Combining old whaling-captains' houses and historical, brick-front buildings with farm-to-table restaurants and some of the country’s best midcentury antique shops, it’s no wonder that Hudson in upstate New York has become a popular weekend getaway. And now adding to the alluring mix is Rivertown Lodge, a hip, design-led 27-room hotel set in a former 1920s cinema on the town’s main thoroughfare, Warren Street.
I came across this boutique bolthole on a day trip over the Christmas period and felt compelled by the sleek, sustainable and, above all else, approachable vibe to make a booking for an early-January escape. Further research told me that Rivertown Lodge is the work of hospitality veterans Kim Bucci and Ray Pirkle (their first venture under the name Ramshackle Properties), and although it has only been open for three months, it has already attracted a considerable following.
We arrived late in the afternoon and felt instantly welcomed by the warm staff. The interiors are equally inviting, with design at the fore. The reception desk itself is an impressive piece of marbled wood (second picture), while the white oak floors and woodburning stoves in the open-plan lobby (third picture) are offset with sculptural log racks by Brooklyn design studio Workstead – the firm responsible for the scheme across the whole hotel – and tables and chairs crafted by local furniture-makers Sawkille, in nearby Rhinebeck.
Rivertown Lodge is a lively place with a communal feel: the airy kitchen (fourth picture) is open to all guests at all hours, and is stocked with strong Tandem coffee and a surprisingly large selection of newspapers; while the sleek, central bronze bar comes alive in the evenings, with locals and guests alike tucking into appetisers, craft cocktails and local beers. The seasonal menus – designed by Jean Adamson of Brooklyn restaurant Vinegar Hill House – were just coming together during our visit, but it didn’t matter: Swoon Kitchenbar and noted chef Zakary Pelaccio’s Fish & Game are just steps from the hotel, and both are worth a delicious detour.
The rooms (doubles from $199, first picture) feature custom beds and light fixtures by Workstead, crisp Frette linens, armchairs with Zak and Fox upholstery, and textural wall hangings by New York-based Hiroko Takeda. The aesthetic feels very buttoned up, with an emphasis on local production and natural materials (this applies to the amenities, too, with shampoos and soaps by 2 Note Botanical Perfumery and Hudson Made). My one complaint is that the rooms are on the small side, so I wouldn’t recommend Rivertown Lodge for a lengthy stay, but it’s perfect for anyone seeking a chicly simple city escape.