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Piaule Catskill: A New ‘Landscape Hotel’ Inspired by Transcendentalism

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Piaule Catskill: A New ‘Landscape Hotel’ Inspired by Transcendentalism

September 1, 2021

On our radar: recently opened Piaule, a “landscape hotel” in Catskill, New York. For a sense of what it’s all about, look no further than the incongruous but rigorously curated assortment of offerings in their store: luxury sheets from Portugal, hand-thrown ceramics, flat-pack furniture—and mesh shorts.

Piaule is the brainchild of Nolan McHugh and Trevor Briggs, the creatives behind a homewares brand of the same name, and their very specific sensibility is what makes this place so intriguing. Set on 50 acres in the Catskills, it’s a modernist retreat that treads gently on the landscape: a couple dozen modernist cabins, all prefabricated off-site, dot the property. Inside, nature is still at play thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows in every room, untreated white oak-clad walls, and a quiet Japandi aesthetic. Furniture, much of it designed by the two, skews minimalist and artful.

“We wanted to pay tribute to the rich history of hospitality in the Catskills, but also create a new type of experience with modernist design and architecture, and most importantly, a deeper connection to nature,” they tell us. To that end, cars are restricted to the entrance area to minimize traffic noise; lighting was designed with an eye toward reduction of light pollution (so as not to interfere with star gazing); and just one-tenth of the property has been developed, leaving the rest untouched.

Here’s a peek at Piaule.

Photography by Sean Davidson, courtesy of Piaule, unless otherwise noted.

the main building houses a restaurant and lounge. to the right is both a patio  9
Above: The main building houses a restaurant and lounge. To the right is both a patio and green roof; just below it is the hotel spa and yoga studio.
the hotel is sited on a former bluestone quarry; naturally, the flooring here,  10
Above: The hotel is sited on a former bluestone quarry; naturally, the flooring here, both indoor and out, features the stone.
next to the lounge is the hotel shop, selling piaule goods. 11
Above: Next to the lounge is the hotel shop, selling Piaule goods.
a two way fireplace separates the lounge from the communal dining hall, where f 12
Above: A two-way fireplace separates the lounge from the communal dining hall, where farm-to-table meals are served on weekends. Locally sourced white oak line the walls and ceiling.
the cabins range from 375 to 975 square feet. as cars aren&#8\2\17;t allowe 13
Above: The cabins range from 375 to 975 square feet. As cars aren’t allowed past the entrance area, guests either walk or hitch a ride on a buggy to get to their cabin. The modular buildings were designed by Garrison Architects and prefabricated off-site.
some of the larger cabins have separate living areas. the rooms are appointed w 14
Above: Some of the larger cabins have separate living areas. The rooms are appointed with a mix of Piaule-designed furniture and antique pieces sourced in collaboration with Lichen NYC.
the sconces and ceramics throughout the hotel are by longtime piauli collaborat 15
Above: The sconces and ceramics throughout the hotel are by longtime Piauli collaborator Kati von Lehman.
every cabin enjoys wall to wall sliding glass doors for proper forest bathing.  16
Above: Every cabin enjoys wall-to-wall sliding glass doors for proper forest bathing. While  wifi is available, the only modern gadget offered in each room is a Sonos waterproof portable speaker.
en suite bathrooms in every cabin. photograph by jody rogac. 17
Above: En suite bathrooms in every cabin. Photograph by Jody Rogac.
on the lower level of the main building, a covered pool. 18
Above: On the lower level of the main building, a covered pool.
only overnight guests are allowed access to the spa. 19
Above: Only overnight guests are allowed access to the spa.
each cabin hovers on piers so as to disturb as little of the landscape as possi 20
Above: Each cabin hovers on piers so as to disturb as little of the landscape as possible.

For more Japandi style, see:

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