The brand-new Ulum Moab glamping resort just opened in Utah, and we were among the first to visit.
Escaping to the great outdoors doesn't have to mean roughing it. In Moab, Utah — a former uranium mining town known for its rock formations, dramatic landscape, and charming downtown — there's a new glamping resort making the area's adventure travel scene more luxurious.
Enter Ulum Moab. Located just 25 minutes south of Moab, this glamping resort sits on 200 acres of desert with views of 100-foot cliffs and the Looking Glass Arch. It started welcoming guests in April and its inaugural season ends on Oct. 23.
Ulum Moab is part of the Under Canvas family, which has 11 resorts across the country including in Acadia, Maine; Bryce Canyon, Utah; and West Yellowstone. There's an Under Canvas camp in Moab too. In fact, Matt Gaghen, CEO of Under Canvas, told Travel + Leisure that Ulum Moab was born from Under Canvas Moab guests' requests for "more comfort in nature."
"We've taken some core elements [of Under Canvas] and plussed it up for Ulum," Gaghen said.
The journey to Moab is as beautiful as the destination itself. The site is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Colorado's Grand Junction Regional Airport, past stunning scenery filled with mountainous views and rock formations.
I was greeted at Ulum Moab with a welcome tea outside what can only be described as a contemporary multi-purpose lobby. It's a reception area, it's a small market with curated goods (like face masks, hats, and SPF), it's an indoor dining space, and it's a cafe. Though, its most notable feature, in my opinion, is that an entire side of the structure is floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the surrounding landscape and the Looking Glass Arch.
The indoor lobby leads to the outdoor space, which has fire pits with lounge chairs, a large tented deck with tables, and access to the three dipping pools (they're too small to swim in, hence "dipping"). In the evening, this is where a live musician serenades guests from golden hour through sunset. Later at night, guests can make s'mores over the fire pits and enjoy the views of the starry sky.
A path takes guests from the lobby area to the individual tents that are spaciously scattered throughout the area. While the 50 tents are walkable to the main areas, Ulum offers golf cart rides to and from the tents — a thoughtful consideration for guests with mobility issues.
The 360-square-foot tents have a king-size bed, and a lounge area equipped with chairs and a queen-size sofa bed. It also has everything you need for temperature control: evaporative cooling fans if it’s warm and wood stoves if it’s cool. The ensuite bathroom features a rain shower, concrete sinks, and Aesop bath products. There's also a 70-square-foot deck with patio chairs to enjoy the views outside.
From the outside, the beige tents pop, contrasted against the rusty landscape. And yet, they don't seem out of place. From the inside, the earthy tones and organic materials make you forget that you're not outdoors anymore.
"You are more connected here than at most resorts you may stay at," Gaghen said. "You are not separated from it — you are in it, but very comfortably."
Any stay in the wilderness calls for being mindful of the surrounding environment. Ulum makes an effort to weave in sustainability by using recycled materials and solar lights along the outdoor paths, opting for evaporative cooling over air conditioning, and offering chargers for travelers with electric vehicles.
No matter how you want to spend your time, guests of Ulum Moab can connect with Ulum's “adventure concierge," who helps book guests' activities based on their interests, budget, and comfort level.
The resort is near hiking and biking trails, white water rafting, horseback riding, and rock climbing. "It's an amazing launching off point to all these hiking, climbing, and biking destinations that are super accessible here," Gaghen said. "You can explore so much of this amazing part of Utah and this Canyonlands area just by staying on the property." (Ulum Moab is 55 minutes from the south entrance of Canyonlands National Park and 45 minutes from Arches National Park.)
To explore the local wine scene, there's Spanish Valley Vineyard and Winery — one of the few wineries in Utah — located a half hour's drive from the resort. The area also offers ballooning, skydiving, and scenic flights over the landscape.
There's plenty to experience on-site, too: hot and cold dipping pools, and activities and wellness programs like yoga, jewelry making, and sound baths. (An on-site walking trail is in the works that will offer access viewpoints on the property.) And if you want to go rock climbing without having to visit a national park, you can book a guide to take you to the very top of the Looking Glass Arch.
On clear nights, guests can stargaze — Moab is known for its low light pollution, and uses International Dark Sky standards to keep it that way. In fact, while walking back to my tent one night, I stopped in the middle of the path to stare at the stars overflowing the night sky.
Ulum Moab's commitment to providing its guests with on-site comforts extends to its eateries. The cafe and restaurant serve breakfast and dinner, focusing on local, seasonal ingredients and Southwest-inspired flavors. (Pro tip: don't pass on the salted beets, which sit on a bed of smoked avocado garnished with pickled peppers.)
During my stay, I continued to indulge in my daily caramel iced latte habit from back home while also exploring the juice offerings at the cafe. I enjoyed the likes of a salmon tostada for breakfast, and chicken with mole and bison burgers for dinner. (And yes, I had repeat orders of the salted beets.) While there's no lunch service, guests can pre-order lunch — think fresh grain bowls and sandwiches.
The cocktail menu — inspired by local flora, like sage, juniper, and prickly pear — is curated to pair with the food. There's also a mocktail menu, which further reinforces Ulum’s commitment to making sure there’s something for everyone. "We want to appeal to all palettes," Greg Whittle, Ulum Moab's food and beverage manager, told T+L. (Whittle's favorite drink? A mocktail called Good Eyes.)
While the gorgeous landscape and design contribute to the luxurious experience, the on-site team is what makes the stay. During my trip, every team member was eager to assist, knowledgeable about the area, and passionate about both Moab and Ulum.
At Ulum, you can choose your own adventure and feel confident that there's something for you no matter where you fall on the Outdoor Thrills scale. "You can want to escape and just be here, or you can go out and explore and be adventurous," said Gaghen, who hopes guests will enjoy the area on their own terms.
Nightly stays start at $549 per night. To book your stay or learn more, visit ulummoab.com.
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