I’m a big fan of swanky hotels that scream sexiness from the lobby to the “too comfortable to get out of” beds. On the flip side, the late-night bars and lively atmosphere at stylish city hotels can make it hard to relax. Sometimes I crave a more low-key stay. A rejuvenating getaway that combines nature, light exercise, downtime, and chilling out with good friends.
That’s why I was excited to stay at Huttopia Paradise Springs. Tucked in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, just two hours outside of Los Angeles, Huttopia provides a “glamping” experience for anyone eager to escape the city. It’s not a radical concept — you get all the wonders of the wilderness without sacrificing the convenience of comfortable accommodations — but as with any property, the devil is in the details and that’s where Huttopia excels.
The individual accommodations feel like a hybrid of tent and cabin with fire pits, barbecues, games, and a pool on site. For the stylish-minded (or clean-freaks) among us, I was thrilled that everything felt new — as the property just opened this past summer.
As you’ve likely noticed, glamping has become one of Instagram’s hottest travel trends. As I drove to Huttopia, I had to question if the whole scene was more about capturing the perfectly earthy aesthetic or the actual experience itself. As you’ll see below, I was relieved to find plenty of substance to go with the style.
WHY IT’S AWESOME:
Look, I love nature and spending quality time in the great outdoors. But I also love my bed, shower, and having a place to plug my phone in at night. Huttopia Paradise Springs packs the best of both worlds into one place. I particularly love its proximity to LA. Whether you’re a SoCal local or flying in from out of town, you don’t need to go far to feel like you’re hundreds of miles away.
It’s like a quiet mountain haven in the midst of an otherwise bustling area. Trust me, anyone who deals with LA traffic needs that.
Aside from the convenient location, what truly makes Huttopia awesome is the effortless mix of modern and rustic. Most tents, crafted from wooden beams and tarps, come with full beds, a bathroom, shower, kitchenette, barbecue, and private deck. Although the tents provide solid privacy, there’s also a sense of community within the campgrounds thanks to central lounging areas, like the pool and large grass fields, a café where breakfast and dinner are served each day, and plenty of gaming areas.
IN-HOUSE FOOD + DRINK:
If you want a classic camping experience, I’d recommend packing your own food for at least one barbecue dinner. Each room has its own cooler, so you don’t need to worry about food going bad throughout your trip. Whether you choose to pair your baked beans and potato salad with steak or you opt for vegan burgers, the quality equipment makes grilling your favorite entrées easy.
If you’re not in the mood to cook, head to the campground’s café. It offers continental breakfast every morning and a rotating menu of all your favorite comfort foods each night. We’re talkin’ pizza, burgers, tacos, with all the classic camping fixin’s.
Plus, there’s a cooler with free kombucha to drink throughout the day. So you can balance your gut health between greasy meals.
- Full shower & bathroom
- Kitchenette & barbecue
- Free WiFi
- Swimming pool
- Access to field games and firepits
- Breakfast included
- Private deck & lounge chairs
- Pets are welcome
Huttopia Paradise Springs offers two different room types. The first is the Trappeur Pacific, which is 425 square feet and fits up to five people. This tent option comes with a kitchenette, two bedrooms, electricity, a bathroom, barbecue, and an outdoor sink.
The other choice is the Canadienne, a 350 square-foot tent that also fits up to 5 people. It comes with a kitchenette, two bedrooms, electricity, a barbecue, and a shared campground bathroom.
THE BEST THING TO DO WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE:
Being that Huttopia is tucked away in its own little corner of the woods, you honestly won’t find too much within walking distance. However, the campground is stocked with plenty of activities and games to keep you entertained. If you stay at Huttopia during the summertime, then the best way to spend your days is to take a dip in the property’s swimming pool. It’s got the boho umbrellas of your Insta-worthy dreams, lounge chairs, and plenty of room to swim even when kids are splashing around in the deep end.
In addition to the pool area, there is also a foosball table, pétanque (French-style bocce ball), cornhole, board games, and ping-pong.
THE BEST THING TO DO WITHIN A SHORT DRIVE:
The San Gabriel Mountains are within the Angeles National Forest, and there are a plethora of hiking trails you can find within a short drive from Huttopia Paradise Springs. A few nearby trails include the Holcomb Canyon Loop (moderate difficulty), South Fork Campground Trail (moderate difficulty), or the Pinyon Ridge Trail (Difficult). Unfortunately, these trails are currently closed due to the damages from the Bobcat Fire. But you’ll have something to look forward to on your trip when they open again next year!
If you’re feeling adventurous, venture out a little farther (about 30 minutes) to Big Pines to walk a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail or check out Mount Baden-Powell for a more strenuous hike and beautiful mountainous views. These trails are still open because they are outside of the Bobcat Fire burn areas.
You’re not going to get a luxury king-sized bed with 10 different ultra-fluffy pillows like you would in an actual hotel suite. But considering that you’re staying in a tent on a campground, the Huttopia beds do you well. It can get chilly at night, and Huttopia goes the extra mile by providing extra down comforters for every guest. After a day spent outdoors and hiking in the sun, I passed right out the second I went horizontal into my cozy bunk.
The best part is that you don’t have to worry about street lights or noisy traffic keeping you awake.
A weekend in the woods isn’t typically what I’d classify as “sexy,” considering it involves itchy bug bites, layers of bulky clothing, and sh*tting in a muddy hole behind a tree (no, thank you). But the Huttopia glamping experience comes complete with a shower and toiletries to keep you feeling fresh. There’s definitely something to say about the sex appeal of a rugged night or two away with little to no service. Plus, the secluded property makes for excellent stargazing conditions once the sun goes down.
That combined with the privacy of your own tent and balcony is pretty romantic. And romance is still sexy if you ask me.
THE VIEWS AND PHOTO SPOTS:
As I said, glamping is one of social media’s latest crazes. And for good reason – it makes camping cute! The string lights hanging across the top of each tent, the rustic wooden aesthetic, and the stunning backdrop of hundred-foot tall evergreens look just as good on your Instagram feed as they do IRL.
BEST SEASON TO VISIT:
I’d say the best time to visit is probably late spring. You’ll get sunshine and high temperatures during the day, so you can make use of the pool and hiking trails nearby. It’ll also be a little less cold in the evenings, so you can have your barbecue cookout without having to layer up until it’s later into the night.
IF I HAD TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ONE THING:
Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. However, if you’re looking to party with your friends in the woods, Huttopia’s family-friendly environment makes it a tad more difficult. The little ones running around the property definitely kept me from sipping one too many beers.
The young spirit of the campgrounds definitely keeps things lighthearted and fun, but if you want an all-night bonfire rager you might want to buy out the whole property with your crew for a weekend.
Prices in 2021 ranged from $210 to $450, depending on the time of year and room type. The prices for the 2022 season have not yet been determined.