CHARITON, Iowa- It's a term that has emerged in recent years, Glamour Camping, or for short "Glamping." The website Glamping.com describes it as " It's a way to experience the splendor of the outdoors without forgoing the creature comforts you can't live without."
Nick Cattell of Chariton was not aware of glamping either- until one day he did a Google search. His question was, "what to do with a big building?" His building was a former restaurant turned motel, which had been closed. He learned of a place in Germany where campers were brought to the comfort indoors. He thought that is something he could do.
"Originally we were going to have five rooms and five campers,"said Cattell. When he got the campers attached outdoors, to indoor motel rooms, he had to take a detour. "Got a visit from the State Fire Marshall, we couldn't rent campers indoors," said Cattell. The ban had something to do with access for firefighters to enter the building in case of fire, according to Cattell.
The Fire Marshall did consent to leaving a small one entirely inside a motel suite. It's a small Harley Trailer, which sleeps two. "This ones just basically a piece of furniture- the Fire Marshall, didn't have a problem with this," said Cattell That sleeper is in a suite of rooms decorated in the Harley-Davidson theme for bike lovers. Another motel suite is called the "End of the Trail," with an old west flavor, including a rustic barn-board saloon with art renderings of what the street might have looked like outside.
Cattell wants to offer visitors what they want. Some want a motel, which feels like a cabin. Some want a cabin which feels like a four-star hotel. Others go for a real 60's era camper, which has been "glamed" or give a northwoods theme inside. That includes all plumbing, stove, fridge, flatscreen and dish. While the outside looks a little worn like something left over from the 1960's.
"This is one example of what people do to the inside of a camper when they glam them up," said Cattell. This businessman recently retired as a driver for Hy-Vee, and now does his business full-time. He has big plans for the 11 acre site. "We want to have every form of glamour camping on one location," said Cattell. "We want to use old vintage campers, tents, teepees, yurts, and tree houses," he added.
The motel has already had visitors from California, to Ohio, people who are looking for a unique destination, even though the motel has been operating only for about a year.
Country Cabins Motel is located 1.5 miles east of Chariton on Highway 34.