The Maker Hotel is the sort of place that makes you pause at the front door.
Don’t worry, you won’t be there long. You will, however, stop momentarily upon reaching the threshold to wonder if maybe you’ve stepped into one of your favorite novels. With its rich wood floor and moody ambiance, it evokes an aura that’s perhaps best described as a cross between Jay Gatsby and Dorian Gray.
It feels like a secret, even though it’s located centrally on Warren Street in Hudson. It’s a little mysterious, a little sexy, and precisely the sort of place that makes you want to drop your bags and never leave.
That’s just how owners Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg wanted it, of course. Otherwise known as the co-founders of global beauty brand Fresh, the duo, who also own Bartlett House in Ghent, partnered with hospitality expert Damien Janowicz to debut a hotel that’s six years in the making. Although they acquired the hotel property in 2014, an extensive restoration process, combined with a detour to open Bartlett House in 2016, led them on a circuitous route to premiere their latest passion project in Hudson.
And a passion project it most certainly is. Drawing inspiration from the original spirit of the Hudson Valley, Glazman and Roytberg dedicate the hotel to the makers that call the region – and creative community at large – home.
“We’re celebrating all the makers of the world,” Glazman says. “We celebrate designs from the past, the present, from art and literature, La Belle Époque, mid-century modern, art deco, bohemian, eclectic. We knew we were going to be diving deeply and passionately into design.”
To his point, The Maker Hotel is a marvel of designs that span the decades and thread together to create a seamless harmony. In any given room, modern lighting could cast a glow on historic wooden fireplaces or vintage-seeming leather couches. On the walls, photographs that capture scenes of the past could alternate with contemporary sketches or handcrafted sculptures. The vibe is eclectic and charming, and one that invites guests to linger, lounge, and, above all, be inspired.
“It awakens [guests’] curiosity,” Roytberg says of the hotel. “People can feel emotion, be interested. It’s an incredibly rewarding though that people can take away something from their stay.”
As one look at the 11 rooms that comprise the 14,000-square-foot property reveals, it’s hard not to feel the emotion of the space upon arrival. To start, the rooms span across not one, but three uniquely linked buildings. All distinct in design, the 1800s carriage house, Georgian mansion, and Greek Revival building intermingle to form the retreat that is The Maker. Each of the buildings has been lovingly preserved and restored to allow visitors to enmesh themselves into the history of the space and the detail that went into crafting it.
Speaking of detail, the owners overlooked nary a thing to compose The Maker’s distinct rooms. Drawing inspiration from the makers of the world, the rooms play upon themes like architecture, artistry, literature, and gardening to capture the diversity that exists within the artistic sphere. Just as the rooms vary in theme, so too do they differ in size. The Artist, housed within the Georgian building, for instance, boasts a spacious interior with a lounge area, king bed, and private bathroom. Stained glass tops the bathroom entry, while a softly glowing chandelier evokes a spirit of bohemian glamour. On the more intimate end, the Bedrooms tempt with plush queen beds, cozy sitting areas, and jewel tones inspired by sensuality and travel.
To realize rooms that are one-of-a-kind in the truest sense, Glazman and Roytberg looked to the artisans of the Hudson Valley for assistance. They sought out local furnishings and lighting as often as possible, even going so far as to work with sixth-generation furniture restorer Gary Keegan on rebuilding the original fireplace mantles and revitalizing antique furniture. For the Hudson Valley-inspired mural inside The Maker’s restaurant, they commissioned artist Michael Allen for a personalized burlap painting. Even the lighting received the local treatment, thanks to a custom collaboration between Glazman and designer Stephen McKay.
“He’s just as obsessed with lighting as I am,” Glazman says of McKay, adding that the attention to detail is what motivated him and Roytberg to support local. “[The artisans] appreciate the fact that we as a company want to continue preserving history and workmanship.”
As for where to find that workmanship, it shines at every turn. During the three-and-a-half-year restoration process, Glazman and Roytberg worked side by side with local craftspeople and builders to ensure everything from crown moldings to wainscoting could be preserved as best as possible. Any flooring that could be salvaged was, while paneling was restored and brought back to life. In the case of the battered hallway tiling, a chance stumbling upon a box of the original tiles (they were in the attic) allowed a team of four workers to puzzle together the mosaic to its former glory over the course of a week.
When it came time to design the venue, the owners opted for bespoke as often as possible. Much of the furniture is custom or vintage, while many of the rugs are antique and Moroccan. Roytberg designed the wallpaper, which plays well with the jewel tones that tie the rooms together. Overall, the effect is delightfully bohemian, slightly boudoir, and more than a little glamorous. At the same time, it’s incredibly cozy, with an abundance of chairs and couches that invite passersby to stop and sit for a spell.
Because of the scope of the project, Glazman, Roytberg, and Janowicz opted to introduce The Maker’s various spaces on an individual basis instead of rolling them all out at once. They started with the lounge and café, since both are accessible via separate entrances, then followed them up with the restaurant to round out the dining experience. Now, with the activation of the hotel, The Maker is finally complete.
So what does an overnight at The Maker entail?
It’s all about luxury and ease, the owners explain. Thanks to Janowicz’s experience in the hospitality industry, the hotel overlooks nary a detail when it comes to providing an unforgettable stay. Each experience is personalized to maximize guest enjoyment, although all include complimentary full-size Fresh beauty products and a gourmet mini-bar stocked with house-made snacks like salt and vinegar potato chips and fruit leathers from Chef Michael Poiarkoff. In the mornings, the eye-opener service allows guest to ease into the day with complimentary tea or coffee and pastries straight from the Bartlett House kitchen.
Beyond the rooms, The Maker keeps the your-home-but-so-much-better atmosphere alive in the form of a delectable library filled with hundreds of books from New York City’s Strand Book Store, not to mention an idyllic pool with a patio area. Coming soon, a circus-themed fitness center will add to the whimsical, worldly aura of the space.
And did we mention the food? While the three dining areas were up and running before the hotel itself, they interweave seamlessly within The Maker’s experiential design. Open to the Hudson Valley community and guests alike, they’re the perfect place to stop by for lunch or dinner, for a bit of work during the day or a cocktail at night. The café is a delight for breakfast and lunch, and its Parisian-inspired interior pairs wonderfully with Bartlett House croissants. For happy hour drinks, the lounge feels like a speakeasy inside the converted carriage house, which welcomes visitors to enjoy the seasonal cocktails in front of the Belgian 1878 Neoclassical fireplace. As for the restaurant, it stuns inside the glass-ceiling conservatory, with greenery everywhere. On the menu, the ingredients are as local as possible, with contemporary American flavors as the main inspiration.
While the owners are excited to premiere The Maker in the Hudson Valley, they recognize that opening during the COVID-19 crisis comes with a unique set of challenges. Yet they’ve found a way to walk the line between ensuring customer safety and remaining true to their vision via an analysis of each and every space. At the hotel, for instance, openings currently are available only from Thursday through Monday, with a minimum of three nights per stay to ensure that rooms have time for airing and cleaning. The dining spaces, meanwhile, operate at half-capacity with social distancing between tables.
“You feel like you’re still at The Maker,” Glazman observes. “People feel very comfortable and secure.”
Looking ahead, he and Roytberg see The Maker becoming a true fixture in the Hudson Valley.
“The restoration of Hudson is pretty incredible right now,” Glazman enthuses. “We [at The Maker] celebrate the things that were here before and bring them back to life. We keep within the sensibility of the Hudson Valley as a hub of beautiful, found objects. [The Maker] is an extension of everything that’s happening here.”
To his point, he and Roytberg envision the hotel as a constantly evolving being, one that adapts as the pair meet new creatives and continue to collaborate with artisans throughout the region. They expect that no visit will be the same, since the dynamic nature of The Maker means that furniture pops in and out, artwork hops from one wall to the next, and eatery menus shift to incorporate seasonal Hudson Valley ingredients.
“In the world we’re living in right now, people are looking for very special experiences,” Glazman says. “There’s a wave of new hotels that are going in this direction, micro-properties that give you experiences. They’re not huge, but they’re something that people can be inspired by. That’s what people are seeking.”
The Maker Hotel
302 Warren St, Hudson