Editor’s note: We originally wrote this article back in 2016 ,and wow— Tentrr has grown by leaps and bounds since then! What started out as an Airbnb for camping in the Catskills and Adirondacks has grown to offer beautiful locations across the US.
A few months ago, a new company’s promotions started popping up on my Instagram feed. I remember reading somewhere that they were the new Airbnb of camping. I was intrigued.
Their eye-catching feed promised spacious safari tents and bucolic views on private campsites in upstate New York. Not quite glamping, Tentrr offers a “camping plus” sort of experience. Tentrr connects owners of beautiful, secluded properties with eager campers, and they provide all the tools and supplies to make it happen. Right now, upstate New York and the Northeast are the focus, especially the Catskills— perfect for a quick getaway if you live in the Hudson Valley or the NYC metro area!
Basic necessities are included and ready for use at each campsite. Among these is a Queen-sized airbed with a battery-powered pump, a pack of Double Doodie bags to use with a Tentrr provided toilet box (literally a box fitted with a toilet seat), and a big water container that you can fill up at a nearby spigot. Directions to the exact location will be noted on the property map you’ll receive prior to your trip, along with the list of supplies you can expect to find. You’ll also receive suggestions for what you should bring with you.
The Booking Experience
We’re big on day-hikes, but being camping newbies, we opted to book a single night at Willow Drey Pasture in Andes, which is in Delaware County, New York. Though the Tentrr site is a lot more active with user feedback now, back in June, the review sections were still pretty sparse. Based on their social media activity, posts, and engagement with current and prospective customers, we were pretty comfortable handing over our CC info, so we took a chance and booked! For sites within about a 1.5-hour drive from us, Willow Drey had the best combination of enticing property features and price (which is set by the property owner), so we requested a booking.
It was a very last-minute decision— I booked at around 5 or 6pm on a Thursday, with expected check-in for the following Saturday. If you’re familiar with these peer-to-peer rental services, it’s not automated. You need to give the owner some time to receive, review, and respond to your booking request. At about 11pm Eastern time, I hadn’t heard anything from the owner yet. I wasn’t too concerned because I had considered this possibility. I know it can take property owners a few business days on these sites sometimes.
Great Customer Service
It surprised me to find Tentrr’s live chat was manned at such a late hour! A super friendly and enthusiastic Tentrr team member named Anna answered my questions about what would happen if the owner didn’t respond to my booking request in time. She confirmed what my options would be, and then she proceeded to go above and beyond by offering to reach out to the owner directly about my request. The next day, Anna confirmed our booking and continued to follow up with me before and after our trip. Without a doubt, Tentrr offers up a great customer service experience!
Our Tentrr Experience
The drive up was beautiful! As we got closer, we went up a small hill, and in the distance across a small valley, we spotted our destination— thanks to the singular appearance of the safari tent! The photos on the Tentrr listing were a big part of why we chose that location, but wow, we were still blown away by the peaceful and serene beauty of the place.
The tent, table, and fire pit were clean and in great condition, and. All we needed to bring was ourselves, basically. (Though with three kids we can’t ever go anywhere without extra food, clothes, and water, of course!) We had a good amount of space to set up an additional tent for our older children.
This site had no cell service. We had complete privacy. All we had were views, fresh air, and time with one another.
Will we return?
It was an extraordinary, relaxing, and liberating experience! We’re grateful to have bonded in such a gorgeous setting. Considering the views and all that’s provided by the property owner and Tentrr, the $75 we paid for the night was a steal. Their customer service is great. The campsites are truly unique. We’re definitely looking forward to our next Tentrr adventure!
- Bring bug spray!
- Pick up some extra firewood along the way. Some CampKeepers provide firewood, and even if they do, it’ll be good to have extras on hand. Stick to local sources along the route to avoid inadvertently spreading disease or insects!
- Bring extra water! Although each site should have a water source, it won’t always be easy to get to, and it might be worth your while to bring some with you.
- Check and double-check the listing and reviews for accessibility. If in doubt, ask customer service! You’ll want to make sure your vehicle can get to the site. Things to consider would include the necessity of all-wheel drive and even maximum turning radius, depending on the site.
- Some sites are closer to town than others, but for the most part, you’re going to be in relative seclusion. Don’t forget extra batteries, solar-powered chargers, and extra lanterns/flashlights.
- Don’t forget the toilet paper!