While everyone seems to be enjoying a European summer right now, there are plenty of other great vacation options out there that require a much shorter trip. I recently decided to break away from the mold and try something new – for me, anyway. While I can appreciate nature, I’m somewhat of a self-proclaimed “city girl,” and I’m a true New Yorker who has never been involved in camping. However, something inside of me changed when I came across a luxury camping resort Collective retreats, Phil. It provided all the natural elements I wanted to indulge in while still incorporating a heightened experience (No hunting, gathering, or having to purify my water yet).
Recently, I have shared group retreats with Sebastian Vail For the Colorado Escape package, which offers guests the chance to experience the Vail wilderness with a group luxury camping retreat along with upscale luxury hotel accommodations, providing the best of both worlds for travelers looking for a unique stay in this popular destination.
This credit fit my travel plans with a T. While I intended to have a solid, unplugged camping experience, I know myself well enough to recognize the fact that I need to slowly immerse myself in the great outdoors. Sebastian Vail was the perfect barrier, helping me adjust to the Rocky Mountain hike. As part of my livelihood, I stayed at the amazing resort for the first two nights of my experience. Fully equipped with all the right amenities, The Sebastian has a beautiful pool and hot tubs as well as a full service spa that really helped me decompress and get into vacation mode. I was traveling with a large group, which included my partner, my best friend, her partner, and their two-year-old child, so I was happy to see plenty of on-site suite and accommodations options for large groups or families.
After our stay at the hotel, it was time to get to the Collective Retreat luxury campsite, which was about 45 minutes from The Sebastian. When we first arrived at the campsite, I was in awe of how beautiful the place was. A spacious pre-packaged tent with a plush, comfortable bed was waiting for us when we arrived. (There was a thunderstorm one night during our trip, and I’m happy to report that the tent was sturdy and secure enough to keep us dry, safe, and sleeping peacefully.) With the private bathroom and shower located in a separate tent, any concerns I might have about dissipating the unpleasant “glitter” bathrooms. As someone who likes to pre-plan any and all details before a new experience, it was a breath of fresh air to stay with Collective Retreats and have everything pre-made and thought-out for me.
On our first morning at camp, we were awakened by the sound of horses galloping across the property. The accommodations were near a farm and stable, perfect for the riding enthusiast. Although I didn’t partake this time, it will be something to add to my list for a return trip. However, there were plenty of activity options within this experience, and while it certainly felt comfortable, there was never a dull moment. Surrounded by the beauty of the rugged landscape and the Rocky Mountains, I initially decided to take the opportunity to go for a walk along the Riverwalk with my friend and her baby who were traveling with me while the rest of our group took part in some fly fishing in the nearby waterways. The trail had little to no elevation and was paved and pet friendly, making it easy for any skill level. Our walk was customizable: While the trail is quite extensive and runs all over Colorado, our host Kelly helped us choose the best part of the day for us.
Since food is an integral part of any experience, I jotted down a few restaurants in Vail that I wanted to try on this trip. The city is known for its culinary offerings, and includes some of our most notable restaurants Leonora And Frost Bar – Both are located at The Sebastian, which we tried at the top of our trip. During our experience with Collective Retreats, we had the opportunity to make our own meals with the handcrafted BBQ boxes provided by the nearby Three Peaks Lodge. As a very clean person who loves to cook at home, the idea of playing chef in an outdoor setting was exciting. With the clear instructions and ingredients provided by the Collective, we’ve been able to whip up a beautiful culinary creation that rivals some of my favorite meals. We made burgers and beef and chicken kabobs, with the guys in charge of the grill, and paired appetizers with sides like potato salad and corn on the cob.
Throughout our time at the campsite, we had the opportunity to enjoy a range of activities, such as branding and candle trying, hosted by the Collective’s culinary team. Each person was given a trademark wooden cutting board with a hot iron as a souvenir of the experience, while enjoying a sturdy charcuterie board and a bottle of wine. The demonstration was fun and perfect for our small group. Last night we tried draft beer, a 400-year-old historic craft. The method works as follows: After heating a short metal rod, we dip it into cold beer for a few seconds, caramelize the sugars in the beer to create a creamy texture, and heat the brew. Although it is a unique and unexpected experience, it proves to be perfect for a summer night full of drinking under the stars.
After a lovely stay at Collective Retreats Vail, I’m definitely glad I missed my summer in Europe. Sometimes the most beautiful and memorable holidays are just a stone’s throw away.