BY Alia Akkam
Year-round, the charms of Ulster County’s quirky, artsy Woodstock captivate. But there’s something especially magical about autumn, when nippy nights can be spent gathered around a fire pit — at least if you decide to check in to the Hotel Dylan.
Laid-back fun is found at every turn, from the ping-pong table to the bocce court. Wrap yourself in a cardigan and watch a movie on the outdoor screen, take a yoga class across the street at the 28 West Gym, or simply curl up in the hammock with a book.
Owner Paul Covello, a Woodstock native, was intrigued by the rundown, ’70s-era bi-level building that he constantly passed en route from his New York City pad to his weekend home. ” ‘Wouldn’t it be perfect for a hotel?’ I thought. ‘No one’s doing anything with the property, so maybe I should,’ ” he says.
With a business partner secured, Covello gave the space a top-to-bottom renovation, and the Hotel Dylan was born. “It should be a place where New Yorkers can come up for the weekend, and although they love the city, come Thursday or Friday they’re thinking, ‘How do I get back up there?’ ”
The inviting 11 rooms make that easy. Painted white with pops of vivid blues and yellows, they are whimsical, modern interpretations of the town’s bohemian past. Designed by husband-and-wife team Cortney and Robert Novogratz (of HGTV fame), the rooms feature beds crafted from recycled wood or iron; the walls, emblazoned with arrow patterns, harken back to Woodstock’s Native American roots. Lest we forget the town is steeped in music, rooms are tricked out with turntables, a stash of vinyl, and rock posters from the official photographer of that wee 1969 concert that shares the town’s name.
“We want this to be a place with a funky vibe, where people can listen to great music, have a burger, and sip a microbrew,” says Covello. “We want this to be the place locals recommend.”