Experiential hospitality group Habitas, known for its retreats in locations including Tulum, the Moroccan desert, and a wildlife reserve in Namibia, has opened its doors in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Habitas on Hudson marks the Habitas’ seventh location and first hotel in the U.S. It’s also one of the more easily accessible locations for New York-based travelers looking for a shorter escape from the city.
“We felt this location in particular would make the perfect cultural playground for our New York community,” said Oliver Ripley, cofounder and chief executive officer of Habitas. Until 2019, the group ran a “clubhouse” outpost in New York City. “A lot of our community lives, works and travels here. We wanted to create a space where we can easily escape, disconnect and immerse ourselves in great conversations, adventures, surrounded by nature and in close proximity to the city.”
Habitas on Hudson is located in Rhinebeck, about a two-hour drive from New York City. (And, since Habitas is positioned for the luxury traveler, around 30 minutes by seaplane.) The new location is a partnership with hotelier André Balazs, who bought the property before the pandemic with intention of renovating the historic manor to open a hotel.
Ripley was introduced to Balazs through Habitas board member Dave Barry. “We flew out to meet André in Shelter Island and spent the day together exchanging ideas,” said Ripley. “André is one of the great hoteliers, there are not many of them. It was exciting to marry together his experience and vision with the Habitas ethos around experiences and human connection and create something new, different and that speaks to a younger generation.”
Ripley nods to the Hudson Valley’s region’s appeal as a Hamptons alternative, particularly as other upscale hospitality properties — including Auberge Resorts and a forthcoming SoHo House location in Rhinebeck — add their footprints to the region. Rooms start at $450 per night, and the hotel will also donate a portion of every guest stay to support local community initiatives.
“Our goal with Habitas on Hudson is to offer a year-round destination to the Hudson Valley region,” said Ripley. “With guests being able to enjoy unique programming to all four seasons.”
The main manor house and two adjacent properties feature 30 guest rooms, along with a farm-to-table restaurant and bar. Community is a central part of the Habitas intention, and many of the experiential activities onsite are geared toward creating connection between guests, whether a family-style meal, cooking class, or relaxing outside by a fire pit. The manor will host weekly live music, as well as wellness “rituals” like sound bowl meditations. For the outdoor enthusiasts, the grounds also feature a swimmable pond, hiking and biking trails and barrel saunas.
“We expect to welcome a mix of guests ranging from friends, families and even solo travelers seeking authentic and communal experiences,” Ripley said.