For some, the term “glamping” conjures connotations of travelers too high-maintenance to actually rough it in the woods for a few nights. For others, it’s a civilized way to soak in a natural setting while not eschewing creature comforts like good food (artfully prepared by someone else, no less), running water, and a comfortable bed. If you are in the latter camp (no pun intended), there’s no need to apologize. And if your penchant is for sipping a chilled glass of rosé in an upholstered chair al fresco instead of pitching your own tent, there’s a place to fulfill your bucolic fantasies.
Hideaway Co., a new glamp-site in Garrett County, Maryland, recently opened its doors–or rather, unzipped its tent flaps–to guests, offering glamping stays Wednesday through Sunday. The concept is the brainchild of Anna Baird, who has a background as a travel coordinator for film and television and in hotel sales. During the pandemic, she was intrigued to learn about British hoteliers like The Hoxton moving the parties outdoors, so to speak, hosting guests for luxe stays in fancy tents on sprawling country manors and estates. The property, not the building, suddenly became the draw, with its green grass, fresh air, and easy adherence to social-distancing rules.
For four weekends last fall, she offered a glamping pop-up in Western Pennsylvania; last month, she moved the site to the rolling hills of Western Maryland, near the town of Accident, for a full season of Hideaway Co. The current site is situated not on a grassy field, but on a former cornfield adjacent to Branch Bender Cidery. (Definitely pay a visit to this spot that was opened in 2020 by the affable Trish and Chester Yoder, if not for the well-made dry cider but to sit on their lovely patio, which definitely boasts a glampy feel to it thanks to Trish’s floral design sense.)
Hideaway Co. currently has ten 16-foot-round bell tents set up and hopes to add at least the same amount as the season goes on, including smaller traditional safari tents. After guests park at the cidery, they are transported along with their luggage directly to their tents via an ATV vehicle. Each tent is appointed with either one or two queen beds as well as bedside tables, lanterns with charging ports for small electronics, a watertight groundsheet, rug, storage table, and two directors chairs. If you’ve ever done a Pinterest search for “glamping tents”, you might feel a bit underwhelmed at the minimalist decor here, but Baird said she was going for a clean Scandinavian feel for the overarching design. The tents are well-appointed; their biggest drawback is temperature control. While they do have mesh windows, venting and tie-back doors, and two USB-charged small fans, as soon as the morning sun hits they become unbearably hot. In other words, nix those plans for a lazy summer afternoon nap; you’ll probably be out on an excursion anyway. Summer evening temperatures can get down into the 50s, so pack a sweatshirt and sweatpants; in the cooler months, they will offer extra blankets to keep guests cozy. (The property is surrounded by trees, so the leaf-peeping in the fall will be well worth the chilly temps.)
One thing that’s sure to scare off the camping-averse is the bathroom situation. But Hideaway Co. has five shared roomy tented safari baths with running water for the toilet, sink, and shower, as well as ample space for dressing. Towels, washcloths, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are provided; you’ll need to tote along any other toiletries, and you’re encouraged to use all-natural, eco-friendly products. Depending on the location of your tent though, those middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom can feel awfully far away (and dark); the chargeable lantern in the tent works okay, but packing a hands-free headlamp makes things much easier. Ditto for hiking boots, which are more comfortable than flip-flops for walking on the flattened corn stalks.
The culinary program is where Hideaway Co. really shines, peppered with talented toques from Pittsburgh and beyond. Kevin Hunninen of Point Brugge Cafe heads up the culinary team, and he’s joined by guest chefs like Jamilka Borges of the upcoming Wild Child, Jennifer Urich of Farmer x Baker and The Vandal’s Joey Hilty. Upcoming dinners on July 23 and 25 will pair dishes from Kate Romane of Black Radish Kitchen with visiting vintner Remy Wines of Oregon. Michael Friedman of DC’s Red Hen will be a guest chef in September.
Breakfast is served food truck-style, with a variety of hot and cold made-to-order options depending on the day, like breakfast burritos with Canadian bacon and salsa fresca, asparagus and feta quiche with local greens, bagels and lox, and yogurt, fruit, and granola, along with tea and coffee; the team often picks up cinnamon rolls or donuts from local bakery The Rolling Pin. Lunch may be gourmet sandwiches or salads curated from a local cafe, which guests can enjoy in the communal tent or box to-go if they are going on a hike or other excursion.
Dinner takes place in the open-air communal tent, and depending on how chummy you get with your fellow glampers, you can sit at a table à deux or push them all together for a group experience. A welcome canapé is followed by several courses, many of which include local ingredients. You might start with a tomato crepe with roasted corn elote, or watermelon gazpacho with beet, espelette pepper, and buttermilk drizzle; a main course might showcase Laurel Hill trout or rib-eye steak with tamarind, asparagus and rice polenta; and dessert could be lavender panna cotta with strawberries and rhubarb, or passionfruit-and-chocolate tart. It all depends on the whims and the interest of the chefs, all of whom are accessible to chat about their inspiration, favorite ingredients and technique, which makes it tons of fun for epicureans. There is a specialty drink on Friday and Saturdays, as well as other cocktails, beer, wine by the glass or bottle and offerings from the cidery; all are sold à la carte and not included in the price of a stay.
Guests are welcome to partake in an 8 a.m. yoga on the grounds–just bring your own mat. But Hideaway Co.’s location is also blessed with an abundance of other activities, all within an hour’s reach or so. Deep Creek Lake is just 20 minutes away, where you can enjoy the beach, rent a boat or just grab coffee by the water. Swallow Falls State Park offers a mile-long Canyon Loop trail that passes by four waterfalls; bring your swimsuit on a hot day, as the river is also a refreshing waterhole. Baird and her team also partner with local outfitters for river tubing, whitewater rafting, stand-up paddleboarding, and horseback riding. If you are into less active pursuits, book a massage in a dedicated tent or outside, especially if Pittsburgh private massage therapist Martina Castelli is onsite–you are guaranteed one of the best massages of your life. If you really want to keep things low key, you can challenge your tent-mate or new friends to cornhole, bocce, or board games, or just curl up on a sofa with a book and a glass of wine. Evenings often end with everyone chatting around the firepit over a beverage while making s’mores and enjoying incredible dark-sky stargazing.
The Bottom Line
This is indeed a unique experience for a weekend getaway–but it doesn’t come cheaply. Friday and Saturday evenings are $300 per person per evening, which includes accommodations, food, and yoga, but not alcohol or guided excursions or other activities; Wednesday and Thursday evenings are available at a discounted rate of $240 per night. All bookings require a two-night minimum stay. A getaway at Hideaway Co. is best geared towards those who are willing to rough it just a little bit and be okay forgoing an en suite bathroom, heat or air conditioning. It can be a fun option for friends or family groups, there are weekends geared toward those with kids, and the site does offer buyouts for larger groups. Hideaway Co. is about a three-hour drive from Northern Virginia; for more info about your own glamping getaway, visit its website.
For more ways to spend your time in Northern Virginia, subscribe to our Travel newsletter.