Uncommon Lodgings Throughout New York
Albany, New York - Why stay in an ordinary hotel when you can sleep in a luxurious, remote lakeside yurt or a repurposed caboose?
Here are more than a dozen wonderful lodgings across the state that are attractions in their own right.
1. Safe Harbor in a Lighthouse: Saugerties Lighthouse, Saugerties, NY, in the Hudson Valley, sits on a remote shoal which can be reached by boat or via an easy half-mile walking trail. This 1869 landmark beacon, on the National Register of Historic Places, is both museum and inn.
Two bedrooms and the lighthouse tower above them provide bird's eye views of the Hudson River and offer an idyllic perch for spotting bald eagles and beavers and watching the sun set. The downstairs has a kitchen where guests can cook dinner and a cozy common room with a wood-burning stove.
2. Luxury in a Backcountry Yurt: A backcountry experience with all of the creature comforts beckons at the Upper St. Regis Lake campsite, near Lake Clear, NY in the Adirondacks. A carpeted, fully-furnished and serviced yurt, accessible only by boat, sits on a promontory overlooking a lovely lake.
Guests can take off in the yurt's canoe on paddling adventures across three lakes and a river or swim and dive off the private dock. Come evening, they can cook dinner on the outdoor grill or indoor kitchen and then watch for shooting stars through the yurt's domed skylight.
3. Floating in a Geodesic Dome: A geodesic dome with a round, "floating" bed is among the unusual accommodations at Pollywogg Hollër Eco Resort, Belmont, NY, in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region. Other options include an Adirondack-style lean-to with a queen-size bed and privacy curtains, and a popular loft cabin with its own pine-fired sauna, each with furnishings hand-hewn from native woods.
Works of more than one hundred artists nestle along garden trails. The resort also features wine tastings in its own wine cellar, an organic garden and solar-powered electricity.
4. A Converted Convent: While many of the lovely angels that decorate six-room Angels Nest Bed & Breakfast, in Rome, NY, in the Central New York region, were brought here by the inn’s owner, the spirit of the original convent seems to live on.
The original prayer center, complete with pews and stained glass windows, now serves as a non-denominational chapel and the lovely angel-themed garden invites outdoor meditation. A sense of community is fostered around home cooked breakfasts, a well equipped exercise room and sauna and relaxing living area with a TV, books, music and games. Guest reviews also praise owner/innkeeper Mary O. Davis for her warm hospitality.
5. Sleeping in School: Rest assured, you won’t be scolded for sleeping in this 1907 school house, but you’re likely to learn nevertheless. The Erie Canal Schoolhouse Bed & Breakfast, in Albion, NY, in the Greater Niagara region displays photos, newspaper articles and other historic documents found during the renovation, and the former auditorium showcases vintage model trains, a miniature Hudson carnival and antiques. Want to make some notes? The original chalkboards are still on the walls of several of the classroom-turned bedrooms.
6. A Personal Theme Park: Why go to a theme park when you can sleep in one? Staying in one of the themed rooms and suites at The Roxbury Motel, in Roxbury, NY in the Catskills is like living on a set from your favorite TV show or movie. From the Stone Age Flintstones to Futuristic Jetsons, choices abound.
The newest, slated to open this fall, is a three bedroom "Archaeologist’s Digs," inspired by adventure flicks like Indiana Jones that will include secret passageways, hidden treasure, Mayan temples and Egyptian tombs. On a diet? Don’t choose Maryann’s Coconut Cream Pie room, which puts you in the pie with a whipped cream ceiling that looks real enough to make your mouth water.
7. On the Track to Dreamland: You can fall asleep to the chug, chug, chug of a moving train at the Caboose Motel, in Avoca, NY, in the Finger Lakes region. While the sound is simulated and can be turned off, the five 1917 cabooses are the real thing.
Converted into family-style motel rooms, the cabooses all have a single and double bed for lower berths plus two authentic upper berths and a bathroom with shower, along with modern conveniences such as cable TV, heating and air-conditioning.
8. A Taste of the Gilded Age: Built in the early 1900s by Frederick Bourne, president of the Singer Sewing Machine Co., as an opulent "hunting retreat" in the 1000 Islands/Seaway region, Singer Castle is a quirky place with hidden passageways and dungeons.
The 28-room castle and private island are now open to visitors during the day, but come evening, those who reserve the two-bedroom Royal Suite have the entire castle at their disposal, complete with a catered dinner and a private personal tour of this eccentric hideaway.
9. Roaring 20s Splendor: Oheka Castle in Cold Spring Harbor, NY on Long Island, the French-style Chateau where financier and philanthropist Otto Hermann Kahn threw lavish parties during the Roaring 20s, is now a glamorous 32-room boutique hotel with a gourmet restaurant.
Not to be missed are the Chateau Fontainebleau-inspired grand staircase and the Olmstead-designed formal gardens. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the chateau frequently appears in film, television, music and still photography productions, which helps account for the A-list celebs often spotted here.
10. An Artist’s Town House: Home to influential artist and women’s rights activist Alice Morgan Wright from 1888 to 1975, the Morgan State House Inn is an elegantly and artistically restored 19th century townhouse.
Designed by the same architect who also designed the Gothic-style Cathedral of all Saints, the gabled mansion features architectural detailing, inside and out. It is located in downtown Albany, NY, in the Capital-Saratoga region, across from Washington Park and just steps from a number of interesting restaurants.
11. A Hammock in the City: Cocooning takes on an almost literal meaning at the trendy NU Hotel, where guests can opt for rooms with hammocks instead of beds. Of course, regular beds and bunk beds are also available for those with more conventional sleep tastes. The hotel is located amid the restaurants, shops and art galleries of downtown Brooklyn in New York City, less than a ten minute subway ride to Manhattan.
12. "Glamping" and more: There are many more off-beat accommodations across the state. Try "glamping" at the luxurious Orenda campground in the Adirondacks, go for the Catskill kitsch at Kate’s Lazy Meadow in Mt. Tremper, NY, decked out in groovy 50s decor by Kate Pierson, a lead singer of the B-52s rock band; or stay in a tower suite overlooking the Hudson River at Castle on the Hudson in Tarrytown, NY, a medieval style castle that includes a dining room once owned by Louis XIV that was transported from France.
Or buy the painting off the wall at the Artful Lodger, a combination art gallery and bed and breakfast inn in Clinton, NY. Check out www.iloveNY.com for dude ranches, log cabins, and other unusual lodgings.
New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York’s attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Whether it’s wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers.
For more information, visit http://www.iloveny.com