At This Catskills Resort, Dirty Dancing–Era Design Is Making a Comeback
You’ll have the time of your life there.
Published Aug 22, 2021 1:05 AM
Only 120 miles from Manhattan, the Catskills area already has a long, storied history of rustic hospitality, thanks to the Borscht Belt–era family resorts made famous in the 1950s and ’60s—and more recently in iconic pop-culture mainstays like Dirty Dancing and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
But now the region is experiencing a major resurgence of these kinds of hotels. More than 2,000 rooms in the area have opened in the past two years, according to the Catskills Association for Tourism Services. And the most recent addition to the landscape is Callicoon Hills, a newly renovated century-old resort that reopened in June with a modern but nostalgic feel.
Featuring an event barn, a king-size pool, and 65 guest rooms filled with trending checkerboard and wavy furniture, the resort is basically the most stylish adult summer camp ever. (It’s no surprise that managing partner Justin Watzka also co-owns the equally chic Coachman in Lake Tahoe.)
Watzka says he and his team gave Brooklyn-based studio Post Company carte blanche to execute the design and interiors with one goal in mind: To make guests walk into a space and say, “I really wish my personal aesthetic had some of these aspects to it.” Thankfully we’ve done the digging for you. Here are a few ways to bring Callicoon Hills’s cozy and inviting vibe to your home.
Match Your Color Scheme to Your Location
“The color palette stemmed much from the surrounding landscape of the Catskills,” says Leigh Salem, a partner at Post Company. The interiors feature shades of dark forest green, tan, rust, and sage, which match the lush area. “You can also use color to tie rooms together or to consolidate across pieces,” notes Salem, a technique he put to use in the Conover Club. “We painted the bar area a rich earthy green to frame the collection of objects held within.”
Pair Custom Pieces With Vintage Finds
To give the property its elevated summer camp vibe, Salem mixed custom furniture with vintage scores. “While the pieces are often eclectic and varied, a thread of whimsy runs through it all,” he explains. “For example, in the rooms, we designed a collection of wood light fixtures and lamps with knife-pleated shades, which offer a counterpoint to vintage seating that has patina and worn-in character.”
Work With the Weird Stuff
“We inherited many charming and quirky architectural moments in the property, so we wanted to embrace the idiosyncrasies and character,” says Salem. “The goal was to have the space exude a residential feel, like the home of the consummate host.” That meant not going full fancy in the guest rooms, which feature accents like handwoven rugs from In Residence, headboards from local maker Sam Moyer, and custom bed frames from Wishbone Woodworking. “We designed Callicoon Hills to be a place to slow down, relax, and spend time with family and friends,” adds Salem. “On old hotel collateral, we found the tagline ‘An Informal Vacation Resort,’ which we have adopted as our own.”