handsome hollow, indeed

IMG_9002Feeling the effects of a few too many pre-thanksgiving celebrations, Sunday morning I pulled myself out of bed and bundled up for a long drive upstate to see the spot where two of my best friends will be married in May.

I knew a little bit about Handsome Hollow (and know that my friends have excellent taste), but what we arrived to was so much more than I expected. Kate, the Brooklyn-dwelling proprietor, (she manages the property with her husband) has an innate knack for creating an environment that feels equal parts cozy, refined, luxurious, effortless, and 100% thoughtful.

Kate herself is friendly and warm and humbly received the many compliments that spilled out of our mouths at every turn. Subway tile in the catering kitchen, the show stopping floor to ceiling window-to-the-woods in the house’s downstairs bathroom, hand-chosen decor in every room that has been carefully collected over the past 15 years. The house has all of the things you’d never want to live without if your imagination dared to dream it.

I couldn’t help but be a bit snap happy… Posted are a few of my favorites. (Expect lots more photos in May after I get to get my hands on the space and fill it up with florals!)
 IMG_8970 IMG_8966IMG_9013IMG_8962 IMG_9018 IMG_8967IMG_9012

escape to dutch kills

in-room dream desk


When Boro Hotel first opened this summer I immediately had thoughts of visiting for an inspired work/staycation. Its minimalist, though warm, vibes beckoned, reminding me a bit of the Wythe Hotel. Situated in the increasingly popular neighborhood of Dutch Kills Long Island City, its thoughtful design, Manhattan-facing rooftop, and understated lobby bar gives this place serious potential to achieve similar fame. For the time being, though, its under-the-radar presence is a big draw – for the peace and the price tag.

Though my initial plan was to use this place to hunker down and get some work done, I was happy to share this visit with my boyfriend, Zach. After seemingly never-ending work weeks, we were eager for a getaway. Unfortunately, weekend work for both meant we couldn’t stray too far. We would have to make the most of a one night staycation. When Friday afternoon came, I checked into the hotel and sent Zach hints of the plan — “Following work: Go home. Swap suit for weekend wear. Pack a book, running clothes, and something cozy. Text for further instruction.” Not ready to give up the surprise just yet, I sent an Uber to scoop him up. The hotel is only a 20 minute drive from Williamsburg, but I was already feeling far, far away.


For dinner we found our way to a cozy and lively pub called Dutch Kills Centraal. The service was great and the soundtrack inspired us to cue holiday rom-com scenes that we imagined with each song. Maybe it was thanks to our vacation mentality, but we were feeling charmed. We enjoyed whisky cocktails, local beers, and a handful of menu items including the cheeseburger (excellent), the chicken wings (very tasty), the caesar salad and pesto burrata (fresh and delicious), and perhaps the highlight – the blistered shishito peppers. They were wonderfully flavorful, but be warned (we were not) eating them felt like a game of Russian Roulette. While most were mild, there was a handful of peppers that were so extremely hot we were both in tears – sucking on cocktail orange rinds (and sucking down whisky) – to try to mitigate the pain. My tolerance for spicy goes about as far as Tostitos Medium Salsa so I wasn’t sure how serious my reaction was, but Zach, who knows no spice limits, validated that the flames in my mouth were real. Still, we couldn’t stop. One by one we took our chances, eventually facing more fiery consequences. I guess the threat made it more fun and we managed to finish the whole bowl. And finally for dessert, the perfect cool down, a homemade ice cream sandwich. I’m not sure I’d take on those peppers again, but we’ll definitely be back.


As our intentions were to be very relaxed and unscheduled, we didn’t actually do too much, but if you’re after the lazy man’s guide, read on. Definitely do enjoy a lobby bar cocktail – either upon arrival – you can take it to the roof if you wish – or as a nightcap (albeit an early one, the bar closes at 11.) Do sit by the fire, whether with said cocktail or in the morning with a hot cup of coffee and a magazine from their well-curated selection. Do enjoy top-notch water pressure in the rain shower and lounging in a Frette robe. (I seem to spontaneously become a robe person at hotels?)  Do take advantage of the breakfast offerings, served til the very civilized hour of 11. With thoughts of our indulgent dinner, we talked ourselves into a morning run around the neighborhood; That is until we realized we’d probably miss breakfast by the time we returned… Priorities! The bartender/breakfast-tender, hearing our plight, insisted we not miss our run (great) and let us make ourselves plates that he held until we returned. Truly, very kind. The thought of mini carrot muffins, fresh croissants, granola and greek yogurt, and fresh squeezed oj had us clocking miles faster than usual and it was the perfect spread to be rewarded with. We were a little slow to make the noon check-out time, but with a mere 4 mile trip home, we couldn’t be too sullen about our return to reality. Back in Brooklyn we held on to the vaca vibes and we’ve since considered declaring ourselves Friday residents of the hotel. I mean it is cheaper than a country house…

room key design details


lobby bar courtesy of borohotel.com

photo courtesy of borohotel.com

lobby fire courtesy of borohotel.com

photo courtesy of borohotel.com

the front desk courtesy of borohotel.com

photo courtesy of borohotel.com

manhattan view

(From our 6th floor room, we had an incredible skyline view – especially as the sun was setting and the city was starting to glow. The photo’s a little blurry, but after enjoying a glass of whisky, perched by the open fire, I was a little blurry, too.)

Until next time, Boro! (…Maybe this Friday?)