Kyra Fingleton of Glamping Under the Stars, Co. Laois, Ireland, explains the importance of a noise policy to ensure peace and harmony on a glampsite.
Glamping can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s a quiet break in the tranquility of nature, listening to the birds singing in the morning, and sitting peacefully under the stars at night. For others, it’s a chance to catch up with friends, have a few drinks, and a bit of a singsong around the campfire, maybe even a party…
As a glampsite owner, you want all your guests to enjoy their stay with you (and write fantastic reviews afterwards). But listening to a noisy late night session when you’re trying to get your three small children to sleep in the next tent does not a 5 star review make.
That’s where the noise policy comes in. Most glampsites have some kind of noise curfew, and we’ve set ours at 11pm. We flag it up on our website and always mention it when guests are booking. And, just to make sure everyone knows about it, we also have clear signage up in our communal kitchen.
It’s not terribly draconian – we don’t come down shining a torch in people’s faces and insist that they go to bed at that time. Quiet chat around the campfire or in The Glamp House is fine, as long as you’re not disturbing other guests.
But we do tell our guests ‘this is more of a chill out place than a party place’, and we actively encourage anyone looking for a party vibe to book elsewhere. This does mean that we lose out on some bookings. But we actually don’t mind. We have worked very hard to create a glampsite that is family friendly, and a great many of our family glampers return here year on year. Looking after them and their need for quiet after a certain time is a big part what makes our site ideal for families.
Of course we do cater for parties here too. We’ve had some amazing hen parties and birthday celebrations here (30ths, 40ths, and even a 70th), as well as a wedding that was televised on Don’t Tell The Bride! But, because the needs of families and party groups are so different, we insist that adult groups book out the whole site.
I can’t tell you how relieved our family guests are when they hear this. They will never be expected to share the glampsite with a noisy group of revelers. And, conversely, most hen parties are delighted to have the place to themselves. It means they can relax, let their hair down, and settle into the communal kitchen and campfire areas. They can put up willy-themed decorations, even hold a nude sculpture class on site, and generally make themselves at home. It’s a win-win.
Of course, some adult groups are not prepared to book out the site. And again, sometimes we lose out on those bookings. But as we build our business, our reputation, and our brand, meeting the very different needs of our two core customer groups is way more important to us.
Even for hen parties, we do have rules around noise. We live in a stunning rural area in Co. Laois, in the heart of the Irish countryside – so it’s easy for people to presume they are in ‘the middle of nowhere’, and that therefore, they can make as much noise as they like.
However, we have neighbours nearby, and on a clear night, sound carries a long way (as we discovered early on in our glamping journey!). So, in the interest of neighbourly harmony (and because we live on site with our own three young children), we do not allow DJs, bands, or amped music of any kind on the glampsite.
Again, some groups are put off by this. And again, that’s fine! What we have done is to source a range of fun alternatives to noisy DJs, which are more in keeping with our chilled out glampsite vibe, and also our noise policy.
Hens can: hold a Silent Disco (where a DJ provides two channels of music to the group via headphones); book an acoustic guitarist to entertain them around the campfire; or, if they really want a late and noisy night, they can hire a minibus to the nightclub in town.
We convey our noise policy loud and clear, to ensure that all our different guests have a brilliant time. And, while we have lost some bookings because of it, we are quietly building a reputation as a friendly, chilled out glampsite that’s ideal for families, and perfect for parties. Just not at the same time.