With standalone tiny cabins ensconced in nature, Getaway makes for an ideal socially distant stay — here’s what I loved about my trip, plus key tips to consider
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Getaway is not your average hospitality company. When you rent a Getaway cabin, you won’t find any of the common amenities you’re used to in hotels. There’s no high-speed Wi-Fi, television, or even a bathroom sink.
But what Getaway cabins lack, they make up for by bringing you back in touch with the natural world. Plus, they’re aesthetically pleasing. You’ve likely seen their light wood cabins all over Instagram, renowned for their central standout feature: a huge picture window showcasing forest views right from a luxe-looking plush bed.
Miniature and minimalist, Getaway cabins have everything needed to escape into nature including a shower, toilet, mini-fridge, and two-burner stovetop. They operate in “Outposts” — collections of tiny cabins — around the country, all within a two-hour drive of major cities, including Atlanta, Austin, San Antonio, Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, and Washington, DC, with more in the works.
While I believe there’s never a bad time to embrace nature, the COVID-19 pandemic provided even more of a push for city folk like myself to, well, get away from our strange and unsettling reality. Since March, I’d been cooped up inside, and by the time June rolled around, I was craving an outdoor getaway for hiking, campfire stories, and a comfy bed — true camping has never been my thing.
But wary of continued risks posed by COVID-19, I also wanted to go somewhere that felt safe, where I could remain socially distant from others. After all, experts maintain that’s the safest way to travel during the pandemic.
Of course, without a vaccine, there is no firm guarantee with regard to safety. It’s crucial to follow guidelines and advice from organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and wear a mask, wash your hands, and maintain social distancing. Additionally, consider your own level of risk and whether you’re traveling from or to a hotspot, so as not to increase the rate of infection.
Thankfully, Getaway prides itself on contactless check-in (pandemic or not) with spaced-out accommodations. I booked at Getaway Catskills East, about two hours outside of New York City, in the middle of the rolling Catskills Mountains. This Getaway location offers two configurations to accommodate two to four people, with either one Queen-sized bed or two Queen bunk beds.
My stay in a Getaway cabin with one Queen bed was comped for review purposes, but rates start at $99 per night midweek in off season, and can go as high as $349 per night on peak summer weekends.
While steeply-priced at times and admittedly low on amenities, I wouldn’t hesitate to return, pandemic or not. Here’s why.
Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by Getaway.
My friend and I rented a car and hopped on the road on a Friday in June to reach our Getaway cabin. As darkness fell, the mountains in the distance began to disappear into the night sky, and the lack of streetlights made it difficult to make out any numbers or landmarks.
We swung into what we thought was the driveway to our cabin, only to realize we were still a mile away. Thankfully, the company sent a lengthy text message earlier with a detailed explanation of how to find the actual driveway.
We continued down the road for about 10 more minutes, and after looking at the map provided, we pulled up to our cabin, named ‘Vicki.’ Getaway cabins are adorably named after the grandparents of staff members.
However, hiccup number two happened then, as we couldn’t seem to unlock the cabin door using the key code provided via text message.
Luckily, Getaway Outposts do have limited cell service, though they don’t offer Wi-Fi. I called customer service, which is conveniently available 24/7, and was guided to a spare key that was easy to find, as well as an updated key code.
Despite the small challenges (I highly suggest arriving during daylight), customer service was super helpful.
When we were finally settled in our cabin, we were a bit surprised by how small it actually felt. It might be a better option for a romantic getaway rather than a couple of girlfriends. But we were also excited by the look of the Queen-sized bed covered in cozy white linens, as well as the full-service bathroom, all tucked away in the middle of the woods. There were no people, city lights, or sirens within earshot.
Inside, Vicky was adorable.
The light pine interior created a rustic yet modern atmosphere, and the one huge floor-to-ceiling window managed to make the small space feel anything but claustrophobic. The window overlooked our campsite and into the woods, with no other sign of civilization. As we arrived at night, I already felt a pang of excitement to wake up in the morning and see the view in the daylight — and it did not disappoint.
The kitchenette had everything needed for a weekend stay including a roomy sink, small retro-style refrigerator, utensils, dishes, mugs, cooking supplies, and even a bottle opener and corkscrew.
There was also a limited selection of food and snacks, or “Provisions.” Salt, pepper, olive oil, coffee creamer, and sugar are all complimentary, while other items such as coffee, tea, oatmeal, soup, pasta, and cookies, are available for a small fee (nothing more than $10).
You’ll definitely want to pick up groceries beforehand if you’re planning to cook on-site though, as the supplies are still pretty limited.
I was pleasantly surprised by the bathroom, which was fully integrated into the cabin. With a toilet, toilet paper, and shower with good water pressure, it didn’t feel like we were “roughing it.”
Even the shampoo and soap by Pharmacopia was a nice addition. Having access to a working bathroom in the middle of the woods is really what sets Getaway apart from typical camping, glamping, or even car camping.
The downsides, however, were that there was no bathroom sink or mirror. This felt inconvenient, especially as someone wears contacts and maintains a dedicated skincare regimen.
After some hunting, though, I found a small mirror in a kitchen cabinet. Pro tip: Prop it up above the kitchen sink, and you can take care of your own routine with ease.
The cabin also had a small built-in table and chairs, but the best part, by far, was the bed.
It was a luxurious Queen-sized bed, tucked into the corner of the cabin under the huge window, covered in soft white sheets, pillows, and a fluffy bedspread. This was one case where Instagram actually matched reality.
Before climbing into bed, we chose to build a campfire with the provided materials, though they incur additional fees for logs ($6.50 for a bundle), kindling ($2), and a lighter.
As we settled in to exchange stories across the crackling campfire, we quickly realized we weren’t the only ones enjoying the cool evening.
Our neighbors in the cabin about 150 feet away were blasting music on their car stereo akin to a college fraternity party. They also built a huge bonfire that we kept a watchful eye on, fearful it might grow so big that an errant flame would escape into the surrounding trees.
The Getaway welcome guide requests that guests respect “quiet time” from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. and to keep fires knee-high or lower, so we could have called customer service, but we opted not to as the noise was no longer noticeable when we were ready to go to bed.
Inside, it was peaceful and quiet and I settled into the comfy bed for one of my best nights’ sleep in a long time.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay and would gladly return to this or another Getaway location. The Catskills East Getaway location has 40 two-person cabins with one Queen-sized bed, as well as 10 four-person cabins with two Queen beds — one is lofted above the other, bunk bed-style.
The cabins range from 140-200 square feet, and the price depends on the day of the week; weekdays are less expensive.
While our rate was comped for review, pricing starts at $99 per night for a one-bed cabin at Getaway Outposts around the country. At Catskills East, the average price seems to be $179 per night during the summer months, reaching up to $349 per night on some popular weekends.
In the off-season, prices begin at $129 per night. Based on website searches, the Getaway Outposts in Texas or Ohio, are significantly less expensive than the New York Getaways. Outside Houston, for example, prices don’t seem to climb above $249 per night even on summer weekends. Note that if you want to bring a furry friend (dogs only), it’ll set you back another $40.
While I’d love to return, I’m not sure I’d pay more than $300 per night, due to the small size of the cabin and lack of on-site amenities. That said, splitting the bill with a significant other or a friend, makes a price of $250 or less per night feel more than reasonable.
Each Getaway cabin comes with the use of an outdoor firepit, surrounded by a picnic table and Adirondack chairs.
As mentioned, log bundles, a lighter, and kindling logs are also standing by in a chest, ready for duty, but the log bundle will run you $6.50, while a kindling log is $2.
Other than the firepit, the campground doesn’t offer any other activities or amenities.
While amenities at Getaway are low, they do offer itinerary ideas on their website including hikes as well as restaurants in the area. We were also located close enough to several charming towns in the area, including Catskill, Phoenicia, and Tannersville.
In our case, we hiked Giant Ledge and Table Mountain Trail, a short drive away in the Catskill Mountains. After the hike, we ended up eating at an amazing restaurant — Jessie’s Harvest House — which I’d highly recommend, in Tannersville, just about 20 minutes away from the Getaway outpost.
Other popular hikes in the area include Kaaterskill Falls, a 2.5-mile short yet steep trail to a gorgeous waterfall; Overlook Mountain Trail, a moderate 4.8-mile hike to an old fire tower and abandoned hotel; or North-South Lake, a 4.1-mile trail where you can cool off in the lake at the end. (I suggest checking out the AllTrails app for more details about any of these hikes.)
If you need to pick up provisions, check out Last Chance Cheese, a tavern and gourmet store with a great selection of beer and cheeses in Tannersville, or Hannaford, a full grocery store in Cairo.
Getaway Catskills East scores a 5.0 rating on Google Reviews, and a 3.5 (very good) rating on Trip Advisor, though that seems to be for both Catskills West and East locations.
One reviewer summarized my feelings: “This is an experience that can be enjoyed by traditional campers all the way to Manhattanites.”
Another reviewer echoed our desire for an escape after going through the height of the pandemic: “COVID really took a toll on us mentally, and so we booked this to disconnect and feel normal again. The cabin is small, as expected, but filled with everything you may need from pots and pans, utensils, cups and plates, even a little cell phone lock box to completely disconnect.”
One reviewer didn’t have such a good experience, however, calling it “underwhelming” and citing unclean sheets, dirty floors, and a leaking shower as major drawbacks.
Read reviews for Getaway Catskills on Trip Advisor
Who stays here: Families, couples, and solo adventurers looking to rest and recharge — but please don’t book a Getaway planning to party.
We like: The seamless check-in and check-out processes, the fire pit, and all the supplies included in the cabin.
We love (don’t miss this feature!): The bed setup. Opening the window shades in the morning was magical.
We think you should know: Due to its small size, you won’t want to spend much time in the cabin, so cross your fingers the weather is good. As such, I might not recommend Getaway as a winter escape, unless you’re looking for a romantic getaway and don’t mind spending all your time in bed. I also recommend taking time to scope out outdoor activities in the area ahead of time.
We’d do this differently next time: Arrive during the day to avoid navigation confusion.
On their website, Getaway says they are taking many actions in response to COVID-19, “working day and night to ensure we can still deliver the value of Getaway, while providing a safe experience,” to borrow their words.
To name a few:
- They have intensive routine cleaning procedures: “Our team now spends 2x as long cleaning each cabin to ensure they’re more deeply disinfected,” Getaway says.
- Guests can avoid in-person interactions with an easy self-check-in and check-out processes without a front desk.
- All of the Getaway team members have been trained on detailed COVID-19 cleaning practices based on the guidance of industry experts.
- They provide and require that team members wear personal protective equipment — meaning gloves and masks — whenever inside a cabin or within 6 feet of another person.
Due to these precautions, I felt confident that the cabin would be clean when we arrived, and it certainly felt that way when we entered. I didn’t bother to bring my own wipes or anything else to clean with and didn’t feel like I needed to. Plus, due to the completely secluded nature of the cabins, I had no worries about other people.
I highly recommend a stay with Getaway if you’re looking for a few truly peaceful, disconnected days in nature. With locations all over the country, anyone can drive to a Getaway cabin without needing to hop on a train or plane.
Getaway might not be the best option for “indoorsy” types, as the cabin size and lack of Wi-Fi limits activities. But as long as you’re fine with creating your own adventure in the surrounding areas, you’ll love it.
Keep in mind that this is more of a “glamping” type of accommodation, rather than a traditional cabin, which might surprise some people, especially considering the price tags in high season. Still, the value is good as long as you lock in a not-so-steep price.
Despite our few small hiccups, everything felt secure and seamless, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Customer service was exceedingly helpful and I commend Getaway on maintaining excellent standards of cleanliness, which assuaged any concerns we had about not bringing extra cleaning supplies.
Even though we did hear our neighbors, the cabins were far enough apart to ensure social distancing, and considering the entire check-in process was contactless, Getaway makes a good option for anyone seeking a safe vacation during COVID.
Book a Getaway cabin starting at $99 per night
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