Project NameYonder Escalante
Rooms10 airstreams, 22 cabins & 67 RV sites
|Project Name||Yonder Escalante||Location||
2020 Utah 12
Escalante, UT 84726United States
|Rooms||10 airstreams, 22 cabins & 67 RV sites|
The American West looms large in the adventurer travellers’ mind – with its rugged natural beauty, wild desert expanses and monumental canyons comprising a mythological destination whose untamed aura has been etched on our collective psyche by countless movies, from classic Hollywood Westerns to this year’s Oscar-winning best movie Nomadland. Ironically, the aspect that underpins its mythic status, namely, the harshness of its wilderness, is also the reason most people prefer to experience it on the big screen rather than in person. Now new-fledged hospitality company Yonder is aiming to change all that with the opening of its inaugural property Yonder Escalante, a 20-acre hybrid resort in southern Utah that imbues outdoor lodging and camping with comfort and refinement.
Located on the grounds of an old drive-in movie theatre near the ranch town of Escalante, within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, a remote region of colourful cliffs and canyons, Indian ruins and dinosaur tracks, the resort is a mid-century oasis where guests get to stay in vintage renovated airstreams and custom-designed cabins. The American road-trip-inspired lodgings foster an intimate connection to nature while a host of amenities, from an outdoor lounge with fire pits and a general store that doubles as a delicatessen, to an expansive outdoor pool and spa-like bathhouses, ensure a memorable experience.
Founded by father-son duo Charles and James Tate of real estate investment firm Preserve Partners, and Hannah Collins, Principal Designer and Founder of San Francisco-based ROY Hospitality Design Studio, Yonder’s mission is to offer a new way to authentically experience some of America’s most beautiful national parks, that combines adventure and discovery with modern comfort and nostalgic elegance. “The concept is rooted in the spirit of the American road trip, with the goal of connecting travellers to timeless Americana – the nostalgia of our past, an appreciation for the present-day, and a bright outlook toward the future”, explains Charles.
A key component of the Yonder experience is the Americana-inspired nostalgia that defines the resort’s aesthetic. Guided by her decade-long hospitality design background, Collins, in collaboration with James Tate, have established a sense of place rooted in the rugged backcountry of Southern Utah, imbued with a mid-century elegance. The most visible indication of the resort’s nostalgia-inflected conception is of course the 10 vintage airstreams which have been restored to create spacious, streamlined interiors where guests can comfortably lounge, cook, dine and sleep. A stripped down aesthetic of hardwood floors, modern furnishings and mid-century styling strike a harmonious balance between 1960s and modern design.
The same is true for the 22 custom-designed A-Framed cabins which complement their elemental, vernacular-inspired architecture with sleek, contemporary interiors. Exposed birch plywood surfaces, soft brown leather flooring, plush percale bedding, linen curtains and glass walls that offer immersive views of the surrounding wilderness imbue the cabins with a meditative ambience, while cooking and dining amenities, including an outdoor fire pit and grill grate, bring guests even closer to nature.
Underpinned by a muted colour palette of earthy hues enriched with orange, brown and blue accents that harken back to vintage Americana, the resort’s interiors, including the low-slung pavilion-like Lodge which serves as the property’s communal nexus, feature a treasure trove of vintage furniture, fixtures, pottery and art, intermixed with contemporary pieces. Many of the latter were custom-designed by ROY Hospitality Design Studio in a clean-cut, functional design language inspired by minimalist artist Donald Judd. As Collins explains, “deeply valuing authenticity, we found it essential to integrate vintage and custom pieces that were representative of the property’s history and the destination of Southern Utah as a whole”.
Equipped with a library, a selection of board games, vintage record player, telescope, sundeck, fire pits, daily complimentary beverages and nightly bonfires, the Lodge is where the resort’s heart beats – an indoor-outdoor space where guests can socialize, be entertained or simply enjoy the surrounding landscape throughout the day and night. Alternatively, guests can spend their day in the expansive outdoor pool and spacious hot tub, or relax at the private spa-like bathhouses, complete with heated indoor-outdoor showers clad in terracotta and travertine tilework, not to mention the countless activities that staying inside a national park enables, from hiking the mysterious slot canyons of Upper Calf Creek, to horseback riding along the alpine forests and multi-coloured rock pinnacles of Bryce Canyon, to canoeing and fishing at Wide Hollow Reservoir.
For those traveling with their RV, van or camper, Yonder Escalante is also equipped with 67 pull-in sites, a testament to the brand’s wholehearted embrace of the road-trip lifestyle and its nostalgic sensibility. But perhaps what best encapsulates the resort’s vintage allure is the revamped drive-in cinema which pays homage to the property’s history while allowing guests to watch cult classics from the comfort of a restored vintage car along with old-time classic concessions like New York-style hot dogs, freshly popped popcorn and boxed candy.