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Peace, Love, Stay: Hotel Dylan lures us to Woodstock (part 1)

By Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher ©2014
(First in a Series)

Late-day sun and Hudson Valley blue skies shine on Woodstock's Hotel Dylan, which opened this summer.
Late-day sun and Hudson Valley blue skies shine on Woodstock's Hotel Dylan, which opened this summer.
Kathy M. Newbern ©2014
Hotel Dylan opened this summer.
Kathy M. Newbern ©2014

Woodstock, NY, home to the famed love, peace and music festival 45 years old this month ... Not so fast.

That’s one of the first facts we learned upon checking into the new, 11-room, very Woodstock-generation cool, boutique property, the Hotel Dylan, located a few minutes’ drive from Woodstock town center. While the cozy town has a friendly, hippie vibe — more tie dye than we’d seen in decades — the famous music festival didn’t occur here. Instead, the 1969 groovefest happened 60 miles away on Yasgur’s farm in the small community of Bethel. (More in a future posting.)

Fact 2: Hotel Dylan is not named for Bob Dylan; we think though that he’d like the vibe. We certainly did.

The Hotel Dylan new release promised: “The recently renovated hotel was artfully designed by the eclectic and colorful husband-and-wife team, (Robert and Cortney Novogratz), with true bohemian sophistication. It is the ideal destination for those seeking to relax, unwind and explore the unparalleled majestic beauty of the Hudson Valley... all less than two hours from New York City.”

All true, though our drive was a bit longer from lovely North Carolina, our first foray into the Hudson Valley. We will be back.

The news release also notes that “Robert and Cortney Novogratz have developed and designed many unique properties in Manhattan and beyond, rebuilt (from the ground up) entire city blocks.”

We love what they did with this property working with owners Paul Covello and David Muzella. The result is a fun little spot that truly embraces the spirit of the Woodstock era in clean, hip design. Just love their peace symbol logo and slogan: Peace. Love. Stay.

The owners have a gem in their general manager, Karen Ridder, who, with her son, took excellent care of us during our two nights in residence, from showing us several rooms, to leaving us continental breakfast supplies even on weekdays (usually provided weekends only) to making sure we had plenty of ice for our cooler, and getting us everything we needed for a night by the outdoor firepit making s’mores. Yes, Hotel Dylan provides guests s’mores kits. Now that’s fun.

We understand there are also outdoor movies, plus an upcoming farm-to-table culinary experience in the works, a swimming pool for summer 2015 plus a 6,500-square-foot restaurant and bar and a 1,200-square-foot massage parlor. And while we did not take part in the walk-in offering at 28 West Gym just across the street, we did learn that they offer yoga classes and personal training sessions. Karen is a regular.

We did, however, check out Hotel Dylan’s current “sister spa,” the new Savor Spa that had just opened inside Cheri Voss Salon at 1633 Glasco Turnpike (again, just a few minutes’ drive from the property). What a fabulous discovery. Turns out we were familiar with founder Angela Kia Jim, who expanded Savor from its popular New York City location. (Separate story coming on our fabulous couple’s massage.)

Our room at the Hotel Dylan was The Van, named for Van Morrison. We immediately fell in love with the décor from the “Love is All You Need” bed pillow to the portable Crosley turntable in a bright tangerine-colored case, complete with Morrison albums - yes, vinyl, y’all. With one of our favorite songs being, “Brown-Eyed Girl,” we found ourselves listening to music during our stay verses turning on the television at all during our visit.

Our last day we had a great chance to grab from shots (see the slideshow) as the sun shown on the resident VW van (soon to be road worthy) that will take guests to town for dinner (suggestions: The Bear Cafe, Cucina and Oriole 9).

You can’t miss the Hotel Dylan’s iconic, two-story-tall flower sculpture by designer Michael de Feo. It blooms on the entire end of the building. A colorful tie-dye color print replica called “The Dylan” graces each hotel room, along with beautiful Woodstock photos by noted festival photographer Elliott Landy.

Nearly each room is named for his photographic festival subjects, i.e., The Cocker features a shot of Joe Cocker on stage performing at Woodstock, The Joplin, The Jimi. There's also The Hippie Chick, The Band Suite and The Roadies. We loved having Van lovingly keep watch over our restful slumber.

Peace. Love. Stay, as they say.

If You’re Going: The Hotel Dylan is at 320 Maverick Rd., Woodstock, NY. Call 845.684.5422. Accommodations include six king rooms, four rooms with double queens and The Band Suite. Rates as of this writing start at $189/night weekdays and $219 weekends; $249 anytime for the suite. Visit for additional info.

If you enjoyed this story, you’ll find more of our stories by clicking on the links, and please subscribe to our columns – it’s free and will notify you our new articles:
• Other stories by Newbern and Fletcher
• Other Stories by Kathy M. Newbern
• Stories by J.S. Fletcher, International Travel Examiner

Luxury Travel Examiner Kathy M. Newbern and spouse, J.S. Fletcher, report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and created and, their personalized romance novel business.

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