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We finally visited Underground Hygge: the AirBNB Hobbit House in Washington State that you can rent. While we loved it, you should know a few things before you book. What follows is my review and my attempt at a video.
And, if you’re interested in Middle Earth-type lodgings and places to visit, you can read my original post on Hobbit Houses in Washington State. If you want more photos I’m in the process of attaching a gallery of images here.
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Nestled in a hillside overlooking the Columbia River Gorge is a little house fit for a Hobbit. This “hole in the ground” was built by Kristie Wolfe, who also constructed an AirBNB treehouse in Idaho and is for rent on AirBNB (get a credit toward your first qualifying stay here).
However, this AirBNB hobbit house is so popular that it generally reserves out at least a year in advance. My husband, Ted, is a huge Lord of the Rings fan so reserving this was a “must-do,” and I finally got to stay a few days in this magical dwelling with my big hobbit.
Joys and Challenges of Hobbit Living
Overall, Ted approved of Underground Hygge. His only caveat was that including a kitchen would have made it much easier to prepare breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, supper, dinner…and whatever other meals hobbits like to eat.
The house is off the grid — water is brought in, power is solar, there is no kitchen, and you should intend on making this a disconnected getaway as there isn’t much wi-fi service here except, possibly at the base of the hill. Hobbits don’t use electronic devices anyway!
We did run out of power one evening, but the hosts provide a generator to recharge the battery, should that happen to you.
To solve the dilemma of hobbits’ unique meal habits, we brought a camp stove, and my spouse dragged our Yeti cooler up the hill. If it had just been me, I would have brought a small cooler and made more frequent trips.
We supplemented our meals with going into nearby Chelan for luncheon. The hosts of Underground Hygge supply their visiting hobbits with a nice, Middle Earth style map, instructions, and list of meal recommendations. Of the places we tried, I’d recommend The Fox and The Quail in Chelan. It’s a charming cafe with a comfortable outdoor seating area and the Ahi tuna I had there was excellent.
Bring a Soundtrack
But overall, we loved it. My husband spent time re-listening to the BBC Radio broadcast of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as well as the soundtracks from the movies. Watching the evening light move over the landscape here is lovely. We were amused one evening by large groups of grouse running down the dirt road below. And, though you can see other houses in the distance, you kind of get the feeling you’re the only ones in your own little world here. It’s a great couples retreat, but it would also be a great getaway if you wanted to be a hermit for a bit.
But, that may change. You can see another, partially built hobbit hole nearby and the guest notebook describes plans for three hobbit houses and a community kitchen. So, instead of it being a private getaway, it may, eventually, be a sort of mini-Shire.
Hobbity Perks we Loved:
In addition to the sheer charm of the place and the things I’ve already mentioned, here are some touches the hosts added that I loved:
Though my spouse came prepared with his own fancy copy of The Hobbit, we found the house (as it should) already had one.
A hobbit house also needs a riddle book, and…just so.
But my big hobbit was pleased that I did not discover the box with Table Topics cards until near the end of our visit.
The workbench includes wood, tools, and instructions to spend your time whittling an owl. We didn’t whittle; perhaps Ted would have had the motivation if he could have whittled a Gandalf-style pipe.
The Front "Lawn"
The hobbit house is enhanced by its front patio area. The “lawn” seems to be high-quality astroturf — so it stays green in the dry Summers.
The Amplifier Stump
You’ll find what looks like a little tree stump on the nightstand. This is actually a music amplifier. Set your phone on it to enhance your listening if you didn’t bring a speaker.
The door is stunning. It’s made from a large spool, with decorative metalwork. I want this door in my house, but I don’t think it would look right!
Some things you should be aware of before visiting the AirBNB Hobbit House:
We loved our stay at Underground Hygge and would go back, though definitely in the Summer. While the house would look charming in the snow and the propane fireplace would be cozy, Winter would bring its own challenges with navigating the dirt roads and with power issues.
Here are a few things to know before you go:
Bring a Stove and a Cooler
There’s no kitchen; the hosts will provide you with a few special treats for elevensies, an electric hot water kettle, and coffee/tea, if you want to cook, you’ll need to bring your own supplies.
Get ready to do a bit of climbing
Underground Hygge is about a 100-yard hike up a winding trail to get to the hobbit house. Nicely, rustic walking sticks are provided at the head of the trail.
Off the Grid
Power is supplied by solar panels, but the hosts provide a generator should you run out and the tap water is non-potable, but drinking water is brought in and delivered in a cute wall-keg.
I also found that the hot water ran out rapidly — too rapidly for me to finish taking a warm shower or filling the lovely deep bathtub. The house manual says that you can use the hot water kettle to heat up water. If you do this, be aware that the electric water kettle sucks up energy and you’ll have to end up using the generator. If I were genuinely motivated to fill up the tub to take a hot bath, I’d use my camp stove to heat water.
Orondo gets hot in the Summer! However, we found that an earth dwelling stays cool. Keep the door closed during the day and there’s no need for air conditioning.
For You Hammockers
There aren’t any good hammocking trees in the nearby vicinity — but there was room down the hill for setting up a hammock stand for lounging around.
Getting there is uphill on dirt roads; some of them are rough. Our Subaru handled it just fine. However, in the winter I’d want to bring a 4 x 4 vehicle.
Bees and Other Guests
In the Summer, you’ll be visited by many yellowjackets and wasps, but they quiet down toward evening.
You might also find a few grasshoppers if you shake out the blanket. Their “music,” however, I find comforting in the evening.