Design Matters: Yurts in Maryland-Who Knew? By Jennifer Martella


Recently I co-hosted a shower for a dear friend who is getting married in early November. As she and her fiancé were opening their gifts, one of the guests asked where they were going for their honeymoon. Their surprise answer was they were going to stay in a “yurt” at the Savage River Lodge in Western Maryland and enjoy “glamping”. We further learned that “glamping” is the new buzz word for ”glamorous camping”.

I vaguely remembered from my architectural history classes that a yurt was a portable structure shaped like a small circus tent used by nomads in Mongolia and other Asian countries. After further investigation, I rediscovered the yurt’s round shape, with sloped roof rafters ending at a compression ring at the top that framed an opening to the sky.

The Savage River Lodge has eight thirty-foot diameter yurts updated with a skylight for stargazing, double layers of wall insulation behind the outer canvas wall covering, gas log fireplaces and radiant floor heating for optimum thermal comfort. The nomads laid rugs over the ground for floor covering, but the Lodge’s yurts are permanent structures with wood flooring that rest on foundations raised off the ground.

Photos by Jennifer Dobson

Each yurt has a private deck and the interior contains a sitting area, beverage center and breakfast nook, sleeping area with a king size bed and luxury linens and a private bath with an oversize shower. Room service will deliver fresh baked muffins and orange juice to your door for a private breakfast.

If you are seeking an unusual weekend getaway to enjoy the fall foliage, hiking or kayaking or want to celebrate a special occasion contact the Savage River Lodge here

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Letters to Editor

  1. Just so you know…The St. Martin’s Arts Dinner and Auction will be featuring a live auction item called ‘Western Maryland Adventure’ that includes a two night stay in a luxury yurt at this wonderful lodge! A reminder that tickets are going fast for this Oct 13th event! Tickets can still be purchased @ (under the ‘events’ section).

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