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: 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: 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!

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!

Host Spotlight: Rodney

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 Rodney, who manages five charming cabin and cottage rentals in Texas Hill Country.

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

After graduating from college with a marketing degree, I moved to Houston for my first "real" job. After seven months, I quit, moved to Wimberley, Texas, and started building houses. I also had a side job doing home repairs. A lot of the jobs were on rental cabins, which gave me the idea to build my own.

I wanted to do something different and unique from all the others. I looked around for a couple years before I found the perfect piece of property and slowly started building my cabins in my free time—creating the place I would want to visit.

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

Before I started building my property, I was building custom homes and pursuing an acting career. When I originally built it, it wasn't my intention for it to become my primary job.

After sevens years, the cabins became self-sufficient, thanks to repeats and referrals, which allowed me do other things and opened the door to traveling and focusing on my photography. When not at home managing the cabins, I'm out photographing great white sharks, saltwater crocodiles, stampeding horses, surfers, and rock stars.

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

I have five rustic and cozy accommodations nestled among the cedar trees in Texas Hill Country, where you can reconnect with nature while soaking in your own private hot tub. Each cabin has elements of salvaged materials collected from old ranch houses in the area, but with all modern amenities. The cabins are only four miles from Wimberley Square, but you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. We also have DirecTV and DVD players, but I hope guests will leave the TV off and go enjoy the outdoors.

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

The cabins are spread out on 10 acres, and each one is its own private oasis nestled into the cedar trees. They each have their own private pool and hot tub, a king-size bed, a kitchen, and a fireplace. It truly is a place to get away and relax with nature.

There are deer, rabbits, fox, the occasional turkey, and, of course, lots of birds. One of my favorite things is to sit on the back porch in the mornings and listen to the doves coo back and forth to each other.

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

I leave notebooks in the cabins for guests to tell about their experience. I look forward to reading about their story and how it helped them de-stress from work, reconnect with their partner, or just escape the pressures of the real world for a couple days.

The biggest challenge I face is maintenance. For several years, I did it all. I built them and did all the maintenance, repairs, and cleaning. There are five pools, five hot tubs (about to be six), five water heaters, five air conditioners...well, you get the point. There's always something that needs to be tended to, and the biggies always seem to happen the day before I go out of town.

After doing it solo for 15 years, I finally brought in my brother to help out with some of the workload, and my parents also live nearby, so my dad is able to help out with things when I'm traveling.

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

After 25 years, that's really a tough one to answer. There have been so many. I've had writers that come to get away to finish their projects, couples that have gotten married on the property and come back every year for their anniversary, and people celebrating birthdays, new jobs, and retirements.

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

Relaxing, secluded, and peaceful.

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

My property is all about escaping the city and reconnecting with nature. Guests always ask me what there is to do in Wimberley, but when they get here, most people don't leave the cabin. You can lay out by the pool or soak in the hot tub on the back porch while looking at the stars. Wimberley is a dark sky city so you can see all the stars in the sky.

If you do want to step out, there are numerous wineries in the area, restaurants, zip-lining, swimming in historic Jacobs Well and Blue Hole, and shopping.

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

Anyone? If I could go back in time it would have to be Jacques Cousteau or Sir Ernest Shackleton. I am an adventurer and a wildlife and underwater photographer. I'd want to pick Cousteau's brain on the best dive sites in the world and would love to hear firsthand how Shackleton was able to bring back all 28 members of his crew after his ship was crushed in the Antarctic ice in 1914.

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

I am always upgrading, redecorating, or remodeling something to keep it fresh and new. The part I'm most excited about is the tiny home addition that will be available in the next month.

While building houses, I also dabbled in the film industry; I even moved out to LA for a couple years, where I worked on a couple big films, but I missed my Texas roots. When I moved back in 2001, I built an 150-square-foot tiny house that I lived in for five years. After I moved out, it sat empty for 10 years and was kind of forgotten about.

This past year I've been remodeling and added on an extra 100 square feet. The tiny house movement has become so popular; it will be a great way for people to try it out to see if it's something they would really like to do. The abundance of natural light and high ceilings definitely don't make it feel like a tiny house, though. And yes, it even has a king-size bed and a hot tub!

A sneak peak of the backyard of the soon-to-come tiny house.

To book an unforgettable stay in Texas Hill Country at one of Rodney's accommodations, click here, here, or here for one of the cabins and here or here for one of the cottages!

Host Spotlight: Julia K.

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 Julia, who manages this vintage travel trailer near Los Angeles, California.

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

When my husband, Michael, and I bought our property in 2011, I realized the potential to develop a "trailer zone" near the rather forlorn and abandoned wood interior office trailer from 1963 that was near the shipping container. Both were left on the northern half of our acre by the former owner. We had to do a lot of cleaning and junk removal, but it became a nice alternative bedroom and art supplies storage unit.

The open land and framework nearby inspired me to build out and get another trailer for a nice guest area. In 2016, I found one for sale in New Orleans, so we went out there and bought her. Michael and the seller brought her back and up the hill, where she now permanently resides.

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

I grew up camping quite a bit with my family across the U.S., always car camping to visit relatives between California and Maine. I also have extensive backpacking experience in the Sierra Nevada and Vancouver Island. As adults, we have both traveled widely internationally and love the excitement of wild places. We both enjoy adventuring, hiking and freelance employment—me in the fashion industry and Michael as owner of Seaman Battens.

The popularity of restoration and ownership vintage trailers, as well as glamping in them, is widespread. We want to offer a similar experience in a highly collectible trailer for future guests who are still dreaming about, or working on their trailers, as well as those who are searching for a totally unforgettable stay.

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

In every way! Our 1954 Spartan Manor trailer and 1963 vintage office trailer are extremely collectible and both quite rare. The site itself is spectacular, and somehow the short steep road is just right to get a feeling of remoteness and distance from everyday life.

The trailer zone is fully outfitted for luxurious relaxation, with numerous lounging options and trails nearby for exploring. It offers guests privacy, open air, nature at the doorstep, and civilized amenities, such as shade, comfortable furniture, a well-equipped kitchen, and a bathroom with hot shower.

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

It has to be the view. Or Bella, our beautiful dog. The first we have gotten used to, the latter we adore, and our guests love her, too. Hiking with Bella off-leash is a great experience; just watching her leap like a gazelle and enjoy life reminds us to try that, too.

The trailer zone is special because it is self-contained and grants a feeling of serenity and privacy. Inside our house, we also get that.

In the springtime, the green, grassy hillsides and valley below are so stunning. 900 feet below us, at the valley level, we even have a water view! The ecology pond inside the nature preserve is designed to hold enough water through the dry season for the wild animals.


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

I really enjoyed building it and choosing all the materials—designing with recycled, repurposed, and reclaimed items found or sourced online. I learned that if you look long enough, you do find the great stuff!

We love to share our home and the trailer zone with friends, family, and guests. On a first visit, it is always really gratifying to see people's reactions to what we have achieved through the development of our property.

We are expecting to have some upkeep; because of the age of the trailer, some furnishings and materials might need to be repaired or replaced. We will continue to restore the trailer and protect her from getting damaged. Encouraging guests to be easy on the old girl is important.

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

We had a couple here during the painted ladies butterfly migration. I think they planned to leave for the day, but they ended up lounging, relaxing and watching thousands of butterflies drift by on their journey to Oregon. It really was an amazing sight to see them floating by, five feet above the ground and in a straight line over obstacles. The guests even mentioned it in their review!

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

Unique, hiking, and view.

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

The trailer is completely furnished with custom-made and designer-sourced, one-of-a-kind items—right down to the plates and silverware. We stock fresh English muffins, eggs, and butter; and snacks, breakfast drinks, and condiments are supplied. Guests sleep in an extremely comfortable bed, dressed with high-end, super soft, 100% cotton linens.

We offer all guests a guided hiking experience nearby on the private trails, and we take Bella, too. The guests just love watching her antics! We also offer them to come visit our house, which is just 50 yards away; we want to make sure they know that we are there in case of any problems or questions.


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

We would love to meet Yvon Chouinard. He is strong, admirable, and smart—a true leader and lover of nature and of life.

"He is widely recognized for his unique corporate style and philosophy, and his visionary environmental leadership." - Doug Bruns

"Yvon Chouinard has come to embody something near-mythic: a life lived hard-on-the-edge, perfectly and gracefully." - Doug Stanton

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

The building phase did finally end after more than two years since bringing the Spartan Manor to Chatsworth. We always set up the outdoor bed, outdoor umbrellas, and all the extra outdoor furnishings on May 1. We would like to focus on providing positive, unique guest experiences and to meet fun and respectful guests who think it our property is as special as we do.


To book an unforgettable stay with your special someone at Julia's vintage travel trailer in California, click here!

Photo credit goes to both Sibylle Allgaier and Ethan Abitz. Video credit goes to Ethan Abitz.

Host Spotlight: Mina and Rich

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 Mina and Rich, who manage this stunning tipi rental in the Catskills of Upstate New York.

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

In 2014, my partner and I decided to leave the big city for life in the country, a dream we both had long before we met each other and, a dream that I believe brought us together. We loved living in the Catskills so much that we decided to start building structures outside of our home so that more of our friends can come enjoy the beauty of one of the oldest farming communities in upstate New York.

At the time, we weren't familiar with the concept of glamping; we just both loved the idea of tipi camping and decided to give it a go. Finding the best spot on our 10-acre property took longer than I care to admit, but a year and a half later, we had the tipi of our dreams, and we decided to open it up to guests.

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

Rich and I are both artists and makers, and we enjoy the challenge of things we've never done before. We love traveling and collecting inspiration from other cultures and incorporating that into our lives.

Before moving to the country, I worked for a heritage fashion company, and Rich worked a set builder for photo shoots. We both knew we could do more—we just needed the space to explore our talents and put them to good use. What better place than the country?

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

We do all the work—you have all the fun! Our tipi is equipped with all the comforts one might need to enjoy their time away in nature; there's no need to rough it to enjoy sleeping under the stars and getting lulled to sleep by the babbling brook. We provide beautiful wool blankets, custom-made furniture, cut firewood, and a small kitchenette.

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

Its hard to pick just one. Our wildflower field is often inhabited by fireflies at night—a sight to behold and one you will not soon forget. The tipi is located in Meeker Hollow, one of the best places for stargazing in the state of New York.

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

One of my favorite things is to see the transformation our guests go through while staying here. After a night in the tipi, I love seeing my guests emerge from the forest with wide eyes and smiling faces, excited to go out and explore the sights.

We love teaching them about how a tipi works and watch them get excited about starting an open fire inside the tipi and maintaining it to stay warm on chilly nights.
We also love connecting our guests with our local farms and markets and supporting our local community.

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

So many of them! From kids being excited about every little thing in the forest to grumpy adults that were dragged by their partners to a tipi in the forest that turned to sworn campers overnight, we enjoy seeing how our guests use our property and how it transforms them.

We love all our guests and their courage and curiosity, but there is one that really made our day by gifting us a beautiful painting of our tipi and property. You could really tell from the painting that the experience moved them, and that means so much to us.

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

Relaxing, peaceful, and magical.

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

We designed the tipi and chose the location very carefully with privacy and tranquility in mind—500 feet from the farm house and nestled between a creek, maple trees, and a wildflower field. The tipi is equipped with everything one might need for a perfect country getaway: handcut firewood for bonfires, a long list of local activities to enjoy while you're here, and a hammock for lazy afternoons by the stream. During summer months, you can tour our organic garden and pick your own greens.

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

John Burroughs, without a doubt. He was an American naturalist and nature essayist born not far from our farmhouse. I'd love to learn about our land from someone that spent his life writing about it.

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

Yes, we are constantly growing! This year, we are building a new glamping site that we hope to have available by the end of summer.


To book an unforgettable stay with your special someone at Mina and Richa's tipi in Upstate New York, click here!