Exclusive Tents.
Hamish Kilburn: In 16 years, why do you believe the demand for luxury tented accommodation has increased the way it has?
Paul Zway: There has been an ever-enlarging segment of people who want to get back closer to nature not only to find harmony but to also find freedom in space which Glamping naturally offers.
There is also an element of wellness and comfort that comes to those willing to experience living in a luxury tent whilst being immersed in and connected with/to nature. In this Post-Covid world, only glamping offers the security of a natural form of social distancing.
HK: What makes these new tents ideal for social distancing?
PZ: These are relatively compact tents of which the two smallest are five-sided (pentagon) and the other two are respectively rectangular and hexagonal tents. All have the luxury features of our larger Exclusive Collection of tents but they are small and private enough to be placed close to each other and still be able to maintain the social barrier.
All wall panels can be raised or lowered based on how they are spaced and placed in a grouping which will allow for privacy as well for any views where applicable. All windows have screens and roll-up canvas flaps as well as clear PVC window overlays which creates privacy and security and allows natural light to flow in.
Provision is also made for a ceiling fan/light mount and the curtains and inner ceiling liner finish the interior off with elegance. The two smaller five-side pentagon tents and also be arranged side by side or back to front for different views either separately or as a combination. These Private Collection Tents were designed for couples, family or small groups as well as for poolside, day beds and beach.
HK: From your vantage point over the industry, will public areas in hotels ever be the same again?
PZ: Most certainly public areas, particularly in new developments, will evolve and change with these changed times but some older establishments will have difficulties, be it budgetary or structurally, trying to evolve. This evolution, I believe, is only in its infancy but will find a more of a natural evolution in the glamping sector of hospitality.
HK: What were the design challenges when creating these new social distancing tents?
The entire idea was to create a compact tent using our existing superior frame structure along with our high-quality fabrics. Various designs and shapes were explored, but we finally settled on the pentagram because of its uneven shape and that it could be reversed to give an alternative view so it was based both on vision in and vision out.
Most of the design effort went into the two smaller tents in the Private Collection of tents, the largest being a hexagonal shape and 142 sq ft in area. The tents can be treated with fire retardant are rated for strong winds and can be insulated and are truly four-season tents.
HK: How have you ensured that luxury and comfort is not scarified in the design of this product?
Every effort was made to ensure that all the luxury features from the Exclusive Collection was included into these new tents with the only difference being that all sides can be rolled up to create a gazebo if required.
The Private Collection tents can also be insulated and have the same various colour options as the Exclusive Collection.
HK: Can you tell us more about the materials you use and how long they are expected to last?
PZ: We use only the best quality materials be it the steel or the fabrics and we also use the best thermal/acoustic insulation available for this kind of application. With the correct maintenance our tents have a longevity of at least 15-20 years.
HK: How do these tents challenge conventional tented accommodation in their design?
PZ: Our tents are fully “All Season” tents with a 4-layer roof and can be used in extreme heat down to bitterly cold conditions. Our roof framing system is very unique and robust making our tents do extremely well in very strong winds and heavy snow. The load bearing capabilities from the interior roof is also incredibly good for heavy fittings. We also have a range of insulation options and all tents can me made with fire retardant. We also offer a rainwater collection system along with a solution for fire suppression sprinklers.
HK: We loved your ‘biography through tents’ piece that we published recently. What advice would you give your younger self if you could?
PZ: I have always had to reinvent myself and have battled the odds on many occasions without any formal business education but always prevailed. I don’t regret much because I seldom look back and am always looking and moving forward. That being said, the only advise I would have given myself back then in the day was to tread way more carefully when stepping through the bush with snakes around it.
HK: Some would argue that your products are limited to safari regions. What would you say to that?
“Our Exclusive Collection of tents are not typical safari tents.” – Paul Zway, Founder, Exclusive Tents.
PZ: Granted, our Safari Collection which includes the Serengeti, Savanna and Livingston tents are all typical traditional Safari tents however we have these style tents standing in regions all over the world.
Our Exclusive Collection of tents are not typical safari tents but they too crossover well into typical safari regions. Our tents are built to specific requirements and this is most commonly related to climate. We are working currently on a tent that must weather cold conditions down to -45C which is the type of challenge that we excel in. Our tents are designed to be functional all year round and do not need to be winterised.
Main image credit: Exclusive Tents