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Nature Retreat

Amid this era of social distancing, guests are looking for vacations that enable them to escape to nature. With everything from cozy cabins, to a campground with yurts and a vintage Spartan, California’s Wylder Hope Valley enables guests to do just that.

The property’s design is the result of a collaboration with design group OMFGCO, in partnership with Sierra Sustainable Builders, Matchless Builds, Shelter Designs, and the local Washoe tribe.

The result? A collection of social distance-friendly accommodations—restored hand-built log cabins dating back to the 1920s, custom-crafted yurts and a fully restored 1951 Spartan trailer.

“With the design of Wylder Hope Valley we tried to stick by our five guiding principles for every design element,” said John Flannigan, Wylder’s founder/CEO. “Those key principles were magical, natural, enduring, cozy and refined. In working with OMFGCO, we ran every design element through the filter of those five themes.”

The design blends the resort’s heritage as a Nordic family-owned property with minimalistic modern amenities, while also paying homage to the local Washoe tribe.

“There’s a storied Scandinavian history to this magical property and that was a huge part of our inspiration as well, in addition to the Native American history of the region with the Washoe tribe,” Flannigan said. “The Norwegian heritage of the resort is carefully preserved at Wylder through original structures refurnished with a contemporary Nordic flair and the vernacular cabins are outfitted with textile procured from Washoe tribal artisans.”

Flannigan noted that when you’re at Wylder Hope Valley, “you feel like you’re in an aspen grove suspended in the air, miles from civilization.”

He added, “It’s rugged and mountainous, yet refined and luxurious. It’s a historical property beloved by so many over the years that we’re honored to be ushering into its new era—taking great pains to preserve its colorful history while adding the modern trappings that we hope will be a surprise and delight to our guests. The hospitality is warm and welcoming; it feels like a place you’ve been before. Most of the staff was retained from previous ownership, and you get the sense that they love this place and they are inviting you into their mountain home. Again, preserving history was so important to us with this project—we want it to feel like the soul of the property is still intact, with some thoughtful updates throughout.”

Design elements include oak, pine, redwood, cherrywood and slate, and a color palette that features pops of birch and summit navy, all of which were inspired by the natural landscape and history of Hope Valley.

“I think the key signature moments lie in the incredible surrounding scenery,” Flannigan said. “With the design process, we practiced so much restraint so as to let the signature moments lie in nature and the long history of the property. We want people to experience the moments that nature has already provided in this stunning area.”

However, he said, the bar area is of particular note. “It’s outdoors on our deck and it’s a bar built from a 120-year old sugar pine tree by Sierra Sustainable Builders,” he said. “We added a directional arrows sign pointing to area attractions and property features that is a moment. Campfire circles sprinkled throughout the property, wooden swings on the tree branches, a wood-fired sauna that makes you feel like you’re in Scandinaviaall moments. Plus, cabins each have really individualized moments that speak to the unique history and vernacular architecture of each one.”

Personal favorite design elements for Flannigan include the sugar pine bar build by Sierra Sustainable Builders; the new natural oak floors in the cabins; the soaking tubs in the yurts; the hand-carved and painted wooden signs on the cabins; the handmade redwood picnic tables throughout the property; and the Nordic design elements in the cabins, like the three-legged wooden stools from Matchless Builds in Portland, OR.