- Unique motel on sprawling, peaceful grounds
- Close to skiing, Hudson Valley, and the Berkshires
- Great rates and a memorable, hard-working owner
- Nice seasonal outdoor pool with lounge chairs
- Colorful rooms have flat-screen TVs and working desks
- Charming lobby with morning coffee and antiques
- One Studio Apartment with a kitchen and more space
- Eco-friendly touches throughout
- Covered picnic and barbecue area
- Wi-Fi in lobby
- Limited space in the rooms and bathrooms
- No mini-fridges
- Patios are shared with neighboring rooms
With five acres of rolling lawn, this small motel -- home to just eight rooms and one apartment -- is a good value close to Hudson Valley, Catamount Ski Resort, and the Berkshires. A cheerful lobby serves morning coffee, and there are a clean outdoor pool and a charcoal barbecue area. Steele, who opened the property in 2001, is the only man in charge and will share local advice, history, and stories of his adventures running the business. Clean rooms have bold, quirky decor touches -- a reflection of the unconventional owner -- and the Studio Apartment has a kitchen and a daybed for little ones. Pets are allowed in two specific rooms, with restrictions. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby.
- Pets Allowed
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For motorists, yes, but this motel stands apart in many ways.
If the word motel sends shudders down the spine, then think again. Guests will first realize that this is more than an average roadside property as soon as they enter the driveway, which has a sleek post and stainless steel sign displaying the name Silvanus — a Roman mythology term meaning forests, groves, and fields. Drivers will turn down a blacktop path past the expanding lawn area (a ski resort is visible in the distance) that leads to the front door, framed by seasonal plants, like mums in the autumn. The owner, Steele, keeps things running here, along with one part-time housekeeper. If Steele is not at the front desk, there is a phone and instructions to call for assistance inside the bright lobby area, which has neat antiques and warm furnishings. Some of the key pieces are from regular visitors who bring Steele gifts, and from friends who offer him decorating tips. He has many stories to share about those who have helped him along the way. (Ask him to tell you about the Paris trip that a regular arranged by way of apology).
Coffee is served in the mornings, and in the afternoons, a scented candle might be flickering. Music can be heard from artists like Norah Jones, The Fray, and Coldplay. A back door from the lobby leads to the front of the rooms and grounds, so guests can access this area without walking all the way around. With so few rooms on-site, the ambiance is low-key and peaceful, even in peak summer months, when kids might be splashing in the outdoor pool -- thankfully out of earshot from most of the property. This very real, down-to-earth environment is not just a place to rest thy weary head after driving, but also a chance to be a part of something -- a chance to see how one man runs a quirky business with all of its ups and downs.
A rural upstate property near Hudson Valley and The Berkshires
Silvanus is situated on a five-acre property about two-and-a-half hours north of New York City. Most guests will arrive by taking the Taconic State Parkway, exiting at Route 23 and driving east a few miles, where they will look for the intersection of Route 22. The motel is located right around the corner from the historic hamlet of Hillsdale, a rural area with pretty forests, farmland, and several buildings that are still standing from the 18th and 19th centuries. This area rests between New York’s Hudson Valley and Massachusetts' Berkshires, and is easy driving distance to nearby attractions such as the the town of Hudson, Catamount Ski Resort (three miles away -- as seen in the distance), the Tanglewood music venue, and ample hiking, swimming and boating opportunities.
Owner Steele will provide local recommendations and maps, including restaurants and nightlife. For a quick bite, there is a great diner right off Hillsdale's Taconic State Parkway exit, named Martindale Chief Diner.
Clean rooms are on the small side, but have fun, quirky decor touches.
All eight motel rooms are the same size and either have one queen or two full beds (those with queen beds also have two leather chairs and a small table). They're on the small side, but they have retro, funky style, including bold red and blue patterned carpeting, shimmery golden bedspreads (though they're thin), and polka-dot headboards. Windows display red black-out curtains. Across from the beds are flat-screen TVs, work desks, and a basket of water, juice, and snacks offered at low prices (there are no mini-fridges, though). Each room has a CD player, energy-efficient AC unit, and windows that open. A second door leads to a terrace area with two patio chairs and a table with flowering plants and topiary trees, overlooking the grounds. This space is shared with the room next door. Private bathrooms have stand-up shower stalls with eco-friendly toiletries, cotton balls, Q-tips, room spray, and liquid soap in scents like Meyer Lemon. There is a set of “bathroom rules" listed on the back of the bathroom door.
One Studio Apartment is separate from the other rooms in the rear of the property and offers more space for couples or small families. There is a queen bed, a day bed, kitchen area, and small dining table with two bistro chairs. The kitchen has a full-sized refrigerator/freezer, an oven, four-burner stove, sink, and coffeemaker. There are a few cutlery and silverware items. The bathroom here is larger with a tub/shower combo and long shelf for toiletry items.
Steele has a note in the rooms with his phone number so guests can contact him 24 hours a day with any problems.
No dining on-site, but free coffee each morning
The standout seasonal feature is the rectangular outdoor pool on the far side of the grounds. It is clean and well kept and provides a relaxing spot to cool off after a day of hiking or biking; it is open all the way through October. The surrounding terrace offers a handful of sun loungers, chairs, and tables. If the pool area is too busy (this would be rare, given the number of rooms) there is plenty of lawn space -- five acres to be exact -- where guests can play games or lay out a towel and get some Vitamin D. Steele is hoping to install a hot tub in the near future, which skiers will likely particularly appreciate after a day on the slopes.
The lobby and front desk is a cozy spot at all times of day, especially in the morning when coffee is served. Steele often has music playing, and he'll be in and out to chat with guests and offer local advice; he has even been known to draw maps of the area. Guests can also peruse a shelf with several local pamphlets of nearby attractions, or do their own research from a stand-up computer, at no charge. Wi-Fi is also free here.
Eco-friendly initiatives include toiletry receptacles in the showers, recycling efforts, energy efficient AC units, and a heating system that cuts down on oil.
Each room is assigned to a parking spot.
Balcony / Terrace / Patio
Poolside Drink Service
Rental Car Service Desk Onsite
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