Eighteen cabins with reflective mirror-paneled walls, just 20 miles outside Asheville, North Carolina.
A one-of-a-kind experience is coming soon to North Carolina: Mirror Hotel will debut a batch of "invisible" cabins this May. According to the hotel, it's the first property of its kind in the United States.
Mirror Hotel sits on a 55-acre lot in Marshall, North Carolina — just 20 miles north of Asheville. Each of its 18 cabins will have reflective mirror-paneled walls — hence the name Mirror Hotel — that blend into the surrounding environment.
Joanna Cahill, the owner of Mirror Hotel, was inspired to create this property after crowdsourcing opinions from repeat guests at her other hospitality venture: Asheville Glamping. (Asheville Glamping is an upscale off-the-grid campsite that opened in 2012, offering guests tent, dome, and tree house accommodations.)
“What we heard the most is that [guests] wanted privacy,” Cahill told Travel + Leisure. “[Mirror Hotel] is built to be everything people love about glamping without everything they don’t."
Cahill started looking for the perfect chunk of land in 2019. She told T+L that "everything had to be right"; The property needed incredible views, but also enough space to give guests the privacy they wanted. The land Cahill selected was so secluded, in fact, that they needed to build roads to get to the site. (It's not too isolated, though, guests can still easily access Asheville's dining scene, the famed Biltmore Estate, and other excursions.)
Guests can pick from two types of cabins: the 1,500-square-foot "Elevate" cabins that can sleep six guests and the 600-square-foot "Grounded" cabins that can house four guests. Elevate cabins have three bedrooms, a full bath (with a shower and soaking tub), and a kitchen. Grounded cabins have a loft-style layout with an upstairs bedroom, a pull-out sofa on the ground level, and a shower.
All the cabins are built on stilts with a terrace large enough for some morning yoga or late-night stargazing. And to truly deliver on privacy, there are no communal fire pits or a restaurant. Each cabin has its own hot tub (another great stargazing spot), a patio with a fire pit, pizza oven, pergola, and alfresco dining area.
The design deviates from other glamping concepts, with custom cabinetry and furniture, built-in beds, and high-end appliances. “Everything in our kitchens is custom,” Cahill said, “even our dishwasher has a custom panel so it matches the cabinets.”
To keep light pollution at a minimum, low lighting was used whenever possible. And to prevent birds from crashing into the reflective exterior of the cabins and its 15-foot-tall windows, the property invested in a protective coating and mechanized curtains. “Fifty percent of bird strikes occur on residential windows,” Cahill said. “We wanted to make sure these buildings are not a hazard.”
Guests can also view piglets in the spring, as New Zealand Kunekune pigs are raised on the land. (This particular breed only grazes and, thus, is less destructive to the land.) Talks will be available for guests interested in learning more about the animals.
What type of traveler is this property aiming to attract? “People who appreciate architecture and don’t want to be in crowded areas,” Cahill said. “People who love five-star hotels but don’t necessarily want to hear their neighbors.”
The seven Elevate cabins are slated to open in May, while the 11 Grounded cabins will debut at the end of 2023.
The property will take bookings in early April for stays in May and beyond, during what Cahill called a VIP 30-day booking event just for email subscribers. During this period, rates will be reduced by up to 50 percent: Elevated cabins start at $595 on weekdays and $795 on weekends, and Grounded cabins start at $299 on weekdays and $495 on weekends. Learn more at tomsfinds.visitmirrorhotel.com.
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