Warren Street in Hudson just keeps getting better. Besides its numerous restaurants, shops, and cultural centers, it’s also home to a new boutique hotel.
Though open only since June 2013, the Barlow has already received numerous accolades — including the 2014 Best Lodging in Columbia County Award from the chamber of commerce — and guests are already booking for Labor Day 2015. Co-owned by Russel Gibson and Duncan Calhoun, the hotel came about when some guests at their already successful B&B, the Croff House, wanted more of a conventional lodging experience. “They would say, ‘I’m not really into B&B morning chit chat, I don’t need the breakfast.’ So we decided what Hudson needed was a hotel,” says Gibson.
They purchased the circa 1906 Barlow-Osborne professional building, which had been renovated after a fire in 1927; they did a major renovation themselves in 2012, installing all new electric systems, plumbing, air conditioning, plus a roof and an elevator. And how did they decide on the name? “The crest at the top of the building still says Barlow-Osborne,” Gibson says. “So do we call it Barlow-Osborne? That’s a mouthful. Maybe the BO Hotel — yeah, that sounds really good. So it became the Barlow.”
The Barlow’s lobby (left); at right, patrons enjoy dinner at Club Helsinki just before a performance
When guests first arrive under the green awning and march up the steps, they are greeted by a chalkboard that displays local events happening that week, as well as the day’s weather forecast. The welcoming lobby is dominated by an enormous fireplace, cozy couches, and a case of colorful martini glasses. Each of the 16 rooms (one is pet-friendly) is equipped with all the essentials: delightfully soft beds, a sleek tub and shower, local artwork, a Keurig machine, a refrigerator, a TV, an electric fireplace, an iPod dock, and Wi-Fi.
One thing the Barlow does not have, however, is a restaurant. Says Calhoun: “We don’t want a restaurant because there are so many great ones in the area, and ours wouldn’t be half as good. We’ve made a concerted effort to be supportive of the community.” Ask for recommendations on where to eat, shop, or explore, and the duo rattles off a dozen options. One in particular is the “Helsinki on Broadway” program put on by Club Helsinki. Top theater talent travels up from New York and performs in the intimate event space — and, yes, they stay at the Barlow.
And if the celebs want to stay there, it’s bound to be top notch.
Chatham Brewery (left), one of the stops on a Farm to Glass Tour; at right, the Crimson Sparrow’s alfresco dining soace with views of the kitchen (photograph by Teresa Horgan)
Just about four blocks from the Barlow is the Crimson Sparrow, a restaurant with a charming outdoor space. Fun fact: The menu denotes the country from which each of the dishes originates. Check out Spotty Dog Books and Ale, a bar meets a bookstore meets an art supply shop. Or hop on a Farm to Glass Tour, a day trip that shows guests the ins and outs of a local winery, a brewery, and a distillery. Yes, tastings are included.
If driving along Route 9 on your way to Hudson doesn’t afford enough leaf-peeping for you, take a trip to Aubrey House Farm, one of the Barlow’s newest Privileges Partners (see below). Located atop a mountain, the equestrian center offers lessons amid stunning autumnal views. The farm recommends calling ahead to schedule a lesson and for directions.
See the beautiful colors of fall — and summer, spring, and winter — in art form at the Columbia County Council for the Arts autumn exhibit (Sept. 27 to Nov. 7). Artists who use all mediums present their work that best showcases Columbia County year-round.
Many businesses, restaurants, and shops in Hudson take part in the Barlow’s Privileges Partners program. Flash your room key card at these establishments and receive a 10 percent discount on your purchases.
The Barlow, Hudson