Host Spotlight: Marina and Valeria

By Jackie Dreyer

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 mother-daughter duo, Marina and Valeria, who manage these stunning hut rentals in Sardinia, Italy.

A photo of Marina and Valeria at their glamping property.

1. What is the story behind you starting your glamping site?

Since I was a child, I waited impatiently on Sundays for my family to make our weekly trip from our town of Nuoro to the countryside—ready to run and do somersaults in the meadows and collect mushrooms, beets, wild fennel, and asparagus. Growing up, I chose a course of study that would allow me to learn more about this wonderful world: five years for the diploma in agriculture, plus an additional two years for two certificates, "Expert technician in the recognition and cultivation of medicinal and aromatic essences of Sardinia" and "Expert technician in the manipulation and transformation of the medicinal and aromatic essences of Sardinia."

2. What did you do before becoming a glamping host? What drew you to glamping?

I worked in the agricultural and herbal sectors, recognizing this as my real passion. But I decided to make a change in my life with my own business project. For two years, I searched for agricultural land that was perfect for my project, to start building it and dedicate myself to the land. After about two years of wandering in different areas of Sardinia, I found the right place—11,000 meters of land on a hill—to welcome people from all around the world to experience the real Sardinia.

From here, you can see the sea; the Posada River that flows along the plain; the bird varieties of the Tepilora River Park; the limestone massif of Montalbo, where you can hike up to its peaks; the nearby lake with its magical landscape; the naturalistic oasis of Usinavà; the ancient village of Posada with its narrow streets up to the castle; and Torpè with its cathedral on display...paradise.

3. In your opinion, how does your accommodation fit the definition of glamping?

For us, this place lets you protect yourself and recharge, in the heart of Tepilora Natural Park in inner Sardinia. Through the rediscovery of your senses and your oldest values, you can recover your lost relationship with nature and feel a part of it completely once more.

4. What is the most special thing about your property?

The property is made of four stone and wooden circular huts with conic roofs, which are called pinettos in Italian—each of which is themed after a type of sensory path and an essential oil. In addition we offer chromotherapy, aromatherapy, wellness treatments, massages, yoga and meditation sessions, and residential seminars.

Since the architecture takes the form of an ancient quadrilobate nuraghe and the chamber is circular and conical, the energy inside the room moves more intensively than in a square building. When you enter one of these structures from an ancient, essential dimension, you create an original sensory experience, enjoy total relaxation, and wake up regenerated, with an inner strength that comes from this 1,000-year-old land.

5. What do you love the most about running a glamping site? What are some of the challenges you face?

We are a team: me, a mother with a passion for officinal plants, and my globetrotting daughter, who came back to Sardinia to give back with the knowledge she has gained. What we love the most, which is also the biggest challenge, is being a mother and a daughter working together for the great Mother—creating an oasis of ancient values, a place where every guest can finally feel at home in his or her essence, finding connection with life through the senses again.

6. Tell us about your most memorable guest experience to date.

It's not because these guests came from Glamping Hub, but Hanna and Boyan from London honored us by choosing us as their favorite location in Sardinia! Here is what Hanna said about her stay:

"We had the best time at this amazing location in Sardinia! The whole stay is an experience, each room has a different colour and combines essential oils and aromatherapy. I stayed in the Myrtle Room, which helps respiratory condition, which is perfect as I suffer with asthma.

The hosts Valeria and Marina were so so lovely, some of the kindest people we have met. We were very well taken care of, the room was very clean and the bed was so comfy. Each morning I woke up to birds and the sun shining and each evening the sky was full of clouds! It really was the most peaceful place.

The aromatherapy in the Myrtle Room was amazing. My breathing was so good while I was there. Especially as the hut is in the middle of nature, flowers and greenery all around. As it is out of the way, there were stars all around to see at night. It was such a unique place to stay.

Perfect views and so many unique touches around, like very comfortable arm chairs around the huge grounds which are lovely to explore. It is also not a far drive to some beautiful beaches and there are shops for groceries in Torpe nearby. We would love to come back again and would recommend anyone to stay here for a truly unique sensory experience."

7. Which three words are most commonly used in guest feedback about your accommodation?

Amazing, relaxing, and peaceful.

8. Tell us about the experience you provide for guests visiting your glamping site.

Scent of wind and lentisk, fresh water on the skin, crickets chirping at night, taste of aniseed and cinnamon, a breathtaking view on the Mediterranean... You enter your sensory hut suite with 100% Sardinian essential oils, and you breathe this natural magic that restores you and makes you feel in step with the life of the universe. Having a purpose and always finding new incentives and connections are only a few of the great benefits of spending time exploring the life cycle of the earth, seasons, plants, and animals again.

9. If you could have anybody stay at your accommodation, who would it be and why?

For me, it is more a type of person than a specific person. Thanks to the time and the experience you have here, something similar to the distillation of officinal herbs in essential oil can happen to you: something like your true essence can come out of you, the most intimate part of you, a few drops of your true nature.

If you're ready for this extraction, if you're willing to get the best from you, you'll take on a wonderful sensory pathway that will help you improve both internally and externally, in full respect of the environment, but without giving up any comforts.

10. Are there any upcoming additions/changes to your glamping site you would like to share with us?

We will be improving the spa and massages services, as well as adding a restaurant service, in order for our guests to have every phrase of their holiday in Sardinia take place here.

All questions were answered by Marina, some of which originally appeared here.

To book an unforgettable stay at Marina's glamping site in Sardinia, click here!

Blogger Spotlight: Marissa Tejada

By Mahealani Schuman

It might not feel like it just yet, but summer is right around the corner! The East Coast snows have piled up just enough, leaving us dreaming of our summer destination spots. At just a few months away, we have more than enough time to start planning. Travel blogger Marissa Tejada is a professional at picking the best spots to go in Europe—from the beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean to the rolling countrysides of Italy—and you can find the best tips and tricks on her blog to make the perfect Euro-trip.

Talking with Marissa, we asked her about how she plans her amazing trips and what’s on her list for this year!

When and how do you to start your planning for your next vacation? Do you start with destination or the accommodation?

I like to plan my trips around the destination. There are many places I’d love to see and tick off my travel bucket list. If the opportunity comes up, the plans go in motion, and then I figure out the logistics, from flight to accommodation.

When planning a trip to a place you have never been before, what’s the best tip of advice on where to start?

I think you need to start by being inspired by the destination. The beauty of travel is that we all travel differently and see the beauty of a place differently. That’s exciting. So, when you start with sheer inspiration, I believe the logistics fall into place. Online research about anything about that trip from what to eat, what to do and where to stay becomes that much more fun!

What is your favorite time of the year for traveling?

I don’t have a particular favorite time of year to travel. I think all seasons offer something special when considering a destination. I must admit, however, that I love beautiful beaches and tropical island scenery, so if the weather is beach weather at a destination, that is a big plus.

What is your top must see this year?

Now that I am living in the U.S. again, I’d love to see Hawaii—I've never been!

What is your favorite type of glamping accommodation?

I love the fact that glamping combines luxury and nature. The design to me is just wonderful to experience so I think my favorite type of glamping experience would be one that is truly dedicated to showing off the local flavor, culture and nature of a place.

Marissa Tejada is an author, travel writer, and award-winning journalist. Her work is featured in CNN Travel, BBC Travel, Forbes, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, Telegraph Travel, and an array of travel and lifestyle magazines. She also publishes a top niche travel blog, Travel Greece, Travel Europe.

Marissa is originally from New York and lives in Seattle; however, part of her heart will always be in Athens, Greece, where she lived for eight years. Keep up with her travels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!