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Home Accommodations The Rhinecliff: Rooms With A View On The Hudson River, New York

The Rhinecliff: Rooms With A View On The Hudson River, New York

by Penny Sadler

I fell for The Rhinecliff the minute I arrived. I don’t know if it was because I was absolutely ready to settle somewhere for a couple of days or my room with the gorgeous view of the mighty Hudson River. Perhaps the owners imbued the place with their British charm, thus fulfilling my vision of what a warm, welcoming, sophisticated destination should be. Maybe it was all of those things…and more.

Many noteworthy personalities have graced the area, among them author Edith Wharton, for whom I feel a certain affinity because of her self-proclaimed inability to tolerate ugliness. Edith would have been quite content at the Rhinecliff.

The Rhinecliff: Rooms with a view on the Hudson River, New York

Morning view from my private balcony.

 

The original Rhinecliff was built in 1854. It was a simple roadhouse for travelers to rest, eat and feed their horses. It also serviced travelers arriving by ferry or the Hudson River Railroad.

Flash forward to the 1990s and early 2000s and it had become a bit infamous for the rock bands that played in the bar, and the rowdy crowd of often-underage teenagers. The neighbors worried the place might burn down (the Rhinecliff was built entirely of wood), so in 2003 The Rhinecliff closed.

Entrance to "The Bar" at The Rhinecliff, New York. @PennySadler

Entrance to “The Bar.”

But the Chapman brothers had developed a bit of nostaglia for the location and decided it was perfect for a revival. Located adjacent to the Amtrak station and perched on a hillside overlooking the Hudson River, the Rhinecliff was purchased by the brothers who began renovation.

What at first was thought to be a quick makeover became a five-year investment of not only time and money but also emotion. James Chapman, who enjoyed a successful career and lived in Manhattan, decided the only way to oversee the renovation and manage the newly opened hotel was to give up the city life and live full-time in the Hudson Valley.

The Rhinecliff: Rooms with a view on the Hudson River, New York

Exterior, The Rhinecliff. The Amtrak platform is in the right corner.

I asked James if he had the feeling he’d made a mistake and he said, “Sure. Once we started the project it seemed to grow and become even larger than we’d expected. But at some point you realize you’ve got too much in it and there’s no turning back.” I for one, am happy that he saw it through to completion. Judging from the success of not only the hotel but the restaurant and catering services, so are a lot of people.

Artifacts of the original building were recycled into the new hotel. The original Victorian bar is still there, presiding over the dining room and pub, giving the room a sense of history and place.

Brassiere at the Rhinecliff, New York @PennySadler

The dining room and bar in the background.

 

Rooms with a view

 

Each of the nine guest rooms have a balcony and view of the Hudson River. The honey-colored hardwood floors, and soft yellow walls are enhanced by the west-facing windows which allow for plenty of natural light and warmth. Other amenities include flat screen televisions, wifi and king size beds in all but one room. My room had a comfy chair for lounging and a cute little desk tucked into the corner. However the view of the river is just too good to stay inside.

Rhinecliff Hotel, New York

Sunny and warm colors at the Rhinecliff Hotel.

 

The bathrooms have wonderful whirlpool tubs and shower attachments, very European. Shower caps, cosmetic cleansing wipes and loofah sponges are all thoughtfully provided, as well as candles to create your own spa-like ambiance. Everything looks and feels warm and comfortably refined.

 

The Rhinecliff: A Room with a view in Hudson Valley New York

Whirlpool tub and shower attachment in the Hudson Bath.

The Rhinecliff: A room with a view on the Hudson River, New York

Now this is a bath tub!

A full breakfast is served every morning in the bar from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. and the selection is luxurious. There is everything from Eggs Benedict to a simple yogurt parfait. Both were delicious. I also enjoyed a real cup of tea, not just a dry tea bag. Details that James Chapman, who has extensive experience in luxury hotels and restaurants, appreciates and passes on to his own clientele.

Eggs Benedict at the Rhinecliff Hotel, New York. @PennySadler

Breakfast on the house.

The rhinecliff: Rooms with a view on the Hudson River, New York

How about brunch with a view?

The Rhinecliff is located in the hamlet of Rhinecliff, just two miles west of the town of Rhinebeck. It is one of the oldest intact hamlets in the Hudson River Valley. The area is defined by woods, agricultural land and the Hudson River on the east side. Designated a National Historic District, it’s also the port of entry for the town of Rhinebeck only a mile to the east.

I loved standing on my balcony watching the sun illuminate the trees on the opposite side of the river, the boats and barges, and the trains disappearing around a bend in the river.

Rhinecliff Room with a View Hudson River, New york. Beautiful views from every room

The sun sets on the Hudson River. Love.

To Get To The Rhinecliff

 

The Amtrak Train from Rhinecliff to NYC @PennySadler

The Amtrak heading south towards New York City from Rhinecliff station

Drive. Route 9 is the main road into Rhinebeck. Once you arrive in Rhinebeck turn west at the traffic light at Route 9 and W.Market St. Follow Market street until you arrive at Grinnell. Turn right and the Rhinecliff will be on your left.

Without a car:

Arrive by Amtrak. The train terminal is literally a few minutes’ walk from the hotel.

I’m a big fan of train travel and often lament that it’s not really a way of life here in the US as it is in Europe. But in the Hudson Valley many people take the train to and from the area. It’s crazy convenient.

If you don’t want to drive at all you can either hire a taxi to take you into Rhinebeck (though it’s only a two-mile walk), or if you want to visit the historic homes and the FDR Library you can catch a ride into Rhinebeck, then take a community bus called The Loop which stops at the Vanderbilt Mansion and the FDR Library and Museum. That’s what I call a stress-free, rejuvenating weekend.

The rhinecliff, rooms with view on the Hudson River, New York

View from the Bridal Suite.

 

Staying at the Rhinecliff:

The Rhinecliff has become a popular place for destination weddings and other events. As there are only nine rooms I recommend booking well in advance. Spring, early summer, and fall are the most popular times for weekenders and brides, so keep that in mind. Monday through Thursday there may be a bit more flexibility.

My stay at the Rhinecliff was sponsored by Dutchess County Tourism. All opinions expressed are my own.

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23 comments

Dana @ Green Global Travel May 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm

This sounds absolutely lovely! The history within the hotel makes it even more beautiful in my opinion!

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Penny Sadler May 10, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Hi Dana, thank you for the lovely comment. The back story makes everything more interesting doesn’t it?

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Mary @ Green Global Travel January 26, 2015 at 3:50 pm

The Rhinecliff looks like a great place to getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Larissa January 25, 2015 at 11:57 am

The area up along the Hudson is beautiful, and it’s truly made al the more special when there is a charming place to stay. The Rhinecliff looks like my kind of hotel: intimate, charming and super comfy!

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Penny Sadler January 25, 2015 at 12:24 pm

Hey Larissa, I’m sure you’d love it!

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Theodora January 23, 2015 at 1:34 am

Love, love, love the classic American clapboard look.

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Penny Sadler January 23, 2015 at 7:47 am

Come in beach towns around Central California coast. Thanks Theodora!

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Jennifer January 21, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Speaking as a former New Yorker, the Rhinecliff is truly one of a kind; its name is so well known regionally that I am surprised I never made it up there when I was still a Gothamite. Lovely write up (and even more lovely photos! Penny, really, who wouldn’t love it there? 🙂

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Penny Sadler January 21, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Thanks so much Jennifer! It is a lovely area. I loved it. As you can see. 🙂 Really appreciate the feedback.

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tawanna January 21, 2015 at 12:08 am

Loved what the owner said about having so much in a project that turning back isn’t an option. Gorgeous area!

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Penny Sadler January 21, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Hi Tawanna,
I know the feeling! Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

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Elle | Spain Buddy January 19, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Now that’s MY kind of hotel!!
Lovely pics too x

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Penny Sadler January 21, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Thanks Miss Elle. Well the owners are British. 🙂

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Cat of Sunshine and Siestas January 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm

I totally agree – looks European (and cozy…and wonderful)!

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Penny Sadler January 19, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Super cozy and wonderful!

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Wandering Educators January 19, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Lovely!!! I’d enjoy that view…

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Penny Sadler January 19, 2015 at 5:24 pm

It’s very relaxing!

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noel January 18, 2015 at 1:44 pm

What a gorgeous place, must be very colorful in the fall season and fun to explore without the hordes of tourists

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Penny Sadler January 18, 2015 at 7:16 pm

It’s lovely.

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santafetraveler January 3, 2015 at 6:13 pm

I owned a store in Rhinebeck just east of Rhinecliff in the late 80s early 90s. I used to take the train to NYC from the Rhinecliff station- it’s a stunning ride. I know the hotel but didn’t know there was a hot bar scene there. Interesting. We used to love having dinner at China Rose, one of the best Chinese restaurants ever-at least when we used to eat there. This brought back memories.

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Penny Sadler January 18, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Yes the China Rose had the most colorful tree in bloom right on the corner. I photographed it a bunch. 🙂

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Ryan Biddulph December 31, 2014 at 10:24 am

Penny, what a beautiful view and wonderful recount.

The Edith Wharton note is neat; she would not have tolerated anything less, for sure.

I vibe with that breakfast. It’s been too long since I’ve chowed down on Egg’s Benedict.

Maybe a New Year’s Res for me: eat more Egg’s Benedict.

Thanks for sharing!

Ryan

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Penny Sadler December 31, 2014 at 10:28 am

I don’t know about eating more eggs benedict! Do you work out a lot? :))
Really happy to hear you enjoyed the review. Lovely place I do highly recommend, even to Edith.

Reply

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