Nest Travel Column: exploring Casa Hudson in Haverstraw, New York
CASA HUDSON, a great escape
guest post by Tracy Gavant
I recently discovered a hidden gem perched above the Hudson river only a half hour from New York City. Casa Hudson is a chic and charming “Penzione” and the passion project of artist Nelson Diaz and former fashion executive, Andrea Caccuro. Together the duo transformed an 1850 former schoolhouse into an Italian Renaissance villa right on the Hudson River.
Once a student of Francis Bacon (there is an original Bacon in the hall), Nelson’s art is displayed throughout the rooms showing his keen artistic eye in the details of his work. This house has been lovingly brought back to life with their talent and labor, from the hand-painted Trompe l’oeil floor he matched to the original inlay, to the majestic front door he sanded and hand-finished. The clean, modern and curated design, along with the arresting contemporary art, plays perfectly well with the classic bones of this Victorian home.
There are also personal touches everywhere, and I love Nelson's unique chicken-wire, sculptural light fixtures with a gold finish (I personally think he should be creating his own bespoke lighting collection soon).
The Inn is cozy with only three guest rooms, each designed with it's own unique personality. Andrea’s background in fashion is evident in the stylized bedrooms. The furnishings are well edited which allows the art to shine and add personality to each room. We chose the Blauvelt room, layered in dreamy shades of blue and white and channeling the Hudson River. The small “Juliet” balcony, provides a great view to boot.
Down the hall is the the Roma room outfitted with classical Italian design. There are lush, gold pillows on the king-sized bed complimenting Nelson’s painting above. A few steps down the hallway leads to the more casual Hep Room, offering up bright primary colors, a whimsical patchwork quilt and works by both Nelson and Andrea, who also paints a bit. A golden-hued bathroom features a beautiful Roman-style bath, imported Italian tile and an exposed brick wall, which all transports guests to Europe for the night.
With no televisions in sight, the goal here is to unplug, unwind, and even explore. Haverstraw, New York is a sleepy, undiscovered town and there is hiking, biking and antiquing nearby. An interesting site just down the road from the Inn, is the original Victorian home featured in artist Edward Hopper’s painting, “House By the Railroad Tracks."
We were invited to join their highly coveted and often sold out “Chef’s Table” evening, where Chef Thomas Civile hosts and prepares a divine six-course dinner. Word travels quickly, and this infamous event attracts a mixture of locals and international gourmands. The dinner is BYOB, which encourages a communal atmosphere with everyone sharing wine, and soon we felt like one big, happy Italian family sharing in our passion for food, friends and family. We stayed just one special evening, but left the next morning feeling relaxed, inspired and FULL!