During our trip to Hudson, we got to stay at Rivertown Lodge. Remember Kim, who you met last week? She is one of the owners. And the care and attention to detail with which she approached decorating her own home, she also fully gives to the running of the lodge.
Rivertown Lodge is cozy, modern, comfortable. It’s the exact kind of place you want to stay at when you’re leaving the city and spending time upstate. With its rich history and strong sense of community, you immediately feel at ease and at home.
Before heading back to the city, I sat down with Kim in the lodge’s communal kitchen for a cup of coffee…
What is the history behind the lodge and what was it about this space that made you want to transform it into your dream hotel?
The lodge was born a single room movie theater in the 1930’s, and its marquee remains as an endearing reminder.
In the 1950’s two brothers, Roy and Carlton, renovated it as a motor lodge named The Roylton, complete with a Chinese restaurant in the front.
At some point in the 1970’s a sweet family (whose children’s handprints are pressed into the cement) bought it and ran it as The Warren Inn, until we purchased it 6 years ago.
Hudson holds incredible architecture on every street, but the hotel has a rather simple line and layout. This left us a lot of room to create something a bit more modern in a town whose visitors were craving more than antique-filled B & B’s.
The space has lived many lives and had a natural charm long before we arrived!
What is the inspiration behind the interior?
We began with the history of the building and the region. Our conversation immediately centered on the Shakers, whose design is classic and has always felt modern.
We collaborated with our friends at Workstead. They designed custom lighting for us with upstate New York in mind. We worked with many craftsmen making magic with local materials, like Jonah Meyer of Sawkille and woodworker Rowland Butler. Vases and mugs from ceramicists LAIL fill the tables and boards from Black Creek Mercantile make a light afternoon snack of Hudson Valley meats and cheeses even more appealing. And Hawkins New York linen sheets make you feel like sleeping in!
What is the feeling you hope for your guests to have here?
Decompression and care.
We opted away from the nightlife aspect that so many hotels use as part of their draw, because we wanted people to be able to rest. We fill the hotel with the best local products and services, so people don’t have to leave to experience the place. We pay careful attention to what they are individually seeking. We try to offer anything within our capability to make people feel they’re in a home away from their own!
What makes Hudson the perfect weekend (or weeknight getaway!) destination? And what are some of your must-do things in town?
I honestly believe Hudson is the best 72 hours you can spend out of the city.
The Amtrak leaves from Penn Station, it’s a beautiful 2 hour ride up the river and you can walk from the train. You can access everything you need by walking or biking! And with a car, you can discover treasures in every direction within twenty minutes.
Stroll down to Spotty Dog, our local bar and bookstore, for trivia night, live music or just a beer.
Come try kuku Sabzi, a Persian herbed frittata, or a Dutch baby pancake with Rivertown at our weekend brunch.
Go eat dinner in the nightly celebration that is Li’l Deb’s Oasis.
Drop into Drop Forge & Tool for interesting workshops, like wooden spoon carving and sewing immersions.
Basilica Hudson holds local maker flea markets, concerts, and houses two galleries with local art!
And, you can get lost, and still find some deals, in the Antique Warehouse down by the river.
There is such a community-centric vibe here–between the communal spaces in the lobby and the friendly camaraderie of the staff/ owners. How does the lodge serve as a gathering space for locals and tourists alike?
I think some of what you feel immediately is that we are locals. We live here. We not only interact with the hotel daily, but also with the many other aspects of the community. Hudson has the most wonderful cast of characters. Creating a familial work culture has always been a priority — we are involved in supporting our staff as people in the world beyond our hotel. It’s a small town and a small business and we need to take care of each other.
I think guests of the hotel love the mix of people they find here! We purposely made the public spaces on the smaller side so they would always feel warm and welcoming. Being a bit closer to one another has definitely sparked great conversation!