This Glamping Hotel in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains Has Stargazing Domes and an Epic Tree House

A closer look at Asheville Glamping, an incredible off-the-grid getaway.

A bed looking out from a Asheville Glamping dome

Courtesy of Asheville Glamping

Whether your idea of glamping is in a tent, dome, guesthouse, or a tree house, Asheville Glamping has an accommodation for you — and it likely comes with some surprises, perhaps even a slide.

Opened in 2012, the upscale campsite merges the creature comforts of home with the undeniably dreamy experience of spending the night in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Located about 10 miles, or a 20-minute drive from downtown Asheville, the addresses aren’t revealed until after booking, to preserve the privacy of the campsites. 

“Asheville is an outdoor wonderland with endless hiking opportunities including the Appalachian Trail; river sports on the French Broad River; a vibrant art and local business community; and more breweries than I can count,” Asheville Glamping owner Joanna Cahill tells Travel + Leisure, also raving about the food scene and the historic Biltmore Estate. “Asheville is anything but boring.” 

Interior of a Asheville Glamping dome with a slide

Courtesy of Asheville Glamping

The same goes for each of the stays at Asheville Glamping. Two of its most popular rentals are its slide domes. The one simply called Slide Dome can sleep up to eight guests in a 1,300-square-foot space with a 20-foot ceiling in the middle and a twisty blue nine-foot slide that provides endless entertainment for kids and adults alike. While that one has a private portable toilet outside and access to a shared bathhouse, the Ultimate Slide Dome, which can sleep six, has its own indoor bathroom, as well as a private hot tub and a smaller yellow tube slide. 

Asheville Glamping's other domes are designed for two guests. The Star Dome is tucked in a corner with its own hot tub to take in the views of the celestial skies at night, while the highly perched Mountain View Dome has a sky-high view of the camp. A pair of Parkway Domes provide more rustic accommodations, while the two dog-friendly domes are brightly lit for pooches to enjoy the stay.

Exterior of a Asheville Glamping dome at night

Stephen Walasavage/Courtesy of Asheville Glamping

For those who prefer a tented experience, the five-person Safari Tent features air conditioning, an outdoor grill, and a fire pit, while the Deluxe Bell Tent can sleep two on a memory foam mattress and has a spacious deck with mountain views, as well as a fire pit. Those who prefer a more traditional home setting can opt for the Hikers Heaven, a two-bedroom guesthouse which can sleep eight, with 1.5 bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and a washer and dryer.

But Cahill’s own favorite is The Nest Tree House, designed for two guests. She calls it a “true tree house" since it's fully supported by three giant poplar trees, and one that goes through the floor and roof. Two suspensions bridges lead to the home, which has its own bathroom with a toilet and shower (with hot water!), as well as a small kitchen with a refrigerator, sink, coffeemaker, and microwave. 

A bed inside of a Asheville Glamping treehouse

BETTY BREN DENDY/Courtesy of Asheville Glamping

“It was a dream to see my design jump off the pages of my notebook and into real life,” she says of the tree house she first started thinking of at age 10. “Walking over the suspension bridge to the tree house makes me feel like a kid!”

Each particular space has different amenities, including varying degrees of bathroom privacy and running water, so it's essential to be aware of the details before booking. Sites are at least a few hundred feet from neighboring ones, but since it's not wooded, there is a chance of seeing other guests and their properties. Guests are also encouraged to unplug as there is no Wi-Fi, and only limited service on Verizon.

That's exactly what guests come here to do — unplug and bond with nature. The success of the campsite has allowed Cahill to keep growing it. “I think people crave unique spaces and unexpected amenities," Cahill says. "We are all about novelty!”

Cahill's most novel concept yet will finally be opening in April 2023. Technically a separate business than Asheville Glamping, the ambitious Mirror Hotel, located on 55 acres about 25 minutes from downtown, will include 18 cabins in what she calls an “elevated outdoor experience,” as opposed to glamping. The luxury units will use a special reflective material — not glass, like others of the sort — which will not just capture the daytime sky, but the night sky, too. Plus, it will have a film to protect birds and wildlife and ensure they are able to see it.

“We are bursting at the seams with excitement to be bringing this dream project to life as it has been years in the making,” Cahill says, adding that she worked with local film Yurko Studio of Architecture to bring her vision to life. “In our design, it was important that the Invisible cabins at Mirror Hotel do not just reflect nature, we wanted them to complement nature as well.” Bookings will be available to those who register at

A bed inside of a Asheville Glamping tent

BETTY BREN DENDY/Courtesy of Asheville Glamping

At the heart of both Asheville Glamping and Mirror Hotel is a raw sense of enthusiasm for the great outdoors and creative spaces that Cahill has fostered since elementary school, when she’d spend hours in the woods building tree houses, forts, and even underground shelters. It wasn’t until she was thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail as a 22-year-old on in 2006 that she began daydreaming about the business during the more than 2,000-mile journey. 

She went on to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity to better understand construction and started a commercial cleaning business while she saved money. Starting with a three-acre site, she built a single red yurt, with a kitchen, bathroom, and loft, that she lived in herself as she created Asheville Glamping. Despite major hiccups along the way, she persevered and opened Asheville Glamping more than a decade ago and has continued scaling it up to the popular glampsite it is today. 

Modern Living is so stressful,” Cahill says. “Asheville Glamping is a place where we invite guests to unplug, reconnect, and slow down.”

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