Welcome to Black Tree Resort — where high end meets high country, and roughing it doesn’t have to be so rough.
Growing up in Arizona, my dad took me and my brother on a father-son campout every summer.
Sleeping on the ground wasn’t my dad’s idea of fun, and the hassle of buying and packing everything was readily apparent.
Despite that, he tolerated the work that goes into camping so that his kids could have some fun and his family could spend quality time together.
And boy did we have fun.
Some of my fondest childhood memories involve playing capture the flag in the forest, sitting around the campfire with a toasty mug of hot chocolate, and pancake breakfasts in the morning.
I also recall instances where water balloon launchers and paintball guns landed me in a little trouble, but I digress.
My point is — and I only learned to appreciate this now that I’m the adult buying supplies and packing the car — camping can be a bit of a hassle when you’re not a care-free kid.
Like my dad, I’ve also lost the ability to tolerate sleeping on the cold hard ground. That discomfort has led to fewer camping trips over the years, or at least opting for a cabin with a soft bed instead of a tent.
Of course, there’s also the fact that my wife has never been much of a camper, so her idea of a weekend getaway rarely involves tents and sleeping bags.
Why am I bringing all of this up? First, because I doubt I’m the only person who experiences these challenges that get in the way of a great camping trip.
Second, and more importantly, because my weekend at Black Tree Resort solved all of those problems, delivering the best camping experience I’ve had in well over a decade.
It rekindled my love of camping, convinced my wife that spending a weekend in the woods could actually be fun (which was not an easy task), and provided the rare chance to reconnect with nature without having to worry about gear, food, and supplies.
What is Black Tree Resort?
Black Tree Resort is a luxury glamping resort that curates comfortable, customized camping adventures for families, active couples, and groups.
The resort’s five-star service and amenities blend the authentic camping experience with modern conveniences and creature comforts, delivering an upscale retreat that’ll please everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to those who typically prefer hotels and room service.
“Black Tree Resort is a study in contrasts, where rustic modern lives amidst the trees,” says Nabil Saweeres, the founder and owner of Black Tree Resort. “We don’t compete with nature — we complement her, ultimately giving guests the best of both worlds.”
The goal at Black Tree Resort is to take care of everything that goes into a memorable camping trip, so that guests can focus on what’s most important — family, friends, and reconnecting with nature.
“Guests will encounter nature without the hassle of buying and packing camping equipment or preparing meals,” says Saweeres. “Leave the hard work to us. Our kitchen delivers fresh, local, Colorado cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
Building The Dream
The story behind Black Tree Resort is nearly as exciting as the destination itself.
Nabil Saweeres grew up near Lake George, Colorado, and though his career took him to New York City he never lost his love for the great outdoors.
He and his wife Cindy planned frequent camping trips to pass their love of nature on to their children, and they quickly ran into the same gripes that we’ve already discussed.
Camping out of state made it doubly difficult, as there was no way they could just pack up the family car and drive from the Big Apple to Colorado.
The natural solution was upgrading from camping to glamping.
Nabil and Cindy were relieved to find that glampgrounds solved the issue of purchasing gear and packing the car, and the comfy backcountry beds made the camping trips just as enjoyable for mom and dad as it was for the kids.
Still, the glampgrounds that they visited couldn’t solve every problem.
They had to bring food and groceries to cook their meals, which is a challenge when you’re coming from out of state.
Ushering their kids through shared shower facilities and bathrooms wasn’t always a pleasant experience, and they frequently found that many glampgrounds packed the campsites so close together that seclusion was out of the question.
Over the years, thoughts of “I wish this were better” led to “here’s how I’d fix that.”
Saweeres started sketching designs for the ideal campsites and tents, and the dream of opening his own luxury glamping resort took root.
In 2014, after five years of brainstorming, researching, and designing, Nabil and Cindy decided it was finally time to pursue their dream.
They moved to Denver, where Saweeres spent the next three years refining his ideas while looking for the perfect tract of land.
Once they acquired the property in Lake George (which we’ll talk more about later), it took another year to get the proper permits and approvals from local authorities.
A year later — five years after moving to Colorado and 10 years after the idea first took root — Black Tree Resort finally opened in June of 2019.
It’s a story of hard work, patience, and perseverance, and the work isn’t over yet.
Saweeres personally runs the resort, working tirelessly behind the scenes to whip up delicious meals and provide a level of service that’s usually reserved for five-star hotels.
When you get a chance to meet Saweeres during your stay at Black Tree Resort — and you inevitably will, whether he’s lighting your campfire, feeding wood into your stove, or answering a customer service call at 5am — he’ll greet you with a genuine smile that shows you just how much he loves this.
Ultimately, Saweeres hopes that guests will achieve what he calls the Black Tree state of mind.
“It’s experienced when we are wholly present, aware of both those we are with, and the beauty that surrounds us,” says Saweeres.
“Where we are free from daily routines and invited into the tranquility of the outdoors. Where the night sky becomes a theater for conversation and connection. Where peace and rest can take residence, and one can find both solitude and connectedness.”
I’ll avoid the “labor of love” cliche, but it’s inspiring to see someone actively building their dream — especially when that dream involves helping people hit the pause button on their busy lives to find solace (and a healthy dose of fun) in the great outdoors.
What To Expect At Black Tree Resort
Black Tree Resort delivers the comfort and conveniences of modern life without sacrificing what the great outdoors have to offer.
Black Tree Resort is located in Lake George, Colorado. That’s a little over an hour west of Colorado Springs, and just over two hours from Denver.
The resort sits on 80 acres of forested land that’s encompassed by Pike National Forest. Envision secluded campsites blanketed by forest, a thriving wildlife population, and scenic views for miles, and you’ll get the picture.
When you’re not lounging around the campsite, there’s plenty to do around Lake George.
The campground is enveloped by Pike National Forest, so it goes without saying that magnificent views and hiking trails can be found in any direction.
After guests check in at the front office, they’ll receive an electric golf cart that makes traveling around the expansive campground quick and easy.
If you’re wondering why you need a golf cart for a campground, the campsites are well spaced across the 80 acre property.
As in, you could drink your morning coffee in your underoos on the porch and the neighboring campers wouldn’t see a thing.
So the golf cart isn’t just a luxury — it’s a necessity when you need to get from your campsite to the shower facility or reach your vehicle in the parking lot.
That brings us to two major amenities that make Black Tree Resort unique in the glamping world.
First, each campsite features a private bathroom with a sink and toilet.
It’s a short 100-foot walk from the tent to the bathroom, yet it’s far enough away that the bathroom doesn’t detract from the campsite.
Keep in mind we’re talking about a clean, modern bathroom with hot and cold water and a flush toilet. Not to trivialize the rest of the glamping experience, but this is possibly the best amenity for the ladies in your family.
As if one private bathroom isn’t enough, the resort features a bath house near the front office.
Walk through the exterior door and you’ll find a hallway lined with locked doors leading to private bathrooms, replete with a modern shower, toilet, sink, and cabinet space to store your toiletries.
The resort provides plush towels, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and a hair dryer for your convenience.
Prepare yourself to be impressed the moment your golf cart rolls up to your private campsite.
Immediately commanding your attention when you reach the campsite is the immaculately designed tent.
The walled tents sit on a wooden platform with the sides bolted to the floor, featuring multiple zip-open mesh windows to let in fresh air and a bug screen at the entrance to keep the pests at bay.
Towering above the tent is a canvas awning that provides a second layer of protection from the elements, as well as shade for the covered porch area.
All of this is held together by massive timbers and thick cables, giving it an unbelievably sturdy and handsomely rustic aesthetic.
In addition to the cushioned seating on the deck, the campsite includes a picnic table where you can enjoy meals and games outdoors.
There’s also a stately fire pit surrounded by Adirondack chairs, with tree stumps that function as convenient side-tables for when you’re making s’mores.
Inside The Tent
Head through the double doors into your tent and you’ll find yourself in a veritable cabin.
The tents are fully furnished with handcrafted furniture, including two queen beds, a roll-out dining table for games and meals, several nightstands, a side table, a cushioned loveseat, and a beautiful rustic chandelier hanging from the ceiling.
The tents are 100% solar-powered, and you can easily control the lights using a remote control.
There’s also a solar-powered battery under the nightstand with power outlets where you can plug in your phone charger.
Snuggle up in bed and you’ll find cozy linens, iconic Pendleton blankets, and plush pillows.
There are a few extra blankets under the bed in case you get chilly, but that shouldn’t be an issue with the wood burning stove inside the tent.
Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about Black Tree Resort’s unrivaled level of service.
The resort is all-inclusive, meaning breakfast, lunch, dinner, and non-alcoholic drinks (including coffee!) are included with your nightly rate.
Saweeres cooks the meals himself in the resort’s commercial kitchen, and the staff personally delivers the meals to your tent.
Of all the resort’s luxury offerings, the room service (or tent service?) delivers the proudest moments for Saweeres and his crew.
Whether it’s delivering hot coffee at 5am, dropping off a snack during a midnight poker game, cooking fresh fish that you caught down the road at the lake, or accommodating special dietary requests, he and his team take immense pride in going above and beyond guests’ expectations.
Black Tree Resort also functions as guests’ full-service adventure concierge, able to arrange any combination of local activities to make your stay memorable and exciting.
Whether that involves chartering a fishing boat, arranging a guided ATV tour, or planning a whitewater rafting adventure, they’ll coordinate everything so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
Some of the popular local activities at your disposal include:
- ATV tours
- Boating (plus water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, etc.)
- Historic mining town tours
- Hot springs
- Horseback riding
- Mountain biking
- Trail running
- Whitewater rafting
- Zip lining
Keep in mind that while the concierge is delighted to arrange these activities, the associated expenses aren’t included with your nightly rate.
Last-minute itinerary requests or changes may be accommodated, though it’s best to book your activities in advance to ensure the best experience.
My Experience at Black Tree Resort
Let’s circle back to what I said about Black Tree Resort delivering the best camping experience I’ve had since I was a kid.
That’s not an exaggeration, and while Black Tree Resort was kind enough to sponsor my stay, the opinions expressed in this article are my own.
Black Tree Resort delivered an unbelievable experience for me because they anticipated my needs and went above and beyond anything I expected.
Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on expensive camping gear and groceries, they provided everything I needed apart from the clothes on my back.
There was no stuffing a forklift full of REI gear into the car, no worrying about food going bad in the cooler, and no stressing about the things you inevitably forget when you leave the house and head for the mountains.
No packing, no worrying, no stressing — absolutely zero hassle.
Having private bathrooms, a cozy bed, and a heated tent eliminated the common pain-points that usually push me and my wife towards a cabin over camping.
The temperature dropped into the 30s while we were there, yet the wood burning stove kept the tent so warm you’d have thought it was summer.
I was wildly impressed by the luxury amenities at our campsite, from the engraved propane fire pit to the beautifully handcrafted furniture.
I felt like I was checking into a five-star hotel, but the elegance and premium features never took away the rustic feel of camping in the forest.
The seclusion of our campsite also helped to preserve the authentic camping experience. At night I could see the campfire of the next camp in the distance, but there was no human contact.
I felt completely alone, apart from the world and enveloped by the soothing arms of nature — exactly how camping should feel.
In summary, Black Tree Resort provided the care-free lifestyle of an all-inclusive hotel, the comfort of staying in a furnished, heated cabin, and the simple joy of camping.
That’s a rare combination, and one that I’m already looking forward to experiencing again next summer.
Who’s it For?
Black Tree Resort is perfect for small families, as the two queen beds and seating easily accommodates a family of four.
Regardless of what age your kids are, if they like camping they’re going to love glamping here.
The resort is also great for adventurous couples. That’s the category where I fall in, and there were several other couples at the campground who looked like they were having just as much fun as us.
The resort is dog-friendly, so feel free to bring your canine companion along for the adventure, too!
Finally, Black Tree Resort is an excellent choice for group getaways.
Think corporate retreats, bachelor parties, family reunions, special occasions, etc.
Who’s it Not for?
You might think this list would start with people who dislike camping, but actually that’s one of the resort’s strengths.
By making the experience as convenient as an all-inclusive resort and as comfortable as staying in a cabin, Black Tree Resort can make the great outdoors fun for even the most camping-averse family members.
So, if your kids are begging you to take them camping but the thought of pitching a tent and going to the bathroom behind a bush sounds atrocious, consider this a chance to be the cool parent without sacrificing your comfort.
Chances are, you’ll leave Black Tree Resort with a redefined view of camping, and hopefully a little excitement for your next camping trip.
I personally believe that anyone would enjoy a luxury camping trip at Black Tree Resort, but if I had to lump someone in the no-go category it would be the DIY camper who likes to cook their own food and do everything themselves.
Guests aren’t permitted to bring outside food or drink (mostly because having food in your tent may attract wildlife with sharp teeth), so cooking a campfire meal and bringing a YETI full of ice-cold Heineken isn’t on the menu.
For me, the luxury amenities and “tent service” meals far outweigh the inability to BYOB.
Plus, you can get all of the beer, wine, and cocktails you need from the resort, and the concierge is happy to accomodate special requests so that you can still enjoy your favorite drink by the campfire.