Hammertown Design Field Trip
Troutbeck, Amenia, NY
Dana, Drew and I were invited to dine and tour the newly-renovated Troutbeck (45 acre property with a boutique hotel, a restaurant and much more) by Lindsay Baldwin, a long-time client who directs Troutbeck’s marketing and sales.
Troutbeck, has a fascinating and storied history going back to the mid-18th century when it was the private residence of the Benton family (who named the property after their hometown Troutbeck, Scotland). The Bentons hosted well-known artists and writers of time like Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
After Colonel Joel Spingarn and his wife Amy (a suffragette, painter and poet) bought the estate in the early 1900’s they continued in the tradition. Their guests included Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, and Lewis Mumford. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was a lifelong friend. President Theodore Roosevelt was a frequent visitor to Troutbeck. Joel and Amy were active in the Civil Rights movement and twice hosted two critical meetings of the NAACP at Troutbeck – known today as the Amenia Conferences of 1916 and 1933. After the Springarn’s, Troutbeck stood vacant for 30 years until it was restored and converted into an inn in 1978 and then an inn and conference center until 2007. Once again, the property and majestic old Manor House lay dormant until the summer of 2016 when it was purchased by a real estate development company specializing in projects of “natural, cultural or historical significance.” Anthony Champalimaud, a partner in the firm who was in charge of the renovation described the property the first time he saw it as a little “Grey Gardens…tarnished, understated splendor. But the bones and the landscape were as hospitable as they had always been…it was easy to see how much we could accomplish with Troutbeck. It was all there…it just needed a polish.”
After Anthony and his partners purchased the property, he knew just the designer who could envision this new iteration of Troutbeck while still respecting its history: his mother, who just happens to be the world-renowned designer, Alexandra Champalimaud. And I have to say, what she has done is absolutely stunning!
My last visit to Troutbeck was over 20 years ago and I have been hearing rave reviews from customers and friends since it reopened this past November. Not only about the food, but about the overall experience of visiting the restaurant and the classic, yet unexpected decor. Having been closed for a decade, Troutbeck’s long-awaited renaissance was much anticipated by the local community and we were all excited to experience it first hand.
The Manor House (c.1919)
Houses 17 beautifully modernized guestrooms and suites, a Gallery, Bar, Dining Room, Living Room, Library and Ballroom.
To put it mildly, we were all blown away. As design-centric people, we felt we had reached mecca. From the unique paint colors, lighting fixtures and decor surprises to the delicious food and drinks (we’ll be reviewing the restaurant in a separate blog), we were immediately immersed in the experience of just being there. The inn and hotel part of our tour embodied our “Love Where You Live” mantra. Every design detail was just perfection…not overthought, forced or self-conscious.
The interiors have a natural comfort and style to them, as if they had been like this for years. Contemporary lighting fixtures blended with traditional furnishings and the newer wing of the hotel merged perfectly with the historic side of the building. The varying spaces were all layered exquisitely with beautiful design choices bringing to mind my favorite description for interiors, “imperfectly perfect”. It simply drew you in and made you want to experience Troutbeck on so many different levels…a glass of wine and a cheeseboard in the library; lunch in the dining room (or terrace in nice weather) or dinner on a special evening. It was simply beautiful, unpretentious, welcoming and warm.
The rooms of the hotel opened up even more options for experiencing Troutbeck. Seriously, I live 20 minutes away, but would seriously consider an overnight. Crazy I know, but the diverse rooms and the overall vibe of the place make it feel like a real getaway. One room had a glass enclosed sun porch with a tub and lounges. Another room was located up a narrow attic stairwell…so cozy and unique with walls surprisingly painted a warm orange.
Each room was unique in some way and this makes the experience even more enticing. Truly, an escape, right in your own back yard! And for out-of-the-area friends looking for something special, it’s just a train ride up from Manhattan.
There is even a gorgeous, large ballroom and simply put, a wedding or event here would be spectacular.
Each of us had a favorite guest room, and no surprise here, they were all set in the vintage part of the Manor House. See more pics below for more details about the rooms and property. Pictures truly can’t do it justice but frankly, they speak volumes and are much better than more gushing from me.
[click photos to enlarge]
OTHER FEATURES & AMENITIES
- Century Lodge (c.1760) A separate four bedroom cottage across the bridge from the Manor House, newly modernized. Adjacent, twelve modern guestrooms and suites share a large common room and gathering space.
- Beautiful Pool and outdoor service area
- Two tennis courts
- Event Barn with a capacity for about 150 people.
And, we’re not the only people who are impressed with this renovation. Here are just some of the accolades Troutbeck has been getting.
So take a trip to Troutbeck and tell them Joan from Hammertown sent you! Visit their website here for information about hours, directions, reservations and rates.
AND…Be sure to check out Troutbeck’s Instagram page. They have some great “off season” and “weekday” special offerings…like this one featuring The Century Lodge cottage
Book the country home of your dreams! Exclusively yours for $2,380 from Fri. – Sun. + 4 day passes for nearby @Catamount New York. Rate includes: private lodge + 4 guest rooms + 4 bathrooms + dining room for 10 guest + kitchenette. Add a night for $800 only! Book multiple weekends receive 10% discount for each booking. Leave your ski gear with us