Archive for the ‘Accommodations’ Category
At least, that’s the word from Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, who revealed that the county saw a 6.2 percent increase in occupancy tax revenue in 2012 over the year before: that’s right, more hotel rooms, more tax on hotel rooms, more revenue, more vistors, more jobs, more goodness.
“In 2012, the county collected just over $1.1 million in occupancy taxes, an increase of about $64,391 compared to 2011,” reads a recent press release. “This was the third consecutive year in which occupancy tax revenues have increased, rising at total of about 14.4 percent since 2009. Ulster County has become a true vacation destination over the past several years, due in part to the Ulster County Alive! marketing campaign initiated by Hein and the county tourism department.”
And, of course, you can book a hotel room on the Ulster County Alive site, adding to the goodness.
Hey, maybe the uptick also had something to do with Upstater’s boosterism? Which makes us wonder: What are your favorite attractions, destinations and best kept secrets (until now) of Ulster County? Oh, and your favorite places to stay?
Need we say more? Well, okay, a little bit more. We cottoned to the idea of almost-camping: setting up shop in a shelter in one of New York State’s beautiful parks. They’re affordable and darned cute, ranging from the rustic to the, well, less rustic.
Lake Taghkanic State Park
1528 Route 82
Ancram, NY 12502
Take your pick: full-service cottages, regular cottages and cabins, ranging from $90 to $190/night. There are playgrounds, boat rentals and beaches to boot.
After the jump, more cabins, more parks. Read the rest of this entry »
Not too many folks make the comparison. After all, there are luxury accommodations here and there in upstate New York, but the 1% is only sparsely represented, their helipad-ed compounds tucked into the hills. And the Hamptons, well, its offerings are obviously really different. Less nature (although the beaches are heavenly), more glitz, and the opportunity to spend a week’s paycheck on one meal.
But there are more luxurious draws here these days, and the Graham + Co hotel in Phoenicia seems to be interested in those who might head east for their getaway instead of north. Thus, they have released this t-shirt, which we spied on Instagram. They call it “vacation spot rumble.”
Is there a competition between these two regions, you think? How do you feel about the comparison?
That’s the subject of a photo essay in the NY Times, in which 32-year-old photographer Marisa Scheinfeld revisited the resorts of her youth in the Catskills. But instead of bustling with the Borscht Belt goodness of her younger days, “Nature was reclaiming the spaces,” she says. “You would see an entire room filled with a carpet of moss. Then there was vandalism, people gutting the buildings for wiring and other metal, anything they could take. Then there were squatters and taggers. Then paintballers, who put their own marks on the places.”
She documents what she called “the new life” these buildings were taking on, creating what the Times calls “portraits of destruction as well as rebirth, now numbering almost 100 photographs.”
For us, admittedly obsessed with those aged and ailing resorts, the project encapsulates the sadness of this section of the world, and the new life we envision for it is not about moss-covered floors (although that could be cool); we’d prefer for a new generation of humans to take up residence there. So perhaps her project will pique the interest of those truly interested in reinvigorating the Catskills bungalow colonies and Hudson Valley resorts, instead of just lamenting what’s gone wrong.
Ah, yes. A wise inquiry. A reader says he has enjoyed a weekend at Mohonk Mountain House one splurge-filled moment of his life, and he loved it — the beauty, the ease, the adorable little camp for the kids, the hikes, the lake, the pool, the piles of delicious food. Here’s what he didn’t like: the bill. He spent, he says, $650 a night, and that was the modest package.
So what are the Mohonk alternatives if you want some resort-like action, with nature and food, quiet and exercise? We’ve long been fans of the Winter Clove. Any suggestions for the readers who are modest-of-wallet but still want a Catskills or Hudson Valley resort?
We’re always on the hunt for places where non-homeowners can take refuge while they’re house hunting or just weekending in upstate New York. So we were pleased to see this piece over on our blog-friend Brownstoner about funky accommodations. Many of them we’ve written about here before, including the Roxbury Motel, the Graham & Co in Phoenicia, and Ruby’s Hotel in Freehold. Others, like the Turquoise Barn in Bloomfield or the Twilight Lodge in Haines Falls (tag ling: upstate, not uptight), are new to us. Any other special hotels/motels/cabins or resorts you want to clue us in on?
We’ve written about this property several times, each time wondering about the backstory. What’s a renovated, 36,000 square foot armory like you doing on the market for so long? In fact, it was first listed at $2 mill, went down to $1.5 million, and then to one mill when we last wrote it up in January, and is now on sale for $895,000.
The NY Times recently wrote about the family that bought it. They expected that they’d be able to unload it, post-renovation, and make a profit, living every New Yorker’s dream.
“…they moved back to New York, bought a three-bedroom place in Park Slope, Brooklyn, for $565,000 and four years later, in 2005, sold it for $1 million.
“That’s when the Phemisters decided the time was right to buy a castle — a 36,000-square-footer in classic red brick, complete with 2 turrets and 134 windows — for sale at what appeared to be the low-low price of $800,000. They spent $400,000 on renovations, which won them a preservation award, and in 2007 put it back on the market at a price fit for a king, $2 million.”
And then…the crash. “Unfortunately, as is now widely known, that was when the American economy took a downward turn, and, as Ms. Phemister said, ‘The market for castles in upstate New York dried up completely.’
“In the five years since, the castle has been taken off the market and put back on several times — for $1.95 million, $1.25 million fully furnished (including a mounted bison head and 20 stuffed pheasants), $1 million and now, for $895,000.”
ThePhemisters still live there, hoping that soon someone else is ready to live like royalty in Amsterdam, NY.
“We love living here,” Ms. Phemister told the Times. “It’s just that it’s someone else’s turn to live in a castle.”
A recent commenter on Monday’s “Town of the Week: Phoenicia” post hipped us to the brand-spankin’-new Graham & Co. hotel in Phoenicia, and it looks like a great place to plan a mini-break or weekend trip. As a matter of fact, they even tout themselves on their homepage as “An update on the traditional weekend getaway”.
Located on Route 214 between town and the elementary school, Graham & Co. have gone out of their way to make their 20-room hotel a fun, kitschy, and comfortable place to bed down for the night. Amenities include a spring-fed swimming pool (with throw-back lounge chairs from the 80s), evening bonfires, free bikes for your local transportation needs, and kitchenettes in some rooms. And if that’s not enough, Phoenicia itself provides the greatest amenities: The Phoenicia Diner is down the road a piece, there’s skiing a-plenty near by in the winter and tubing on the Esopus in the summer, hiking in Mt. Tremper, martinis at Ricciardella’s, and the Trailways Bus stops at the front door of the Morne Imports, a local hardware store that provides, according to Graham & Co.’s website, “mucklucks and fishing supplies”.
Right now, they’re offering a winter ski special with 25% off lift tickets at Hunter Mountain.
Have you been? Tell us about it in the comments!
Situated in a truly sweet spot right in the heart of Woodstock, Lalita’s Guest House is a splashy, cheery Victorian right across the street from the Tannery Brook waterfall and walking distance to everything in the village. In fact, leave your car at home. You don’t need it. A Trailways bus will drop you off less than a half-mile away.
Lalita’s Guest House consists of two nifty suites: The Citrus suite, and the Plum suite, and both include two bedrooms and a full kitchen. Both can accommodate as many as 5 or 6 guests. The Citrus suite has its own outdoor seating area.
Homeaway.com users give Lalita’s some great reviews (although some warn of the steep staircase, something to be aware of if mobility is an issue), calling the owner, Linda Winnick, an attentive and thorough hostess. Added bonus: Winnick also owns and operates Shakti Yoga studio in Woodstock, which is one of our favorite studios in the area (she runs a well-respected teacher training program there, as well, and her graduates are teaching all over the place), and she can hook you up with some classes, not to mention recommendations on restaurants, and where to get a good massage.
Rates are good right now, since it’s the low-season: $175/night (weekends), $150/night (weekdays), $1400/month.
While tooling around the Internets today, looking for fun fall activities, we stumbled across this list of “uncommon lodgings” in New York state. Unable to resist the siren’s song of the word “uncommon” as a description, we perused the list and immediately began drooling and making fall and winter vacation plans.
Included on the list are the usual suspects: The Roxbury Motel, which we’ve talked about before, and the Saugerties Light House, but there are a couple of places a little farther away that we are dying to check out:
1) Phantasy Dome at Pollywogg Holler, Belmont. Yeah, we totally want to sleep in a floating yurt, in a bed suspended from the ceiling. There are a number of other theme cottages available at Pollywogg, too, and we would be happy in any of them, especially this one.
2) Angel’s Nest Bed and Breakfast, Rome. On the surface, it looks like your basic B&B. But it’s actually a converted convent, which we find intriguing, and probably as close to attending church as many of us at Upstater will get.
And the, of course the ubiquitous 3) Kate’s Lazy Meadow, Mt. Tremper. By now, pretty much everyone knows about B-52′s iconic redhead Kate Pierson’s fun, kitschy campground and lodge, but we have yet to visit. And we’ve recently become acquainted with the term “glamping” (which means to camp glamorously, with all the bells, whistles, and comforts of home), and Kate’s seems like the perfect place to make some glamping happen.
What about you? Got any suggestions for unique, uncommon accommodations? Let us know in the comments!