Rhode Island Sports Club Offers Middle-Earth Dinners in a Hobbit Hole

  • They better have a menu offering two breakfasts, too…

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” These are the famous opening words to British author J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved book The Hobbit, which would eventually expand to the world-famous The Lord of the Rings saga.

As anyone who’s read the book knows, the hobbit hole of Bilbo Baggins is a nice place. As Tolkien himself put it in one word, a hobbit house is synonymous with comfort.

When director Peter Jackson brought the town of Hobbiton to life in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, plenty of people were introduced to the rustic, idyllic hobbit lifestyle. Together with that, they got their first glimpse at hobbit housing.

Many fell in love with the simple, country-style homes dug into the sides of hills. It’s no wonder then that some decided to build their own hobbit holes.

There’s an expansive list of houses either inspired by or reminiscent of Tolkien’s hobbit holes. But the list of people who’d like a hobbit house but for one reason or another can’t build one is just as long.

So, if you’ve ever wanted a taste of the hobbit lifestyle but can’t dig a hole, fret no more. We have some good news for you!

A Hole for Rent

The Preserve at Boulder Hills Club and Residences is a Richmond, Rhode Island, sports club that provides luxury residential housing. Over the last three years, the resort community has been busy building its own hobbit holes.

Paul Mihailides, chairman of The Preserve, told WJAR-TV that the hobbit-y houses have been directly inspired by the world of Middle-Earth. Now, the construction is nearing its conclusion.

“We will have five hobbit homes. Three are under construction, two are completed,” detailed Mihailides.

“They are always themed. Right now, the themed hobbit house is the pumpkin patch. which will also be decorated for Thanksgiving and then Christmas and we actually do it in spring too with tulips,” he added.

These hobbit holes aren’t for regular living, though. Instead, The Preserve rents them out for small events, such as birthday parties and other celebrations.

Mihailides said that the themed hobbit house has already been booked a few times. One of the bookings included a photoshoot, so it’s definitely possible to immortalize your visit to Middle-Earth.

“If you want to have a glass of wine or rent it with people you love, [we] can put together a wonderful dinner for four in that hobbit house, or s’mores, or a party for your kids. It’s for everybody to enjoy,” he said.

Getting Fancy

If you’d like a more upscale event, more in line with the tastes of Lobelia Sackville-Baggins than Bilbo, The Preserve has you covered. You only need to walk around the corner at this small-scale Hobbiton.

Further up the hill from the themed building is the Maker’s Mark Hobbit House, sponsored by its eponymous bourbon brand.

“The Maker’s Mark Hobbit House at the Preserve is a one-of-a-kind dining experience with an upscale grilled menu and fine bourbon pairings,” the house’s website reads.

“When we saw Paul was building these wonderful underground hobbit houses, we thought, well, we have to do something with them,” said Daniel Hostettler, president of Ocean House Management Club that prepares and serves the hobbit house’s white-glove menu.

Up to eight people can gather at the house to enjoy such treats as assorted wild game sausages, bourbon-glazed quail and salmon, and cast iron-baked winter berry cobbler. Such a spread should satisfy even the most demanding hobbit.

The feast doesn’t come particularly cheap, though. Reservations for the Maker’s Mark hole start at $660 for four people.

Nonetheless, Hostettler believes the fancy hobbit hole dinner will become popular.

“I think with COVID-19, this is going to be a huge hit, absolutely,” he said.

“This is an opportunity to dine with a group of friends, or your family, in a private atmosphere with your own server taking care of you.”

Hostettler added that the first reservation for the hobbit hole was for a Halloween party. How appropriate.

Build Your Own Hole

But what if you’d after all like to actually live in a hobbit hole instead of just going for a dinner at one? You need to look no further than Florida.

There, a company that goes by Green Magic Homes has developed a line of earth-sheltered housing solutions that very resemble a hobbit hole.

Green Magic Homes aren’t built out of stone and wood, though. They incorporate modern construction techniques and materials to produce affordable and environmentally friendly homes.

“Completely waterproof, with clean spaces, Green Magic Homes are built with modular components manufactured with the latest generation of fiber reinforced polymer technology,” the company says on its website.

Even if you disregard its hobbit-y charm, an earth-sheltered home – the actual construction term for hobbit-style house – might be a good idea. There are several advantages to building your house partially into the ground, says Big Rentz.

For one, soil is an excellent insulator. A hobbit hole will stay much cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than a traditional house.

That will, of course, save the lucky owner money in heating bills. A hobbit-style home also cuts maintenance costs, since all but one wall of your house will be hidden undergrounds.

A hobbit hole is also green in more ways than one. The lower need for heating and air conditioning will save energy, and the vegetation-covered roof can even have a positive effect on local biodiversity.

Huh. This idea of a hobbit house is actually starting to sound pretty good. Wonder if there’d be any suitable hills around…

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