Food, glorious food!

Warren Street at Night

As the years go by Hudson becomes more and more of a foodie destination, attracting visitors seeking the perfect blend of farm-to-table cuisine and fresh, local ingredients.  At The Croff House guests are always asking us for our recommendations, which can be found here.  For us the challenge is to stay on top of all the new and most noteworthy openings and, as often as possible, to visit those restaurants ourselves to be able to provide a true personal recommendation (or sometimes – not!).  We’ve added two new eateries to The Croff House’s list of recommended places: Aeble and Wunderbar.  But first, a note.

As Hudson’s popularity continues to rise and the number of visitors to Hudson continues to rise, so too do the prices in Hudson’s restaurants.  While most guests on vacation are willing to splurge for that special occasion or once-in-a-while meal out, we recognize while many of them are looking for excellent food they are also looking for fair value.  As such, we have reconfigured our recommendations on The Croff House website accordingly.

Aeble is the newest addition to Hudson’s vast restaurant offerings.  As described on the restaurant’s website the chef, “lets the seasons inform his dishes and sources almost exclusively from the regional bounty of the Hudson Valley”.  It doesn’t get much more farm-to-table than that.  Menus change monthly and daily specials reflect the freshest of what’s available in the Hudson area including produce, meats and seafood.  The cuisine is simple, fresh and beautifully presented without a lot of fussiness or pretense.  The cocktail and wine selection, like everything else at Aeble is well thought out and uncomplicated.  The decor, too, reflect the owner’s approach to dining out: clean simple lines with a Danish/Scandinavian ambience; not distracting from the restaurant’s purpose – the food!  We’re thrilled to be able to recommend Aeble to our guests.  Quite frankly we think they’re going to be seeing a lot of us, too!

Wunderbar Bistro has been a Hudson staple for years, but we recently just discovered it.  Boasting a relatively new chef, the menu offers everything from Chicken Caprese to homemade Fish and Chips to an unbeatable Meatloaf.  Daily specials make choosing even harder.  Wunderbar is a local favorite, and the bar is usually filled with Hudsonians catching up on the latest town gossip, but what keeps people coming back again and again is the fresh and flavorful food.  The full bar offers a full range of martini’s, mixed drinks, wine and beer at very reasonable prices.  If you’re just looking for a quick bite Wunderbar’s amazing chicken wings will hit the spot, or how can you go wrong with bacon-wrapped shrimp?  Wunderbar is our personal “go to” place for a perfect night out.

What’s in a name?

Hudson Opera House

Exterior of the Hudson Opera House

Visitors to Hudson enjoy walking up and down our main street, Warren Street, which boasts beautiful and historic architecture throughout.  One of the more significant buildings is the Hudson Opera House and the history of the building’s use is rather noteworthy.

Built in 1855, the building was designed by local architect Peter Avery. For more than a century, it housed various civic offices, including the Post Office and Police Station, and was home to the Franklin Library and the First National Bank of Hudson.  Shortly after City Hall moved further up Warren Street in 1962, the building was sold to an out-of-town developer.  For nearly thirty years it sat vacant, decaying and accumulating debris. During this time, lower Warren Street was virtually abandoned and considered by many to be a lost cause.

Today the building is undergoing the final phase of full restoration.   When complete, the performance hall will be

Hudson Opera House

Interior performance space at the Hudson Opera House

adapted for modern use, creating a unique, intimate and flexible 300-seat theater to provide contemporary programming reflective of today’s audiences.  For the first time in the building’s history, the performance hall will be accessible to all, including those who, because of age or disability, are unable to use the historic staircase.  he character of the historical building will be retained. The current proscenium arch and raked wooden floor stage were late 19th century additions, and will be preserved.  The historic fabric will also be retained, and new elements will be sensitively incorporated to retain the overall historic character of the spaces.

A “new” facility deserves a new name and, as such, the Hudson Opera House has added Center for the Arts to it’s title, expanding the scope of the programming being offered.  When you are next in Hudson the renovations will be complete.  Make it a destination while exploring Warren Street.

Trip Advisor Hall of Fame

Trip Advisor Hall of Fame

The Croff House Bed and Breakfast

We were informed today that The Croff House is being inducted into the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame.  As described in the press release issued by Trip Advisor, The ‘Hall of Fame’ was created to honor those businesses that have earned a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years.”  The press release goes on to say:

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years is a remarkable feat. TripAdvisor is pleased to induct five-time award winners into the ‘Hall of Fame’,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on consistently delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive an improvement to hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”

Since the day The Croff House opened, April 10, 2008, we have always dedicated ourselves to providing the best guest experience possible from the moment the guest first contacts us, throughout their stay, and even after they have returned home.  Visitor’s to the inn expect a high level of customer service, with personal touches and attention to detail in all areas of the property: our bed linens, our facilities and common areas, our guest services, and – most importantly – our breakfasts.  Everything we do is to ensure that a stay at The Croff House is exceptional.

Being inducted into the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame follows a very rigorous process:

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period as well as business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

We are so thankful for all our guests, but especially the 266 who have taken the time to share their experiences with future visitors.  Yes, we realize the 266 includes the less than 5-Star reviews, but constructive feedback helps us identify areas for improvement and ensures we are maintaining our high standards and commitment to providing superior customer service at all times.

Cheers to the next 266!

Getting to Hudson

Getting to Hudson with historic charm

Getting to Hudson with historic charm

A new mode of travel for getting to Hudson will harken back to yesteryear, a time when the journey was part of the experience.

For 90 years the S.S. Columbia served as a passenger steamer between New York City and various Hudson Valley ports along the Hudson River.  The oldest passenger steamer in the United States, the S.S. Columbia was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.  In 2006 preservationist Richard Anderson came up with the idea of restoring the vessel, which had been decaying at an industrial pier in Detroit.  Even though Anderson died in 2013 his plans for the Columbia were kept afloat (pun intended).  In September 2014 the S.S. Columbia began the journey to New York, where she will be refitted and returned to service along the Hudson.

You can read more about the history and status of the S.S. Columbia project here.

So if you’ve been waiting for some way of getting to Hudson that doesn’t involve driving and avoids Amtrak your wait may soon be over.

Follow your nose

On your next visit to Hudson, if you’re looking for one of the most “must see” shops just follow your nose to 2 Note Perfumery!

We really enjoy fragrances that create a warm, welcome atmosphere at The Croff House.  Our turndown service includes a handmade seasonal scented candle for our guests to use during their stay and to take home with them, reminding them of the time they spent at the inn.  We believe fragrance not only triggers strong memories but helps to create the perfect mood.

Follow your nose and discover the wonderful world of 2 Note perfumes

Follow your nose and discover the wonderful world of 2 Note perfumes

That’s why we were so excited then this past fall Carolyn Mix and Darcy Doniger relocated their successful fragrance, skin care and home business from Portland, Maine to Hudson.  When you do follow your nose you will find it leading you to a haven of handcrafted “perfumes”, all which can be worn by both men and women, created from natural essential oils derived directly from botanical ingredients.  In addition to the perfumes, scents also come in body care products as well including lotions, deodorants and powders.

The Primo men's skin care line provides a wide range of men's grooming products

The Primo men’s skin care line provides a wide range of men’s grooming products

Awesome naturally derived skin care products are available as well, Prima for her and Primo for him, offering a full range of skin care products that are also derived from natural botanicals.  Cleansers, treatments, and specialty products for lips, eyes, and hands are available and both Darcy and Carolyn provide personalized service to guide you to select the products best suited to your needs and skin type.

 

The Home Diffuser enables you to set the mood in your home with just the right 2 Note fragrance

The Home Diffuser enables you to set the mood in your home with just the right 2 Note fragrance

They haven’t forgotten your home either!  One of our favorites is a lighted diffuser: choose from 2 Note’s carefully crafted fragrances and it can be converted into a fragrance water for the diffuser.  Create the perfect mood in your home that reflects your taste and style – whether sophisticated, modern, sedate, energetic or a combination.  Change the fragrance as your mood changes or to suit the occasion.

You may follow you nose, but what if your head can’t decide?  2 Note offers many gift sets to help you choose the perfect something for that perfect someone – even if the someone is yourself!  Carolyn and Darcy can direct you to the gift that is sure to be a winner!

2 Note also offers online shopping at their website.

But when in town…follow your nose!

Ready for Valentine’s Day??

Over the past several weeks, we’ve been so focused on the snow that we’ve nearly forgotten that Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching.  Are you like us?  Still haven’t made any plans with your partner in celebration of that special day?  Why not make that day really special at The Croff House!

Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year, so there are three perfect times to celebrate:  the weekend before, a special escape during the week, and a three day weekend following (President’s weekend).  With spa showers, gourmet breakfasts and fireplaces in our common rooms, The Croff House sets a great stage for a romantic “reconnection” with that someone special in your life.  And remember, our Winter “stay two, get the third night free” offer in still in effect.  So make your reservations now for that ideal get-a-way!

Snow, Snow and more Snow

For all of you who love winter activities, have we got snow for you!  In the past three weeks, we’ve had three major snow storms that have dumped nearly 5 feet of snow over the Hudson Valley.  Nearby ski areas like Catamount and Windham Mountain report near perfect ski conditions and cross country skiing trails are in prime shape.

For all of you who prefer curling up in front of a roaring fire, you won’t be left out in the proverbial cold either.  With fireplaces in both our library and our living room, as well as fireplaces in our two Suites, there’s plenty of space for you, a friend and/or a good book!  And with the center of town only a two blocks away, it’s just a quick dash to some of the finest restaurants in the Hudson Valley.  The nearby Amtrak station makes getting here from NYC a breeze and we’ll even pick you up at the station and make sure you’re well pampered.

Winter is the perfect time to visit us and our best rooms are often available with shortly advance booking.  So check our our reservation link now to see when you check spend some quality time with our snow!

Happy New Year!!!

Okay, in addition to my annual resolution to lose 10 pounds (a resolution that I fail to keep nearly each and every year), this year I’ve resolved to post more frequently on our blog.  So let me begin the new year with a posting wishing everyone the best of health and happiness throughout the year.  We’ve got a lot of snow here in Hudson, but the warmth of our fireplaces will keep you warm.  Make sure to check out our Winter Special and check back to see how I’m doing on my resolution!

Where has the time gone?

Six months?!  We can’t believe that we are entering our seventh month in business at The Croff House and that the holidays are upon us.  Many of our guests ask us about what the winter will be like business-wise and our answer is simply, “We don’t know.”  We’re going to be open year-round for our first winter believing that there are still people out there who still need a relaxing getaway spot even if the snow is flying.  We’ve already had the fireplaces in the Living Room and Library burning.  We hope the rest of Fall and Winter will continue to be busy at The Croff House.

The exciting news is that, not only are we ranked the #1 bed and breakfast in Hudson on Trip Advisor, but at the end of August we had achieved the #3 ranking in New York State on the same website!  We are so grateful to all of our guests who took the time to write reviews of their experience at the inn.  So many new guests have taken the recommendation of our previous guests.  We hope we are able to continue to exceed expectations.

We were very pleased to learn that all of the businesses on Warren Street have planned on staying open “late” until 7 p.m. on Saturdays.  This means more opportunity for our guests to shop the wonderful galleries, shops and restaurants later into the day and enjoy all that Hudson has to offer.

Finally, our inaugural newsletter was sent out October 23!  We think it is a good “first attempt” and hope that everyone who reads it will find interesting tidbits about the goings on at the inn and our surrounding community.  Included in the newsletter was a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes.  If you’d like either the newsletter or a copy of the recipe please email us at info@thecroffhouse.com

A Garden Reborn!

After six weeks of concentrated effort, the gardens outside the house are finally starting to get back into shape and are coming back to life. The process began with the removal of the two Catalpa trees in the front that were replaced with two new Autumn Red Maples (matching the other trees along Willard Place).  Massive weeding and trimming back revealed a number of beautiful rose bushes, iris and peonies, all of which are thriving with the renewed attention.  New stone work throughout the front yard provide better access, shape and definition to the front gardens, including resetting the front curb and widening the sidewalk to the front door.  Existing day lillies were replanted to accent the new walk, while peony bushes were divided and transplanted throughout the front and back.

 A new arbor has been installed to give the existing trumpet vines support and will probably be well grown over by next summer.  A new cast iron lamppost provides a warm welcome to our guests while low voltage lighting illuminates the front walkway, our (soon-to-be installed) street sign and other landscaped elements.  The existing back yard fence has been relocated, reset and reworked to include a new side gate and new “main” gate for easy entry to the back.  Finally new trees and flowering shrubs have been planted in the back gardens so that their spring blooms are well timed for our Grand opening.

Now it’s onto bulbs!!!