Inside Habitas on Hudson, the newest Boutique Club hotel – WWD

Habitas, an experiential hospitality group known for retreats in locations including Tulum, the Moroccan desert and a nature reserve in Namibia, has opened its doors in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Habitas on Hudson is the seventh location and the first Habitas hotel in the US. It’s also one of the more accessible places for travelers from New York looking for a shorter escape from the city.

“We felt this location would be the perfect cultural playground for our New York community,” said Oliver Ripley, co-founder and CEO of Habitas. Until 2019, the group operated a “clubhouse” base in New York. “Many members of our community live, work and travel here. We wanted to create a space where we can easily escape, disconnect and immerse ourselves in great conversations, adventures, surrounded by nature and close to the city.”

Habitas on Hudson is located in Rhinebeck, about a two-hour drive from New York City. (And since Habitas is located for luxury travelers, about 30 minutes by seaplane.) The new location is the result of a partnership with hotelier André Balazs, who bought the property before the pandemic with the intention of renovating the historic estate and opening a hotel.

Ripley was introduced to Balazs through Habitas board member Dave Barry. “We flew out to see André on Shelter Island and spent a day brainstorming together,” Ripley said. “André is one of the great hoteliers, there aren’t many of them. It was exciting to combine his experience and vision with the Habitas ethos around experience and human connection to create something new, different and appealing to a younger generation.”

Ripley nods to the appeal of the Hudson Valley region as an alternative to the Hamptons, especially as other luxury lodging properties — including Auberge Resorts and the upcoming SoHo House location in Rhinebeck — add their footprints to the region. Rooms start at $450 per night, and the hotel also donates a portion of each guest to support local community initiatives.

“Our goal with Habitas on Hudson is to offer a year-round destination to the Hudson Valley region,” Ripley said. “With guests who can enjoy a unique program for all four seasons.”

The main manor house and two adjoining properties have 30 guest rooms, along with a restaurant and bar with catering options. Community is central to Habitas’ purpose, and many of the on-site experiential activities are focused on creating connections between guests, whether it’s a family meal, a cooking class, or relaxing outside by the fire pit. The castle will host weekly live music and wellness “rituals” such as sound bowl meditations. For outdoor enthusiasts, there is also a swimming lake, hiking and biking trails, and barrel saunas available on site.

“We expect to welcome a mix of guests from friends, families and even solo travelers looking for authentic and shared experiences,” Ripley said.

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