New York’s Island Glamping Retreat Is Upping Its Game This Summer

Collective Retreats is adding new modular structures called “Outlook Shelters,” and they are now available for booking.

New York’s Island Glamping Retreat Is Upping Its Game This Summer

The “Outlook Shelters,” shown here in a rendering, have two decks with views of the city.

Courtesy of Collective Retreats

In summer 2018, Collective Retreats, known for its luxury camping sites in more remote locations, including Texas Hill Country and Yellowstone, opened a glamping retreat on tiny, 172-acre Governors Island off of downtown Manhattan. The move made Collective Governors Island the first overnight accommodation to open on the island in New York Harbor since the Coast Guard left in 1996.

Fittingly, Collective Retreats is following up on its big 2018 news with bigger 2019 news: This August, the site will get a series of custom-built, 300-square-foot luxury modular hotel rooms facing New York’s iconic skyline—and booking is now available for dates beginning Labor Day weekend.

Known as an “Outlook Shelter,” each can sleep up to two adults in a king bed, and an additional adult or two children with an added bed (said beds will have 1,500-thread-count linens and down comforters). Each Outlook Shelter also has a full private en-suite bathroom with rain-style shower, hot running water, a full-flush toilet, a soaking tub, and environmentally friendly amenities. During free time, guests can lounge in their own living room on a couch, or take in the views of the Statue of Liberty from Adirondack chairs on one of two decks.


The soaking tubs in the Outlook Shelter come with a view of the Statue of Liberty.

Courtesy of Collective Retreats

Another one of the “amenities,” is, of course, Governors Island itself. Although the island is open to visitors during the day—the first ferry from downtown Manhattan is at 10 a.m., and the last one from Governors Island is at 11 p.m. during the summer—it remains a hamlet of calm from the chaos of the city, with ample spots to stroll, picnic, and bike. A few nights here can feel almost as removed and peaceful as a longer weekend getaway from the city. At $725 a night for weekend rates, an Outlook Shelter is more expensive than the “Journey” and “Summit” tents within the retreat, which start at $150 and $450 a night, respectively, and also feature real beds and mattresses, fully functional electricity, and coffee bars.

Can’t quite swing a trip to New York this summer? No sweat. Collective Retreats says that following this inaugural season it will look to take the modular hotel rooms to additional locations across the United States, with the eventual goal of having year-round retreats. You can also check out some of the company’s other retreats around the country. Happy adventuring.

>> Next: The Best Places to Go Glamping Right Now

Katherine LaGrave is a deputy editor at AFAR focused on features and essays.
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