Photos by Amanda Zaslow, courtesy The Villa at Saugerties, unless otherwise noted
A Food Network alum and an expert interior designer bring upscale comfort and farm-to-table dining to their renovated B&B.
There’s a villa hiding in Saugerties.
Tucked down a winding road on the quieter side of town, The Villa at Saugerties evokes a scene from the Spanish hillside or Italian wine country. From the first glance, it’s evident that the estate is a diamond in the metaphorical rough. To start, there’s the picture-perfect landscape with three and a half acres of rolling, grassy yards that flow seamlessly into charming patios with bistro tables that are ideal for lounging on lazy afternoons outdoors. Then there’s the expansive 40-foot pool, a heated inground beauty that plunges to 10 feet deep at points. And that’s all before you even step foot indoors.
Cross through the threshold, and you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a place that is at once very far from the Hudson Valley, and yet still in the heart of it. That’s precisely how Joe Moseley and Amanda Zaslow designed it to be. The couple, who purchased the property back in 2010, dreamed of one day owning a bed and breakfast after their own unforgettable experience at one during their honeymoon in Spain. They finally got their chance when they said “yes” to the villa in 2010 and made the move from New York City to the Hudson Valley.
Of course, that was just the beginning. The renovation process took six years, and involved tearing down and recreating the 1929 space (and the accompanying 1900 animal barn in which the couple now reside), installing modern amenities, hunting down one-of-a-kind furniture and hardware, and landscaping each and every corner of the property. The result was worth it, however. When a consultant visited toward the end of the renovation, she urged the couple to open the next day.
“Answer the phone, take reservations, you’re ready,” Moseley recalls.
And ready they were. Moseley, who worked at the Food Network in his former life, and Zaslow, who excelled at high end residential interior design in New York City, have a strong partnership that plays upon their respective skills. Moseley helms the kitchen, crafting masterful farm-fresh breakfasts for guests each morning. Zaslow, meanwhile, oversees the inn’s aesthetic perfection, from setting tablescapes to polishing in-room touches.
Indeed, the couple overlooks nary a detail in the villa’s design. In each of the four rooms, a queen or king bed dominates the center, while thoughtful details like complimentary cable TV and Netflix, a gas fireplace, robes and a hairdryer, and a fully stocked, complimentary mini fridge redefine the notion of creature comforts.
“We wanted to be able to provide our guests with the most of us that we could,” Zaslow explains.
True to that notion, the duo excel not only in crafting a beautiful space, but in welcoming and relaxing their guests as well. From the start, visitors, many of whom are well traveled and on weekend retreats from life in New York City, feel like old friends. Although many come with plans to explore nearby Kingston, Woodstock, Hudson, and Rhinebeck, they often wind up staying close to the villa or taking a short drive into town for dinner or ice cream.
“People have been really, really nice,” Moseley enthuses. “They’re really appreciative of the work we’ve done.”
It helps, of course, that the couple go above and beyond to ensure each guest has the most comfortable stay possible. Visitors are free to tailor their experience to their individual tastes with the help of the many spaces on the property. From lounging at the outdoor patio or cozying up in bed with a good show to playing cards with a fellow guest in the living room or taking a dip in the pool on a sunny afternoon, there are so many things to do (or not do) at the villa, which the duo describe as “a Mediterranean modern oasis.”
“One of the things we said at the start is that we want people to be together or not be together,” Zaslow says. True to that notion, guests are free to mix and mingle or retreat at their leisure. Think of it as a choose-your-own-adventure in the best way.
Regardless of how visitors opt to spend their days, one thing that no one wants to miss is breakfast. That’s when Moseley crafts artful, farm-to-table meals that spotlight the bounty of the region and, more locally, of the couple’s garden. Skillet treats like baked eggs with handmade romesco sauce and stone fruit cobbler spotlight the best of seasonal offerings, while sweets like home-baked blueberry scones and coconut crisp cookies pair perfectly with morning coffee or tea.
Also worth noting are the pre-fixe Saturday evening dinners. Once a week, Moseley and Zaslow welcome guests to their renovated barn home, which sits further down the driveway on the same property as the villa. The duo craft a dining experience with multiple courses and impeccable presentation that no one is likely to forget anytime soon. As plate after plate graces the table and wine flows freely into glasses, guests lose track of the evening amid hours of laughter and storytelling.
Left: Egg white omelette with pesto and zucchini / Right: Stone fruit cobbler with coconut creme
Photos by Sabrina Sucato
“Guests who have come have told their friends,” Zaslow says. “We’re getting really nice people.”
As the duo continue to welcome visitors into their extended home, they always keep an eye to the future.
“I can’t stop thinking about building more things,” Zaslow enthuses. “I really want a green house and more areas to bring people together if they want to.”
The Villa at Saugerties is open year-round for guests 18 or older. For information about rates or to schedule a visit, check out the website or follow The Villa at Saugerties on Facebook or Instagram.
159 Fawn Rd, Saugerties; 845.246.5440