Noticing Neighbors - Suite Tea
Ever wondered what it would be like to go glamping? To jump into one of those photos you see online. Enjoying the forest and fire pit under the stars, while still keeping all the cozy amenities of staying in a comfortable room. Suite Tea has opened in Kansas City, and it’s just in time for new vacation memories. Their tents are complete with styled decor, horseback trail rides, and curated getaway experiences.
I got the chance to chat with co-founder Tifany about how the inspired idea came to be.
I am so excited to talk to you! I've been following Suite Tea up to the launch. How did the idea start? Where did it come from?
Tifany: Well, you know what it was. It came up because I have been in Airbnb property management for years. So this goal was to create something of my own, instead of managing other people's stuff. I really wanted to create something.
And more than just that, there's this gap in hospitality when it comes to short term rentals. So I really wanted to bridge that gap and create something exceptional for guests.
Hayley: Kansas City really hasn’t had anything like this before. Tifany:
Absolutely. Suite Tea was started with this idea to really go above and beyond in hospitality for our guests. Then I connected with Heather in real estate and I was like, “Hey, I have this idea, what do you think about it?”
Hayley: How did that conversation start?
It started when we were both on Facebook at the same time. Someone shared a post of this really cute tent, and so I sent it to Heather. She messaged me, “I literally just saw that two seconds ago.” And then I came right back, “Let's do that now.” We started building on the idea and that's how it started. It was totally on a whim. Hayley: That totally fits because it seems like a very inspired project. You really glow when you talk about it. Tifany: Thank you!
Hayley: After this past year, I think a lot of people are looking for new experiences.
I really agree with you. People have this opportunity right now to reconnect and make new connections, especially after being shut inside and not being able to travel for a while. So we’re looking to offer great experiences. We want people to be able to come to Suite Tea and obviously experience the glamping, but we also want them to experience the land. It’s a way to reconnect with nature, see the ranch, and see the landscape at our other sites. We really try to partner with land owners. Hayley: I was exploring what is available on the camp sites, and there are lots of activities to try out. What's unique about the landscape that people can enjoy?
We have some cool experiences set up! There are extras beyond glamping at the site. You can do trail rides with the horses, meet the animals at the ranch, book a massage, book a wine tasting—all this really cool stuff that you would have to go make separate trips to do, is all provided in one spot.
Hayley: That’s amazing.
The guests are able to customize their own experience, and everything is really centered around that idea. So if you just want to come out here and enjoy glamping by being outside, you can do that. Connect with your family, your friends, your partner, whoever.
Hayley: Did you get to stay and try it out once you got it all set up? Because the tents look so fun!
Absolutely. We make it a point to stay and experience it.
We stayed in the suites before we opened and it was really raining that night, so it was super muddy out. But we got into our tent, we were hearing the rain overhead and the land was beautiful.
It’s an elevated experience like that with everything. Before it started raining, we were able to have our full fire pit. Just out there playing music.
Earlier in the day, we got to ride the horses. So we definitely had the full experience so that we can really tell our guests about it in a genuine way. I can talk to anyone and say, “Hey! This is what it's like out here.” Hayley: I actually think the rain would be so fun.
Tifany: We talk to guests about how we don't cancel reservations when it rains, and get the chance to tell them how it's so amazing out here when it rains. It's a beautiful experience. No matter what the weather is, go because it's worth it.
Hayley: What do you hope that your guests will get out of it when they come? What's your intention for the people coming?
Oh, we have talked about that a lot. I think our biggest intention is great hospitality. So when they come, from start to finish, we want them to have a beautiful stay.
But it's all about connection. Bring your family, bring your partner, bring your friends. Let's reconnect. Let's start something new. Hayley: Yes. Tifany: Let's make memories out here that are important to us. Our guests are everything. We love when people have an amazing time and they're able to say, “Hey, it was our anniversary. We had an amazing stay, and we were able to be present and relax together just the two of us.” I mean, that's huge for us. Our entire team celebrates when we have a guest that really enjoyed it.
Hayley: This kind of vacation is actually the perfect sweet spot. Because it’s just outside of the city.
Tifany: Absolutely. Vacations this summer are going to be huge, obviously, because of everything going on. But definitely people are just like, I am ready to get out. I'm ready to take this mask off, but some may not be quite ready to travel yet. Hayley: Right. Tifany: I'm not trying to be in this airport full of people yet. And the cool thing is, Kansas City is also a destination now, right? It's a destination that people all over the United States and outside of the United States want to come to. You know, you read different magazines, and they're all saying that Kansas City is one of the top places to be. So that's exciting too! This is an opportunity for them as well. Hayley: I love that. Tifany: But at its heart, we've definitely built this for Kansas City. And it's like, for our people, we want to give you something because we don't have access to anything like this yet.
So we get to create something special for our city. And then Kansas City has embraced this. Everyone has really been supporting us and we're so grateful.
Hayley: I have one last question. There's a long journey in opening this up. Do you have any community shoutouts to people who have supported you and your team along the way?
The land owners. They are obviously huge for us, right? We have to make sure it's a beautiful space, but we also have to make sure that we have a good relationship with the land owners. We have to make sure that we're able to provide something to our guests that is meaningful. Connecting with the guys, and talking to Michael at the ranch has been amazing. We've really been able to connect with wonderful, wonderful people. We're just in this space of gratitude because everyone is embracing us. Everything is really aligning beautifully.