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 Ciel, who manages
a magical dome tree house and Italian-style cottage in Topanga near Malibu, California.
1. When was the first time you heard the term glamping?
I thought "glamping" was a term I came up with back when I opened the woodlands here in 2011! I had no idea it was to become a popular word around the world. In fact, I came up with it as I stood on the huge wooden bridge that spans a small stream between the cottages in the woods here.
I was dreaming about the tipis I was thinking of putting in, down by the stream and the meditation area, and I said to my friend,"It's going to be 'glamping' instead of camping," because I always do everything as luxurious and glamorous as possible! So I first heard it out of my own mouth many years ago.
2. What inspired you to have your own glamping site?
Four years ago, I realized I needed to open up this family land for as many people to enjoy its tranquility, peace, healing, and beauty as possible. I began with the main tree house and expanded to what is now our Magical Dream Dome Tree House, where couples (and singles) have been coming to stay from all over the world. They always leave with the same amazing reviews of this magic and always return.
3. If you could describe your property or the glamping experience you offer in three words, what would they be?
Luxury, rustic, and magical.
4. What was your first glamping/camping experience?
Here at my property—I haven't experienced what I do anywhere else!
5. Why would you recommend people to go glamping?
Well, that would depend on the person. For example, I know people that just want to camp in a basic tent on the side of a mountain, and those travelers would not be interested in camping with all the luxury and romance we offer here. But if the travelers expressed an interest in staying in the woods or on the side of a mountain, but didn't want to have to use an outhouse or actually heat their water over a fire, I would highly suggest "glamping."
There you can experience all of nature and the feeling of living outdoors, but in a certain "lap of luxury" at the same time, including French press coffee, a wood-burning pellet stove, a hot shower, a regular toilet, a bottle of frizzante, and hand-ironed linens.
6. What should people expect when they come to your glamping site?
They can expect a feeling of total privacy, peace, tranquility, romance (definitely!), and a bit of unexpected luxury, all in the great outdoors. Meanwhile, inside, they will have a feeling that they've just stepped into a tree house in Provence or Tuscany, with fresh flowers everywhere, fine linens, down duvets, organic breakfasts, and more. It's definitely not your average glamping experience!
7. What makes your property unique?
The whole entire property here in the woods of Topanga Canyon is absolutely magical and completely unique. You have to experience it just once, and you will "get it" immediately. The land is situated in a woodland of oaks and eucalyptus and is cross-connected by bridges—both an enormous dining bridge and a foot bridge to a lower mediation area.
I am a professional chef, so our clients are offered the opportunity to order a very custom, totally private multi-course French Country or Italian dinner in the woods under the stars, or in inclement weather, in the main tree house cottage over the stream. We also offer private meditation, yoga, all modalities of massage therapy and Ayurvedic healing, and acupuncture.
A guest can sleep in the dream dome under the huge octagonal skylight and fall asleep under the stars, and wake up to a morning organic breakfast, followed by a massage on the bridge in the woods, and end with a private dining experience under the stars. The whole retreat is incredibly special and unique, which is attested to by our 198+ five-star reviews!
8. What’s your favorite part about owning a glamping property?
There is a lot I love about hosting this magical glamping experience here, but I would say the best is the people I've met from all over the world in the four years we've been open. Magic...100% magic.
9. What makes your property eco-friendly?
I think probably the most important eco-friendly feature is that we switched a few years back from wood-burning stoves in our cottages, to the very low footprint of the pellet wood-burning stoves. They leave very little carbon in the environment and none for the person inside the tree house. They are truly amazing, and I wish everyone would switch, as it's a huge help to the ozone.
10. Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for reading all this! I adore everyone over there at Glamping Hub. Although I'm obviously not new to the business, your company has fast become my favorite! You are all so appreciated!!!