3 Rustic, Eco-Chic Airbnbs Offer the Ultimate Catskills Escape

Photos courtesy of Stephen Pellicano unless otherwise noted

An entrepreneurial Hudson Valley couple invites guests to disconnect and unwind at unique overnight destinations in the Catskill Mountains.

How perfect does an escape upstate sound right about now?

If a reprieve full of afternoons outside, evenings under the stars, and days spent surrounded by verdant landscapes and rolling hillsides as far as the eye can see seems like just the thing, then it’s time to take that vacation you deserve.

Luckily, Stephen and Elena Pellicano are here to help, with not one, but three picturesque Airbnbs in the heart of the Catskills.

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Sunset in the Catskills
The Sun Barn

“I truly believe the grounds of my property have a positive vibe that people can sense,” Stephen observes. “It’s very welcoming, as through the trees are saying, ‘Hello, guest. Breathe in our fresh air, relax, and have a splendid time.’”

At the Pellicano property, which rests on the border of Albany and Schoharie counties, near to Greene County, three unique Airbnbs await guests who crave a getaway from the stresses of life. The main location, dubbed The Sun Barn, is the first location that the couple debuted. It took Stephen three years to build, largely because he gathered, recycled, and reclaimed the materials to construct it along the way. Now, the micro-residence charms with a two-person tub, king-sized bed, cast iron wood-burning stove, picnic table, and grill. P.S. It has Wi-Fi, too.

The Sun Barn is definitely rustic and rough around the edges,” Stephen notes. “It was built in the most eco-friendly way using reclaimed lumber and materials. Not everything is straight, [and] most of it looks like an antique barn, [with] long exposed beams that look aged.”

The Pellicanos welcomed their first guest in April 2020, right when the pandemic hit the region. The property was an instant success, and Stephen soon realized the potential that Airbnb offered. With the help of a team of professional contractors, he added two more tiny house-style structures to the grounds of his family’s four-acre farm in the Hudson Valley area.

Inside The Sun Barn
Inside The Sun Barn

For nature lovers, The Buck and Glamp Palace is #tinyhouse goals in the Catskills. With an Instagrammable aesthetic, not to mention a two-person tub and queen-sized mattress, it’s a dream for romantic getaways upstate. As far as functional amenities go, it also comes with a grill and an outdoor picnic table. Like with all of the couple’s Airbnb listings, the property has a private Port-o-Potty nearby, along with complimentary drinking water, since there is no running water at the cabins. For the tubs, captured rain water stored in 55-gallon tanks makes cool dips in summer and luxurious bubble baths in winter possible. Notably, there is no Wi-Fi here, which means it’s ideal for anyone in need of a full disconnect.

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Outside the airbnb

“The Buck and Glamp Palace is small, cozy, boxy, modern, [and] boasts four large spaceship glass windows featured in otherwise a typical Alaskan-style hunting cabin,” Stephen adds. “Deer pass through this side of the property often, so, if they lived inside, it would be a palace for bucks.”

Catskills airbnb

Last, but certainly not least, The Tiny Stargazer is everything one could want from a vacation in the Catskills. With a prime view of the surrounding forest and mountains, not to mention the sky and stars above, this tiny home was made for lounging on the back deck and watching the stars after the sun sets. The property features a queen bed, outdoor bathtub, back deck, and grill for al fresco cooking.

“The Tiny Stargazer is the tallest of the three buildings and the only one to have a large, elevated deck. It has the look and feel of a beach bungalow in Nantucket,” Stephen notes. “Eight south-facing windows, stacked four on four, make for optimal viewing of the night sky.”

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View from the deck

For Stephen, who previously worked for an international travel agency and partnered with his wife on her Elena Pellicano Essentials Airbnb Experience and brand, which retails products throughout the Hudson Valley, launching these Airbnb sites is an opportunity to connect with others and share the beauty of the land on which they live.

The Sun Barn
Photo by Yosaidy Gonzalez Caro Photography

“I get a lot of satisfaction sharing this place where I live with others,” Stephen notes. “If I learn during our first conversations [that] they are coming to celebrate a birthday or anniversary, I’ll decorate their accommodations with balloons and a custom sign. When they pull into the driveway, I am right there to greet them. Giving guests a nice comfy bed surrounded by amazing nature is one thing, but for a guest to experience a [space] that was presented as a personalized, custom, friendly [glamping experience] is what they’ll remember most.”

Starry night in the Catskills

Looking ahead, the Pellicanos are happy to work in tandem with Airbnb and The New York State Tourism Industry Association’s Roam The Empire partnership, which aims to promote post-pandemic recovery in Dutchess, Hamilton, Otsego, Schoharie, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, and Wyoming counties in New York. By spring 2022, the couple plans to add two more glamping units to the existing ones, bring the total number of units on the farm to five. In 2023, Stephen hopes to take the next step and invest in a plot of land upon which he can build a micro-community of tiny houses for Airbnb guests.

Blue skies

Related: How to Be an Essential Oil Maker in the Hudson Valley

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