This literal “nest” of luxury is a cozy cabin perched nearly 9,000 feet above sea level overlooking not one, but two Utah National Parks…
Utah’s newest and most beautiful vacation rental property, The Zennest, is a 21st-Century luxury cabin equipped with all the amenities an adventurous guest might need for a comfortable stay while being isolated enough in nature to feel as if you’re on an intimate escape from the chaos of modern life.
Here, travelers can escape into the seemingly infinite vistas of natural beauty seen from every direction out of the nest’s enormous windows. This retreat can be a perfect spot for family vacations, corporate bonding trips, weddings, and special events.
This property was renovated and restored in 2020, when the Zennest turned into developer Les Ottolenghi’s passion project and off-the-grid escape throughout the Covid-pandemic. Not a bad place to hide away — you’ll get some of the most gorgeous sunsets on the planet. Literally.
The cabin was purchased in the spring of 2020 and brought back to life and completely modernized over the summer of 2021 and into the early fall.
The abundance of technology inside including the state-of-the-art alarm system (which made me feel safe since we were truly on our own out there) was just a part of the vision for this larger project.
The goal of Zennest’s owners is to create a once-in-a-lifetime place for families and friends to comfortably come together and experience the ultimate life + work + play destination.
My First Impressions of the Zennest
Upon arriving at the Zennest the property honestly seemed too good to be true. I was wondering — am I dreaming, or am I here right now? Is this real? That’s how gorgeous and enormous and peaceful it is. It’s seriously like you’re sitting on a slice of heaven right on a red hued cliffside perch in rural Utah.
There’s 6,000 square feet of open, outdoor deck space which offers a safe catwalk along the cliff’s edge. If you ever get tired of looking at the view (doubtful) there’s also a putting green, two hot tubs, multiple gas fire pits, the fully stocked game room you dreamed about as a teenager, a tranquil meditation area or yoga platform, and televisions in every room for relaxing in front of a movie after an active day outside.
Walking out on the porch and feeling the fresh air hit you almost as hard as the panoramic views of the hoodoos were incomparable to anything I’ve ever seen.
Inside, the decor and layout of the rooms made it feel like being home — not a soulless vacation rental. There was a security system and a state of the art heating and cooling system I knew would come in handy since I get cold embarrassingly easily.
I also just felt like every time I turned a corner I was walking into a new and exciting room. I could see myself and my friends having so much fun in this house together.
It feels like a sort of “modern chalet” looking out onto the beauty of nature, marrying the spirituality of spending time outside but from the warmth and safety of an indoor spot. Everything a traveler could possibly want for achieving mindfulness and connectivity with the inner self — as well as comfort, relaxation, and adventure is available in this space.
It was also just the little touches I appreciated that came along without having to ask like the extra blankets and pillows in the closets for snuggling up by the fire outside on a chilly evening. You could feel that this is somewhere that’s meant to draw in those kindred spirits of the adventurous nature to spend time together and connect with themselves, each other, and the greater outdoors.
What to Know Before Arrival (and for a smooth departure)
One thing I’d be sure to stress that many people might not think about beforehand is to bring food. Duck Creek, which is the closest town to the Zennest, is a quaint village of a community — not a big city — so we stopped in Cedar City on the way in, and stocked up at the commercial grocery store with a cooler before making the rest of the hour drive through mountain highways to the house. Any food, beer, sweets (I often have those late night cravings for chocolate, and there’s none out here unless you bring it which can either be a good or bad thing) you’ll have to bring with you yourself.
Conner’s car is a low sedan — a Honda Civic — and it did not much like the dirt backroads we needed to drive on to get to the property. I’d recommend taking a four wheel drive car that you don’t mind getting dirty to this dusty hilltop destination.
Before check-in you’ll get directions on how to get into the gated property and the code for disarming the alarm. You’ll receive digital directions on how to check out of the house too when it’s time to depart, making for a completely contactless stay experience.
What to Do Throughout Your Time in the Nest
This destination is seriously heaven for an outdoors lover. You don’t even have to drive anywhere to connect to hiking the Virgin River Rim Trail, which is how we spent our Saturday exploring.
This trail goes out for almost 30 miles one way with gorgeous views of the valley below throughout the entire hike. There wasn’t too much elevation gain, and I could’ve kept going for miles and miles if we weren’t losing daylight…
For those who want to expand their exploration horizons, There are quite a few of state parks nearby, and Zion National Park isn’t too far away — it can easily be made into a day trip (perhaps even hiking Angel’s Landing if you’re brave enough!).
There is no shortage of outdoor adventures to be enjoyed in this special place, and the owners are more than willing to work with you to offer suggestions on where to go and what to do.
Each of the Rooms Feel Special
The full-sized kitchen was above and beyond state-of-the-art. There were long granite countertops, multiple fridges, a stove and an oven — there was even an espresso maker which I don’t have back at my own apartment. The kitchen was attached to the enormous living room space, which was adorned with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the canyon below (and the best sunsets you’ll EVER see). A big comfy L-shaped couch sat center in the room looking at a large screen TV and electric fireplace below.
Each bedroom had its own flatscreen TV. The master bedroom had a plush king sized bed, large closets, and windows overlooking the red-orange rocks of the canyon. Another bedroom with a full-sized bed called the “Jail Room” sat tucked away beneath the large loft space (which had two more beds).
There were two more bedrooms on the first level of the house each outfitted with their own kitchen, bathroom, and living space, too. Many of the rooms offer external access to the large outdoor patio space outfitted with multiple gas fire pits, not one — but TWO hot tubs, and a “meditation deck” as the ultimate relaxation station.
And the Game Room! It was every kid (and adult-sized kid)’s dream! A large screen TV, pin ball machine, ping pong table, and a microwave and fridge which means you can literally spend all day and night here, too. It’s somewhere that you must bring all of your best friends for an unforgettable weekend in the great outdoors.
Even the bathrooms had stunning views.
Perhaps my favorite part of the house wasn’t within the house itself, but rather was the incredible deck and outdoor space. It was so peaceful, I could have just spent all day sitting there in the sun.
But really, all I can do is describe it — you truly have to see this space for yourself, to believe it! Check out the Zennest online for yourself, here and then invite me to go with you when you immediately decide to book a trip for yourself 😉