a silver trailer with chairs and tables
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

AutoCamp and Hilton: A Closer Look at Elevated Outdoor Lodging Experiences

Watch out for the mandatory amenity fee.

With regard to the partnership that was announced on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 of AutoCamp and Hilton, a closer look is given at elevated outdoor lodging experiences with which members of the Hilton Honors membership program will be able to earn and redeem points.

AutoCamp and Hilton: A Closer Look at Elevated Outdoor Lodging Experiences

a silver trailer with a door open
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

AutoCamp typically offers four options in which as many as four people can sleep in order from least expensive to most expensive: luxury tents, Airstream suites, cabin suites, and BaseCamp suites — the latter which can accommodate as many as six people. This article explores the Airstream suite, as that is the option which I was able to see in person first hand as part of the Art of the Brand event that was sponsored by Hilton in Nashville recently.

a silver trailer with a door open
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Guests can enjoy a private outdoor fire pit — complete with barbecue grill — and dining area immediately adjacent to the 31-foot custom designed Airstream trailer. All tableware, cookware, and utensils for cooking out over the fire pit are provided at no extra cost.

a couch and table in a trailer
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Upon entering the Airstream trailer, one can see most of what it has to offer. The entrance to the trailer is on the left out of sight in the above photograph; and the bedroom and bathroom are located on opposite sides of the trailer.

a couch and a table in a room
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The main area contains plenty of recessed lighting, a long sofa with a pillow and blanket that can fold out into an extra bed, a miniature refrigerator, a microwave oven, a small table which can be moved anywhere, a square green ottoman, a place to store a stack of firewood, a fire extinguisher, a vanity with enclosed storage space underneath a sink, enclosed cabinet space over the vanity, and three hooks on which to hang items.

a sink and a window
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The Bedroom

a bed with white sheets and a black and white blanket
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

A comfortable queen bed with a Tempur-Pedic mattress, pillows, plush linens, and a duvet is in its own private area in the trailer.

a door to a room
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The bedroom includes a flat screen television and enclosed storage — as well as plenty of lighting.

a bed with white sheets and pillows
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The Bathroom

a bathroom with a sink and a toilet
Photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The bathroom is nicely appointed with a vanity, a sink, a larger mirror which seems to open to the outside, a smaller magnifying mirror, towels, and a toilet…

a bathroom with a toilet and sink
Photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

…as well as a shower area with bulk dispensers that contain shampoo, conditioner, and a combination of shampoo and body wash — all with the scent of Moroccan mint and cedar — by Goodfellow & Co.

a group of bottles of shampoo and body wash
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Other Options

a metal bowl with wood and tongs on top of it
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Keep in mind that certain items and services are optional and therefore not included in the room rate. For example, housekeeping services during your stay are not provided unless guests request it — and guests will be charged an extra fee for those services. A bundle of firewood can cost an extra $20.00 plus taxes and fees. Dogs who weigh up to 75 pounds are welcomed at AutoCamp for a fee of $75.00 per stay, which does not include taxes and fees. A S’Mores kit which consists of graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars, and wooden sticks can cost an extra $15.00 plus taxes and fees.

a table with food on it
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Final Boarding Call

AutoCamp currently has eight locations, with a ninth location coming soon in Hill Country in Texas; but it is not without competition. For example, Getaway House offers similar accommodations — without Airstream trailers — for anyone who wants to be in the great outdoors in style.

Also, be prepared to pay a mandatory amenity fee. For example, staying three nights in an Airstream suite in the Catskill Mountains in New York — checking in on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 and checking out on Saturday, June 8, 2024 — will cost $1,037.78, which is the least expensive rate that must be purchased in advance and is not refundable. Included in that total cost are an average of $273.87 per night as the base rate, $98.58 in state taxes, and a mandatory amenity fee of $117.60, which is $39.20 per night.

For those aforementioned dates, a BaseCamp Suite with breakfast included can cost as much as $523.00 per night before taxes and fees are added. The mandatory amenity fee remains at $117.60; but be prepared to pay a total of $1,872.64 for that stay.

The mandatory amenity fee of $35.00 per night plus tax covers complimentary amenities and services that AutoCamp offers to guests — including the following:

  • Breakfast granola, craft coffee, and tea
  • Weekly events and programming on site — including but not limited to yoga and fireside chats
  • Bicycles, lawn games, and board games
  • Outdoor play structure for children 12 years of age and younger
  • Access to WiFi
  • Parking on site — including complimentary charging for electric vehicles

Some people like the idea of camping outdoors but have had enough of it at the end of the day and want someplace to sleep that is significantly more civilized than some tent staked into the ground before going back outdoors the next day. AutoCamp is as close to the perfect option for those people as possible.

I do not know if Hilton plans to price accommodations similarly to AutoCamp; but those rates are already too rich for me without the ridiculous mandatory amenity fee. I have gone camping in a tent before multiple times and have enjoyed it, which is a substantially less expensive option. One of those times when I was camping was when I was on safari in Kenya; and I was quite fine with that lodging option. I am obviously not included in the target market for this concept.

If the rates with AutoCamp were lower, I would absolutely consider staying in an Airstream suite in the future. With regard to AutoCamp and Hilton, a closer look should be given to at least eliminating the mandatory amenity fee…

All photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

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