There's a Goat Happy Hour at This New Vacation Rental — and Yes, It's Called a 'Goatel'
In 2021, founder of goat yoga Lainey Morse was struggling to keep her business afloat.
"I trademarked the name The Goatel in 2017 and hadn't really done anything with that idea until the pandemic hit," Morse told Travel + Leisure. "We were facing zero revenue coming in, and we needed a pandemic-proof idea to survive. We had a dozen locations at the time, and a few had the ability to do vacation rentals. The Goatel fit that bill," she continued, emphasizing that many people craved going into nature alone to be with animals or to have a safe space for themselves.
In spring of 2020, Morse launched the first Goatel at No Regrets Farm in Monroe, Oregon, as a day space rental.
When the retreat for people looking for a change of scenery to work, write, relax, or simply hang with goats quickly took off, she decided to make a go at spreading the goat love cross-country. Fast-forward to 2022 and the growing brand now has The Goatel Retreat Loft and The Glamping Goatel at Goats on the Bayou in Alvin, Texas; The Goatel Retreat at Goats in the Gap Farm in Rabun Gap, Georgia; and The Goatel Serenity at Hilltop Views Farm in Williamston, Michigan. The retreats in Georgia and Michigan officially open in spring 2022, in addition to the original Texas outpost.
Of course, no stay at a Goatel is complete without a Goat Happy Hour, in which guests can spend time with these sweet animals and unwind from the stressors of everyday life. The fun doesn't stop at happy hours, the three Goatel locations may also offer packages like Champagne under the stars, outdoor movie nights, campfire s'mores, private wine tastings, and gourmet dinner experiences. Each stay can be customized to the traveler's preferences, and rates start at $165 per night (location dependent).
The rave reviews of happy customers prove these Goatels offer a memorable stay. "Adorable room stocked with everything you can possibly need. We arrived to a welcome basket filled with snacks, drinks, fun activities, and games. Bottle feeding the baby goats was the absolute best! To top it off, we fished and had a bonfire," wrote one happy visitor to the Texas location. "As soon as you get here, the animals welcome you along with their humans! I loved the atmosphere… I was so relaxed, and you could tell the animals were as well. It's very peaceful, and you laugh a lot at the antics," proclaimed another guest of the Texas rental.
Safe to say, at the end of your stay, your Goatel getaway will be well worth the bill(y).
Perri Ormont Blumberg is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. She's based in New York City, but is always dreaming of the Catskill mountains. Follow her on Twitter @66PerriStreet.