Craftsmanship and Community Abound in This Minimalist Hudson Lodge
For a simplistic style with a welcoming, warm environment, spend your nights at Rivertown Lodge.
Photos by Emma Austen
With summer starting to remind us of its existence, plans are starting to form, friends are planning trips, and you’re wondering where to visit next. Without driving all day, a beautiful long weekend in Hudson is as easy as a couple of hours depending on your point A. For a minimalist style with a welcoming, warm environment, spend your nights at Rivertown Lodge. Open for three and a half years, the lodge has a sleek, white exterior. We spoke to Ray Pirkle, one of the Lodge owners, about the space and style.
“Our goal was to focus on local craftsmanship and well-made items. Our influence was Shaker simplicity and attention to detail as well as handmade materials and matte and raw finishes. It was also important to us that all of this was interpreted through a modern lens,” explains Mr. Pirkle.
This shines through in the design and layout, as there’s a perpetual hint of nostalgia even in the cleanest, most modern details. Before the owners turned it into a hotel, the Rivertown Lodge was a movie theater from 1928 to 1958. Rivertown Lodge offers an impressive list of amenities, including, “complimentary tandem coffee and Harney & Sons teas in the lobby, cruiser bikes to be signed out, a 24 hour pantry full of local snacks and beverages, 2 Note body products, Sawkill farm soaps, free Netflix, free WiFi, a restaurant and bar offering service for brunch and dinner, ping pong in warmer months.” Mr. Pirkle added, “We periodically schedule natural wine classes, yoga classes, pasta or bread making [classes].” The space can also be rented for meetings or large events, with the availability to accommodate groups of 10 to 150.
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There’s an overwhelming sense of community within the creation of the Lodge. Many local hands played a part in the restoration from movie theater to hotel, as the site explains: “The communal kitchen was built by Rowland Butler, a Hudson resident specializing in custom woodwork and historical restoration. The bar was crafted by local woodworker and restoration carpenter David Wright. The beautiful cherry front desk was artfully built by Brooklyn’s Marcus Bartenschlager. Pieces from Rhinebeck furniture maker Sawkille enrich the lobby and each of the guest rooms. Upholstery prints from Zak + Fox pop up throughout the hotel. Artwork by Basilica’s Melissa Auf de Mer and upstate native Gordon Hull bring life to the space.”
Besides the impressive design and art that the interior boasts, the Rivertown Lodge also features an incredible restaurant, The Tavern. Serving brunch and dinner, the menu features exciting items such as house smoked trout and spiced carrot pancake with coriander yogurt for brunch, and striped bass and sourdough garganelli for dinner. Owner Gabriele Gulielmetti has created a carefully curated menu, fusing local Hudson Valley products with the cuisines of North Africa and Morocco.
When asked what he would recommend in Hudson while staying at Rivertown Lodge, Mr. Pirkle included, “Backbar, Fish and Game, The Maker, Supernatural Coffee, Li'l Deb's Oasis, Flowerkraut, Antique Warehouse, Spotty Dog Books and Ale, and Basilica.” As an owner of the Lodge, Mr. Pirkle added that his favorite part of his job is, “the sense of family with both the staff and the guests. Getting to spend time with so many creative and interesting people has been incredible.”