Camping has gone upscale in Catskills, Hudson Valley, NY


Remember when going to a cabin in the woods meant a rustic retreat, complete with creaky camp beds and S’mores around a campfire?

Well, the s’mores are still there — the marshmallows may be artisanal — but the creaky camp beds and rustic vibe have been replaced with upscale amenities and sleek modern designs at a handful of new Hudson Valley lodging options.

Many of the guests heading to these properties in the Hudson Valley and Catskills in southeast New York are from the New York City and surrounding counties, said property owners. 

“We get a lot of people from the city who are looking immerse themselves in nature. But we’ve had visitors from around the world,” said Lyon Porter, who co-owns the Urban Cowboy Lodge in Big Indian, which opened in 2020.

“We welcome anyone who wants to experience the inviting, communal spirit of the Lodge to come visit.”

The Cabin at the Urban Cowboy Lodge in Big Indian, New York.

Just know, this is hardly roughing it. Most of these properties include spas, restaurants, bars, or at least cocktail service along with high-end amenities such as heated floors, Frette linens and Pendleton robes. It all comes at a cost; expect to pay in excess of $300 a night at all the following cabin properties.

Landscape Hotel in Catskill

Piaule Landscape Hotel is a new boutique property in the Catskills that offers upscale cabins, a spa, and restaurant.

Piaule Catskill, a 50-acre resort with 24 cabins of varying sizes, a spa and a restaurant has just opened.  Located in Catskill, the boutique property was conceived and built by Nolan McHugh and Trevor Briggs, of the housewares brand Piaule, to be a sustainable property.

Its modernist-style cabins were built as standalone modules and designed in partnership with sustainable prefab pioneers Garrison Architects. The about 300-square-foot cabins blend into the surrounding landscape and offer floor-to-ceiling windows, natural materials, and heated floors; some have private balconies built around existing trees and rock formations. Each is outfitted with pieces from the Piaule collection, as well as with items from local vendors. 

Piaule Landscape Hotel is a new boutique property in the Catskills that offers upscale cabins, a spa, and restaurant.

Guests can hike, bike, have a spa treatment and then have a cocktail in the bar, located in the main house, which, according to a release, is “a 7,000-square foot glass, steel and cedar clad structure with a green roof.” 

Find it:  333 Mossy Hill Road, Catskill, www.piaule.com

Hutton Brickyards, Kingston

Hutton Brickyards in Kingston offers 300-square foot  cabins. The aesthetic is sort of Shaker simplicity meets RV camping, and 12 of the cabins closest to the Hudson have all-glass sides facing out to the river.

Another new boutique hotel with private cabins, Hutton Brickyards in Kingston opened in May. A re-use of a former 73-acre industrial site on the Hudson River, owner Karl Slovin partnered with Salt Hotels to open the hotel, which offers 31 private waterfront cabins along with a new restaurant and bar.

Kristina Dousharm Architecture designed the 300-square-foot cabins and collaborated on interiors with Salt Hotels’ Chief Creative Officer Kevin O’Shea. The aesthetic is sort of Shaker simplicity meets RV camping, and 12 of the cabins closest to the Hudson have all-glass sides facing out to the river.

One of the cabins at Hutton Brickyards in Kingston. The studio of Kristina Dousharm Architecture designed the 300-square-foot cabins.

The hotel will offer room service, and a bar cart will come around at cocktail hour. The sprawling campus features a wide range of activities, including kayaking, paddle-boarding, archery, croquet, fire pits, hikes, outdoor yoga, beekeeping and cross-country skiing.

The property has a 90-seat restaurant, River Pavilion, in one of the former factory’s pavilions, and a spa, which is limited to hotel guests only this year.

Find it: Hutton Brickyards, 200 North St., Kingston, 845-213-4742, huttonbrickyards.com. —Bill Cary

One of the cabins at Eastwind in Windham, New York

Eastwind, Windham

In Windham, Eastwind offers several different accommodations including Lushna cabins and suites, which are sustainably designed using wood and glass to maximize views which are termed “as luxe as the accommodations themselves.” 

The resort was opened by a group of friends in 2018 with the goal of creating a unique Scandinavian home-away-from-home getaway experience. The owners said they were inspired by the sentiment of “lagom,” a Swedish word meaning just the right amount.

“We wanted to offer guests accommodations that were elevated to camping, but wouldn’t serve as a distraction to the beautiful mountains that surrounded them.”

The view from a cabin at Eastwind's Lushna cabin in Windham, New York.

Eastwind’s Lushna three cabins are free-standing suites, each with a queen size loft bed, lounge space with pull out sofa, a writers nook, fridge and en-suite bathroom. The triple door of the living space opens up to a private deck; each unit has its own fire pit, outdoor shower and hammock. There are also seven Swedish-style glamping cabins, also with queen-sized beds and Frette linens.

Eastwind offers Swedish-style 'glamping' cabins.

The property has access to walking trails, bike rentals, picnic tables, multiple bonfire pits and hammocks strewn throughout the property. Most rooms offer panoramic views of the Catskill mountains.  At the end of the day, there’s a wood barrel sauna to try and a small lounge. Cocktails are available to all guests until 9 p.m. and can be delivered to your cabin. 

“Guests can be fully present and enjoy the fresh mountain air with a craft cocktail in hand, converse over s’mores, and explore all the outdoor beauty the Catskills has to offer,” the owners noted.

Find it: 5088 E. Route 23, Windham, 518-734-0553, eastwindny.com/contact.

Eldred Preserve, Eldred

The Eldred Preserve in Eldred on April 22, 2021.

The Eldred Preserve reunites three longtime Sullivan County favorites — The Bradstan Hotel, Old Homestead Restaurant and the preserve itself, which was once known as Sullivan County’s premier fishing resort — into one destination resort. Accommodations include suites, standard rooms and  5 stunning cabins. Each of the approximately 300-square-foot cabins have floor-to-ceiling windows, beamed ceilings, jetted tubs, private patio and a fireplace.

If you want to get off the patio, there is a pool and a hot tub, as well as 600 acres of forest and a lake to explore. Afterwards, settle into the Old Homestead Restaurant for dinner or a cocktail.

Find it: 1040 Route 55, Eldred, 845-557-8316, theeldredpreserve.com/contact.

The Cabin at the Urban Cowboy Lodge in Big Indian, New York.

Urban Cowboy Lodge, Big Indian

The Cabin at the Urban Cowboy Lodge in Big Indian, New York.

Opened in March 2020 — only to close soon after due to the pandemic — this reimagined lodge was once the Alpine Inn. It reopened in the summer of 2020. Guests will find 28 rooms located among 5 distinct buildings along with a standalone cabin and chalet. 

The design aesthetic kept the best of the Alpine Inn and tweaked it with lots of hand-crafted touches. The standalone cabin has a copper clawfoot tub for two, leather loveseat and Pendleton robes and blanket.



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