Would you pay $400 a night for a tent? I did and I feel foolish.
Guess it’s not the fashion to be negative, but I feel duped by a false-positive review of Yellowstone Under Canvas. Sometimes, it’s just not helpful to endorse whatever you review. Plus, based on this review, I gave up a night at the fabulous Old Faithful Inn to try this place. I reserved the Deluxe Tent with a bathroom and companion tipi (the Under Canvas term for teepee). My only option also included breakfast, so $401.12 later, I had booked one night in a tent.
Yellowstone Under Canvas (YUC) is a decent idea poorly executed. Worse, YUC is managed by uninterested twenty-somethings who skip work like delinquent middle-schoolers. The tents could be impressive if properly stocked and spaced a little further apart. Under Canvas supplied our Deluxe Tent with king bed, blah dresser, and wood stove. Situated on the edge of the crowd, our tent gave the impression of solitude by facing a meadow. But our tent was not like the Deluxe Tents pictured with their rugs and side tables. It wasn’t terrible, but not tricked out $400 worth.
Unlike the Deluxe Tent, the companion tipi had no source of heat. None of the advertised blankets, towels, safari chairs, etc. The tee pee was, in fact, bare but for two cots, sleeping bags and a doll-size table. The lantern, dim as a nightlight, died shortly after dark. We should have skipped this tent.
An even worse decision, I anted up for a tent with a bathroom, expecting it to be attached to the tent. In other words, I supposed I would be stumbling barefoot over an oriental rug from bed to privy and back in a sleepy fog, drifting right back to sleep. Nope. Deluxe Tent bathrooms are in separate tipis, requiring shoes, a coat, a flashlight and a tromp through the grass.
Worse, our bathroom needed a good weed whacking. And towels. And a lantern. Forget the promised spa products, the shower had no soap.
Yes, we could have inquired about towels, soap, rugs, spa products, chairs, a second bedside table, lanterns and batteries, but who would we ask? From check-in to check-out, the Front Desk Tent remained deserted. Every visit to the Front Desk required a phone call and a wait. At check-in, for instance, we waited 45 minutes after making a phone call to someone who “would be right with us.” This was typical.
I understand that manning a Front Desk Tent is probably a bore, but it really is necessary. Folks need to check in, check out, tell you what a nice place you run. If it is your job to man the YUC Desk, then, sorry, you just have to.
You also don’t get credit for providing morning coffee and cocoa in huge dispensers flanked by empty space where cups should be. You made coffee, just don’t have cups? That’s worse! Now I can smell what before I could only imagine I was missing.
Finally, a bed-and-breakfast rate includes both a bed and a breakfast. Minimum. No exceptions. The guy in the cowboy get-up with the handlebar moustache announcing, “No voucher, no breakfast!” adds character but no charm. And where would we get these missing vouchers? At the unmanned Front Desk Tent a 1/2-mile trek from the “on-site” restaurant. Oh, boy! Yellowstone Under Canvas, YUC for short, YUCK for me.