When booking your next vacation to places like New York’s Adirondacks or the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, you are bound to come across a large variety of accommodations.
And many of those options revolve around a rustic style that is almost always associated with lodges and cabins.
This usually leads to common questions like what is the difference between the two and which is the better choice for you?
The difference between a lodge and a cabin is the overall level of personalization. Lodges are usually much larger, located in a populated area, and provide an abundance of amenities but lack the personal touch because they house such an extensive amount of guests. Whereas, cabins can often look like the smaller version of a house with an off-the-beaten-path destination and fewer but more private amenities to create a personalized experience.
Lucky for you, this article will break down just that so read on to make planning your next mountain vacation a little easier.
First and foremost, there is a huge difference when it comes to the sizing of a cabin versus a lodge.
Lodges are built to accommodate a plentiful amount of guests and some accommodations can even house more than 100 rooms.
Whereas, a cabin is designed for a more personalized experience. While you will have a variety of cabins depending on your group size, you will never have a cabin that accommodates more than one group at a time.
So even though cabins can have some variation in size, they are almost never as large as a lodge and give guests a more intimate stay.
If you were to take a photo of a lodge and a cabin and put them side by side, you would instantly be able to see a difference from the exterior alone.
Most cabins are built using the method of stacking logs on top of each other and finishing it off with a timbered roof of some sort.
While creative architects have begun to switch up this cookie-cutter design, the one constant is the rustic style.
Plus, many cabins follow a compact structure which allows them to provide more amenities in a smaller space.
On the other side, lodges are built more like dressed-up hotels. They have to incorporate a large selection of rooms in their build which usually results in a multi-story structure.
This type of accommodation usually towers over cabins and while they often attempt to create a stylish approach, it is most likely obvious that this is a business front rather than the home front the cabin creates.
Another distinctive feature that separates cabins from lodges is the location in which they are built.
Going hand in hand with the structure and size of these varying accommodations, the destination is usually based on a combination of available space and area popularity.
You are more likely to find a cabin tucked away in the mountains with an average of about thirty minutes away from nearby attractions whereas lodges are usually placed right in the center of all the excitement.
There are pros and cons for both. Cabins give guests the ultimate mountain retreat experience with the usual pleasure of quiet seclusion, but it can be hard to make a quick getaway to restaurants and nearby activities.
But on the other end of things, lodges make it easy to hop between shops, restaurants, and popular attractions but lack the luster of a fully immersive nature experience.
So a big factor when it comes to deciding whether you want to stay in a lodge or a cabin is whether you prefer a quiet or convenient place to rest your head.
Another deciding factor when choosing between a cabin and a lodge is the accessibility to amenities.
Amenities can be broken down into a variety of categories but the bottom line is that they offer additional features that make your trip worthwhile.
With that in mind, cabins and lodges offer different types of amenities and can make or break your decision depending on your expectations.
Since lodges are designed to accommodate a larger number of people, there is a larger variety of amenities to appease the masses.
This can include a large swimming pool accompanied by hot tubs and/or saunas, one or more restaurants serving anything between quick service and fine dining, and an on-site spa for guests to indulge in relaxing treatments.
Whereas, cabins are designed to replicate your average home with the addition of some rustic glamour that makes it impossible to offer amenities similar to a lodge.
But cabins often make up for this with the availability of other exciting features like the use of a full-size kitchen to cook meals, fireplaces in the living room to cozy up next to, and hot tubs on the back decks perfect for taking in the views and staring at the stars.
If you are staying at a cabin or a lodge up in the mountains, there is a good chance that you are visiting to enjoy some outdoor recreation.
In this case, both lodges and cabins make it possible to enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities but one can be more convenient than the other depending on what you’re interested in.
Since cabins are usually nestled in the woods somewhere, they make for a great starting point to explore nearby hikes that many visitors overlook.
You can explore the area around your cabin or even find a nearby lake to spend a peaceful evening fishing before heading back to your cozy home.
On the flip side, lodges are often built near popular activities so while you will have quick access to some of the most sought-after attractions, you definitely won’t have the experience to yourself.
But in reality, there is nothing that says that you can’t stay at one of these accommodations and enjoy the activities that are closer to the other.
So feel free to stay and wander as you please!
Often a determining factor when booking a trip, the cost of a night in a lodge and a cabin can vary drastically but it is hard to say which one is more expensive.
All of the other differences play a big role in the cost of your accommodation.
For example, a lodge located on the outskirts of a busy neighborhood with a limited variety of amenities can be cheaper than a night at a cabin with a spectacular view.
But a luxurious lodge, in the center of all the excitement, that supplies you with everything that you could need can easily be a pricier option than a cabin tucked away in a quiet wood.
On average cabins tend to be a cheaper option, especially for bigger groups, but always research your options to see what is the best deal.