Kahlil Gibran wrote that work is love made visible, and the Hudson Valley's love of visitors is plain as day in the inspired work of our innkeepers and hospitality staff. That's been the case for centuries, and new generations just keep raising the bar, with classic locations being hand-selected for reinvention by the choosiest hoteliers in the business, from teensy microtels to sprawling resorts.
The common thread is comfort and amusement, as it has always been, and a realization that elegant history pairs exquisitely with postmodern pampering. Also standard: menus liberally graced with the harvest of our food and beverage culture. Enjoy the adventure.
Hotel Lilien | Tannersville
Once known as the Washington Irving Inn, Hotel Lilien is a gracious restored Victorian set on scenic Rt. 23A in Tannersville, a road known colloquially as the "Rip Van Winkle Trail." You can't get much more Catskills than this. Original 1890s woodwork has been paired with a 2022 makeover featuring minimalist modern art and furnishings by the San Francisco-based firm Field Theory working with the Lost Boys Hospitality Group.
You'll be just minutes from the ski slopes and restaurants of Hunter Mountain Resort, in an extremely chill setting that's been called "the unofficial living room of Tannersville," where locals and tourists swap stories in the downstairs pub over craft beers around a crackling wood stove. Each of the 18 rooms is distinctive; three are dog-friendly, and none has a television, though there's complimentary Wi-Fi to enjoy while lounging on Wright mattresses and Brooklinen sheets. Continental breakfast is provided. The property's sister restaurant, Nat's Mountain House, is slated to open in spring 2023; the property's own bar and restaurant are open on Friday and Saturday nights.
Wylder Windham | Windham
For nearly 140 years, the Thompson House Resort was a Windham hospitality icon, known for its fabulous views, comfy accommodations and the hospitality provided by generations of the Goettsche family. Now, as Wylder Windham, the property's been given new life by choosy hotelier John Flannigan. The eight buildings have been renovated, refreshed by design firm Post Company, Montgomery-based architect Jason Anderson, and craftsmen from Poughkeepsie-based Baxter Built. Boutique comfort furnishings and high speed Wi-Fi have been added to the 110 rooms.
What hasn't changed is the laid-back, magical vibe: summer camp for grownups, complete with a heated swimming pool, hot tub, and yoga and wellness programs. Outside, you'll find a stretch of the Batavia Kill stream and hammocks, tree swings, pickle ball, bocce, and fire pits, along with electric or traditional bicycles for exploring and sleds for snowy days. The onsite Babblers Restaurant and Bakery offers food and libations, and a vintage Land Rover will whisk you to the slopes of Windham or down into town.
Inness | Accord
The former Rondout Golf Club has been reinvented as Inness. Its 220 acres, nestled between the Shawangunks and Catskills in Accord, now feature not just golf (although the reinvented nine-hole course has been called a "must-play") but a luxe hotel, restaurant, and members' club. The property's been featured on Condé Nast Traveler's Hot List as one of the most exciting new hotel openings in 2022. Restaurateur Taavo Somer (Freemans Sporting Club) says the marriage of rustic Americana and Scandinavian chic is meant to evoke duality: untamed nature and manicured functionality.
There are 28 minimalist cabins and a 12-room farmhouse, most with stunning mountain vistas, all fitted out with luxury amenities and custom furniture and lighting mixed with thoughtfully curated vintage. The onsite restaurant offers simple, rustic food, Mediterranean-inspired and locally sourced whenever possible, and a fire pit outside.
Bird and Bottle Inn | Garrison
Garrison's Bird and Bottle Inn harks back to the Colonial era, when weary travelers along the "post roads" tarried at public houses for a quaff, a meal, a bed, and the latest local gossip. Continental troops were garrisoned here amid the glorious Hudson Highlands. Hudson Valley entrepreneurs Marjorie Tarter and Brendan McAlpine purchased the 1761 property in 2020 and devoted two years to painstaking renovations, making essential updates while maintaining its classic style: wall sconces, oil paintings, wide-plank floors.
Guest rooms have been modernized with world-class mattresses, fluffy duvets, and full-size tubs. Downstairs, the tavern offers choices like a short rib brisket burger and duck wings, while the dining room offers fancier fare. "It feels so awesome to be a tiny piece of this story," says Tarter. "The property has been the site of so many personal memories, milestones, and celebrations. Respecting that and, more importantly, celebrating the Bird's history was the only way to tackle this project and do it justice."
Mae House | Athens
Get away from it all at the Mae House in Athens, a 173-year old Colonial on a tucked-away village lot with three thoughtfully and sustainably renovated bedrooms; you'll find tile work by Fire Clay Tile (a B-corporation), efficient sinks and toilets from Kohler, and an expert-selected collection of Farrow & Ball paints, all blended with hand-picked, functional vintage. The walkable waterfront village once buzzed with shipbuilding, brickmaking, and ice-harvesting. Today, it's home to arts-folk, entrepreneurs, and those who love living amid and restoring a rich tapestry of Victorian, Greek Revival, and Federal architecture.
The property's proximity to the Hudson Amtrak station, just across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, make this a wonderful choice for complete, car-free and carefree relaxation. And your stay at Mae House subsidizes the property's considered activism: Sliding-scale room rates and free residency stays are provided for BlPOC individuals and families in need of a nature break and who might not otherwise afford one.
Wildflower Farms | Gardiner
Part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, Wildflower Farms in Gardiner offers 65 cabins, cottages, and suites featuring architecture from Electric Bowery and interiors by Ward and Gray. The focus is on the bounty of natural magic provided by 140 acres of rolling meadows, forests, and the namesake farm, tucked between the stony majesty of the Shawangunk Ridge and the languid Wallkill River.
Depending on the season, guests can go foraging or ice climbing; help feed the farm critters and gather eggs; take electric dirt bikes in leaf-peeping season. Expert farmers and creative, curious chefs curate a epicurean culinary experience, the onsite Thistle Spa uses hand-blended small-batch apothecary products. Across the property, interiors are defined by natural materials, ample natural light, and bright textiles.
Stonehill's Farmhouse | Accord
Picture yourself in a quaint farmhouse—one that just happens to have a self-serve tavern stocked with great local beverages in the living room and a petting zoo in the backyard populated by chickens, ducks, goats, and guinea fowl. That's the scene at Stonehill's Farmhouse in Accord, a family-run bed and breakfast for grownups with four distinctive farmhouse bedrooms situated within easy walking distance of Arrowood Farm Brewery and Westwind Orchard—along woodland footpaths, no less. Indoors, you'll find vintage and antique furnishings, art and trinkets merged with organic bed and bath linens, natural bath amenities, a smart TV, Tivoli Audio speakers, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Outside are cauldron-like fire pits surrounded by Adirondack chairs, perfect for stargazing after a good walk. Breakfast eggs are provided minutes before they hit the pan by the yard birds, who have their own Instagram account; there's an onsite nature spa, and a dry goods mercantile offering upscale natural personal care and gear. Stonehill also hosts pop-up events on weekends.