Where to go to disconnect just an hour or two from New York City.
Written by Arielle Crane
The Hudson Valley is teeming with boutique hotels intent on restoring the vibrant, locally-minded culture they’re in. These retreats add enhanced experiences to travelers, whether it be through experiences or design details that pays homage to its town’s storied past. For a charming summer getaway, look no further than these five hotels and BnBs to connect with the beauty of this historic area.
Easily becoming one of the Hudson’s mainstays is Hotel Tivoli, a low-key boutique hotel with an accompanying farm-to-table restaurant. Its owned by painters Brice and Helen Marden who have brought their eclectic style – and own personal art – to this much revered 10-room hotel. The hotel itself is Victorian-styled with pops of color and beautifully tinted Douglas fir floors. It’s an artist’s retreat and haven for creatives and locals who love to hang out at The Corner, the mediterranean-style restaurant as an extension of the hotel. Don’t get too comfortable in your rooms though, the outside towns are just as inspiring.
Housed in a 1920s movie house, Rivertown lodge sits on Warren St. in Hudson, New York giving the town a bit of a cool, modern makeover. It features 27 rooms designed with beautiful oak floors and mosaic tile bathroom floors, but in true Upstate fashion the hotel succeeds in maintaining the cozy fireplace vibe (even in Summertime!). The furniture was created by local design studio Workstead offering a clean, Scandinavian look. It’s run by hospitality vets Ray Pirkle and Kim Bucci who created it to be the Hudson’s “public living room” after being dissatisfied by the other options in the area. Their answer was a sleek, communal space that offers a great respite for New Yorkers, especially the creative types. Pop in for a weekend stay, enjoy the Hudson-brewed craft beers and let the serene atmosphere take you over.
No Catskills trip would be complete without a visit to the “Peace, Love, Stay” Hotel Dylan located at the base of Overlook Mountain. It’s whimsical, bohemian and artfully made by husband-and-wife team The Novogratz who have carefully created the perfect ambiance to reflect the Woodstock town. The rooms have tons of amenities including a Crosley Record Player, original art, Keurig Coffee Brewer and vinyls plus the two-level Santa Fe restaurant which is one of the best in the Hudson Valley. The hotel is well-known amongst locals and travelers alike and its staff thoughtfully cultivates that quintessential ‘Woodstock experience’ for everyone that visits.
The newly opened Hasbrouck House is nestled in Stone Ridge, New York and the property is centered around an 18th century Dutch Colonial stone mansion. Each suite, more carefully designed than the next, is furnished with both vintage and modern pieces and huge windows to enjoy the grounds. It’s understated decor allows the natural beauty to take center stage with lush greenery and the original stable and carriage houses. The boutique hotel, owned by the Gowanus Hospitality Group, is also conveniently located to Upstate’s dearest towns; Woodstock, Kingston and the Catskills are just a short drive away. It’s a hotel built for the explorers and relaxers with the charming Upstate community that ties it all together.
The Graham & Co. is a roadside motel in Phoenicia, N.Y. founded by Brooklyn friends in the design field seeking a creative outlet. They used this vacant motel as a canvas to showcase their work and interests and the result is a beautiful ode to its Catskills locale. It’s got a relaxed and easy vibe with 13 minimal-style rooms complete with a modern twist. The space really emphasizes the common areas as its main draw; with a communal pool, evening bonfires, and movies on the great lawn, the owners are cultivating more of an experience than travelers might usually get out of a normal hotel stay. The motel’s attraction lies in its ‘Brooklyn meets Upstate’ premise which is exactly how the owners like it.
Located about two hours northwest of Manhattan in an area called Shandelee, the Arnold House is surrounded by rolling hills and forest and distant mountain vistas. The century-old tavern/rooming house has nine rooms, a tiny spa, and a barn where live bands perform on weekends. You can go for a hike, try your hand at fly-fishing (nearby Livingston Manor is an important destination for anglers), or find a local swimming hole and enjoy the natural beauty that has drawn people to the Catskills for decades.
Hillside Schoolhouse is a boutique inn located in Sullivan County – only 90 miles from the city. Located in the quiet town of Barryville, NY, Hillside is the project of Bronson Bigelow. Originally built in 1893, the structure served as a one-room, 8-grade schoolhouse and later a gospel chapel in the 1950s. Although Hillside has undergone quite a transformation in its conversion to a weekend getaway for travelers, Bronson made sure to pay his respects to the building’s past.