Editor's note: Each month, we'd like to introduce you to one of our wonderful Glamping Hub hosts and what inspired them to create a glamping site. This month, we have Alison, who manages this beautiful, pet-friendly cabin in Phoenicia, New York.
1. When was the first time you heard the term glamping?
A few years ago online somewhere—I thought it was really clever when I heard it.
2. What inspired you to have your own glamping site?
It just kind of happened. I had a weekend vacation in the Catskills and ended up falling in love with this incredibly special property. It's like being in a dream here.
3. If you could describe your property or the glamping experience you offer in three words, what would they be?
Forest + Stream = Magic.
4. What was your first glamping/camping experience?
Years ago when I was traveling in India, I stayed outside of the city of Jaisalmer in these gorgeous tents that were covered with colorful printed fabric and set within beautiful gardens. There was even a full bath inside the tent!
These were the tents that royals would camp in. They certainly had glamping down from way back! Traveling has always shaped my perspective and design style.
5. Why would you recommend people to go glamping?
Today more than ever, I meet people who feel the need to connect more with the earth. They are tense and anxious from being connected to technology and the speed of the time we live in. They forget what they can learn just from watching a butterfly land on a flower or breathing in the forest and the garden.
Just sitting outside listening to the birds brings a calmness that you start to feel in your whole body—or at night seeing the stars, what fireflies look like, and how deeply you can sleep to the sound of crickets and the stream. It's the most amazing kind of therapy, and it inspires your regular life.
6. What should people expect when they come to your glamping site?
The property is situated at the end of a private dirt cul-de-sac, and it consists of a main house and guest cabin that are nestled in the curve of a babbling stream on a mountainside. One side is a sunny, southern-facing organic garden with fruit trees and flowers, while the other side is the mossy rock covered forest stream side.
The decks wrapping the accommodations make them look like a series of tree houses from the back. You can relax in the spacious living room with a vaulted ceiling, lounge on the deck, or go sit on a rock in the middle of the stream's flow. The kitchen is also fully-equipped, and there is a handy guide of restaurants and things to do and see in one of the coolest towns in America (voted in 2011): Phoenicia, New York.
7. What makes your property unique?
The sound, the setting, and the energy.
8. What's your favorite part about owning a glamping property?
I love reading through the guest book and learning about the people whose lives were touched by being in this special place. We've had many marriage proposals and honeymoons here, as well as families getting together and people taking sabbaticals or time off to practice self-care or write a novel.
Sometimes I tear up reading it. Sometimes I come back here after being away and see that people were in the stream stacking rock cairns. I feel blessed that they understood and added to the sacredness of this place.
9. What makes your property eco-friendly?
First, we try to only use non-toxic cleaning supplies and materials for everything we do here. We compost and try to instill in every guest the premise of "leave no trace." We have no public trash pick-up, so we are very aware of recycling and keeping waste to a minimum. We encourage guests to shut the lights off when they leave and remind them the best air conditioning we have is opening the windows and allowing the cool breeze flowing down the mountain in.
We are working towards installing solar energy with proceeds from our glamping...stay tuned! Also, in light of being even more eco-friendly, we have been on a mission to introduce more native plants into the gardens and work diligently to remove invasive species that are taking away habitats from our hummingbirds and pollinators.
We hope you like bugs because we are attracting them! Oh, and P.S. since we are on moving water, mosquitoes don't really like it here.
10. Anything else you'd like to add?
If you're looking for a special place for a reboot for your spirit—and want to explore the heart of the Catskill Mountains—check us out!