Hotel Tivoli is weird, like a quirky aunt got ahold of a historic building in an all-but-forgotten city and set about making it cool — her cool. And in the trending, hip Hudson Valley, this weirdness makes it endearing, because as any Brooklynite worth their salt knows, it’s not worth setting sail in the world if everywhere you turn up looks like Brooklyn.
Note: there are other lodging options in the area, and the Rivertown Lodge, in more-developed Hudson, New York, is a fine place to stay. But that lodge serves as a contrast point for Hotel Tivoli. The Rivertown is done with polished intention, but also with the feeling that all design cues came straight from a Kinfolk-dictated “purity in design.” Tivoli is all quirk — and it feels like a secret one may want in on.
Tivoli is all quirk — and it feels like a secret one may want in on.
The owners, painters Brice and Helen Marden (who also own the Golden Rock Inn Nevis, in the Caribbean), have the place clad in contemporary art (the Mardens are long-time members of the NYC art elite), and the rooms are decorated with a mix of new materials (like Room and Board bed frames) and salvaged finds that one guest described as “thrift store meets MoMA.” Well-curated artwork hangs on all walls. The idiosyncrasies comes from wood floors sealed in a matte purple and a leopard-print runner heading up the central wooden staircase. These touches feel peculiar enough as to be a bit jarring for a New Yorker. In other words, they’re charming, and they force one’s mindset straight out of the city.
The hotel also understands luxury. The toiletries are Le Labo, there’s a soft-water filter in the shower (one of life’s most subtle luxuries), the bed is entombing and the chocolate that greets arriving guests is both local and delicious. A shared room offers coffee and chips, and the restaurant downstairs, The Corner, has a full farm-to-table menu and a full bar, with a cocktail menu by NYC’s Employees Only (all stationary was also done by NYC firm Reunion). On Sundays, midday, live jazz fills the bar and radiates throughout the three-story hotel. It allows one to remain in the room, splayed on the bed, a glass of local Sauvignon Franc in hand, the window open to the breeze and jazz rising through the floorboards. The dinner crowd comes in the evening, populating the restaurant and staying until close, which gives the feel that the Aunt’s place is also quite hip.
A well-equipped boutique market is across the street, and there’s a few restaurants in Tivoli — Murray’s down the street may reek of too-much-Brooklyn, but a barista made a solid cortado and the chef made a memorably spicy flauta plate. The town of Hudson is also a 20 minute drive up the river, and offers a larger selection of shops and restaurants.
Hotel Tivoli does come across more as a couple’s escape, and I’d not mark it down for the next Guys’ Weekend away. But, for a short trip with your significant other, it’s an intimate and surprisingly luxurious space that centers on community, and will have you quickly aligning with this right side of weird.