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 Robert, who manages a unique glamping site on the western edge of Zion National Park in Utah.
1. What is the story behind you starting your glamping site?
I've always loved nature. Living at the edge of Zion National Park gives me access to 146,000 acres of wilderness at all times. The property is in the heart of hiking and climbing country, and its very remote and beautiful—nestled in its own valley surrounded by the red rock of Zion.
I'm an artist, writer, and filmmaker for PBS, as well as Channel 4 in England, and now, I have opened my home to offer people the unusual experience of solitude and silence in this age of noise and distraction.
2. What did you do before becoming a glamping host? What drew you to glamping?
Glamping was the best way to share the natural beauty of where I live, next to Zion National Park. I am an artist with an unbounded enthusiasm for nature and its healing beauty. Glamping is my way of sharing. Through the films I've made for PBS and the books I written, I've shared this love, and now, through glamping, I can share it directly with others.
3. In your opinion, how does your accommodation fit the definition of glamping?
If glamping is providing a unique outdoor experience close to nature, our accommodations provide that without giving up the basics: a good bed, a shower, and a kitchen. Yet, you are still at the heart of the artichoke of Zion National Park's wilderness. Here, you don't have to drive nor hike with anyone else, as you do in other areas of the park.
4. What is the most special thing about your property?
The most special aspect is our location at the wild western edge of Zion National Park. People visiting actually have the experience they desire—visiting the southwest without the crowds.
5. What do you love the most about running a glamping site? What are some of the challenges you face?
The guests are the most interesting aspect of running a glamping site. What do they want to do? How can I help? These are the greatest pleasures for me. My greatest challenge is getting people to know our property is here.
6. Tell us about your most memorable guest experience to date.
A family of four from Venezuela wanted to do a diverse number of activities while they stayed here. They wanted to hike, bike ride, paddle on the reservoir, horseback ride, and relax!! Working out their schedule and seeing them smile made them my most memorable guests.
7. Which three words are most commonly used in guest feedback about your accommodation?
The three most common words in guest feedback are: unique, unexpected, and comfortable.
8. Tell us about the experience you provide for guests visiting your glamping site.
I provide as much, or as little, guidance as guests want. There are numerous outdoor activities available to them right on the property including hiking, climbing, biking. The most popular experience, though, is relaxing in our quiet, beautiful valley. Our property is a very private place.
9. If you could have anybody stay at your accommodation, who would it be and why?
I like families, because they are a mixture of ages, and it's a pleasure introducing them to nature in ways they've not experienced before.
10. Are there any upcoming additions/changes to your glamping site you would like to share with us?
2019 is my second season. I am adding an area for yoga practice and a full-bodied outdoor shower. I have also extended my connections to include more available experts to lead outdoor activities. I have been recognized as a beautiful venue for smaller weddings, as well.