17 Must-See Hotels with a Summer Camp Vibe
Kids shouldn’t be the only ones who get to enjoy these summer days. From outdoor adventures to team sports and creative crafts, these resorts invite you to indulge your inner child with activities that are distinctly reminiscent of summer camp, minus the cafeteria food and friendship bracelets. You can have a sophisticated, all-inclusive “camp” experience at one of these resorts where they will do everything from arranging the activities to providing gourmet meals and s’mores by the campfire. Here are 17 beautiful places to have a grown-up camp-like retreat and feel all nostalgic about summers long ago.
1. Ruschmeyer’s, New York ($800 a week): Evocative of a nautical summer camp, Ruschmeyer’s was originally built in 1952 in Montauk, Long Island. The cabin-inspired guest rooms circle a central lawn with picnic tables, hammocks and grills. The resort offers a range of activities from bike rentals to fishing, ping pong, paddle boarding lessons and yoga, with lawn games and bubbles for the kids, as well as musical performances.
2. The Lodge on Little Simon’s Island, Georgia ($450 a night): If you want to do some bird-watching this summer, this little island is a paradise for nature lovers and offers loads of recreational experiences including birding, boating, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, bicycling, beach combing, fishing and swimming. Creature comforts include gracious accommodations in six charming cottages, delicious regional cuisine and genuine Southern hospitality. All over the island are little stations full of water, drinks, towels and suntan lotion.
3. Hidden Pond, Maine ($700 a night): Named one of the top resorts of 2014 by Conde Nast, this luxurious summer resort is more like a spa than summer camp although the camp atmosphere is demonstrated with reclaimed wood, tree chandeliers and cozy outdoor fireplaces. With morning yoga classes, paddle boarding and kayak lessons, guided hikes, nature walks, two heated pools, beachfront stargazing, art and mixology classes, gardening, nightly bonfires and an indulgent spa menu, you will be completely immersed in the beautiful surroundings.
4. The Carneros Inn, California (from $365): Close to San Francisco, the Carneros Inn has a rustic minimalist style. The corrugated metal roofs of the cottages are striking while still blending into the rolling hills and open farmland. You might have a hard time leaving the resort and its hilltop pool, complementary fitness classes, award-winning spa and free bike rentals. Best of all, they are dog friendly so you can bring your best friend along for the vacation.
5. Sundance Resort, Utah (from $266): Part eco-lodge, part artist community, these hand-crafted cottages are surrounded by the picture-perfect Rocky Mountain pine forest for a remote mountain escape. Art classes are available, as well as screenings from the Sundance film festival, and with hearty meals from the grill and luxurious treatments from the spa, you are guaranteed NOT to get a case of cabin fever.
6. Manoir Hovey, Quebec (from $150): If your idea of summer getaway involves lounging lakeside in tennis whites, then this elegant resort is what you need. The antique ambience of the 41 rooms are a step back in time but with modern amenities and an upscale kitchen turning out traditional French-Canadian dishes with local ingredients.
7. Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Massachusetts (from $220): Nestled on Cape Cod, this elegant getaway has 120 guest rooms, four restaurants, two beaches, an 18-hole golf course and lots of water sports. A sunset sail never gets old, but for those who didn’t grow up on the water, the resort’s resident sailing experts can fill those vacant camp counselor’s shoes.
8. Echo Valley Ranch and Spa, British Columbia (from $215): Don’t let the “ranch” part bother you; this resort is pure luxury. The detached cabins are lavishly comfortable and the Thai-style spa means Echo Valley places emphasis on Eastern wellness. Alongside hearty ranch fare, with food grown right there on the ranch, are exciting excursions like fly fishing and horseback riding.
9. Wandawega Lake Resort, Wisconsin: Complete with vintage Boy Scout tents, teepees, a treehouse and a camp store, this lakeside resort is reminiscent of a 1920s summer. There is access to lots of common spaces including a treehouse library and game room where you can play pool or a board game after spending the day outdoors doing archery, tennis, volleyball, hiking, canoeing or biking. This is not a resort, and they are proud of the fact there are few modern conveniences, so come prepared to truly embrace the camp lifestyle!
10. Basecamp Hotel, Lake Tahoe (from $200): Built for exploring the incredible lakes and trains in the Lake Tahoe Basin, Basecamp Hotel’s 50 stylish rooms are designed for adventure and relaxation seekers. Boasting a rooftop hot-tub, several fire pits for s’more roasting and communal dinners to get that summer-camp vibe rolling, this casual resort is perfect for families who are looking for a cozy home base while they explore the mountains on foot or bike.
11. The Graham + Co., New York (from $125): A rehabbed 1950s motel, this hotel in the Catskill mountains takes a nostalgic approach to summer camp with complimentary cruiser bikes and radios instead of TVs. There are classic films projected in the backyard on weekends and you can go tubing down the Esopus Creek or just spend the afternoon napping in a hammock.
12. Double T River Ranch, Montana: If the lengthy list of on-site activties aren’t enough for you, you can also arrange an off-site adventure such as whitewater rafting, Yellowstone Park tours and bird watching. For the yoga-loving country girl, check out the package that offers a bareback, barefoot adventure with yoga and horse riding.
13. The Lodge and Cottages at Primland, Virginia (from $329): With acres, amenities and activites to spare, Primland is truly a luxury summer camp for adults. You can indulge your spirit of adventure with horseback riding, hiking, golfing, star-gazing, tennis and a spa for when you come home at night. One of the best amenities is the nightly s’more party by the fire pit, where the staff stocks the patio with s’more ingredients so your kids (and you, obviously) can make your own treats.
14. The Point, New York ($1,000): Built in the 1930s as a camp for the Rockerfellers, this 11 room lakefront property offers plenty of water activites, as well as tennis, croquet and hiking on 75 acres in the Adirondacks. Each evening there is a gourmet meal served by a renowned chef where you can get to know the rest of the guests and maybe even make some new friends, true summer camp-style.
15. The Ranch at Emerald Valley, Colorado ($750): Rethink the wilderness experience with these 10 luxury cabins surrounded by 100,000 acres of national forest. There are enough activities to keep you busy and disconnected from that phone with “cowboy coffee” at 7 a.m. and a nightly bonfire.
16. Sorrel River Ranch and Spa, Utah (from $430): Green pastures surrounded by red cliffs make for stunning scenery at this 55 room resort along the banks of the Colorado River. The resort has a western aesthetic that gives it a rustic and relaxed feel, yet there is no end to the possible ways you can spend your days: Choose from horseback riding, hiking, photo tours and river rafting.
17. Camp Grounded, California ($570 for four days): Literally a summer camp for adults, this is a “digital detox” return to adolescence for anyone who’s overdosed on email and texting. There are rules: no cell phones, laptops, tablets and you cannot talk about work; with those rules in place you really get to know people in a personal way. You get to stay in bunkhouses and play legitimate camp-style games like capture the flag, as well as taking classes in yoga, creative writing, rock-climbing, pickling, candle-making, photography and much more.
Do these hotels have you reminiscing about your summer camp experiences? Let us know in the comments below!