A Quiet, Compact Catskill Getaway

  |  July 26, 2023

Each Getaway cabin houses a fire pit and outdoor seating area.

Everything you need and nothing you don’t. That is Getaway’s goal with their compact cabins in the Catskills, built with natural components—wood, metal, and glass—favoring magnificent views of the woodland setting through big picture windows.

Co-owners Jon Staff and Pete Davis have been providing getaways to visitors since 2015, with 30 destinations all over the country offering a chance to escape, disconnect, and reconnect with nature.

Raised in a small, rural town in Minnesota, Staff took nature for granted. But when he moved away for college, he realized how much he missed the outdoors. Between jobs and Harvard Business School, college life and corporate America left him longing for simpler days in the sun and he spent his free time traveling the country in a 26-foot Airstream.

All Getaway locations are open year round, with heating and cooling systems.

In this environment, where he was able to reflect and disconnect, Staff had his aha moment, deciding that he was going to make living in nature part of his personal routine. He figured that if he needed to escape to nature to reflect, recharge, and unplug, others must too. With that realization, came the idea for Getaway: build tiny cabins that are easily accessible from an urban hub, and place them in nature to give stressed-out people a place to unplug and rejuvenate.

College buddy Pete Davis joined him, and in summer 2015, they launched the first Getaway tiny house, the Ovida, at their Massachusetts site, which now has a total of three cabins. Today, they have locations all over the country from High Springs, Florida to Navasota, Texas to Mount Vernon, Washington, with continuing plans for extension.

Most sites have somewhere between 30 to 50 cabins on 40 to 300 acres. Getaway Eastern Catskill was one of the earliest locations, with 51 freestanding cabins spread across 85 acres, each mobile tiny house ranging from 140 to 200 square feet. Only two and a half hours away from New York City, this oasis is nestled in the quiet, serene forests of Greene County.

All Getaway kitchens have a functioning two-burner stove and sink.

Each guest room contains only the essentials: a single queen bed or queen bunk, two-burner stove, mini fridge, sink, toilet, shower, heating and cooling, and kitchenware. Simple yet functional amenities include an outdoor fire pit with grilling grate, outdoor seating, a mini-library, and a cell phone lockbox so you can get the most out of your experience. The cabins are dog-friendly, with dog bowls, treats, waste bags, and outdoor leads provided for an additional $40 fee. Because the goal of the getaway is to disconnect, there is no Wi-Fi and limited cell reception, but each location contains a landline in case of emergencies.

If the lush tangle of trees is not enough nature, the area is also close to the picturesque North-South Lake, countless hiking trails with breathtaking lookouts, and the Thomas Cole and Olana state historic sites, as well as the 260-foot Kaaterskills Falls—the highest cascading waterfall in the state. “This location was selected due to the proximity to the city and the nature within the Catskills,” says Getaway’s Chief Experience Officer, Carlos Becil. “We wanted to ensure the trip was easy enough to accomplish with a brief morning drive so guests could enjoy easy, frequent trips to nature.”

The view from inside an Eastern Catskill Getaway cabin.

The structure and design of each cabin is made to emulate the environment it’s been placed in. “The TV of a typical hotel room is replaced with a large picture window overlooking the rustic scenery,” describes Becil, prompting that feeling of disconnection. Showcasing greenery and simplicity are the goals, the décor embodying a mix of natural and contemporary tones, with the sight and smell of Eastern White Pine throughout.

Each Getaway location is built with that feeling of an all-American camping trip, plus a splash of modernity and comfort. “Taking a leisurely nature walk, roasting a marshmallow on the fire, or reading a book in an Adirondack chair,” Becil says, “our hope is that each guest leaves the outpost feeling refreshed.”

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