Americans tend to associate our National Parks with roughing it.
If you're not suspending your tent off a sheer rock face ... go home, wimp.
Other countries have maintained less, let's say, "punishing" attitudes toward communing with both nature and Frette sheets. Super-high-end private concerns line, for example, the most popular National Park in Africa: South Africa's Kruger. On one side of the line, you'll have private hotels like &Beyond charging thousands of dollars a night for the opportunity to spy a rhino at dawn; on the other, you'll have South African families sleeping under the stars for next to nothing.
Until now, American National Parks haven't seen much of that kind of development, outside of the odd private concession within park boundaries, like the Aramark-owned Yosemite Valley Lodge. We'll soon have our chance, though, with the Yellowstone-adjacent Blu Spas.
Purists, take heart. The spa isn't on National Park land; it's in nearby Paradise Valley, Montana, which means it's really not terribly different from any other private development. It will likely take advantage of the wildlife corridor of which Yellowstone is a significant part: buffalo will likely be a popular attraction among guests, even if they won't — according to the developers — be welcome in the spa's several human-oriented hot springs.
The owners compare it to the traditional European bathing complexes at Baden Baden. We're betting they won't import the German affinity for nude bathing ... but we won't know for sure until 2018, when Blu Spas should open.