Hutton Brickyards in Upstate New York will be an innovative retreat with writing workshops, bee-keeping and cross-country skiing on offer. Olivia Palamountain reports
Family run hospitality group Salt Hotels is transforming Hutton Brickyards – the last architecturally intact brick manufactory in Kingston, Upstate New York – into an imaginative new hotel, spa, restaurant and events retreat.
Located on the banks of the Hudson River with more than 73 acres of rolling hills and lush meadows, Hutton Brickyards will be well placed to take advantage of Kingston’s reputation as the “Hudson Valley creative capital”, tempting both city slickers and hipsters with its industrial chic-meets-barefoot nature retreat concept.
Opening in April 2021, guest accommodation will comprise 31 cabins and suites, designed to optimise privacy, connection to nature and river views – without compromising on luxury.Kristina Dousharm Architecture studio has designed the 300 sqft cabins with a decluttered, Shaker-esque aesthetic in mind, collaborating with Salt Hotels’ Chief Creative Officer Kevin O’Shea on the interiors direction.
“The cabins cut a striking profile against the landscape – referencing the craftsman tradition through KDA’s modern, sculptural reinterpretation,” says O’Shea.
“Their river-facing sides are all glass, spotlighting the spectacular river views. Our design direction is textural, understated luxury, borrowing inspiration from the Shaker aesthetic. Ultimately, guests will enjoy a strong connection to nature with the luxury touch points of an urban boutique hotel.”
Unusual accommodations – romantic cabins, airstreams, treehouses – have become a popular choice for hoteliers looking to inject quirk-appeal and a “back-to-nature” vibe into their properties.Likewise, the country estate-turned-retreat-cum-activity centre (think Soho Farmhouse, Birch, Wilderness Reserve) is another burgeoning hotel trend.
At Hutton Brickyards, covered pavilions will become “outdoor entertainment hubs”, hosting events with character and historical context for a distinct, immersive experience. The site is capable of gathering people together at safe distances, indoors and outdoors.Concerts and other ticketed events will remain a feature at the brickyards, which has previously played host to Field & Supply, Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg, Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest and musical acts.
Additionally, Salt Hotels’ events calendar will include writing and film workshops, movie nights, pop-up recording studios, culinary instruction and themed weekends for learning and entertainment. Nostalgic touches and a timeless upstate attitude meet “whimsical invitations to fun”: an archery range, croquet lawn, fire pits and bicycles.
Opportunities for hikes, guided kayak experiences, paddle-boarding, running, outdoor yoga, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, bee-keeping and more abound in the neighbouring wilderness and water.
When a delivery cart meanders down a cabin path, guests may raise a woven flag to signal a room service request.In addition to outdoor recreation, a covered restaurant will present Hutton’s new dining concept. Open to hotel guests and the public alike, the kitchen will rely solely on wood-burning heat sources, including lumber sustainably retrieved from the grounds.
Menus are inspired by the Hudson Valley’s bounty – with an emphasis on local, organic ingredients farmed nearby (and on-site) for centuries, complemented by a diverse wine cellar.A partnership between Salt Hotels and Karl Slovin, who purchased the Brickyards seven years ago, Karl Slovin has allowed space for the personality and programming of the property to reveal itself over time.
He says: “The project will continue to evolve for the next decade, but I believe we can be very valuable in helping Kingston continue to develop as a centre for food, arts and culture. With the addition of a hotel offering there is no doubt Hutton Brickyards will be very impactful for the Kingston economy and perhaps the region.”