Harmony Hill Lodging & Retreat Center
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Glamping in a Yurt in the Catskills
“A yurt in the middle of the Catskills?” I asked as my husband proceeded to book our single-day retreat at Harmony Hill in East Meredith. It turns out that Harmony Hill Retreat is a quiet spot situated in a landscape dotted sporadic cows, horses, apple trees studded with brilliantly-colored fruits of fall. “Tan Yurt” said a sign, encouraging us to turn right past the retreat’s entrance, and we looked for a cylindrical tented structure in the middle of the barren thick of pine trees. We had booked the yurt right at the cutoff point, the owner Chris Rosenthal told us, since she shuts down the tents during the winter season. We had to call an hour before we arrived so Chris would turn on all the space heaters and have the yurt comfortably heated. Typically, yurts are not heated. Technically speaking, a yurt is a portable tent which is covered by fabric and sheep’s wool since they are erected by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia, where temperatures can plunge to subzero levels. Our yurt featured a ceiling of ribbed wood, a fan in the Pantheon-like skylight, latticed framework, and plush furnishings including a table, chair and pull-out beds. My bedroom was cozy, with a Queen size frame, a nightstand, but no phone. We loved the hardwood floors, the chic iron fireplace (technically a fire stove), and our bed. The bathroom was so roomy that it took up a third of the yurt (you can waltz there). Though we were skeptical, we had found our glamping digs in the wilderness.
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