Putting up yurts was my business partner, Jana’s, idea after we ran into trouble with the Department of Health accepting our plan for cabins as temporary housing. DOH wanted the cabins to pass the same codes as a house utilized year round, which would have made the price prohibitive.
Jana had been living in Oregon and knew that outdoor enthusiasts skied from yurt to yurt. We both immediately loved the idea of having yurts in our woods. But we wanted them to have modern bathrooms and modern kitchens and that would mean they would only be used 6 months of the year as the pipes would freeze in the winter.
After designing and choosing the size and color and placement and types of windows and doors, we ordered two yurt kits from Pacific Yurts. We had chosen their destination location and septic and water systems were put in. then Jana and her boyfriend, Kevin, and I started our project. I designed a deck. Kevin was a carpenter so Jana and I were his go-phers. We had an electrician but Kevin was capable of engineering the rest. The yurt kits come with sides and tops and the windows and doors, all rolled up on a flatbed all the way from Oregon. So we three just followed the directions. The materials for the inner wall and flooring, kitchen and bath, were bought locally.
A trip to Ikea enabled us to furnish the yurts with beds and sleeper chairs, kitchen table with chairs, dishes, silverware and cookware. I sewed the curtains for the green yurt but we found the blue yurt curtains locally. Decorating the yurts was the fun part, seeing the fruition of weeks of our labor. None of us had ever tackled anything quite like this so we really had no idea how they would turn out.
Harmony Hill Retreat Center opened for business in July of 2005. We have maintained the yurts, inside and out. They get their exterior annual bath in the fall before they are put to bed for their long winter’s nap from November to May.
Harmony Hill was created out of a desire to have a getaway for those wanting to have a change of pace from their busy lives, people wanting to slow down and maybe do nothing….. as well as for people wanting to have a camping experience in modern comfort…..as well as for adventurous ones wanting to explore the Catskill Region……as well as for folks who want to start that book they’ve been wanting to write. Two treehouse yurts, a mountain chalet cabin, hiking trails, a fieldstone labyrinth, starry nights, campfires, mountain vistas, all on our 70 wooded private acres.