Tiny Glamping at WeeCasa

I opened the door to #9 excited to see what I was about to encounter.  I felt like I was falling into Alice’s rabbit hole; everything seemed familiar yet came with slight twists.  It’s as if my world had shrunk to a tiny Wonderland.

I surveyed the 135 square feet carefully, taking in all the exposed woodwork and the cool, little designs of the space. A big grin formed across my face; I was surprised at how big 135 square feet looked. Continue reading “Tiny Glamping at WeeCasa”

Caravan Glamping in Berlin

I slowly started to stir in my little bed. I turned over and pulled my covers up to my ears. I could hear the campground waking up around me and morning light started to illuminate my little caravan. I heard people whispering morning conversations, searching for toothbrushes and taking the walk to the campground bathroom. This is actually one of my favorite things about camping, this group campground mentality – that we are all in it together – out here in nature.

But we weren’t actually out in nature. Six other caravans surrounded me, but we were all inside a large building with a cement floor. We didn’t drive our caravans here, they were already in the building as a permanent fixture in this unique ‘hotel’ in Berlin’s hip Neukölln neighborhood. This was not your typical glamping – instead it was one of the most inventive ideas for urban glamping I had ever experienced.

I took my morning walk to the ‘campground’ shared bathroom and it was all toasty and warm inside as the radiator was going full blast. I said hello to the other campers and took my hot shower. This was much better than regular camping! And instead of sitting around a campfire, people gathered at the little wooden breakfast bar in the morning. I grabbed one of the croissants and apples that were available to all of the ‘campers’, made myself a cup of coffee, and sat on the chairs neatly arranged outside of my caravan planning what I was going to do in Berlin for the day.


“Huttenpalast means cabin palace in German – we wanted a play on words,” Silke explained. Silke and her partner Sarah dreamed up the idea for this adorable indoor caravan campground in 2009. She was at a crossroads in her career, a burned out event planner, in desperate need of a change in her life. Silke knew nothing about how to run or start a hotel, but she was familiar with how to be a customer in one. She had grown up in a family that moved around a lot, living in many countries and staying in hotels for much of her life.

She had three goals for Huttenpalast
1. Every guest should have a place to sleep that is clean and tidy with attention to detail.
2. Have good beds – no cheap mattresses. After all, people are paying for a good night’s sleep when they book a night in a hotel.
3. Keep it personal and create experiences where people can easily meet and mingle from the employees to the guests.

Caravans with Attention to Detail

Kleine Schwester (little sister), Friedel, Dubener Ei (egg), and Schnewittchen (Snow White) – each caravan has a name and a story. No two caravans are alike at Huttenpalast as each one was researched and bought via ebay around the region by Silke and Sarah. Once they transported them back to Berlin, they gutted, and refurbished the retro caravans to their original glory. The kitchenettes and tables were removed in the caravans to make room for comfy large mattresses.

We stayed in the Schwalbennest (swallow’s nest), which was the only West German model among the family of caravans. It had a little closet and a table with cushioned seats that also converted into a single sleeping ‘bed’. I adored the modern touches in the retro caravans like the wooden shelving designed by a local artist. Sarah and Silke had curated each caravan beautifully giving each a personality.

shallows nestSwallow’s Nest – our glamping home for 3 nights

shallows nest intSwallow’s Nest

The other caravan that stole my heart was the Snow White caravan – perfect for the solo traveler. Outside 7 little Garden Gnomes surrounded it and inside it was only big enough to sleep one person…Snow White of course.

snow whiteSnow White’s Solo Caravan

The Dubener Ei had been elevated so that you had to go up a flight of stairs to enter it. It was the penthouse of the caravans. In addition to the retro caravans, there were also 4 little cabins at Huttenpalast that were created special for the space.

penthouseThe ‘Penthouse’ Egg complete with flower box

tiny cabinsTiny Cabins intermixed with Caravans

Comfortable Beds in a Small Space

Most of the caravans consisted of simply a bed inside, but these were not typical European beds. You won’t find any split twin beds pushed into a queen at Huttenpalast! Instead you have a proper queen mattress in most of the caravans that’s super comfortable and outfitted in luxurious thread count sheets. In fact, I’m pretty sure the beds were a big upgrade to the original beds in the caravans! I slept like a baby during my nights in the caravan.

bedEvery bit of space in the caravans are filled with comfy beds

Meet and Mingle

It’s an indoor campground, and it’s a super place to socialize. Outside of each caravan was space for people to sit, mingle, read, work or drink. Little faux trees dotted the space and funky 60’s inspired chairs, couches, and lamps made the place cozy. Every little nook had a cushion, and there was even a community ukulele. Every detail was impeccable down to the glass mugs for unlimited tea and coffee.

If you want to get outside for real and enjoy nature you can do that in the summer months in the Huttenpalast garden. It’s full of plants, picnic tables and hammocks – a warm inviting place to mingle with other visitors.

shared ukuleleA shared ukulele
gardenGarden space

Not only is there shared space in the caravan area and a garden, but Huttenpalast also has a sidewalk café that serves coffee and breakfast accessible by guests and locals. So you may even get to mingle with Berliners while staying there.

Instead of having to hitch a caravan to your car and fight traffic and mosquitos, you get a lovely indoor glamping environment in the city. Berlin is full of creative, innovative ideas, so why would you want to stay in a normal hotel when you could be glamping in a restored, cozy caravan?

Customize Your Glamping Experience in Colorado

Glamping can take many shapes and forms, there are opportunities for the more rugged glamping that is closer to typical camping and then it can swing the other way to luxurious camping with all the extras of gourmet meals, 500 thread count sheets, and butlers. I personally have stayed in a range of glamping accommodations; from simple canvas tents with shared facilities, to airstream trailers, to inventive containers with canvas roofs, to full on canvas glamping apartments complete with kitchen and fireplace. However, what if you were to find a glamping spot that you could customize a range of basic to luxury experience? I found it nestled high in the mountains of Colorado.

Glamping doesn’t just have to be canvas based, it can be anything that really brings you uniquely closer to nature that isn’t a hotel. Glamping accommodations vary but, the most common types of glamping includes, airstreams, trailers, barns, farmhouses, cabins, pods, domes, cubes, eco lodges, huts, yurts, tents, tipis, villas and tree houses. So when I heard about the hut-to-hut system in Colorado, I was eager to try them out as a glamping opportunity.

A hut is basically a large log cabin found in remote places in the Colorado Rockies. There are 20 to 30 huts that are located an average 6 miles apart, perfect spacing for hiking or backcountry skiing between huts. They run from Aspen to Eagle or Aspen to Vail, depending on how far you’d like to go. Or you can simply stay in one of them and use it as a base to explore the area. They are administered by the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. The huts are quite basic facilities, there’s typically no plumbing, they are heated by stoves, and almost all of them are off the grid – so leave the cell phones at home! Each hut has 15 to 20 beds that can each be reserved for a night or multiple nights.
Now it’s up to you how much you want to ‘glamp up’ the experience.

Basic Hut Glamping

Just hike into the hut, bring all of your own food, a sleeping bag, and a sense of adventure! You share the kitchen facilities with others staying in the hut. You cook your own meals, clean up after yourself, and share in the responsibilities of hut living with the other people who have rented beds. Take hikes during the day and sit out by the campfire by night.

Shared common area of Harry Gates HutShared common area of Harry Gates Hut

Hike on numerous trails or between hutsHike on numerous trails or between huts

Catch spectacular sunsets!Catch spectacular sunsets!

Intermediate Hut Glamping

If you want someone else to do all of the planning and hard work, bring along your own local Aspen Alpine Guide who can help you arrange all of the provisions and will hike/ski in with you! The guides know the area better than anyone else. They can prepare meals, lead you on hikes around the area, provide sleeping bags & gear, and generally take care of all arrangements.

Breakfast cooked up by Aspen Alpine Guides at the HutBreakfast cooked up by Aspen Alpine Guides at the Hut

Guides lead hikes to waterfalls and other hidden gems in the areaGuides lead hikes to waterfalls and other hidden gems in the area

Guides made up a bonfire to enjoy after dinnerGuides made up a bonfire to enjoy after dinner

Luxury Hut Glamping

And if you don’t want to lift a finger, and also have all the comforts of home high up in the mountains, it is possible to actually rent out the entire hut by purchasing all the beds (this must be done well in advance), and bring a whole group of friends with you! The Aspen Alpine Guides will help you lux it up to your desire. You want a private chef to come along to cook gourmet meals made from local ingredients? Done. Hold a happy hour out on the deck? Done. Bring a yoga instructor to hold yoga sessions in the morning? Done. Want a masseuse to work on your aching body after a good long hike? Done. Whatever your heart desires they can arrange it and make it part of the experience.

Mountain yoga!Mountain yoga!

Organize a personal chef to be at the hut to cook meals and educate you on local ingredientsOrganize a personal chef to be at the hut to cook meals and educate you on local ingredients

Yoga and Pilates on the deck led by instructors/mountain guidesYoga and Pilates on the deck led by instructors/mountain guides

Which one would you choose? In Aspen Colorado, you can have your Glamping experience the way you want it!