4 Grinnell St, Rhinecliff, NY
therhinecliff.com; (845) 876-0590
Distance by car: 1¾ hours
Years ago, James Chapman would take the Hudson River Line from the City, get off at the little Rhinecliff Metro-North station, and step across the street to the derelict bar at The Rhinecliff Hotel. Built in 1854, The Rhinecliff was falling apart when Chapman and his brother got the bright idea to rescue it, dropping “Hotel” from its name. They hired architect/builder David Borenstein, who turned it into an “eco-boutique” and one of the first New York State-certified green hotels.
ROOM: All nine trendy, natural rooms sport burnished wide-plank floors, travertine baths, glass showers, and French doors opening onto a balcony with unobstructed views of the Hudson.
BOARD: The Rhinecliff’s restaurant, The Bar, specializes in “Hudson Valley gutsy pub food,” according to Chapman.
ONLY HERE: Bring a bottle of wine, take it out on your balcony, and watch the sun set over the river. There’s your weekend.
WHILE HERE: Fall brings tons of events and festivals to the Hudson Valley. The weekend of October 20-21, the “blockbuster” New York State Sheep and Wool Festival takes place at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, when the hills are alive with the sound of bleating.
JUST THE FACTS: In high season, rates range from $299 to $379 a night and include free WiFi and a complimentary breakfast. Stay over on Saturday night, and the celebrated live Jazz Brunch comes with the room.