When it comes to vacationing in the Hudson Valley, sometimes the greatest escape isn’t a big to-do at all. In fact, it just might be tiny.
Or, a tiny home, to be exact.
That’s the concept behind ESCAPE Vacations, a collective of ESCAPE Homes scattered across the United States that are available for overnights. Fortunately for us, there are quite a few located right here in the Hudson Valley. Perhaps you’ve seen these pop up on your Instagram feed?
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For tiny home aficionados, the Think Big! A Tiny House Resort may be a familiar sight. Located in South Cairo, the escape is true to its name: an assembly of 15 relatively little homes in the Catskills. All of the A Tiny House Resort designs are perfect examples of the ESCAPE Home aesthetic, which leans toward a minimalist style that’s natural and streamlined. At this Catskills retreat, the tiny homes come with a kitchen, full bathroom, heat and air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and a private patio with a gas grill and fire pit. As far as sizing goes, the homes can sleep two to six people. Plus, they’re dog-friendly in case Fido wants to join in on the vacation fun.
One of the Hudson Valley’s more Insta-famous tiny homes, The Glass House is a hot property on Airbnb (4.95 stars and over 350 reviews!). One look at the property, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. From the start, the ESCAPE Home stuns with a striking minimalist design that pairs beautifully with the glass walls. This home, located in Marlboro, consists of 180 square feet and can sleep two. It’s a must for anyone who wants to go off the grid, thanks to its solar-powered design (but, don’t worry, there is Wi-Fi). In any season, the 360-degree views of the Hudson Valley, complete with glimpses of nearby vineyards and orchards, are stunning. Enjoy them while sitting inside or lounging in the outdoor dining area or around the fire pit.
Anyone looking for a tiny home stay with friends or family will love the Modern Catskills Cabin. Situated in Saugerties, just a short drive from the center of town and Woodstock central, this cabin is one of ESCAPE’s larger designs (388 sq ft). It has two bedrooms, three beds, one bathroom, and can accommodate four guests. Inside, guests will find a cozy living room on the first floor, with a king-size bed and two twin beds on the upper level. Outside the residence, the property delights with a nearby cedar grove, a fire pit, a firewood shed with complimentary wood, and stunning views of Overlook Mountain.
Another ESCAPE property in Ulster County, this tiny house is picture-perfect (and not just for the ‘gram). The crisp black exterior leads into a light, natural interior, with 388 square feet total. The retreat offers one bed and one bath, making it perfect for two people. It also operates mostly off the grid, thanks to a dry-flush toilet and its own water tank. The tiny house is just as much an ideal space for unwinding in nature as it is for serving as a home base for day trips to Dia:Beacon and Storm King.
Along with the ESCAPE Vacations properties, which launched in 2019, there are also a number of private ESCAPE Homes throughout the Hudson Valley. The concept for the homes is thanks to Dan Dobrowolski, the owner behind Canoe Bay, a top-rated getaway in Wisconsin. When guests at the property raved about the design of the resort cottages, many of which were crafted by Frank Lloyd Wright protégé John Rattenbury, Dobrowolski worked with Minneapolis-based architect emeritus Kelly Davis, who also designed some of the cottages at Canoe Bay, to craft smaller, portable variations.
After the ESCAPE Home concept launched in 2014, it made its way over to the Hudson Valley in 2016 as a private getaway space. The Think Big! A Tiny House Resort concept was born soon after that, with a number of Airbnb ESCAPEs following it. To date, ESCAPE estimates there are close to 40 of the tiny homes throughout the Hudson Valley. Many are private and, since ESCAPE Homes are portable, some owners travel with them as well.
“Our setting are remote, close to nature, and near major cities, so folks don’t have to travel by air to enjoy a short getaway that is safe and peaceful,” Dobrowolski says. “The whole concept of our getaways is to distance, disconnect, and rediscover.”
As far as what makes an ESCAPE Home unique, it all has to do with the design. Since each unit is built from scratch from recycled and sustainably grown materials, the homes stand out with eye-catching designs and craftsmanship. The homes are all handcrafted in an RVIA-inspected factory in Rice Lake, WI, and are built with eco-friendly and energy-efficient operation in mind.
“We use sustainable wood, recycled materials, [and] LED lighting that uses almost no power, along with high R value insulation and Low-E, thermopane windows,” Dobrowolski explains.
On top of that, ESCAPE Homes also keep creature comforts in mind. Inside, the bedrooms are large, and kitchens and baths feature full-size appliances. The expansive windows allow natural light to flood into each room, and the wood interiors help bring the outdoors into the home.
“I’m a big guy and I feel very comfortable in the open floor plan,” Dobrowolski notes, “…and I should mention, [the homes] use very little power and have almost a zero-carbon footprint.”
Looking ahead, ESCAPE will continue to offer custom home designs and vacations in the Hudson Valley. Beyond that, it plans to further its innovations through tiny home communities like its Tampa Bay Village, along with new designs like an EV unit. To learn more about ESCAPE or check out its other vacation properties, visit its website.