If a house or apartment rental just won’t cut it for your next family trip, how about a converted caboose? Or a yurt? Or even an igloo?
Glamping Hub is like the Airbnb of offbeat, unexpected and unusual accommodations. Just like the popular home rental site, you can filter accommodations by type, number of guests, price range, WiFi availability and if pets and children are welcome. You can also view photos of the rentals, see the amenities included and read reviews from others who stayed there.
Recently my kids and I booked a stay through Glamping Hub in a treehouse near Deep Creek, Maryland, about three hours from Washington, D.C. Reserving the treehouse couldn’t have been easier. After putting in my request it was sent to the host for confirmation. (My credit card wasn’t charged during that interim period, I could check the status on the dashboard and could withdraw my request up to 24 hours after I submitted it.) After I received my booking confirmation I was given the address of the treehouse and the contact info of the host.
A few days before our trip the host sent us detailed information including how to check-in, the door code combination and check-out responsibilities. She also attached a more detailed document with rental rules and suggestions of things to bring. We emailed back and forth a few times, during which I learned there was no WiFi or data at the treehouse (a bit of a challenge for us I must admit), and the host gave us restaurant recommendations and lots of options for things to do, from hiking the state forests to white water rafting.
When we arrived we noticed our house, the Eagle’s Nest, was joined by several similar ones operated by the same owner: Ella’s Enchanted Treehouses. None felt especially close to one another, though, so it really felt like we had the forest to ourselves.
Checking in was easy with the door code, especially because we arrived a few hours after we said we would. Technically the treehouse could accommodate five guests — two in one bedroom with a double bed and three in the second bedroom upstairs with a single over double bunk — but I think that would have been a little tight. But it was perfect for our group of three. We brought some drinks, snacks and groceries to make breakfast and picnic lunches as well as suggested kitchen items like paper towels and cellophane wrap. The eat-in kitchen had a breakfast nook that seated three and was stocked with glassware, silverware, plates and basic pots and pans and utensils, as well as a dorm-sized fridge, microwave and hot plates for sautéing or heating.
Overall, the decor and design was upscale for a treehouse; it definitely didn’t remotely feel like camping, exactly what I was looking for in a forest stay. Rustic leather couches topped with cozy blankets were joined by touches like filament hanging pendant lights, driftwood placed on shelves and bathroom mirrors trimmed in logs. And the house was decidedly located among the trees, with the decks cut away in areas to be built around them. Very cool.
Like I said, the lack of WiFi or data did prove to be a challenge for our family, especially when I was trying to figure out where to go for dinner or even pull up GPS. What we ended up doing was hopping in the car and driving a mile or so away where we could pick up a signal. Admittedly, a few times we actually sat by the side of the road for a while to check emails and social media. Just a testament to how tied we are to our phones, I guess.
As far as other entertainment, we brought our own movies for the DVD player since streaming wasn’t an option. But what the kids enjoyed most were s’mores around the firepit. We used logs from the stack of firewood, but the host recommended I bring starter logs to make things easier. Smooshing roasted marshmallows between layers of graham crackers and melty chocolate were our favorite post-dinner ritual. In the mornings I took my cup of coffee out to the table and chairs on the patio to listen to the leaves rustling and the birds chirping. Very restorative.
Before departing we completed our list of check-out tasks: stripping the beds, putting used towels in a basket, taking out the trash and sweeping the floor and decks. We also made it a point to sign the guest book to share just how special it is. In the words of my 12-year-old son, “I love this place inside and out.”
For more information on booking this treehouse and the multitude of options on Glamping Hub, visit the website.
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