Courtesy of Hutton Brickyards
Courtesy of Hutton Brickyards
The last Lidgerwood Crane reaches over the Hudson River at Hutton Brickyards.
Plus a bonus hotel in New York’s Capital Region worth adding an extra hour to your drive.
Last year, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown fueled a flee north to New York’s upstate region. As more and more city dwellers opted for the countryside, many towns in the Hudson Valley and Catskills saw a swelling number of permanent residents, causing real estate prices to rise exponentially in some locations.
But for those who stayed in the city, a weekend getaway upstate is easily attainable within a one- to three-hour drive of Manhattan. And after several new hotels opened last year across the region, even more hotels and resorts are debuting in 2021, catapulting the vibrant Catskills hotel scene of the 1950s into a new golden age.
Read on for the best new 2021 hotel openings in the Catskills and Hudson Valley—plus one just a little farther north in the Capital Region that’s totally worth adding an extra hour to your road trip.
Brick-making factories that helped build New York City in the late 1800s and early 1900s once filled the shores of the Hudson River. Located on the site of the last remaining brickyard in the Hudson Valley, Hutton Brickyards is now a massive event space and hotel, which opened in May 2021.
Individual cabins, many with views of the river a few yards away, dot the 73 acres of the property. Plus, there’s a spa with a barrel sauna and outdoor restaurant. Hiking on the property’s trails, yoga and pilates sessions, a waterfront outdoor gym, and kayaking on the river are a few of the active options available. Don’t miss the Instagrammable brick beach, half-sunken barges, and brick-firing kiln remains—and be prepared to find Hutton-emblazoned bricks all over the place.
Sitting on 600 acres of land in Sullivan County, the Eldred Preserve encompasses the Bradstan Boutique Hotel, the Old Homestead Restaurant and Lounge, and the Preserve Weddings and Events. The Bradstan Boutique Hotel’s 28 rooms feature a modern design that uses wood, stone, and glass to highlight the gorgeous natural surroundings, along with plaid accents, branches, and pops of color. Choose from five stand-alone cabins and five signature suites, all with fireplaces, jetted tubs, and private patios; nine junior suites with patios; and nine standard rooms.
The on-site restaurant revives the Old Homestead, a Sullivan County classic of more than 60 years (the original location was destroyed by fire in 2015), bringing back steakhouse favorites and its beloved raisin bread. Guests can enjoy the grounds and miles of hiking trails; a 75-acre private lake known for excellent fishing, with kayaks, rowboats, and other paddle sports; and a soon-to-open outdoor pool and Jacuzzi. A winetasting room, a fitness studio, vegetable and herb gardens, and electric-vehicle charging stations round out the experience.
The retro vibe of the Catskills’ heyday permeates this 65-room resort on a 120-year-old property that started as a boarding house in the early 20th century. (It went on to become one of the classic Catskills resorts like the one depicted in Dirty Dancing.) Callicoon Hills took great pains to preserve and honor that history, speaking with previous owners and pouring over ephemera like menus, advertisements, and brochures to inform design decisions.
Now, it calls itself an “informal vacation resort” and continues the property’s legacy. Rooms are set in the restored historic boarding house from the early 1900s, in the Pool House, which is from the mid-1900s, and in three buildings up a small hill, called Ridge Rooms. All rooms feature locally made furniture and ethically sourced rugs, and Malin & Goetz bath amenities; none has a television. A large outdoor seasonal pool is a centerpiece, plus there’s a pond, barn, the Rise & Shine Coffee Shop, bar, and the Conover Club Restaurant. Chef pop-ups are also being hosted throughout the season.
Located on a cliff overlooking thousands of trees, this 50-acre property is from the duo behind the Piaule housewares brand, Nolan McHugh and Trevor Briggs, who designed it with sustainable prefab pioneers Garrison Architects. The main building is all sleek glass and wood, highlighting the green mountain views. Relax by the dual-sided zinc fireplace at the café, or head to the spa where you’ll find a movement studio, tea and relaxation rooms, and treatment areas. The resort’s 24 cabins are simple yet functional, with thoughtful touches like sliding doors that include additional layers of a bug screen and a blackout shade, and a spacious waterfall shower in a bathroom with heated stone floors. Other design details include ceramic sconces made by longtime Piaule collaborator Kati von Lehman, furniture by McHugh and Briggs, and organic Piaule brand linens from Portugal. Cabins come in singles with and without decks, ones with a living room that includes a pullout sofa, and doubles that have a living room between two bedrooms.
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While Hudson already has its fair share of hotels, it remains one of the most popular towns for New Yorkers who are escaping the city, so a few more accommodations won’t go empty. Especially when they’re as lovely as the Amelia, which is set inside a restored Queen Anne–style house from the 19th century. On a quiet street on the southern edge of town, this eight-room hands-off hotel (rooms are entered via a code shared before arrival and you can text someone if you need service) has a library, parlor, drawing room, and breakfast room. Keep an eye out for original details—woodwork, moldings, a mahogany fireplace, leaded windows, and a striking central staircase were all carefully preserved by owner Shannon Wu.
As a contrast, the furniture is modern with pops of color, and original artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Gavin Evans adorns the walls. Each spacious room is individually designed, and all have Frette towels, Matouk bed linens, Lockwood New York bath amenities, and a curated library shelf. A 35-foot newly installed swimming pool sits outside, along with two sizable lawns, an outdoor firepit, and a deck—all surrounded by gardens designed by landscape architect Wagner Hodgson.
Located in the heart of downtown Hudson in a historic building on Warren Street, the Hudson Whaler Hotel honors the town’s whaling history with nautical touches and maritime-inspired decor. Ornate woodwork, vintage chandeliers sourced from one of Hudson’s many antiques shops, and a detailed mural of the Hudson River from Manhattan to Hudson welcome guests in the cozy lobby.
The 16 rooms feature a blue and white color palette, electric fireplaces, and spacious bathrooms with soaking tubs or massage showers and Lockwood New York bath products. In-room amenities include a minibar stocked with locally sourced beverages and a complimentary handmade chocolate whale, crafted by local chocolatier Vasilow’s Confectionery. The Hudson Whaler is a sister property to the Nest, the Nautical Nest, and the Hudson Mariner, all within a few blocks of each other.
Start planning your trip with this complete guide to the perfect weekend in Hudson, New York.
The Boarding House at Seminary Hill is part of a larger campus in Sullivan County, which includes an orchard and the first Passive-House certified cidery and tasting room, a voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building to reduce a building’s ecological footprint. Restored by Catskill design firm Homestedt, the hotel is a former boarding house that’s more than 100 years old. It offers 17 rooms across eight communal apartment units. Each unit has one to four bedrooms with Wright mattresses, linen sheets, country antiques, vintage kilim rugs, living rooms, and kitchenettes with electric ranges, cookware, Dansk ceramics, Bodum kettles, and pour-over coffee makers. Also on property is the Mountain House & Cottage, which sleeps 10 people across five bedrooms.
Guests can visit the beautiful orchard with its 1,500 apple and pear trees, as well as the cidery and its 3,500-square-foot tasting room, kitchen, and events space with cathedral ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and a wraparound patio and balcony. The tasting rooms offer sips of the in-house ciders, plus bites like elevated apple grilled cheese sandwiches and black cherry tamarind ribs prepared on an Argentinian grill.
Start planning your trip with this complete guide to the perfect weekend at the Boarding House at Seminary Hill.
While Hotel Darby is technically over state lines in Pennsylvania, it’s a short walk to the town of Narrowsburg, New York, very much in the Catskills. And, it’s from beloved Catskills boutique hotel brand Foster Supply Co., known for hotels like the DeBruce and Kenoza Hall. Its latest property is this 27-room restored 1960s building, complete with expansive grounds near the Delaware River, a cozy hammock grove with lawn games, firepits, and a private trail system.
The interior design is midcentury modern, and rooms are available with queen and king beds, as well as connecting bunk beds, making it family friendly. The hotel features a custom-built bar, freestanding Malm fireplace, and grab-and-go dining with bottled and canned cocktails. The menu offers various types of tinned fish, like yellowfin ventresca, sardinillas, and boquerones, and there’s also charcuterie and cheese plates, Van Smokey beef jerky, and more.
A bit farther afield from the Hudson Valley about 30 miles north of Albany—but worth the extra drive—the Spa City Motor Lodge is located in the hometown of Skidmore College and the Saratoga Racetrack. This transformed vintage motor lodge is the first hotel in a new boutique roadside lodge brand called Bluebird by Lark (boutique hospitality company Lark Hotels also owns Gilded in Newport, Rhode Island, and Summercamp on Martha’s Vineyard).
The 42 rooms surround a shared indoor courtyard space, which is outfitted with communal seating and a coffee bar. Inspired by old-school Americana, the rooms feature white walls with splashes of jewel-tone color, eclectic artwork, and modern, design-forward furniture.
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Situated on 225 bucolic acres, Inness is perhaps the closest thing to a modernized version of the old Catskills resorts of yore. Starting July 30, guests can check into one of 28 cabins with kitchenettes or book an individual room in the 12-room farmhouse. The sprawling campus also has a restaurant and private guest-only lounge; a nine-hole golf course by King Collins (designer of Sweetens Cove in Tennessee); a sports outfitter with supplies for golfing, skating, cross-country skiing, and more; two swimming pools; tennis courts; hiking trails; an events barn; a farm shop with coffee, snacks, and supplies; a three-acre organic farm that will supply the restaurant; and a wellness building complete with a spa with outdoor hot tubs, gym, and movement studio.
Named after prominent American landscape painter George Inness, this project is a partnership between restaurateur and architect Taavo Somer (Freemans and Lola Pizza), designers Post Company (formerly Studio Tack), and development team CBSK Ironstate and Lee Pollock. The rustic design includes clapboard siding and cedar shakes. Landscape designer Miranda Brooks was charged with balancing the grounds between untamed forest and more manicured formality.
The first and only Lego-themed hotel in the northeast, Legoland New York Hotel opened August 6 on the grounds of New York’s new Legoland theme park, which opened July 9. The 250-room hotel is sure to be a favorite with families, thanks to themed guest rooms that feature separate sleeping areas for kids and adults; an on-site creative workshop where children can build their own creations alongside Master Model Builders; 2,000 Lego models around the hotel and tons of Legos with several places to build; and daily entertainment, including visits from Lego characters and a massive castle play structure. The hotel also has contactless programming, including the innovative Next Generation Sleepover experience—a Google Nest named Alice can do anything from place a room service order to tell an immersive bedtime story. There’s also a heated outdoor pool and dining at Bricks Family Restaurant and the Skyline Bar for parents.
Debuting in 2019 in the Stockade District of Kingston, Hotel Kinsley began as one building on Wall Street and expanded to include a second building on Pearl Street in January 2021. The hotel will add two more buildings imminently, including the Fair Street and the John Street building. The ground floor of the Fair Street building already houses River Mint Finery, a clothing boutique.
The four restored historic buildings will have a total of 42 rooms. Details like original fireplaces, tilework, and crown molding were preserved, while modern furnishings and amenities were added, including a fitness center and sauna, and the Restaurant Kinsley by chef Zak Pelaccio and restaurateur Taavo Somer, who is also involved in the Inness.
Located within an environmentally protected, private gated estate in the Catskills called the Chapin Estate, the Chatwal Lodge is from the team behind the beloved Chatwal in Manhattan. When it opens later this summer, guests will enjoy 60 acres of wilderness with panoramic views and access to the 1,000-acre Toronto Reservoir Lake—ideal for fly fishing and boating—and enjoy the hiking trails dotted with chestnut trees and water streams and teeming with wildlife.
The 10 luxury accommodations recall the rustic glamour of the Adirondacks Great Camps and are designed by Steve Dubrovsky, who specializes in that style. Adventurers at heart can opt for the tree-house room, raised 25 feet above the ground with a fireplace and outdoor deck, or a luxury glamping tent. A farm-to-table restaurant and a spa with Ayurvedic treatments are also planned.
Bravo Million Dollar Listing NY star Steve Gold and designer Samuel Amoia, who got his start under Ian Schrager and André Balazs, have teamed up to open the Aurum this fall with 36 rooms and a Roman-style hammam. Said to be the only one of its kind in North America, the 6,000-square-foot Aurum Thermae spa is the focal point of the property, with an impressive 40-foot dome inspired by the Roman Imperial period, a communal bathing area, hot and cold baths, scrub rooms, and steam and sauna rooms.
The property spans 131 acres and four buildings, including the historic Maidstone Lodge, which was built in 1902, and will house the lobby, public areas, and a Sicilian-inspired restaurant. A new building will contain 20 rooms and four suites. There will also be 12 stand-alone one- and two-bedroom bungalows with private outdoor areas containing firepits, outdoor showers, and some hot tubs.
You know the region is getting big when the luxury brands start moving in. The acclaimed Auberge Resorts Collection recently announced the 2022 launch of Wildflower Farms, a 65-cottage property set on 150 acres about a 90-minute drive north of Manhattan. The 9,000-square-foot spa will have an indoor saltwater pool, an outdoor swimming pool, and spa tubs with views of the Shawangunk Mountains. There will also be an on-property farm and orchard, an open-air fitness center and yoga studio, tennis courts, miles of hiking trails and climbing routes, and a restaurant with an open kitchen using produce grown on-site. Foraging, farming, cooking classes, and picnics will be available.
This article was originally published on July 27, 2021; it was updated on July 30, 2021, and again on August 26, 2021, to include current information.
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