In the past, Coachella concert-goers interested in getting a bit of a taste of the hotel life would have had to trek away from the music festival to an actual hotel. Now, Marriott is bringing its boutique hotel flare to the festival’s field with a handful of luxury tents.
Marriott International announced that it is designing eight of Coachella’s Safari Tents for this year’s festival, giving concert-goers the opportunity to “glamp” during the two-weekend festival that kicks off next month.
Each of the eight safari tents will be redesigned to resemble a different Marriott boutique hotel, including Moxy, AC Hotels, and others. Each room comes with a luxury bed, air conditioning, shower, and other amenities.
Guests can’t just book the tents like a regular room. Instead, those hoping to score one of the tents — which will only be available the weekend of April 20 to 23 — have to win the ability to stay in the rooms by bidding their Marriott or Starwood hotel loyalty reward points.
Four tents will be available for bids from Starwood loyalty members, three for Marriott members, and one for all Marriott reward members who sign up at Marriott’s Experience Marketplace, the Los Angeles Times reports.
So far, the rooms have between zero and four bids, according to Marriott’s auction pages. Bidding will end March 31 or April 6 depending on the room.
While having the ability to rest your head on a hotel bed a short walk from the concerts you were just jamming out to is convenient, it got us thinking about how Coachella lodging has evolved over the years. How did we get to a luxury tent from Marriott?
History Of Coachella Camping
When the festival first began in 1999, it didn’t offer concert-goers the option to camp. According to the blog Simply Fuse Free, limited offsite lodging during the first few years of the festival meant fewer people were able to attend.
Things changed in 2003, when the organizers began permitting camping at a polo field adjacent to the venue. Camping evolved over the years to include not only portable showers and toilets, but other amenities like free internet, sponsored lounges, charging stations, and a general store.
In 2008, Simply Fuss Free reports that Coachella began offering on-site lodging in the form of Safari Tents (this is where Marriott’s redesigned tents will be located this year) located in a secluded area away from traditional on-site camping. The tents are fully set up and furnished before guests arrive, and come with air conditioning, beds, private restrooms and showers, and golf cart shuttles to and from stages.
In 2010, Coachella sold recreation vehicle camping spots for those not interested in sleeping in a tent. However, this option did not continue in following years.
Currently, the festival allows car camping, in which concert-goers pop a tent next to their car, and traditional tent camping — essentially just a sea of tents in the field. Both camping option cost $113.
For those looking for a bit more upscale experience, Coachella offers the Safari Tents, as well as Tee Pee or tent camping at nearby Lake Eldorado. Camping at Lake Eldorado begins at $2,298, while a Safari Tent for two people for an entire weekend of the festival costs $7,500.
Of course, concert-goers not interested in camping can choose to book a room at nearby hotels. However, the L.A. Times reported in 2015 that the option was pricey and rooms tend to book fast. Less than two weeks before the festival began in 2015, the L.A. Times reported that hotel room prices increased an average of more than 70%.
Renting an entire home from sites like Airbnb are also an option, but again, the L.A. Times reports that costs increase significantly during the two weekend festival: In 2015, the average price of a home of the first weekend of Coachella was $662/night.
Source: Consumer Reviews