This Luxe Resort Near Acadia National Park Provides a Refined Introduction to Camping

KOA has gone bougie

November 9, 2022 8:39 am
The Lodge at Terramor

Terramor Outdoor Resort Bar Harbor is not only a short distance from Maine’s Acadia National Park but also provides a gateway for guests who want to experience nature but still would like some personal comforts in doing so. 

As a new venture by Kampgrounds of America — or KOA —Terramor is the brand’s first upscale property that puts aside the common camping ground for a cozy woodsy resort atmosphere. The Billings, Montana-based company opened Terramor in August 2020, with its operating season running from mid-May until mid-October. 

Yet Terramor isn’t merely about glamping. Rather, the resort is designed to be experiential in another way. It was developed for guests who are interested in a wilderness retreat but also might feel hesitant about the idea of setting up their own tents. 

“We’re not against the camper,” says Terramor’s Chief Operations Officer Whitney Scott. Instead, Scott explains that Terramor is for people that would like to connect more with nature but still appreciate a homelike setting.

Scott says that she envisions a guest who wants “to experience the outdoors. ‘But I know that pitching a tent, buying an RV, that’s not me.’ And hopefully that sounds like the entry point into something special for them.”

The Birch Tent
The Birch Tent

The site originally was the Bar Harbor/Woodlands KOA Holiday, once having serviced RVs, tenters and cabin campers. Upon constructing Terramor, about 40 spaces were removed and over 1,000 trees were planted to revitalize the land. It seems fitting that the name “Terramor” is a pairing of the Latin words, “Terra,” meaning land, and “amor,” for love.

As the brand’s first property, Terramor Outdoor Resort in Bar Harbor is a collection of 64 high-end tents divided by five types and accommodating either two or five people. They have screened-in front porches and outdoor fire rings. 

“Your tent opens towards the path,” Scott says. “We wanted to be very intentional that the best part of the tent experience is when you get to look out and you don’t want people looking back at you.”

Indoor furnishings give off a catalog vibe. Many tents contain queen or king-sized beds, Frette linens, Pendleton blankets, overhead fans, a pour-over coffee set, wifi connectivity and a pristine bathroom. Some of them also have outdoor showers, and there are ones with a private bathroom off-tent.  

Divided into letter-marked loops, gravel-covered pathways lead around the roughly 60-acre property, which includes a pool with adults-only evening hours, a nature trail and the Pavilion, a communal gathering space for family meals, weddings and other events. Along the paths, there are huts containing firewood, where guests can grab and haul pre-cut logs back to their tent. 

The Lodge is the center of Terramor. Here, guests can do much more than check in and out. The building has a small curated shop, with products tied to Maine or made by some of the state’s small businesses and Terramor items such as their signature woodsy scented candle or flannel shirts. 

Inside one of the tents

Across from the reception, “The Outfitter” is Terramor’s version of a concierge service. “The Outfitter” can advise guests on everything from suggestions on where to go in Acadia or other nature spots for hiking or mountain biking to where to dine and shop in Bar Harbor. Guests can also use the resort’s lending program, where they can borrow telescopes for stargazing or binoculars for birdwatching. Near the lodge, there’s a wagon station where guests can borrow one to transport their stuff.

During my stay, the resort scheduled a hike in Acadia with Rising Sun Adventure, a registered Maine Guide service offering professional guided hiking and canoe tours in Acadia, Mount Desert Island and Cadillac Mountain.

Also, within Terramor’s The Lodge, the Kitchen [207] serves grab-and-go breakfast items, offers specialty coffee orders and prepares takeaway lunches for guests to bring along on their off-property excursions. Toward the evening, the restaurant, named for Maine’s area code, holds a Maine Hour, their version of happy hour with state-themed cocktails, wines and New England microbrews. A dinner menu draws upon Maine’s in-season agricultural bounty. Away from the restaurant, guests can pre-reserve a private grill and be given a grill kit and pre-ordered menu fixings to cook a meal together. 

View of a bathroom inside one of the tents

S’mores are also available, but the staff at Terramor takes this campfire treat a step further. A monthly “TerraS’mores” offering puts a twist on this tradition by switching up the recipe with unexpected ingredients. Past pairings have involved lobster and brie, summer strawberries and candied bacon. 

For those who have never grilled or even built a fire before, Terramor launched an “Outdoors 101” program to teach guests these outdoor skills during their stay. 

Scott notes that traditionally, camping novices need someone to teach them what to do. “Someone brings you camping, and that’s been a piece of Americana. Yet that’s not always the case,” she adds. “What we do see in some reports is that people get intimidated by real campgrounds. This is a place where we just want it to be very easy. You can be outdoors, and the rest is pretty much taken care of.”

Families and nature appreciators naturally make up a large chunk of Terramor’s customer base, but so do dogs. Terramor has a partnership with Duluth Trading Company to provide VIP dog amenity kits, including a Duluth plush dog bed. There’s also an on-property park where dogs can play off-leash. A daily per pet fee is charged, in order to account for increased cleaning times, and Fido is good to go with you when you head out on an afternoon adventure.

Wellness is another component with in-tent massages — a separate Wellness tent is planned to open in spring 2023 — and outdoor morning yoga sessions at the Pavilion. There are also on-site educational presentations on stargazing and naturalist-led night ecology walks to learn about Maine’s unique after-hours landscape.

Another perk is that Terramor has a stop on the line of Island Explorer, a shuttle bus system with various routes around Acadia, Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island. The bus is free, but if you’re using it to access Acadia, you are required to have a park entry pass. 

On average, depending on the type of tent and the season, stays at Terramor can range from $350 to $400 per night. 


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