Reimagined Bluebird Hunter Lodge Adds To The Classic Catskills Experience

  |  February 14, 2023
The reimagined Bluebird Hunter Lodge opened last summer.

The natural beauty of the Catskills is reason enough for an extended visit, but the recently reimagined Bluebird Hunter Lodge aims to add a distinctive and stylishly nostalgic touch to the experience.

The Hunter lodge, which originally opened in the late ’70s, reopened this past July, redesigned with a sleek 70s-inspired aesthetic that pays homage to the natural surroundings. To create interior settings that frame extraordinary mountain views, the Massachusetts design firm Elder and Ash incorporated textured wood and stone elements, as well as rustic-yet-modern decor, into the lodge’s new look.

Hotel group Bluebird by Lark has updated several contemporary motor lodges, motels, and ski lodges in New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. The inspiration for the redesign of each property is the idea of adventure evoked by the very American tradition of the road trip.

“Each Bluebird redesign is a little different,” says Rachel Haines, general manager of Bluebird Hunter Lodge. “They all have the same aesthetic of elevating the building, but keeping the original essence of the place.”


Bluebird Hunter Lodge features contemporary comforts and plenty of ’70s ski lodge ambience. In the welcoming lounge, comfortable leather couches—fronted by tables crafted from tree trunks and roots—surround a crackling fire. Walls are decorated with various sets of antlers and illustrations of area wildlife, plus antique ski and fishing paraphernalia. A row of vintage leather luggage defines the wall behind the front desk suggesting guests from previous eras. The lodge’s consistent and fashionable color scheme is rich in forest colors, with bedrooms predominantly featuring a muted piney green. Crisp bed coverings are anchored by modern log cabin blankets.

Altogether, the hotel boasts 44 rooms, with bedrooms in a variety of configurations. There are bi-level rooms, some with beds on both levels and others with a pull-out couch on the ground floor. There are also rooms with two bunk beds, able to house four for a family or friends’ outing. Pet lovers can stay in a room that opens to the outdoors, so pets can easily be walked.

King room

Suitable for family visits, the lodge also offers suites big enough to house six, complete with a full kitchen and a spacious sunny dining room. “It’s like a full-size apartment,” says Haines.

Behind the lodge there’s a circle of chairs surrounding a fire pit, the perfect spot for enjoying the impressive mountain views and studying the stars at night.

“Everything we do at Bluebird—the design, what we put in the rooms, the music, the smells—they all interconnect,” says Haines. “You come in and you smell wood; it smells like a lodge. The colors are dark like a lodge.”

Bunk bed room

Haines describes the lodge as a place people come to share time together. To promote even more togetherness, the hotel’s wood-clad restaurant, Hunter Tavern, features such classic fare as burgers, maple-glazed salmon, and Cobb salad, but also shared plates like a charcuterie board and cheese fondue. “We do a lot of shared plates because it contributes to the experience,” says Haines. “You’re coming here with family and friends and you want to have a shared experience.”

The tavern hosts local breweries with different beer tastings each month, as well as a biweekly trivia night and live music performances every weekend, making it a destination for the community to gather. As one of the area’s larger facilities, the lodge has become a prime location to host wedding parties.


“There are three different wedding destinations nearby that are redone barns to have your wedding at,” says Haines. “They don’t house people, so they look for hotels in the area they can house their guests at.”

Visitors are naturally drawn to the area for winter skiing and snow tubing, but other seasons also offer attractions. “We get a lot of people that are coming for hiking, the natural swimming holes,” says Haines. “The rail tours that are over in Phoenicia are very popular, as is the zipline [at Hunter Mountain]. There’s ATV riding in Haines Falls. There’s lots for people to do.”

With its cozy accommodations and high-end design, the lodge aims to be more than a place travelers lay their heads at night. “As a company in the Bluebird brand our theory is that we don’t want to be just the hotel they stopped at,” says Haines. “We want to be part of the experience. So, when they are telling the story of their trip, we’re included in that. Oh, I stayed at this lodge. I ate at the tavern. It was amazing. It was so homey. We want to be part of that experience.”


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