Polished aluminum, Egyptian cotton bed linens, designer furnishings, a wine cooler. Not usually things you expect when you decide to stay in an Airstream travel trailer or at a trailer park.
Welcome to the new era of Airstream travel–no need to forego the comforts of a luxury boutique hotel. It wasn’t always that way though.
The first Airstream, called “The Clipper,” was built in 1936. It was a simple construction and bare on the amenities. But the innovative look generated interest. As popularity grew, they began manufacturing Airstreams out of Jackson Center, Ohio. Other manufacturers followed suit. Even NASA used Airstreams to transport astronauts to the rocket launch pad.
Savvy entrepreneurs and hoteliers have taken notice. Travellers today want to be surrounded by nature but not give up on comfort. Satisfying both desires, Airstream parks are now located next to wineries, scenic mountain ranges, canyons and even in upscale, urban neighbourhoods. Wine tastings, yoga classes, bird watching, bonfires, Jacuzzis and cozy bars and lounges are all part of the experience.
Forget your past image of trailer parks and camping–at these spots, nature never felt or looked so good.
DON’T MISS: My Canadian RV Adventure
Go on safari on the roof of a luxury boutique hotel
Cape Town, South Africa
This extraordinary Airstream park is located on the rooftop of the Grand Daddy, a luxury boutique hotel in Cape Town.
Seven stylish Airstream trailers come equipped with a queen bed, wet room with shower, air conditioning, bar fridge and more. Many are designed to make you feel as if you were at a safari camp, with prints and furnishings reflecting the African bush. Or stay in the City Flights Airstream, appointed with the owner’s personal aviation maps and his love of flying lining the trailer’s walls.
Each trailer gives guests entry to all the possible road trips and experiences one can have in South Africa, from safaris and beach holidays to wine tastings. Urban living and nature are cleverly combined here, and guests can enjoy gorgeous views of Cape Town’s iconic landmark, Table Mountain.
Keeping to the Airstream’s traditional shape, the interior’s workmanship and creativity shines as bright as the exterior’s chrome. This is a one-of-a-kind experience you will never forget. Go on safari–Airstream style.
Embrace your inner cowboy with zero light pollution in the desert
Art meets cowboy culture at El Cosmico. Located on 21 acres on the outskirts of Marfa in the high plains desert (altitude 4,800 feet), El Cosmico’s accommodation options are plenty.
Choose from beautifully restored vintage trailers from various manufacturers including Airstream, Sioux style teepees, Mongolian yurts, safari tents and even a limited edition micro home.
Despite Marfa’s tiny population of only 2121 people, El Cosmico attracts nature and art enthusiasts from around the world. Enjoy the slow pace and rest your stressed-out body on a hammock, or soak your muscles in one of their Dutch wood-fired hot tubs.
There are 13 individually decorated and meticulously restored trailers equipped with private kitchens, minibars, baths and heat/AC units. Funky and non-traditional, the trailer park and campground was a collaboration between the owners and an architecture firm. All the trailers feature marine varnished birch interiors with distinct decor and furnishings collected from around the world.
Like to spread out at night? The largest trailers are 31 to 42 feet long and feature a king and a twin bed with bathroom and shower. Some trailers come with outdoor furniture, cedar deck and outdoor shower.
Days here can be filled just relaxing, heading off on desert hikes, creative workshops, or hanging out in the communal lounge and reading room. Head into town and visit art galleries and shops, or fill up on authentic Texas BBQ. Night vision takes on new meaning here–with little to no light pollution, you are treated to one of the best night skies.
Get luxuriously au naturel in the woods
Pender Island, British Columbia
Water and nature lovers have gravitated to Pender Island for decades, located in the Gulf of Georgia. It’s only a two-hour ferry ride from Vancouver.
WOODS on Pender is the brainchild of Curtis Rendel, the “Chief Concept Guy” and chef. Previously home to an inn and restaurant, Rendel transformed the land into a seamless combination of the great outdoors and comfortable accommodation options.
They include 8 Airstreams, rustic cabins, a Shasta Airflyte trailer and WOODS Motel with nine rooms. Looking for ocean views? Select the Airstream International Signature perched on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Indulge with a soak in your private hot tub while sipping your favourite beverage. And the living is easy with a cedar deck, propane Outland Fire Bowl, BBQ, double cotton hammock, full queen bedroom, Wi-Fi, full kitchen, private bathroom, LED TV, Apple TV and more.
Other Airstreams include multiple TVs, two-person hammocks, solar power, Bluetooth stereos and so much more. Couples will want to check out the Airstream Excella (for adults only), located on its own secluded, forested site.
Food comes in the form of a casual camp truck as well as a farm-to-table restaurant serving gourmet comfort food and handcrafted cocktails.
Toast to glamping in the heart of wine country
Just 90 minutes north of San Francisco in the heart of the Sonoma wine region is where you’ll find Russian River Autocamp.
Luxurious Airstream accommodation awaits your arrival along with perhaps a bottle of your favourite Pinot. Designed primarily for adults, Autocamp Airstream trailers are the epitome of comfort and luxury, while being surrounded by Redwood trees, the Russian River and bountiful vineyards.
Sleep easy with plush, boutique hotel-style bedding and memory foam mattresses. Spa-inspired bathrooms are filled with Malin + Goetz bath products and equipped with walk-in showers. Chill out in well-appointed, spacious bedroom and living areas complete with Wi-Fi and modern and elegant furnishings.
Take a stroll surrounded by groves of majestic Redwood trees, or head into downtown Guerneville for a shopping fix. Meet up with fellow travellers in the Club House filled with local wine, beer and snacks and enjoy a drink sitting by the outdoor fire pit lounges. Tour nearby wineries by day and sip on the fruits of your travels in the evening on your deck.
Now that’s something to raise a glass for.
Combine mountains and Medieval castles for the best camping views
Looking for an Airstream stay with epic mountain views? At BelRepayre Airstream & Retro Trailer Park, your Airstream is atop a hill overlooking the spectacular Pyrenees Mountain range that separates France and Spain.
Situated in the picturesque French town of Manses in southwestern France, there is no mass tourism here. Just charming French countryside and a blissfully unhurried pace.
Beautiful landscaped gardens greet you outside your Airstream and the nearby countryside provides endless hiking opportunities. There’s even a Canadian connection: the Airstream park features a Canadian red cedar hot tub so you can soak up Canadian and French culture at the same time.
Belrepayre features vintage Airstreams as well as other vintage trailers which have all been meticulously restored and equipped with modern comforts and amenities. Most have bathrooms, wicker chairs, tables, comfortable beds, kitchens, sofas and more.
While on the grounds you’ll find a large sports field, fish-filled pond, general store and on-site bar and restaurant (housed in retro Airstreams, of course). Nearby there are many local crafts and fruit markets, bike and hiking trails, castles in Toulouse and Carcassonne, as well as local festivals to check out. Finish the day off with an evening soak in the hot tub gazing at the stars and the Pyrenees. French bliss.
Latest posts by Chris Ryall (see all)
- What It’s Really Like to Travel on a Luxury Yacht, Cruiser or Houseboat - November 4, 2019
- 5 Places to Go Glamping in Instagram-Worthy Airstream Travel Trailers - July 29, 2019
- Finding the Best Butter Tarts in Peterborough & the Kawarthas - July 17, 2019
- Go Remote: Escape to a Private Island Retreat - January 10, 2019
- Ghostly Encounters of the Luxury Kind: 5 Haunted Hotels Around the World - October 2, 2018