Give a Hoot this Weekend!

  |  January 27, 2015
Give a Hoot

What is the Winter Hoot, you ask? Well, we think of it this way – there’s a feeling that sinks in towards the end of January when we realize that we still have two more months to trudge through until the flowers start blooming again and festivals begin to spring up like tulips around the Hudson River. It’s not a great feeling, truth be told, and we used to wish for some type of event that could bring what we love about the warmer months (live music, local vendors, film screenings, dancing) to the middle of winter. It was as though the organizers of Ashokan’s Winter Hoot read our minds – this three-day event spanning from January 30 to February 1st is one massive celebration with all of the elements of our favorite summer festivals taking place in the spacious Ashokan Center. Symbolically, this is music to our ears, but actually, there will be lots of real music as well, in addition to a children’s parade, a dance party, blacksmithing demos, and a community sing at the end of the festivities. With so much to do every day, you might as well plant yourself in the Ashokan area for the entire weekend, and here are three charming rentals that would be more than happy to host you!

1) Quaint Colonial Getaway


Price/night: $160
Accommodations: Private room, 1 bed
Max guests: 3
Min stay: 2 nights
House description:
James has preserved the antique look of his sunny “piano room,” inviting visitors to step back into the regality of the early 1800s, a time before Ralph Radcliffe had even dreamt of constructing the arts and crafts colony that would eventually become Woodstock. You may not be able to enjoy the garden that the host lovingly maintains during the warmer months, but weekenders are more than welcome to indulge in the hot tub, and of cource, the less-than-historically-accurate wireless internet.

Sample reviews:

“What a beautiful house in a stunning bucolic setting. We loved our piano room with our own porch, the country kitchen (that we had full use of), relaxing by the pool and swimming, sitting in front of the outdoor fireplace under the arbor in the moonlight, walking through the sculpture gardens and more.
James was the best host. He was there to greet us as we arrived and available whenever we needed anything. And at the same time we felt it was very private.
We look forward to returning soon. This place is a real find.”

“James was a wonderful and hospitable host. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in his corner of Woodstock. He was thoughtful enough to give us more privacy in his cabin when another guest cancelled, but any guest in any room on his property will feel at home. From the morning coffee to relaxing in the gardens with the birds, this really is a special place that we hope to come back to. I highly recommend you visit James and let him share a bit of his world with you.”

2) Luxurious West Shokan Abode


Price/night: $425
Accommodations: Full home, 4 bedrooms
Max guests: 8
Min stay: 3 nights
House description:
Previous guests have compared this Catskills getaway to a weekend at the spa, and looking at through the photographs of the new bathrooms and artisan slate stone surrounding the pool, we can see where the comparison comes from. As though the general resort-like atmosphere is not enough, the host is exceptionally prompt in responding to inquiries, and has even thought to include fluffy robes with the basic amenities! Does this rental have a membership plan, and if so, where do we sign up??

Sample reviews:

“My family and I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas at Paul’s home in the Catskills. The listing was completely accurate and even exceeded our expectations. Paul has ensured that you have all the possible amenities that you could want in a country retreat with the extra touches that make you feel like you’re staying at a high-end spa. The reservoir nearby and the short drives to Phoenicia and Woodstock make this the perfect holiday spot for families and large groups. Our chef in the family loved the fully stocked kitchen and everyone else felt at home.
Paul was always helpful and responsive, before and during our stay. I recommend this listing to anyone who wants to relax in a perfect rural setting. We hope to return again!”

“A few girlfriends and I spent the weekend at Paul’s house in the Catskills and it was absolutely incredible! You really do feel like you’re at your own private resort. The entire house was extremely clean, cozy and beautifully decorated and we immediately felt at home — we truly did not want to leave.

Paul was extremely helpful and responsive with any questions I had leading up to and during our trip which made me feel very comfortable, especially since this was my first time using airbnb. He stocked the house with anything and everything we could possibly need — bath and pool towels, sheets, soap, sunscreen, comfy robes, etc. We did not need to bring a single thing except for groceries. He also has a fantastic stereo system in the pool house that plays around the entire pool area that you can connect your own music to.

I would definitely recommend renting this space to anyone who is looking for a peaceful and relaxing getaway. It is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed and I hope to return again. I really just cannot say enough nice things about this place — it was such a wonderful experience. Thank you, Paul!”

3) Welcoming Ranch by the Reservoir


Price/night: $180
Accommodations: Full home, 3 bedrooms
Max guests: 8
Min stay: 2 nights
House description:
This comfy ranch has everything we’re looking for in a getaway to the Woodstock area – funky décor, a kitchen full of every type of pot and pan, and musical instruments in case we’re inspired to hold our own jam session following a day of folk tunes at the Ashokan Center. Major bonus here is that Herb and Chris’ getaway is located directly across the street from the Center, so there’s no need to take another drive through the mountains to get to the Hoot! The home is flooded with natural light from the large windows, giving guests a glimpse of the beautiful Catskills scenery as soon as they make it down the stairs for their morning coffee. While it is wonderful to stare at it for a while, the hosts will also provide their expert guidance on what to do and see in their beautiful backyard of Woodstock and its environs.

Sample reviews:

“We just had a wonderful stay at Herb and Chris’ beautiful home near the Ashokan Reservoir over the Labor Day weekend. Chris reached out to us ahead of time by phone to give us all the information we needed, including directions to the house and to the supermarket to stop at on the way from NYC. The home is beautiful. Very, very clean and stocked with absolutely everything you might need – the kitchen is just great for cooking for a family. So nice to have the staples (oil, sugar, spices, condiments) so we didn’t have to bring everything with us.
And the garden…so beautiful and peaceful, full of hummingbirds and butterflies. We spent quite a bit of time sitting outside chatting and enjoying the lovely garden.

The house is about 20 minute drive from Woodstock and a little further to Phoenicia so quite centrally located for great hiking, shopping, dining.

All the beds were all very comfortable with lovely bedding and towels provided. The ceiling fans worked great when it warmed up later in the weekend.
Communication was great. I had a quick question about a stuck balcony door and I was able to get in touch with Herb/Chris right away and they walked me through the trick to opening it. I highly recommend this beautiful home and plan to return to it in the future.”

“This was my first AirbNb experience and it could not have been more delightful. I stayed over New Year’s eve and New Year’s day and it was a cozy winter retreat and a perfect way to start the year. The ease of the experience began as soon as I made my reservation with Herb’s quick, attentive and proactive communication, his flexibility, helpfulness and thoughtfulness in the weeks leading up to my stay. I had all the information necessary to plan my visit. And then the house itself is warm, charming, completely stocked with just about anything you could need for a short or extended stay. And the location, across the street from the Ashokan Center, is a wooded retreat perfect for getting away and reconnecting with nature without giving up any of the amenities of home. It’s a wonderful haven in the woods and my sister, brother in law, and nephew had far more than enough space to spend time together or come and go as we wished.

In short, I loved it and can’t wait to go back.”

About Elizabeth Wilson

Elizabeth Wilson is an Upstater born and bred with a generalist’s education and a specialist’s passion for the Hudson Valley. Ask nicely and she’ll make you a bagel sandwich. Ask really nicely and she’ll accompany that bagel sandwich with a Bob Dylan impersonation.

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