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 interviwed Danny about his rustic chalet with a hot tub near Windham, New York.
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 chalet!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Danny’s rustic and cozy chalet in New York, click here!
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