BUCKET LIST MOMENT: GLAMPING!
I’m so excited to share one of my all-time favorite trips with you guys today — and many of you have been asking questions about our GLAMPING adventure! When we found out that two of our very dear friends were getting married in Colorado back in 2018, we knew we wanted to extend our trip out there to do a little exploring since we had both never been. We knew we wanted to stay in Denver for a night or two (which worked out since my brother ended up moving out there last year too so we got to visit him), but we also wanted to check out some places in the mountains to get that true Colorado feel. When doing a little research, I knew we would be passing through Vail to get to and from the wedding, and I happened to stumble upon Collective Retreats when looking at unique places to stay. GLAMPING has always been on my bucket list, and I figured this was the perfect opportunity! For two people who rarely book a trip more than a month out in advance, planning THIS trip and finalizing all plans late last year was so odd — I almost forgot about our itinerary and started really getting pumped just a month or so before.
Collective Retreats is a group of luxury campsite destinations with a handful of properties throughout the U.S. including a beyond gorgeous property just outside of Vail, Colorado. To be 100% transparent with you guys — this was NOT a sponsored trip in any way. Raja and I fully booked this trip on our own, with ZERO mention of the blog, zero freebies, zero discounts, etc. I had a few of you guys reach out and ask for a discount code because (to warn you) this was a pricy weekend and the most expensive part of our week in Colorado, but in my opinion, worth every penny!
4 Eagle Ranch: ABOUT THE PROPERTY
4 Eagle Ranch — the official property name where Collective Vail resides, is situated on 1,000+ acres just outside Vail in Wolcott, Colorado. The ranch provides everything you would need as far as accommodations and adventure, offering zip-lining, white water rafting, horseback riding, JEEP and ATV tours, guided hikes, wine tasting, + an actual campsite where you could stay in the tents at Collective Vail (a property within the property) or even park an RV. 4 Eagle Ranch is basically it’s own thriving little community, with different vendors coming together to provide the ranch with everything you would need to stay. As for accommodations, since we were only there for the weekend, we elected to splurge on one of the tents with “hot” amenities at Collective Vail, so we booked the LAST “summit” tent (more on that below, but keep in mind, we booked this back in November 2018).
There’s so much to do within the property, we could have stayed for a week and done an adventure every single day. Getting bored would NEVER be an issue here. For one of our activities, we decided to go horseback riding through the mountains, so we booked a private guided tour for 1.5 hours the first afternoon we arrived (we had to book about a week in advance). I have a ton of riding experience from my younger days so getting back in the saddle and taking in views of the Colorado Rockies was a “pinch me” moment and I was in pure bliss the entire time. For a more leisure activity, we went wine tasting at Vines at Vail during sunset and met the wonderful owner Patrick — originally from the NYC area, so we felt right at home! Our tasting was so good that we ended up buying a bottle and bringing it to dinner with us that night!
Overall, I love how unique the ranch property is — it feels so tucked away, miles and miles from anything, but with conveniences and amenities to keep everything nice and easy while you’re traveling.
GLAMPING at Collective Vail
As I mentioned above, we decided to go for the highest end accommodation when booking our Collective Retreat weekend, and I was able to snag the LAST “Summit” tent on the property that 4th of July weekend. There are two different tent options at Collective Vail — the “Summit” tents or the “Journey” tents, the main difference being that the Summit tents provide a private bathroom attached to the tent in back, while the Journey tents provide a shared bathroom with private toilets and showers. Our tent felt like home immediately and was so beyond cozy — a huge king bed with fluffy down comforter and electric blanket to keep warm at night, bed-side electricity, a water dispenser, a huge Yeti cooler stocked with ice, plush bathrobes that I never wanted to take off, an electric space heater AND a wood burning stove for heat, and lets face it — the most important part, a french coffee press. I also loved the HUGE porch in front of the tent with these gorgeous wooden rocking chairs we enjoyed our coffee on in the mornings and a glass of wine at night.
Food options are abundant on the property — there’s breakfast, lunch & dinner options provided by Collective Retreats at Three Peaks Lodge (a little tent in the middle of the property with a full bar). For dinner one night, we splurged on the farm-to-table dinner experience where the chef creates a multi-course menu with whatever is in season. We sat under the stars (and twinkle lights), taking in the most insane view of the mountains and sunset. It was one of those experiences that we will never in a million years forget and the food was absolutely delicious — so the $150 per person bill seemed worth it (unless it was that bottle of wine that swayed me).
Frequently Asked Questions
I chatted with a bunch of you guys on DM during and after our stay and I’m rounding up the most frequently asked questions about our experience.
How long would you recommend to stay? I think 1-2 nights is enough time to give the full experience. It’s a pricy place, so unless you’re rolling in the dough and can (and want) to stay longer, I think a weekend is a fair amount of time.
Would you recommend the Summit or Journey tent? Like I said, because we were thinking about this as a “once in a lifetime, bucket-list experience” — we splurged on the Summit tent to be able to have a private bathroom. Was it necessary? Absolutely not, it was only two days. The price difference was pretty significant so if you could swing the extra cost, sure… why not?! HOWEVER, it was SUCH an amazing experience though and the bathroom really didn’t contribute to any of that… if it came down to being able to afford the bathroom or NOT go at all, I’d say buh-bye to the bathroom and fully immerse in the experience.
Were you cold? The temperature swings in Colorado are no joke. It went from mid-80’s during the day to low-40’s at night. We went to bed with the wood burning fireplace roaring one night and woke up to frigid temps, so I ran to put the space heater on around 4am and the place warmed right back up. We both slept in the robes they provided for an extra layer and used the heated blanket. For someone who is always freezing, I was surprisingly comfortable.
Are there bugs? YEP. Don’t let that tent fool you… you are still CAMPING outdoors. I woke up the night I mentioned above to a pretty chilly tent, turned on the lights, and saw that we were sharing the tent with a lot of critters (AKA spiders). I made the executive decision to just deal with it and not go on a murder spree… I was afraid I would have witnesses and they would come for me while I tried to go back to sleep. Moving to a woodsy area at home has changed me. WE are in THEIR area. If the sight of a spider is going to send you into a tail spin, maybe outdoor activities aren’t for you? I will say… for being a typical bug magnet… I came home with ZERO mosquito bites, so I’ll take that as a win.
Did you get altitude sickness? Yes, but not nearly as bad as I could have been. I prepped for about a week prior to leaving for Colorado: dropped Chlorophyll in my water to help with red blood cell production and drank a TON of water (even more so than usual). While in CO, I really tried to lay off heavy drinking (and drinking too fast), and tried to take it easy when I felt my body getting winded. Being 8,500+ feet above sea-level is no freaking joke. I felt like I couldn’t take a big, deep breath for the entire 5 days we were there, would feel myself getting winded WALKING, randomly felt exhausted and a little cloudy/fuzzy, and could feel myself actually getting drunk sipping on alcohol — it was wild. The most important things to remember: drink a shit-ton of water, DO NOT binge drink alcohol (take it slow), wear sunscreen (the higher you are above sea-level, the closer you are to the sun), and if possible, try to stagger the elevation jumps if possible. I think flying into Denver (about 5,000+ above sea level) and spending a day there helped us get adjusted before going to the mountains. At one point on our trip, we were 10,500+ above sea level.
What should I pack to go GLAMPING? I once again packed only in a carry-on for this 5-day trip. Sharing a summer packing list below.
WHAT TO PACK
We moved 3 different times in 5 days, so packing in a carry-on was a non-negotiable for this trip. Besides the two dresses I needed for the rehearsal dinner and wedding we went to earlier in the week, everything I packed was super casual and PLAIN, so I could style things multiple ways if needed. The key to packing is LAYERS. The temperature dropped significantly at night, but would be hot AF during the day. Bringing layers that you can take on and off is going to help you be comfortable!
WHAT I PACKED
– 1 plain white tee
– 1 plain button down white shirt
– 1 tank top
– 1 pair of jeans
– 1 pair of jean shorts
– 1 sweatshirt
– 1 denim jacket
– 1 lightweight puffer jacket
– 1 pair of sneakers
– 1 pair of hiking boots
– 1 pair of cowboy boots
– 1 pair of slippers
– 1 set of pajamas
– 1 hat
– 1 belt bag
– Liquid chlorophyll
Overall, Colorado was one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to and I’m so glad we finally got the opportunity to go! If you’re looking for a fun, romantic, once-in-a-lifetime experience, this is it!