| Special to USA TODAY
These amazing outdoor Swiss hotel ‘rooms’ are perfect for a world post-coronavirus
A couple of Swiss conceptual artists are offering open air “hotel rooms” perfect for the summer.
As anyone who’s tried it can attest, traveling in 2020 requires a bit of flexibility, creativity and trust. The communal experiences and freedom to roam after we check into hotels may have changed a bit. And with a third wave of coronavirus upon us, some travelers may opt to skip them altogether, opting for individual cabins and suites.
But vacation-rental sites aren’t the only way to find unique accommodation that keep guests connected to each other and the great outdoors. These hotels offer all kinds of lively experiences, from the original bnb – bed and breakfast inns – to luxury treehouses.
Post Ranch Inn
Big Sur, California
You’ve likely seen images of California’s iconic Highway 1, with its sweeping coastal views. That route inspires thousands of travelers each year to make a stop in secluded areas like Big Sur. Post Ranch Inn’s enviable location on a ridge high above the Pacific Ocean makes its tree house rooms are ideal for those looking for a relaxing, secluded getaway amongst nature.
Each of the triangle-shaped tree house suites is elevated nine feet off the ground and has its own private stairway entrance.
They also feature a king-sized bed along with a window seat, desk, fireplace and skylight to watch the stars from bed.
Big Cypress Lodge
When you think of downtown Memphis, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t a wilderness escape. Big Cypress Lodge features rooms that are designed to bring the great outdoors inside with a variety of rooms that offer rustic elegance and vintage log cabins.
Measuring 530 square feet each, the hotel’s two Duck Cabins, which have a king bed and can accommodate up to three people, are designed to resemble vintage waterfowl hunting cabins with Ducks Unlimited artwork and decor.
For larger groups of up to six people who want a wilderness-inspired getaway without having to actually rough it, there’s the treehouse suite, which has three beds (one king and two queens) and two bathrooms.
Carneros Resort and Spa
Napa Valley, California
Wine lovers who seek the comforts of their own luxury retreat need look no further than the cottages at Carneros Resort and Spa. Situated on 28 acres with 103 freestanding cottages, suites, and luxurious, private homes that feature an elevated farmhouse design that blend seamlessly into its scenic wine country surroundings.
The cottages come in two sizes: The smaller, individual bungalows start at 420 square feet of indoor living space and offer up to 800 more outdoors, while the larger two-cottage suites feature two bedrooms and three beds that are better equipped for families or small groups. Whichever you choose, you’ll get a private, fenced yard, indoor-outdoor showers and a fireplace.
This is your hideaway that feels like home away from home – if home sat on a gorgeous vineyard with some of the best wine in the world.
Andiron Seaside Inn & Cabins
Travel to a tiny coastal enclave for a true blast from the past at the Andiron Seaside Inn & Cabins. Built in 1959 and recently remodeled, The Andiron serves up all the nostalgia you need, with kitschy touches like old Kodak ViewMasters, 1950s fabrics, and kitchenettes with wood-burning stoves. 11 cabins are set over five acres of meadows and woods.
Cabin # 11, called “Curious,” features all sorts of ways to indulge one’s curiosity about the world, including old telescopes and guides to the night sky, vintage binoculars, field guides to local flora and fauna, science kits and a bird whistle.
No shared indoor spaces, increased staff safety and cleaning protocols, weekend socially-distanced outdoor happy hours with the inn’s resident goats (yes, you read that correctly), and plenty of space to breathe all adds up to a perfect – and safe – getaway.
Horse Shoe Farm
Asheville, North Carolina
Horse Shoe Farm is an 85-acre riverfront estate made up of eight houses and cottages that can sleep anywhere from four to 44 people. Here, you’ll find no crowded lobbies or elevators – just wide-open space to stretch your legs, spread your wings and explore.
The Farm is also ideally located right at the heart of what’s commonly known as America’s “great backyard,” with year-round outdoor activities that include hiking trails in Pisgah National Forest, paddling the French Broad River, and motoring along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The cottages at Horse Shoe are ideal for families working and schooling remotely during the day, with the reward of total relaxation on an entire farm to explore just outside their door.
Canyon Point, Utah
This coveted, 600-acre sanctuary thrives on creating bespoke experiences that celebrate isolation from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Glamping takes on new meaning at Amangiri’s newest addition: the 136-acre Camp Sarika, which opened in July of this year in the Utah desert..
Camp Sarika holds a maximum of 30 guests in 10 tented pavilions, each with their own plunge pool and outdoor deck. Each tent is covered by a soft canvas made from recycled plastic bottles that is able to withstand up to 12 tons of snow. Here, privacy and escapism reign supreme.
Brewery Gulch Inn
If you’re missing the quiet comforts of a bed and breakfast, you won’t find a better combination of rustic homeyness and room to roam than at Brewery Gulch Inn. Spacious common areas flow seamlessly into the landscape of flora and the Pacific coast. There are 11 individually furnished guest rooms. All have gas fireplaces and LCD TVs and the majority have private redwood balconies or decks with ocean views.
Each night, the inn’s colorful garden sets the scene for the chef’s daily plates that feature the incredible produce of Mendocino, alongside impressive local wines and beers. Nearby, waves crash into sand at Smuggler’s Cove right below.
Canyon Ranch Woodside
Immersed among the towering Redwoods, with private decks nestled in the forest, the 24 standalone treehouses at Canyon Ranch Woodside are ideal for social distancing. There are no window treatments and the beds face outward towards the forest canopy, so guests can really reconnect with nature.
The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay, California
Just 45 minutes south of downtown San Francisco, Half Moon Bay is a coastal city that is a haven for beach lovers, surfers and those seeking a slower-paced weekend getaway. Though the Ritz Carlton is a well-known luxury brand, what makes their Half Moon Bay property particularly special is its isolated location on a jaw-dropping bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Here, you can be miles away from even other hotel guests, with plenty of nooks and quiet spaces to read, walk, and watch the waves crash in the distance. The 2,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Suite follows the theme of “oceanic opulence,” with the property’s best ocean views. It also has a butler’s pantry, complete with dark-blue cabinets and a herringbone backsplash to enjoy meals in the privacy and comfort of your own space – ideal for social distancing.
Welcome to the biggest little space in Texas: Cosmic Kasita. The 325-square foot futuristic funhouse is equipped with a kitchenette, basic cooking supplies, and AC units. Cosmic Kasita is a limited-edition collaboration between El Cosmico and the award-winning micro-home builder, Kasita. El Cosmico is a 21-acre, “nomadic” hotel that celebrates wide open spaces, with restored vintage trailers, yurts, teepees, and tents.