Photos by Brian Ferry
Chinese feng shui design and English charm mark the guest experience at The Amelia Hotel, which features lush gardens, a pool, and more.
Just two seasons after taking over operations at Meadow Ridge Farm, something became incredibly clear to Shannon Wu. The lack of accommodations in Hudson was an issue for the thriving wedding industry in the Hudson Valley.
“There are not enough hotel rooms, and there are definitely not enough nice hotel rooms. We had brides who loved Meadow Ridge but were disappointed in accommodation options in Hudson (where most wedding parties and guests stay),” Wu says. “Obviously, I was not the only one to see the opportunity. The Maker and other quality operators have helped to fill the void. There is an obvious synergy between a hotel and a wedding venue.”
Wu opened The Amelia Hotel to guests in June 2021. The gorgeously restored Queen Anne-style residence has all the charm of an English country house. However, a modern aesthetic and feng shui layout elevate the experience and evoke luxury. Wu adores clean, simple design, yet her childhood experiences in Beijing inspired a strong affinity for the history and character of older homes.
The Amelia Hotel’s structure dates back to the late 1800s, and Caroline L. Hoysradt was one of its first owners. She was married to (and widowed by) General Jacob Hoysradt, once the mayor of Hudson. He was also a local business leader, and the pair frequently volunteered at local charities.
Wu’s main objective with The Amelia Hotel was to curate the feeling of being in one’s own country home. The design mimics Wu’s own dream rural escape and is full of bucolic bliss. Ornate details and designs from the original residence create a one-of-a-kind combination with Wu’s modern sensibilities.
“I enjoy mixing old and new and maximizing comfort. Preserving historic architectural integrity is important to me. At the same time, I do not want the house to be a period piece” Wu explains. “So, we used mid-century modern furniture that works well with the period details.”
For cohesion, an overall guideline the team followed was to create a home rather than a hotel. Wu worked with Hudson-based architecture and interior design firm BarlisWedlick to strike a balance between sophistication and comfort. Her vision was a destination full of warmth and understated luxury. Even when a guest comes to Hudson for the very first time, they should feel like they’re coming back to their own residence. Furniture that feels familiar is much more inviting than pieces that are overly showy and high-brow. A few of the original elements of the space include a large central staircase, elaborate woodwork, and mahogany fireplace mantles, among other details.
With eight guest rooms, The Amelia Hotel strives to offer a relaxing experience to as many people as possible. Wedding parties can book the entire hotel, making Hudson an even more desirable destination for ceremonies. She enhanced The Amelia Hotel’s feng shui by making the south-facing windows even larger to increase the amount of natural light flooding inside. Tim Albright Designs assisted in curating artwork and other décor sourced from high-end brands like Blu Dot, Design Within Reach, Lumas, and a variety of antique markets.
“We have chosen relatively muted and soothing tones for guest rooms both in paint colors and furnishings. I want a splash of color when it comes to art. I have purchased quite a few pieces from Lumas over the years and I was sure that I could find pieces that would work for the Amelia. I was not disappointed,” Wu says. “I enjoyed the process of deciding which piece goes where, and I do hope our guests would enjoy them as well.”
For instance, pop art is a staple, including pieces by Andy Warhol and Gavin Evan’s portraits of David Bowie.
The 1,000 sq ft suites are especially enjoyable, spacious enough for four guests. Common areas include an atmospheric library, dining rooms, and multiple sitting rooms. Garden View rooms overlook the English garden, while Hudson View rooms capture views of the bustling city. The porch is a wonderful spot to recharge with a cup of coffee—or tea—first thing in the morning. A lush English garden and pristine inground pool are highlights of The Amelia Hotel’s outdoor offerings.
“Right now, it is all about the pool. The majority of inquiries we get from potential guests are about the pool. Is it fully functioning, how big is it, are there umbrellas, are there enough chairs for everyone if we have a full house?” Wu says. “Down the road, I hope people will enjoy the cultural experiences we are trying to create, including the music series, book readings, and author nights.”
So far, The Amelia Hotel has already hosted multiple installments of its Saturday Concert Series. The ongoing event features various groups of performers from the Bard Conservatory and centers around different themes for each performance. The first show highlighted Latin American culture with a performance from The Ávila Ensemble. The second event featured the Bard Conservatory, which performed country, showtunes, and jazz.
Tickets cost $20 per person, and guests can enjoy complimentary refreshments, then engage with the musicians in an informal Q&A after the show.
Soon, every stay will expose guests to new Hudson Valley businesses. The Amelia Hotel sources bathroom amenities and skincare products from Lockwood New York. Everything is made with natural ingredients from Lockwood Farm in Wappingers Falls. It sits on over 100 acres of active farmland and produces maple, cedar, walnut, and hemlock trees. One of Wu’s favorite scents by Lockwood New York is the Rosemary Geranium.
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“There are so many artisan makers of various things in the Hudson Valley, I am keeping my eyes open to all potential partners,” Wu mentions.
And, as for the name, The Amelia Hotel draws inspiration from Wu’s niece, Amelia.
“I think it is a beautiful name. It is feminine, but also heroic because of the reference to Amelia Earhart.”
The Amelia Hotel
339 Allen St, Hudson