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 Catherine and her vintage cabin on Vashon Island in Washington.
1. What is the story behind you starting your glamping site?
Since I was a teen, I’ve wanted someplace that’s all about getting away, relaxing, having adventures, and being with friends and family. After years looking for the "just right" spot, we found this place and felt it was perfect. We are big nature lovers and wanted to share the experience with others. Over the years, we’ve become friends with the former owners, and Carol is the co-host, greeting guests and helping them have a great stay.
2. What did you do before becoming a glamping host? What drew you to glamping?
A central part of my work in health is focused on the healing power of nature. As Seattle gets more busy and dense, it’s important that everyone have a chance to experience quiet (or the sound of the birds!), breathe fresh air, and unplug—away from the built environment. We intentionally leave the cabin as simple and uncluttered as possible, choosing to highlight the hand-hewn log walls, which have their own beauty, and echo the natural textures outside.
3. In your opinion, how does your accommodation fit the definition of glamping?
This is a rustic setting so people can really "get off the grid." It’s ideal for someone who wants to spend most of the day outdoors—being active at many of the outdoor recreational areas or simply resting in the forest. I think of it as ideal for someone who wants all the outdoor fun of camping, but also wants a real bed to sleep in at the end of the day. The "glamping" aspect is in the fully-outfitted kitchenette (we love to cook!), vintage wood stove, and the comfy beds.
4. What is the most special thing about your property?
This is a log cabin that was originally built in the 1880s outside of Lincoln, Montana—the origin of the children’s toy called Lincoln Logs. It was a "line" cabin, one of several log cabins on the property line of a large ranch, providing cowboys with shelter. It’s rare to have the opportunity to stay in an original structure with that kind of history.
The cabin is now set in the middle of 10 acres of forest, which guests have entirely to themselves. People rarely have that much space to simply be. We also allow dogs, as we are dog lovers ourselves, and know it can be hard to find someplace for fur babies to vacation.
5. What do you love the most about running a glamping site? What are some of the challenges you face?
We love to meet new people and establish those friendships, especially when people come to stay again. It is so interesting to hear people’s stories and the many reasons they are drawn to glamping! Due to the rustic nature of the cabin, it’s not suited for children, which I’m always sorry to tell parents.
6. Tell us about your most memorable guest experience to date.
We had the privilege to host a couple on their wedding night, which was so special. It’s been wonderful to provide a setting for people’s private celebrations—anniversaries and birthdays, especially. We’ve also really enjoyed hosting writers and business people as they do a personal retreat, withdrawing from the demands of daily life to do some deep creative work.
7. Which three words are most commonly used in guest feedback about your accommodation?
Clean, comfortable, and peaceful.
8. Tell us about the experience you provide for guests visiting your glamping site.
The experience is centered around having a private place to unplug, connect with your companion, and focus on the essentials—fresh air, quietness, good food, and rest. For people who want more adventure and exploration, Vashon Island has many recreational opportunities: kayaking, biking, boating, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, and much more. The quaint town of Vashon has some award-winning restaurants, pubs, and an art center, which hosts popular musicians, too.
9. If you could have anybody stay at your accommodation, who would it be and why?
I would really have loved to host Mary Oliver, the award-winning poet who wrote about nature and wildlife. That would have been a true privilege. It would have been fun to see what on the property would inspire her writing.
10. Are there any upcoming additions/changes to your glamping site you would like to share with us?
We are happy to be stewards of this forest and are actively engaged in planting to increase the biodiversity and provide habitat for a wide variety of animals. Part of the plantings are also to maintain privacy, and we spend time removing invasive species, too. Last October, we planted 200 native plants and are getting ready to do so again this year. It’s a joy to tend to the land, make it thrive, and share that with guests.
To book an unforgettable stay at Catherine’s vintage cabin in Washington, click here!