If you’ve ever cruised along Route 9 from Poughkeepsie to Rhinebeck, chances are good that you’ve noticed the striking manor house that sits atop a hill. With its striking columns and picturesque vista of the Hudson Valley beyond it, it’s the sort of abode that Valley residents and visitors to the region dream of calling their own.
And now, it’s open for guests to experience themselves.
Dubbed Habitas-on-Hudson, the property is the latest addition to the Habitas hotel brand, which boasts properties across the globe from Mexico to Morocco to Saudi Arabia and beyond. Notably, this is the first United States location for Habitas, and an attractive one at that, thanks to the hotel’s close proximity to Rhinebeck and surrounding Dutchess County destinations.
The hotel, which debuted in December 2022, has roots that date prior to the pandemic, when acclaimed hotelier Andre Balazs acquired the property, with plans to turn it into an escape near New York City. Not too long after, he met Oliver Ripley, the co-founder of Habitas, and the two agreed to partner on what is known today as Habitas-on-Hudson.
So what is it that makes the one-of-a-kind Hudson Valley hotel so unique?
To start, there’s the property itself. The Habitas manor was originally built in 1761, although much of it burned down in a fire in 1899. Some of the remaining stone from the original foundation survived, however, so it was used to help rebuild the house, which was fully restored by 1901. In terms of its architectural style, the mansion draws inspiration from Georgian manors, with Neo-Classical and Neo-Baroque elements woven throughout. The property received an extensive interior transformation in 1990, during which it incorporated Gilded Age elements with touches inspired by French country inns.
Now part of the Habitas family of accommodations, the Hudson destination effortlessly blends antique charm with pops of color and unique furniture to create a space that is at once inspiring and relaxing. Accommodations are divided across three spaces: the lodge’s 10 rooms, the stone house’s four rooms, and the manor’s six rooms. Looking ahead, the number of rooms will grow to 30 as Habitas continues to expand across the property’s nine acres.
“Our goal with Habitas-on-Hudson is to introduce a year-round destination to the Hudson Valley region that offers a countryside retreat and playground for the curious,” note Habitas co-founders Oliver Ripley, Kfir Levy, and Eduardo Castillo, who founded the brand in 2016 in Tulum. “Adventure, learning, exploration, and culinary experiences take front stage, with guests being able to enjoy unique programming to all four seasons.”
To their point, Habitas-on-Hudson is all about the experience. From the moment guests check in for their stays, they’re invited to participate in a meditative cleansing ritual that varies from one Habitas location to the next to incorporate local beliefs and environment. After that, guests can mix and match programs that touch upon the brand’s six programming pillars: adventure, culinary, culture, learning, music, and wellness. Depending on the season, guests can practice yoga and breathwork, go mountain biking, try a cooking class, book a massage, explore a hiking trail, or unwind with storytelling and s’mores beside a bonfire. There are also tennis courts and a game room onsite, as well as a swimmable pond in the warmer weather. Experiences are largely based upon the environment that surrounds each Habitas location, and the hotel works with local experts and practitioners to further develop its ties in the region.
Speaking of local, did we mention Social, the onsite restaurant? Open to guests and the public, the restaurant is all about family-style dinners and, when in season, outdoor barbecues. Social features local and seasonal ingredients on the menu (La Salumina in Hurleyville is a favorite for charcuterie, while Hudson Valley Fisheries is a source for sustainably farmed steelhead trout), with flavors leaning toward fresh and approachable, with global influences. Next to the restaurant, the pub-inspired Bar is a go-to for handcrafted cocktails, local craft beer, and wines, many of which are soured from New York State.
Looking ahead, Habitas-on-Hudson will continue to develop and expand its programming schedule to include exciting offerings like a barrel sauna and cold plunge. In spring, guests can look forward to activities ranging from hikes to outdoor cinema, stargazing, and tie dye workshops.
For more information about Habitas-on-Hudson or to book a stay, visit the hotel’s website. For each guest who stays at the destination, Habitas will donate to its RISE Fund, which supports local communities, creates jobs, and gives back to local environmental and social causes.