Photos by Sean Davison, courtesy of Piaule Catskill
A contemporary take on a cabin-in-the-woods getaway affords treetop views and the sensations of nature, accompanied by upscale spa amenities.
Nestled equidistant from the quaint Hudson Valley towns of Hudson and Saugerties is Piaule (pronounced pee-ahl), a forest-bathed boutique retreat that immerses guests in nature without forgoing comfort and luxury. Built on 50 acres with wetland and mountain views, the majority of which was left undeveloped (it formerly was a bluestone quarry), the retreat consists of 24 modular cabins that range from 375 to 975 square feet and a main building with a lobby and restaurant on the top floor and a spa below. Vehicles are restricted to the entrance area, to diminish traﬃc noise; lighting was designed to reduce light pollution (gazing at the night sky is encouraged).
The structures have a Scandinavian-inspired design and include Catskill Mountain bluestone and an abundance of untreated wood. The cabins seemingly hover above the ground, and the artfully uncluttered white-oak-walled interiors consist of two segments: one with compartments for your suitcase, a minibar, and bathroom; the other offers a sleeping area with king bed, a few handcrafted stools and chair, and a wall of glass (with blackout curtain) providing forest views. Organic Piaule linens, heated stone floors, a waterfall shower, and complimentary pour-over coffee setups complete the glamping experience.
The antithesis of the glitz and glam of, say, the typical Hamptons or Newport long-weekend sojourn, you can leave your best duds at home and opt instead for casual and comfortable attire as you amble from your cabin to the main building, which features banks of windows, plus a terrace overlooking the distant mountains and Kaaterskill Clove. Within, a two-way fireplace divides a lounge with small retail space from the dining hall, where a restaurant serves meals using locally sourced ingredients (dinner service Thursday through Sunday, brunch on the weekends).
Beneath is the placid spa, where a nightly $35 fee gives overnight guests entry to a cedar-lined sauna with a woodland view; steam room enclosed with bluestone; a temperature-regulated open-air pool; a cold plunge; relaxation space; tearoom; and yoga/meditation studios. Massages, facials, and other treatments are available upon request (for added fees) in private rooms.
The simple joys of natural beauty and peace await at Piaule, so bring a good novel or your journal and prepare to de-stress amid treetop views and forest rhythms. From $534 (seasonal).