Camptown Is the Catskills Hotel Getaway You Need in Leeds

Photo by Lawrence Braun, Upland Creative; courtesy of Camptown

From its post at the foot of the Catskill Mountains, the Greene County hotel lures visitors with a welcoming aesthetic.

There’s never been a better time to plan an escape in the Catskills. If you’ve been following along with us recently, you’ve likely noticed that the region is thriving, with new destinations, restaurants, and shops popping up every day. And now, that energy is spreading to Leeds, where Camptown awaits to welcome visitors.

Camptown in Leeds
Photo by Lawrence Braun, Upland Creative; courtesy of Camptown

Camptown, which just opened in March, may be new to the Hudson Valley, but its owners are not. The duo behind the hotel concept are none other than Ray Pirkle and Kim Bucci, the same twosome who spearheaded Rivertown Lodge in Hudson. Notably, the Leeds hotel is the first one to launch under Ramshackle Studio, the pair’s hospitality and real estate design company, which they founded in 2022. With a combined 20 years of experience working in hospitality, real estate, and design, Bucci and Pirkle are well-equipped to craft memorable destinations in the region.

And with Camptown, they’ve done just that. After a lengthy renovation process that began two weeks before the pandemic and faced supply chain delays and inflation spikes galore, the duo persevered to craft a property that at once honors the history of the region while celebrating its future.

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Lounge area at the Catskills hotel
Photo by Lawrence Braun, Upland Creative; courtesy of Camptown

“After living upstate for the last eight years, it’s become apparent that more and more travelers are driving upstate and becoming more adventurous,” Pirkle notes. “The Camptown site is at the foot of the Catskill Mountains and is 30 minutes from everything from skiing at Windham Mountain, hiking around Kaaterskill Falls, [and] dining and antiquing in Hudson [to] drive-in movies at the Hi-Way Drive-In Theatre and great shopping including shops like Pidgin, A.Therien, Luddite, Alder, etc.”

And that’s just the surrounding area. At the hotel itself, visitors will be able to wander 22 acres of wooded land and choose from among the 50 unique accommodations spread across the renovated motor lodge space, which dates back to the 1930s. The central lodge boasts 24 guest rooms, while the grounds play host to another 26 standalone log cabins, many of which come with functioning kitchens or wood-burning stoves.

Photo by Lawrence Braun, Upland Creative; courtesy of Camptown

“Camptown’s 26 log cabins with knotty pine walls and unique layouts were already inherently charming, so our goal became to infuse modern Shaker elements without scrubbing away the sense of history,” notes Kim Bucci. “At Camptown, we specifically played with color and space because there was already so much shape and texture in the log cabins and other materials used throughout the decades.”

Camptown cabin
Photo by Lawrence Braun, Upland Creative; courtesy of Camptown

When thinking about the décor, Ramshackle Studio opted for a tasteful medley of modern and vintage furniture. Inside the rooms, guests will find everything from wooden spindle bedframes to Shaker-style nook beds and found artwork and lamps. All of the cabins are unique as well, and they charm visitors with both earth tones and varying degrees of modern and original designs.

“We see the design as modern Shaker with a definitive upstate perspective,” Pirkle observes. “We involved many talented local makers who created beautiful work that we wanted to showcase.”

Rustic bedroom
Photo by Chris Mottalini, courtesy of Camptown

While the cozy rooms and cabins are a draw in themselves, so too is the fact that they work just as well for short-term stays as they do for longer ones. Add to that the fact that the hotel offers unique features like an honor pantry, which provides guests with easy access to groceries and snacks, and visitors have every reason to stop and stay awhile. There’s also a “Fill Your Fridge” produces option that guests can sign up for before arriving, as well as a communal firepit, grilling area, and picnic tables. In the rooms, Hudson’s 2 Note supplies bath products, while local artists and woodworkers such as Jack Rabbit Studio and Sawkille proffer special touches throughout the space.

Camptown sitting area
Photo by Lawrence Braun, Upland Creative; courtesy of Camptown

Coming this summer, Camptown expects to introduce its swim club and pool bar, with a sauna to debut in fall 2023. The pool will be open to both hotel guests and swim club members from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with a covered pavilion with a fireplace, waterbed cabanas, and loungers to add to the easy living vibe. Bar Piscina will serve as the pool bar and have an extended deck that overlooks the pool and the property.

Communal pantry
Photo by Lawrence Braun, Upland Creative; courtesy of Camptown

Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention the dining program. Casa Susanna, Camptown’s year-round Mexican restaurant, sits at the northeast entrance of the property and serves as both a place to grab a bite and a social hub. True to form, it resides in a dark brown lodge, with a highly Instagrammable, neon green “Susanna” sign guiding the way. Visitors can opt to grab a drink at the horseshoe-shaped bar with a cognac leather top and French oak bar stools from the 1960s or venture further into the restaurant for a cozy dinner. The space seats 75 and includes a patio that’s ideal for al fresco dining in the warmer seasons.

Casa Susanna
Photo by Lawrence Braun, Upland Creative; courtesy of Camptown

As for what’s on the menu, it’s all about Mexican flavors with a farm-to-table twist. Chef Efrén Hernández, who got his start at Nitehawk and Faro in Brooklyn before moving upstate to work at the Tavern restaurant at Rivertown Lodge, leads the kitchen. For the menu, he taps into his family heritage and the flavors of Jalisco to craft a dining program that visitors are unlikely to forget anytime soon.

The bar
Photo by Lawrence Braun, Upland Creative; courtesy of Camptown

Diners can choose between blood sausage tamal and grilled whole porgie al pastor with fennel curtido and wood-fire roasted veal sweetbreads with roasted garlic black beans. Notably, the restaurant makes all its tortillas in-house and taps the talents of Hudson Valley farmers and ranchers for fresh, local ingredients. Westkill Brewing, Return Brewing, Supergay Vodka, Saratoga Chocolate, Kinderhook Farms, Hawthorne Valley, and OBD Bakery are a just a few of the eatery’s favorite suppliers nearby.

And don’t forget about the drinks! Casa Susanna’s wine program is led by local wine pro Byron Bates, while cocktail expert Natasha David curates the cocktails and fermented drinks.

Camptown nook room
Photo by Lawrence Braun, Upland Creative; courtesy of Camptown

Now, with its doors open to the public, Camptown is ready to welcome visitors to experience the sweet Catskills nostalgia the hotel provides. Plus, with a 2.5-hour drive time from New York City and a proximity to an abundance of restaurants and shops, the retreat is precisely the sort of destination that visitors never want to leave.

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