Host Spotlight: Anna and Grant

By Fred Jéquier

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 interviewed Anna and Grant about their tiny house in Akaroa, South Island.

A photo of Anna and Grant with their children and the family dog!
Keep on reading to hear more about their property below!

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

We live on a farm in Little Akaloa that had been Grant’s family farm for five generations, and when the English settled in New Zealand in the 19th Century, the Waghorn family picked Little Akaloa as their place to farm. There is a real family connection to the farm. We took over from Grant’s parents about 12 years ago and have since had our three children over here. We also own a construction company which Grant commutes to in Christchurch most days.

We followed George Clark quite extensively, and the tiny house phenomenon was taking off in New Zealand. So we designed a tiny house that our builders could construct as another string to our bow. We have sold several tiny houses, all with their own twist but with the high pitch roof. People have bought them for glamping sites, and of course to live in. We really wanted to focus on design as a lot of tiny houses are very similar and lack in the design aspect, so we wanted to upscale our tiny house and make it more high end. What a perfect place to trial the tiny house! On our farm with views over the bay, looking out to the Pacific Ocean, native bush, and it's tucked away in the middle of our sheep farm. It is in total isolation with the sounds of the ocean, native New Zealand birds like tui and bellbirds, and the odd sheep.

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

I host as Grant runs his business but, I always get him to help clean out the hot tub and BBQ! I am a high school teacher and teach physical education so we are a very outdoor family, and make the utter most of where we live. There are some great little surf spots around the Peninsula and often you’re the only ones there.

3. What drew you to glamping?

I wanted to share our place with others as we feel so lucky to live here. I also think it's so important for people to reconnect with nature, their surroundings, and each other, as well as having some time away from the technological world. It really makes you appreciate the simple things and the beauty of our environment. I also love styling and really enjoy creating a little space/home for others to share.

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

I think of glamping as still having home comforts but in total isolation! I think it’s really important to have an amazing bed with gorgeous linen. Everytime I make the bed, I just want to dive in as it looks so super comfy. We have a cedar hot tub which you just have to keep stoked up with firewood, so it’s like heaven sitting in there on either a rainy day or a warm summer’s evening with a wine or beer. We have a bespoke hot shower that we designed to be quite large but still fitting into a small space. It’s living in luxury but living in remoteness. The tiny house is run on solar power so I also believe it's about making a small footprint on the environment as this is important to us, particularly with the climate changing.

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

For me it's definitely the ocean. I love watching the sea, it changes all the time. Others have said they love the isolation, being in nature, the waterfall (we have a small waterfall which is a short walk behind the tiny house), the history of the bay, exploring the Peninsula, all the hidden Bays, and of course Akaroa is pretty cool as it was a French settlement.

6. What do you love the most about running a glamping site?

I feel so satisfied when I know couples have had an amazing time! I really hope I provide a romantic, luxurious, peaceful getaway! I also want people to go away feeling refreshed yet grateful for the environment in which they have been in, away from the cities! Hopefully it creates or reinforces a love for nature.

7. What are some of the challenges you face?

In summer it is non stop, so it can be busy with cleaning super quick before the next guest arrives! I finally understand the importance of a check-in/check-out time. Also in summer, being coastal and high up, the farm is incredibly dry so we really worry about fires and with the hot tub we hook up to gas hot water instead.

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

We have only been going since January but we have had two engagements, which is incredible to me as the tiny house and our farm will always remain a special place for those couples. We also have had several honeymoons and wedding anniversaries celebrated at the tiny house.

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

Peaceful, relaxing, and beautiful!

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

When guests arrive they park their car in a small car park at the entrance way to the farm. They then walk up through our native bush, which is only about five minutes but it is uphill! I think this walk adds to the excitement and intrigues people as they have no idea what to expect. There you see our beautiful tiny house which is clad in timber and is starting to silver off so it blends in around the Manuka bush.

I always make sure I have the hot tub lit, so it is warm on arrival, and you can see the smoke from the hot tub which looks super inviting. There is a lock box where the key is kept. We have a strict policy to keep well away from guests as I don't want to disturb them or interrupt them in anyway, but we are always reachable should they need us.

There is a super comfy queen-size bed—it's funny because my husband is so big on king-size beds but I think queen-size beds are so much more cosy! I use the best possible linen and always wash it in camomile and lavender which leaves it smelling devine. There is a little fire in the corner of the room and plenty firewood!

There is a small modern kitchen with a fridge and gas hob. The walls are lined in white wash ply and this gives the tiny house it's lovely smell. I am big on candles so there are candles everywhere. There is also a modern bathroom with a timber shower. Outside there is native bush and rolling hills, with the odd sheep grazing. On the deck we have a Cocoon outdoor fire which burns on biofuel, and there is a wee two-seater bench that looks out to the vast ocean.

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

Wow, tough question! I’m always happy with whoever stays! We both love Dave Grohl, we think he’s so cool. Also Jack Johnson is a musician, a surfer, and he's big on saving the planet. Plus, he loves New Zealand so we would love for him and his wife to come and stay!

12. Are there any upcoming additions/changes to your glampsite you would like to share with us?

We may put another tiny house up on a different site on the farm. I think I will do this one black. I just need to lock in my husband to build me another one!


To book an unforgettable stay at Anna and Grant's incredible tiny house in Akaroa, click here!

Host Spotlight: Daniel

By Fred Jéquier

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 interviewed Daniel about his rustic cabin with a hot tub near Windham, New York.

A photo of Daniel taken by @francisdriscoll outside his rustic chalet, ready to head out to the slopes!
Keep on reading to hear more about his property below!

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

Working a busy and stressful financial services career in New York City, I was seeking a weekend escape from the city. I found that in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York, especially as I developed a new passion for snowboarding. I have always enjoyed the great outdoors (I am a boyscout!). Reconnecting with nature, enjoying peace and quiet, and having access to the great hiking/ski mountains—Hunter and Windham—were important factors for me. So I began looking for a quaint cabin up in that area, and I got lucky in finding this cozy cabin!

Photo courtesy of @ethanabitz

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

I still work in the financial services industry and I'm a glamping host on the side. For most of my career, I worked in New York City and within the last year I moved to Chicago. Glamping offers the best of both worlds—you get to enjoy nature without the conditions of a tent directly on the ground.

Photo courtesy of @ethanabitz

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

The chalet allows you to enjoy and connect with nature in the Catskill Mountains, in a relaxing, rustic setting.

Photo courtesy of @ethanabitz

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

The large hot tub that faces an open field and mountains head on. There’s nothing quite like relaxing at night in the hot tub with your friends, some drinks in hand, and enjoying the clear starry sky together.

Photo courtesy of @dirtandglass

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

When I started hosting the chalet I never expected just how many people from all over the world I would interact with. At this point, I have hosted people from dozens of countries and it has been a true joy helping people plan their stay in the Catskill Mountains. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the hosting and communicating with guests par. I enjoy being hospitable...who knew!

Photo courtesy of @ethanabitz

Given that the chalet is located on a mountain top in a rural part of the United States, there are certain things that are more challenging to accomplish and things that I certainly took for granted living close to cities. Things take longer to get delivered up here or its difficult to find the right service to do work because it’s a long drive up the mountain from the valley.

Photo courtesy of @dirtandglass

I would say my biggest challenge was when I decided last year to add a hot tub to the property. There are many logistics that come into play in order to provide a good, safe hot tub experience to each and every guest. One can’t fill up the hot tub with water from the chalet as we run on well water, and filling up several hundred gallons at once would place a burden on our filtration and well pump systems. So we have to have fresh water trucked in. Luckily, one year and three contractors later, we have really found someone to take care of the hot tub from A to Z that we are truly happy with and has been providing guests with an amazing experience.

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

Our last Glamping Hub guests were a couple of honeymooners that stayed for over a week and they loved it! I thought that was both memorable and quite the compliment. Another stay that pops into mind is a family who gushed about how the chalet brought them closer when they went on their first ever skiing trip at Windham Mountain last March. I like that the cozy atmosphere of the chalet is bringing people together.

Photo courtesy of @dirtandglass

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

Cozy, clean, and relaxing.

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

I like to provide a rustic, relaxing experience on the mountain top so that you can enjoy nature, unwind and reconnect with those closest to you. I aim to have the chalet provide guests with the least expensive six person accommodation with a hot tub on the mountain top.

Photo courtesy of @ethanabitz

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

Can I please pick two? Ayrton Senna, the legendary Brazilian Formula 1 driver, and John F. Kennedy, my favorite U.S. president. I think they are both very fascinating and it would be so interesting to meet and talk with them if they were still alive.

Photo courtesy of @dirtandglass

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

When I bought the chalet in 2018, I started hosting it almost right away with no major changes. I have added/renovated things along the way due to guest suggestions and instagram inspiration. Therefore, we are always updating a little something here or there. In hindsight, I like this approach a lot because you learn more about the chalet and what guests want/like. Our next few projects include: building a mailbox so that the driveway entrance is clearly marked, building a rustic farm table for the kitchen, and making improvements to the driveway.


To book an unforgettable stay at Daniel's rustic and cozy cabin in New York, click here!

Host Spotlight: Franny and Fenton

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 Franny and Fenton and their picturesque villa near Jimena de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain.

Franny, Fenton, and their two children at their glamping retreat.
Keep on reading to hear more about their property below!

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

Franny:

We had our first child in London, and we realized it was no place for our baby, Bamboo, so we footed it to Spain, a place I knew well, and Fenton had gotten to know through me. We got married here, we have long-time friends living here, and it felt right. When we arrived, the doors to this this amazing finca (country estate) in the Andalusian hillside opened for us, and we jumped at the opportunity to take it on.

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

Fenton:

I have always worked in hospitality. Restaurant managing to retreat hosting, I have always welcomed strangers in some way and made them feel at home! I've always been drawn to this type of work. Running retreats in London with Franny was the bigger step into this field, as we knew we wanted to host retreats in a beautiful location, but in order for us to make our mark, we knew that having our own venue from which to do so would be ideal.

Franny:

I have always loved hosting at home, and I think opening a venue to the public that is as beautiful as this one was the icing on the cake!

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

Franny:

We are the only finca for miles around. All you can see are rolling hills of avocados, oranges, and olive groves, as well as farm animals. Set in a natural park known for its birds of prey, it's a fantastic place to be outdoors exploring the wildlife. At night with no light pollution, you can marvel at the stars to your heart's content. I strongly recommend a visit around the full moon. It's AMAZING.

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

Franny:

The design. Designed on a Argentinan finca mixed with the terraces of an Indian palace, the outside it something special for Andalusia. But so the interior—full of hand-picked, antique furniture and artwork that inspire each room to be something different.

No room looks the same. No room tells the same story. The owner is an art collector, and some very special pieces can be seen on the walls. There are antique doors made into four-meter-long tables that you know you wouldn't see anywhere else.

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

Franny:

We love welcoming new people and seeing their faces upon arrival. Especially when they've been traveling for the better part of the day! We always hope our guests arrive during the daytime, so they can see the views. We've been told, however, that their stays have actually been more special when they arrive at night and see the house lit up so cozy, only to wake up in the morning to breathtaking views!

The challenge is to make sure everything keeps running smoothly. We are fully booked for most of the year, with little time to do major maintenance. Thankfully, our dream team, Miguel and Vanessa, who live on-site, keep everything ticking by, looking good, and smelling better! Generally speaking, post-wedding clean-up tends to require the most effort from everyone.

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

Franny:

Our first wedding! A group of 20 stayed with us from America. They were so approachable, and Fenton was in charge of making sure everything ran smoothly for them. It was an April wedding, so the weather wasn't guaranteed, but it was the most beautiful ceremony for 40 people—held looking over the hills and sunset, followed by dinner and drinks under the tent on the lower terrace. It was a special one for us to host, such a powerful intimate wedding, especially as our first, and to have Fenton be such a huge part of it.

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

Franny:

Views, peace, and Fenton. (This isn't a joke—everyone falls in love with him!)

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

Franny:

We offer retreats, Reiki, massage, yoga, personal training, sound healing, weddings, horse riding, clay making...all sorts of things! It's fantastic! We also do in-house catering, everything from traditional asados, or barbecues, to vegan food. We cater to our guests. If they want a boat ride at 11 a.m., followed by an afternoon of massages and a huge paella on the bottom terrace, we can do it all!

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

Fenton:

It would have to be the Dalai Lama! In the past, we have had a few lamas come and visit the land, and they have said it is a sacred place. For me to have the Dalai Lama come so I could meet him and host him would be truly a blessing. I would sneak my daughters up there, too, so they could meet him!

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

Franny:

In 2020, we hope to launch a Kickstarter to start raising funds to turn the stables and the goat house into an extra accommodation. They would serve as overflow for weddings, but as their own thing, they'd also be the perfect place for retreats, artist retreats, or family holidays. The view from there are just as beautiful, and the gardens offer the ideal location for an asado by the lake!

True to the cause, we are adding in some luxury glamping tents, containers, and caravans, too! Sleeping in a luxury tent with views of the lake is sort of a must on our land—we just haven't done it yet!

We are also coming to the end of the second year of weddings, and this year has seen our best yet! In October, we'll be doing a big push and exposé on getting married here. One bride even rode in on a horse this year!


Curious to know more about Fenton, Franny, and their incredible glamping site? Book their villa or attend one of their Reiki retreats—the choice is yours!

Host Spotlight: Casey

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 Casey, Stacie, and Ella and their unique unique treehouses near Deep Creek Lake in Bittinger, Maryland.

The host, Casey, his wife, Stacie, and their daughter, Ella, in front of one of their treehouses.
Keep reading to see what Casey has to say about their property below!

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

We are a faith-filled family with a love for travel and nature-centered adventure. We wanted to do something that would bring families together in a unique setting...a treehouse! Since we spend so much time in nature, we thought treehouses would be an awesome business adventure. Treehouses bring out the kid in everyone! Being in nature, surrounded by peaceful woods, and high in a tree is an amazing place to be.

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

I'm a sales consultant for a pharmaceutical company, and my wife, Stacie, was a middle school teacher for 10 years prior to becoming Ella's home-school teacher. We are attracted to glamping because of the opportunity to enjoy nature in a unique way without sacrificing comfort.

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

They are majestic structures that offer a unique vantage point that not everyone gets to experience. It's a new perspective on nature and the surrounding forest, being perched in a luxury treehouse, which is fully furnished with full utilities.

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

The serenity of the property itself. This peaceful and tranquil forest is a great place to relax and unwind.

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

We love hearing stories of families reconnecting and friends spending time together and celebrating life. Our biggest challenge was learning the hospitality industry and having guests who don't respect or take care of your property.

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

Our most memorable guest experience was receiving a video from a guest who surprised her son and daughter with a trip to the treehouses! Seeing the kids excitement reminded us why we built them.

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

Cozy, enchanted, and amazing.

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

Guests receive an opportunity to sleep among the treetops, experience childlike joy, and engage in tons of other adventures and activities in the Deep Creek Lake area.

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

We'd love for a child who has dreamed about staying in a treehouse, but hasn't ever had the opportunity, to stay here. This is the inspiration for our next treehouse to be built in 2020, "The Daydreamer," which will be ADA-compliant.

Casey and his daughter, Ella, walking through the fall leaves at their treehouse glamping site.

Heading to Maryland? Book a glamping stay at one of Casey's incredible treehouses! Whether you're a group of 5 or a group of 6, he's got just the place.

Host Spotlight: Tim and Helene

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 Tim and Helene and their romantic yurt near Yosemite National Park in Oakhurst, California.

The hosts, Helene and Tim.
Keep reading to see what Tim has to say about their property below!

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

Helene and I met on Cinco de Mayo in 2015. A local brew pub owner was having a party and invited me to join in the festivities. As the party was winding down and the sun nearing the horizon, I noticed Helene off by herself. Her son had invited her last minute, though I insist she crashed the party just to meet me! It was also rumored that the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight was going to be shown as a surprise, and Helene likes a good boxing match.

From that evening forward, we connected and did not look back. Helene had just landed a job managing a wine bar, which she loved. I had worked in L.A. making TV commercials for years, which allowed me to live five hours from the city when not working—a nice balance with nature.

A month into our relationship, Helene was diagnosed with cancer, and everything changed abruptly. When faced with life-threatening challenges, the importance of living each and every day to its fullest potential becomes vividly apparent. Sink or swim. Well, Helene beat the cancer, but she had lost her job in the process.

We decided that we wanted to control our destiny more than in the past. We realized that's not really possible, so we decided to say "steer our destiny in the right direction" instead! The idea to create a short-term rental came into play. With the help of a good friend, Thor, who is an architect, and Shelter Design Yurts, our dream took form. It took Helene and I a year to build it—a crew of two! Helene now has her own schedule. She also makes mine. So we said, Glamping Hub, here we come!

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

Helene has lived in our town for 46 years! She has been in the hospitality industry for the majority of that time. "From slinging burgers to pouring $400 bottles of wine, making people happy is what makes me happy," Helene says to me with a smile. It felt like a natural progression really…the only difference is there was no time card to punch!

I have made commercials in L.A. for over 20 years. I was fortunate to grow up here in Oakhurst! I needed to get out and see the world when I was younger, but it is always nice to come home. With our new opportunity here now, we are loving the freedom and the ability to meet people from all over the world!

Helene, with the couple's dog, Bru.

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

Well, first and foremost, Yosemite National Park is in our back yard! There is really nothing that says camping, or glamping, more than our wonderful national parks. When we first began formulating ideas about our future, we asked ourselves a few questions. What can we do that is healthy, rewarding, and close to home? It had to be artistic, make us proud, and have little or no environmental impact if it we here on our property. It had to fit in and embrace nature seamlessly.

A view of Shuteye Peak, a nearby mountain from which the hosts drew inspiration for the name of their glamping site.

We knew we were going to be working with a budget, and we knew we were going in it alone. We were going to be the two-man crew that got it all done! We went about finding the location to build on, much like we do when finding a camping site. It has to be aesthetically pleasing! Morning sun is a must, with afternoon shade and a view of the sunset when toasting friends, new and old! We love our creation. We absolutely enjoy sharing it with our guests. The wildlife, deer, birds and fresh smells just put a final touch on the perfect theme.

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

To be terribly honest, if it weren't for Helene, it would not be the same. She really has a passion for this and aims to make everything wonderful for our guests. Having said that, we have four distinct seasons. Each has their unique place.

Spring is drenched in greens and new growth. Flowers abound. Life emerges with a quiet roar. Summer has endless blue skies, with sleepy warm afternoons. Ahh, dream of high mountain tops, meadows full of flowers, and breathtaking falls as the snow thaws.

Fall is when it all winds down, and colors glow bright orange, yellow, and red in the evening light. It's certainly a pleasing visual pallet desired by most nature lovers! And, finally, winter. A quiet time of year here...listen for the first drops of rain. Smell the fire, and feel its warmth in the early evening. Nothing like it! We love the fire pit and star-filled nights. S'mores, anyone?

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

We love meeting new interesting people. We get many couples that are adventuring out into the wilds of Yosemite and then returning to relax at the end of the day in our peaceful yurt. It's the best of both worlds! As far as the challenges, I'd say keeping our guests happy and making sure everything is as good as we can make it for them. Bru, our yellow lab puppy who is turning into a mischievous dog, loves playing with our guests. The biggest challenge is to get your shoe back!

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

The wedding proposals are awesome and unexpected. One time, a gentleman from Singapore asked me if I would take photos hidden out of sight while he proposed! So I hid behind a tree and watched a life together unfold as he went down on one knee. I was so nervous! She said yes, and the rest is history.

Another couple stayed in our yurt and forwarded photos of their two hands together facing the ceiling of the yurt with a pretty engagement ring on—super fun! It has been a great celebration place for many birthdays, honeymoons and anniversaries, too. We are so happy and proud of that!

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

Magical, romantic, and peaceful.

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

We have had such a wonderful experience with all of our Glamping Hub guests. I think that people drawn to nature are the people we want to attract. We have had only the best things to say about our guests from all over the world. We are proud to be a part of the Glamping Hub family. Another good barometer is the awesome reviews our guest have given us!

Chetan, a guest we had from the U.K. last year, said, "Helene and Timothy have created an amazing, beautiful and blissfully peaceful space from which to explore Yosemite and surrounding areas. We loved the original art on the walls, the incredibly comfortable bed (best of our whole trip) and the little kitchenette. Thanks you so much, we'll be recommending your place to everyone!"

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

If only Anthony Bourdain, David Bowie, and my sister, Constance, were still with us! What a party that would be. Helene says we need some music, so B.B. King and John Lee Hooker! I bet the sound would be great in a yurt.

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

We're constantly making the yurt space better; we listen and learn from our guests. We're going to add another cool glamping site on our six acres—a tipi that is equally as secluded and special, which will be ready to book in 2020. It'll even have an outdoor shower! Thanks so much for letting us share our place with you.

Two happy guests who loved their stay at Tim and Helene's yurt.

Ready to head to California? Go experience the magic of Tim and Helene's glamping site firsthand!

Host Spotlight: Karen and Jon

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 Karen and Jon and their beautiful ranch with these luxury tents near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The hosts, Karen and Jon, relaxing on the front porch of their home at the ranch.
Keep reading to see what Karen has to say about their property below!

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

Our glamping site arose from a need of where to put all the family and friends that were coming to visit us at our new property in Westcliffe. We had built a small, 700-square-foot home and needed a place for them to sleep.

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

I'm an architect, and my husband is a hunting outfitter, so we were familiar with large canvas tent type accommodations from his outfitting business before we started our glamping site. What drew us to glamping were the luxury tents that we had seen online when I was trying to find inspiration for the timber framing of our tents.

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

Our accommodation fits the definition of glamping in that it truly is luxury camping in canvas tents with heavy timber frames. The ensuite full bathroom in each tent takes the luxury to a whole new level! Meanwhile, the barn-style kitchen and living space, which also form part of the accommodation, bring the ranching aspect to glamping.

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

The most special thing about our property is the incredible mountain views. The property sits right at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Watching our 30 horses grazing on the grass with the mountain views behind them makes it even more special.

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

What we love most about running our glamping site is that we have met the most incredible people! We've made some amazing friends along the way. Some of the challenges we have faced have been helping guests learn how to start a fire. Starting fires in the wood-burning stoves in the tents has been a real challenge for some of our guests, so one of the things we've done to help our guests stay warm all night is change the wood-burning stoves in the tents to gas stoves. Now, they can still have a beautiful fire, but stay warm and toasty all night! Guests still have several wood-burning fireplaces in the gathering areas that they can roast marshmallows on.

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

Our most memorable guest experience to date was a family that came from the East Coast that stayed for a week. Seeing how they were blown away by the views and how much they enjoyed having the horses around made us appreciate where we live even more.

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

Incredible, amazing, and unforgettable.

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

Our guests experience incredible mountain views in a remote setting with quiet evenings, incredible stars at night and unspoiled mountain views and scenery.

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

Kenny Chesney. We love him and his music!

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

We're adding a barn on the property that will have an amazing barn loft made of heavy timber, which guests will be able to rent for weddings, family reunions, and gatherings. We're also making the glamping tents available year-round for our guests starting this fall/winter.


Interested to know more about Karen, Jon, and their incredible glamping site? Check out the feature Colorado Homes Magazine did about this couple and their unique property. And make sure you go experience it firsthand, too!

Host Spotlight: Diane and Raul

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 Diane and Raul and their stunning safari tent near Pismo Beach in Arroyo Grande, California.

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

We were invited to our niece's wedding in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. We went online to make hotel reservations and found that the site of her wedding offered many different accommodations, i.e. a lodge, cabins, tents, Airstream trailers, and...GLAMPING!

We had never heard of "glamping" before, but when I saw what they offered, we knew immediately that it was something we wanted to try. We own 10 acres full of oak trees—plus a beautiful tropical pool area behind our home. It didn't take too much discussion, and we decided to build a glamping site that was unique, totally private, and like a classy resort, with every amenity possible.

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

Raul is a federal contractor, who provides hospital housekeeping services to military medical treatment facilities (Army, Air Force, and Navy), and I enjoy trading stocks along with being Raul's executive assistant and "girl Friday." We were drawn to the glamping idea to help generate some additional income, since retirement is quickly approaching. We loved the thought of sharing our beautiful, resort-like property with others.

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

We own 10 picturesque, oak-filled acres of land, so nestled in the woods, we built a large, sturdy deck and erected a huge safari tent, or canvas cabin, on it. It is located 180 feet from the patio area, where you'll find the bathroom, a BBQ area, a Jacuzzi, a koi pond, and a tropical pool.

The tent itself is furnished with a rustic, woodsy theme and offers many comforts, such as beds with memory-foam mattresses, a couch, a table, and chairs, as well as a TV with a VCR and a selection of 40 movies. There is also a mini-fridge and a Keurig coffeemaker. Guests enjoy cold waters or their choice of Starbucks coffees, STASH teas, or various hot chocolates. This is luxury camping at its finest!

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

Not only do our guests enjoy the seclusion of a cozy "cabin in the woods," but we provide more private amenities than any expensive hotel or resort. Where can people go to find such luxurious surroundings and not have to share it with strangers? You don't have shared walls or have to share the exotic pool area, as you would at any hotel.

Everything is here for our guests' own personal use—their own private tropical resort that is surrounded by stunning landscaping; a bridge crossing over a koi pond filled with fish, rockery, and waterfalls; fire pits; and beautiful lighting. Once we give our guests the initial welcome and tour, we are scarce (unless they need something, or simply want to chat). We have put shades on all the windows and doors around the back of our house, so our guests have total privacy.

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

We love sharing our piece of paradise with others. Our glamping site has given us the opportunity to meet wonderful people from all over the world. We have had guests from Tibet, England, and Canada, as well as people from across America. People from all over California also come for staycations, since it's just a few hours away by car, and they arrive to a completely different world!

So far, we haven't had many challenges, and we feel blessed to have found this great opportunity to provide a service, as well as supplement our retirement. The only tough thing we face at times is the short turn-around time when we have back-to-back reservations. Since it's just the two of us, it's not always easy stripping beds, cleaning, laundering towels and linens, tidying up, and re-stocking in just three hours—especially when we have six guests who need three beds made up, instead of just one.

Carrying down and inflating the queen-size air mattress and hauling the additional memory-foam mattress to add to the sofa bed down the long path from the house to the safari tent is cumbersome. We haven't come up with an easier method yet, but who knows? Things are getting easier as times goes by. We are still pretty new to this, and practice makes perfect, right?

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

Wow, it's hard to pick just one! We had a wonderful family from England stay with us, and they were lovely; we ended up becoming very good friends and will be keeping in touch. There was a pre-bachelorette party of five gals, who absolutely fell in love with our place. They had a blast and are now walking advertisements for us—they are definitely planning to return.

We had a very sweet couple from San Francisco, who we wouldn't hesitate to adopt! Lastly, we had a very special Tibetan family, who upon their departure, honored us with a special gift for being their host: a gorgeous scarf/runner, made of white silk, for good luck. It made me cry!

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

Welcoming, comfortable, and amazing!

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

We provide the perfect place for our guests to relax, unplug, and enjoy nature. They get the best of both worlds:

  1. A comfortable camping experience, with memory-foam mattresses, in a spacious safari tent nestled in a countryside that is filled with oak trees, where you can fall asleep to the sound of owls, crickets, and frogs, and wake up to the birds' songs. You're surrounded by nature and wildlife and can enjoy sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee, watching wild turkeys and deer roam about the property. You can also go hiking on our nearby trail, which has stunning views of both the mountains and valley vineyards, in addition to breathtaking views of the ocean, from Avila Beach to the Guadalupe Dunes.

  2. The private use of our tropical pool area, Jacuzzi, and a large, modern, indoor bathroom with a shower and every amenity you could possibly need. You can spend your days lounging in the private pool area, with lush landscaping and waterfalls, or sitting on our little bridge over the covered pond, as you watch our beautiful koi and goldfish. There is a BBQ area, with plenty of patio tables, chairs, and loungers, as well as a gas fire pit to sit around while sipping on your favorite beverage.

There is literally something for everyone!

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

We would have to say my mom and Raul's dad. Sadly, they both have passed away, but they both loved our property—especially the exotic, tropical backyard, with the pool, lush plants, and waterfalls. They both would have been thrilled to see how we found a way to share our piece of paradise with others. (I also wouldn't mind a visit from Elvis; I was always his biggest fan!)

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

We have just ordered a two-burner electric combination kitchen—with a sink, counter space, cupboard space, and a compact refrigerator and freezer—for the covered patio area near the barbecue. Now, instead of just barbecuing, folks can actually cook, clean, and enjoy the use of an actual mini-kitchen. Plus, the additional refrigerator will accommodate more food and will be easier than using the provided ice chest and the mini-fridge down in the tent.

We also hope to pave the long path from the tent to the pool area, which will prevent everyone from tracking bark into the tent and bathroom and make everything much cleaner.


To book an unforgettable stay at Diane and Raul's safari tent in California, click here!

Host Spotlight: Robert and Emma

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 Robert and Emma and their glamping property—with everything from pods and tiny houses to cabins and cottages!—in Essex, England.

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

Emma:

After converting two redundant farm buildings on the farm into cottages, our road into the accommodation sector began. A friend later suggested we offer a small field for touring caravans. Later, a Sunday supplement feature about MegaPods resulted in a conversation with Ian Bone of The Pod Company, and a few weeks later, our first MegaPod arrived.

Rob was a little skeptical, but a simple addition of a photograph of the MegaPod at the bottom of the cottages website resulted in lots of bookings. Two more MegaPods were quickly bought and installed.

Robert:

Shortly after this, Emma suggested we convert shipping containers into more glamping pods. Why not? We ship potatoes from the farm in shipping containers! This was way before George Clarke got in on the act.

Not long after a visit to a trade show resulted in a conversation with Archie Hunter at Armadilla, and a deal was struck to buy three, which our younger guests love, as they have mood lighting, TVs, DVD players, and Bluetooth connectivity.

The business rolled on but we were regularly turning folks away. We needed to expand, but carefully, without losing our ethos of providing luxury accommodation in large separate private spaces. We looked around the farm and decided on the next location—a little way from the original location, but with fantastic views across the fields to the estuary of the joining rivers: Colne, Crouch, and Blackwater.

After much debate and a trip to Slovenia, we installed 12 fabulous Lushna cabins. There are four different designs—each one in its own huge 25-meter by 15-meter plot—and they're already proving to be extremely popular with our guests.

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

Emma:

Before setting up the glamping business, Rob was a potato merchant, buying and selling potatoes from across the U.K., mostly for export. He also helped out with the family farm, where the glamping business is based.

Robert:

Emma had a successful career in TV working for various companies in London, as well as for a time in Singapore, before moving back to her original home turf in Essex. After meeting Rob, she got involved with the glamping business and uses her marketing and branding qualifications and skills to guide the business on its way.

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

Robert:

Our pods are what glamping is all about, "like a hotel room in a field." It's all the pleasure of camping, but with the luxury and comfort to make the stay as pleasurable as it can be.

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

Emma:

Our location is the best thing about our glamping site. Just a short drive of an hour and 25 minutes from London, the property is on a quiet, peaceful lane, where, except for the odd tractor, the noisiest thing you'll hear are the birds and bees in the hedges and trees. The views across the fields to the estuary beyond are fantastic, and the nature reserve, beach, and marshes at the end of the lane are a place of natural wonder.

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

Emma:

Rob loves developing new things, so his mind is currently scheming his tree house! He's already got a design worked up for a two-story, luxury, circular cabin, which will float in the branches of the fabulous holm oak tree in the farm's yard.

Robert:

Emma says my personal challenge is keeping our guests happy and wanting to return here. Coming up with new ideas for the business is important, too, so it evolves for our guests and inspires us and our team here at the farm.

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

Emma:

For Rob, I think it is some of the funny emails we get from guests. Perhaps the gem, "can you quote me happy," still makes him chuckle. I love the marriage proposals at our properties, as well as guests returning over the years to make further memories with their children.

Emma:

And who can forget finding fish swimming about in one of the hot tubs?! That was rather memorable. Some of our younger guests had caught some fish and were not allowed to take them home, so thinking quickly, they popped them in a hot tub for safe keeping. Thankfully, the hot tub had cooled down by that point. When found, the fish were safely returned to the river after their morning spa treatment.

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

Emma:

Relaxing, peaceful, and wonderful.

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

Robert:

What we provide is an opportunity for guests to switch off. We don't need guests to check in, as they receive all the information they need to arrive at their accommodation in advance by email and text message—leaving them with nothing left to do but get on with relaxing.

Emma:

As Rob says, we run the business how we would like to be treated. No check-in means you're not worrying about arriving at 3 p.m. because the owner needs to show you around—all while the kids are driving you nuts in the car and you just want to arrive, relax, and have a cup of tea or a glass of wine.

Reducing stress to start with, so the holiday begins the minute you set off, is important. We encourage our guests to relax or go and explore the local area, including the beautiful stretch of coastline at our doorstep.

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

Robert:

Barack Obama—the only person of renown that I have ever really felt that I would like to meet.

Emma:

Aside from celebrities, I would like to look at charities for next year, perhaps offering a couple of weekends for families that are facing or have faced challenges, perhaps a bereavement, for example. Children caring for a sick parent really resonate with me, and I would like to offer a family some time to relax and get away from the strains of home life for a couple of days, if possible. As much as we are running a business, for both of us, it is important to add an ethical purpose, too.

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

Robert

My tree house and our hope and dream to add three cabins to a lovely area of grass between our wooded area and our reservoir. It is a beautiful location on the other side of the village—perfect for glamping!

Emma:

We have a few ideas. Another site would be good, with some variation. It's been a challenging year for us in a few different ways, and we have been talking recently about how, despite this, we are getting ready to move forward and create something new and different.


To book an unforgettable stay at Robert and Emma's property in Essex, click here for the cottage, some tiny houses, another tiny house, pods, one more tiny house, another pod, a few more pods, and a cabin!

Host Spotlight: Catherine

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 Catherine and her vintage cabin on Vashon Island in Washington.

A photo of Catherine and her dog at the cabin.

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.

Remember Ethan's road trip? He stayed at Catherine's cabin and shot some exclusive footage!

To book an unforgettable stay at Catherine's vintage cabin in Washington, click here!

Host Spotlight: Ellen

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 Ellen, who manages a woodland yurt and cabin in New Haven, Vermont.

A photo of Ellen with her horses at her glamping site.

Ellen: I discovered Glamping Hub through a guest that had stayed at my yurt. My purpose with building the yurt was to create a little hideaway in the forest—a sanctuary for getting away from it all while being immersed in nature. This decision followed the passing of my husband, as I was concerned about my future, and this would not only generate an income but also bring some people in and out my door.

What I found was that people seem to have a hunger for this kind of experience. They share their stories and are appreciative of my efforts. Of course, what pleases me most is that they also feel renewed by the serenity they find in nature and the yurt.

Having grown up in rural Vermont, I know how precious nature and outdoor experiences are for our health and well-being. Since the age of six, horses have also been a big part of my life experience. They have been honest teachers, kind, and sensitive, yet strong, in many ways, and they've guided me well through the years.

Now I am a certified Equine Assisted Life Coach, supporting others with the assistance of horse wisdom. I am also a certified life energy healer and meditation teacher. This brings me deep satisfaction providing nurturing support for others through Kindred Horse Life Coaching events and experiences.

If I were to pick three words I hear most often about my guests' stays, it would be unique, magical, and healing. I provide a dreamer's cottage in the woods. It looks and feels like a fairytale, and I often refer to it as my "playhouse."

You can hear the forest sounds through the canvas walls, along with the rain and wind, so you are aware of what your environment is doing. The nightly glow of the fire from the pellet stove, in addition to the candles, creates warmth to nurture you. It's a restful, comforting, and quiet place to unwind and catch your spiritual breath.


My only challenge a host has been when I see disappointment from guests that do not read the listing details and expect something we do not offer. We don't supply a television, air conditioning, or microwaves, because we feel those things distract from a quiet lifestyle.

In the near future, our expansion plans are to host more retreats on the property through my business, Kindred Horse Life Coaching, as well as through Airbnb Experiences. The experience will be called "The Healing Nature of Horses" and will be an introduction to equine-assisted life coaching. We would also like to add a meditation trail amid our 23 acres of fields and forest. Our final jewel will be a tipi, planned for 2020, where we can do meditation and healing ceremonies with our guests.


To book a unique woodland getaway at Ellen's yurt in Vermont, click here for the yurt and here for the cabin!