The Factory: A First-of-Its-Kind Immersive Art Hotel Opens in Beacon | Branded Content | Lodging | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

Just over 20 years ago, Dia Beacon's transformation of a dilapidated Nabisco factory on the banks of the Hudson River put the city on the art world map. As Beacon's cultural prominence has risen, so too has its reputation as a home to artists and a must-stop for art lovers. This downtown renaissance is what inspired boutique hotel developer and former HGTV personality Bethany Souza to reimagine a hotel room as an art gallery. This first-of-its-kind hospitality concept will weave all disciplines of the arts throughout the guest experience, with an emphasis on visual, performing, literary, fashion, and furniture design.

Souza, who grew up in Beacon, spent much of her 25-year hospitality career in the Midwest transforming historic properties into experiential hotels filled with fantasy and whimsy. In 2020, she returned to her Hudson Valley hometown to redesign and reopen the Dutchess Inn and Spa that had been shuttered due to Covid.

That project soon blossomed into a partnership with investors Craig and Julie Corelli to develop the three buildings surrounding the Dutchess. But what started out as an expansion of the Inn and Spa quickly metamorphosed into a new hotel now known as The Factory. This creative enclave of 20 hotel rooms, artist residences, a fire-lit communal courtyard, sculpture garden, and event and workshop space offers guests a highly immersive experience that captures the dynamic spirit of the city's arts scene.

click to enlarge The Factory: A First-of-Its-Kind Immersive Art Hotel Opens in Beacon
Photos by Annie McCain Engman

The Factory is a gut-renovated 125-year old former sewing factory where World War II leather bomber jackets were once made. In a nostalgic tribute to this storied past guests will find eclectic design accents including original bomber coats displayed on vintage dress forms, large wooden spools of thread repurposed into coat hooks, and new rugs made from upcycled scraps of leather—Souza's design interpretation of what the factory floor would have looked like during its production hay days.

During its 2024 soft-opening phase, The Factory has become a regular stay of choice for film production companies and artists installing new works at Dia. During that period Souza has been meeting with galleries and artists from around the globe to curate the next phase of her vision.

Currently, the Factory is welcoming the general public to book a room during the "Sneak Peek & Sleep" campaign, which offers hotel rooms in various stages of design evolution. Room decor ranges from 19th century industrial to `70s and`80s sophisticated glam, with statement pieces such as velvet bed frames designed by painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel; the former factory's ironing boards as end tables; and an iconic lucite hanging bubble chair inspired by furniture designer Eero Aarnio.Each week, additional art programming is being added to include artist-led workshops, live performances, and creative "Stay and Play" additions in guest rooms where guests become the art, with interactive installations such as poetry projected onto the ceilings and lighting that creates shadow art for sketching impromptu cameos.

click to enlarge The Factory: A First-of-Its-Kind Immersive Art Hotel Opens in Beacon
Photos by Annie McCain Engman

The final phase of rooms are the "Gallery Rooms," which Souza explains as "basically a showroom in the form of a bedroom, where guests can completely immerse themselves in the art while lying naked." According to her, this new way of viewing art suddenly transforms into an intimate experience that will resonate deeply and have a profound effect on the viewer.

This journey is enhanced by QR codes displayed in the rooms, which incorporate video presentations directly from the artist that allow guests to gain a deeper appreciation of the work they are viewing. All art displayed in the hotel is for sale with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to the artist. An open call for artists interested in displaying, teaching, and performing with the Factory Collective will continue through 2025.

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