photograph by Carrie Marie Burr
Summer was just about over. We’d squeezed in every hike, campfire and river float we could before the kids went back to school. Apparently, my teenage son and his friends felt the same panic, so they’d had a slumber party and pulled an all-nighter. The next afternoon, on our family’s camping finale, my son fell asleep as soon as we unloaded our gear.
We had never glamped, but on that late-August day, our platform tent, with its sunny deck, cozy beds, woodstove and indoor plumbing, was a welcome upgrade. I’d wanted to check out Huttopia Adirondacks, in Lake Luzerne, all summer. We finally had our chance.
Huttopia—“the pursuit of a holiday utopia”—originated in France about 20 years ago, when Celine and Philippe Bossanne sought to create a place for campers “without being packed in like sardines,” where they can “breathe, enjoy beautiful landscapes, a tranquil setting and holidays in true freedom.” Its facilities—the company has sites on three continents—are lightweight, easily disassembled and eco-conscious. Huttopia Adirondacks, a couple of miles from The Painted Pony Rodeo, is on a 300-acre wooded campus with 110 platform tents—each with a fire pit—a restaurant with soaring deck, and a new playground and swimming pool. A fleet of wheeled carts line the parking lot, away from tent sites, for transporting gear; buffering guests from the slam of vehicle doors and the crunch of tires is one of the company’s “signature elements.” Another is its streamlined aesthetic: simple wood and canvas structures, pale chevron rugs, white linens and dishware, and pine-colored enamel kettles and mugs. Stacks of red plaid blankets are at the ready for chilly evenings or can be used as rustic tablecloths, and guests can purchase tidy bundles of wood and packaged s’more kits. In the bistro there’s fresh food, tailored to order, and some of the friendliest staff around.
Our evening at Huttopia, my husband, daughter and I ordered plate-sized pizzas and ate them in the tent, by the woodstove, followed by a round of board games. (My son woke up just long enough to inhale a pizza.) After stoking the fire, we turned in.
There really is something to waking up in a tent pitched on pine needles, deep and solitary in the woods—unzipping yourself into early morning sun, the sounds of birds and, when you’re lucky, a lake or a river. But camping-lite, as we did at Huttopia Adirondacks, also has its place. Our trip was exceptionally low-maintenance at a time when there was already plenty else to think about. We emerged from our down comforters, took steamy showers, ambled to the bistro down the hill and ate delicious crepes. All my son recalls is the food—his eyes weren’t open long enough to remember much else. But for the rest of us, it was a fun way to say goodbye to summer.
If You Go
Learn more about Huttopia’s glamping campus in Lake Luzerne—or make a reservation, from mid-May to mid-October—at (518) 223-8666 or www.canada-usa.huttopia.com.