A tranquil retreat in upstate New York.

After founding their own homeware brand, Piaule, in 2016, Nolan McHugh and Trevor Briggs started thinking about a larger scale project: a hotel. Fast forward to 2021, and Piaule Catskills has become a reality. Designed in a collaboration with prefab specialists Garrison Architects, the retreat celebrates the idea of reconnecting to nature. Located a two hour drive north from Manhattan, the hotel is built in a forest, on the site of a former bluestone quarry in upstate New York. The 50-acre property includes woodland as well as a nature reserve. The main building houses the reception area, a restaurant with floor-to-ceiling glazing, and a spa.

Nestled among trees, 24 individual cabins provide the perfect way to unwind in the middle of nature in complete privacy. The prefab structures sit lightly on the land – literally. The team used pillars to support the volumes and to minimize their impact on the site. Inspired by both Japanese and Scandinavian houses, the cabins are modernist and simple. At the same time, the design maximizes the connection to nature. Apart from glazed walls that open the interior to the forest, the cabins also feature wood walls and flooring, cozy lounge chairs, and king-sized beds with organic sheets. The rooms have Piaule towels and locally crafted Piaule bath products as well as ceramics and furniture created in collaboration with local craftspeople.

The spa welcomes guests with hot and cold plunge pools, sauna and steam rooms, yoga and fitness studios, and treatment rooms. When not relaxing in the spa or enjoying a meal, guests can also make the most of the area. Available activities include hiking, swimming, fly fishing, skiing, and climbing. Plus, the secluded location allows the opportunity to observe wildlife, including deer, birds, porcupines, and even bears. Photography© Sean Davidson.


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