This Wilderness Hotel Is Coming to Zion National Park Next Year — and We Got a Sneak Peek

Travel + Leisure  |  December 6, 2021

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Travel + Leisure — Utah’s Zion National Park is a wonder in itself, but this new retreat next door might just give the park a run for its money.

Covering 1,110 acres along the Clear Creek Mountains, just a mile from the edge of the park, Spirit is the newest luxury wilderness retreat to open in the Zion area. Its mission: to allow guests that stay in one of its 40 suites or homesteads to develop a relationship with the land through the guiding principles of preservation and sustainability.

“Having grown up locally and witnessed firsthand how unbounded commercialization and land division can spoil the natural tapestry of a community, the concept of conservation and the importance of protecting the inherent integrity of our environment was introduced to me early on and has been the guiding vision for Spirit,” Kevin McLaws, founder and partner of Zion Spirit Group, the property’s family-run owner and management company, said in a statement. “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with this property to set a new standard for gateway communities, one that inspires guests to not only be a part of the land’s continued story, but to become equal stewards of it.”

Guests will stay in one- or two-bedroom Leaf Suites or five-bedroom Homestead Retreats, which provide more than 6,000 square feet of space; both types of accommodations were designed by Nomadic Resorts, a Dutch architecture firm that specializes in eco-friendly, luxurious lodgings for remote properties. The Leaf Suites are named for their innovative roofs by Brooklyn-based studio Pvilion, which do, in fact, resemble leaves — they’re covered in solar panels and photovoltaic fabric to provide energy for the structures.

“These structures will be used all in both expeditionary and austere environments for deployment during Agile Combat Employment (ACE) exercises and real-world scenarios,” said Carl Buhler, Brigadier General (ret), USAF. They are fully self-sufficient, and each structure will include Environmental Control Units (heating and air conditioning), energy storage, lighting, power, and backup generators for cases of inclement weather.

These products transcend the traditional model and will operate as a hybrid power solution, using solar as a primary source and generators as a backup source. This newer, more efficient line, allows the USAF to procure a full turn-key kit from Pvilion and integrate Pvilion’s products into existing structures and infrastructure, on both the power and tent side.

Inside, both Leaf Suites and Homestead Retreats provide separate living and sleeping areas, including a “wellness studio” that can be used for exercise, meditation, or in-room spa treatments. Despite such luxe amenities, the focus is always on nature. Through panoramic windows and wraparound terraces, guests will have views of some of Zion’s top attractions: Checkerboard Mesa, the East Temple, the West Temple, and Burger Peak among them. Each accommodation also comes with electric bikes for exploring the property’s 35 miles of trails.

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