Dunlap Hollow's The Cave is a new, one-of-a-kind luxury house in Rockbridge. It features two bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a full-service kitchen with an indoor gas stove, as well as a pool table and a six-person hot tub. Outdoors, you have access to private hiking trails and an outdoor fireplace with lounge chairs.
"All of this space was part of the natural cave before converting it into a home," Dunlap Hollow writes as part of an FAQ for guests. "All our builds have been designed for guests to experience the nature that surrounds us. Our property has an abundance of caves and we want guests to experience them up close."
Dunlap Hollow says the biggest challenge of constructing The Cave was finding specialists to help them.
"To our knowledge, no one else has built a cave house in Ohio or even in the Midwest anytime in the past 20 years. As a Hocking County rental property, we had to get permits through the state of Ohio. The state department was good to work with overall, but they had never seen a project like this before and were quite skeptical," the FAQ continues. "We had to have a geologist evaluate the cave to ensure structural stability and had to find a structural engineer who was comfortable signing off on the project."
The Cave is naturally cooled by the Earth in the summer, and in the winter, it's warmed with solar heating from south-facing windows, as well as radiant heating lines embedded in the floor. It also is equipped with four dehumidifiers to reduce moisture and a ventilation system to bring in fresh air and take stale air out.
As for the environmental impact of The Cave, Dunlap Hollow says the build used a quarter of the lumber a similar standard build would have, and they didn't use any roofing materials. Very few trees were cut down for the build, and the only species displaced was the cave cricket, which is an invasive species from Asia and not valuable to Hocking Hills' ecosystem.
Stays at The Cave begin at $500 a night. You can find more information at dunlaphollow.com.