Stepping inside the Maker Hotel in Hudson is like stepping back a century. Occupying an entire corner of Warren Street, the Maker is characterized by opulence, indulgence, a richness of texture and materials that feels utterly sumptuous and anachronistic. No cost was spared in restoring and decorating this establishment, and the effect of such a splurge of luxury is both mind-blowing and deeply soothing.
I am standing in the epic library on the ground floor, lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, scanning the spines of the volumes hand-picked by the Strand Bookstore staff, when Maker founder Lev Glazman walks in. He’s on the short side, with salt-and-pepper hair and glass-smooth skin that speaks to the efficacy of the hugely successful high-end skincare line, Fresh, he started with his partner Alina Roytberg in the ’90s.
He’s wearing shearling-lined Birkenstocks and a linen shirt. He’s friendly and casual, with none of the pomp or pretense you might expect from the mind behind such a design destination. He apologizes for being late and we jump right in.
The Maker complex—with its cafe, lounge, gym, and hotel rooms—is spread out across three historic buildings. The lounge has been open since summer 2018, serving up craft cocktails and elevated pub fare in a glamorous, high-ceilinged space that feels straight out of the Gilded Age. The cafe, opened in winter 2019, serves fresh-baked sourdough and pastries from sister business the Bartlett House in Ghent, along with coffee, fresh juices, and a lunch menu.
For two long years, the Maker has built suspense and anticipation around the opening of its accommodations. Their Instagram account teased with a sensuous, amber-lit photos of plush velvet duvets, exquisite Morrocan-tiled bathrooms with brass accents, corduroy chaise lounges, vintage Turkish kilim rugs, and cozy nooks for reading, napping, or whispering sweet nothings.
So, when the Maker finally opened its 11 hotel rooms for booking in August, the public was ready. And the long-awaited debut was met with instant fanfare and critical acclaim. And let me just say, the real thing is even better than the photos: a voluptuous riot of texture and textiles in rich jewel tones accented by polished hardwood, gleaming marble, raw brass, and glass. Every corner is a design vignette unto itself, every tactile interaction considered, every vista from every seating area considered.
Hospitality as a Lifestyle
“In general, the model with hospitality is basically the idea that you rent rooms to people and you feed them. And some elevate your experience because of amazing service, but there are not a lot of amenities. It’s really much more of a real estate exercise,” Glazman says. “We look at it very differently. We see it as more of a lifestyle. I love design, I love art, and here, I had a very particular vision about how I could create spaces that would be a bit more inspiring and give people a more emotional connection. I felt there was room in the hospitality industry to do something that is special, that is not standardized. Not every room has to look the same.” Basically, an exercise in design.
The hotel accommodations are spread over two historic buildings. On the c.1897 Georgian mansion side, four expansive Maker studios embody peak luxury and design, each a romantic take on the life and habitat of a different maker. They are: the Gardener, the Architect, the Artist, and the Writer. Glazman even made up fictional personas to drive his designs for these four suites.
The Writer, with its reading nooks and wraparound bookcases, typewriter, and fireplace, is a dreamy ideal place to cozy up in winter. “When I was designing it, I was imagining the writer as somebody who has a very nomadic personality,” says Maker co-owner and designer Lev Glazman. “Somebody who’s very curious, somebody who travels, somebody who collects memories. And that’s why it is filled with objects of curiosity. You have a lot of artwork here, but it’s a little bit more eclectic. It’s things that a writer finds and they want to just capture it in their memory. And that’s how I wanted to design the whole environment.”
Across the hall, the Architect is the space of a visionary creative, steeped in the legacy of the past while dreaming of tomorrow. “The architect lives in the 1940s and he is looking into the future and how the future of design looks,” Glazman says. Fittingly, the design pulls in Midcentury elements, mixed with pieces from La Belle Epoch, Art Deco, and Victorian eras. “I like things to be eclectic,” Glazman says. “But it’s got to be the right balance between those areas of design. I don’t like any one era to be on steroids.” At 715 square feet, the suite is the biggest of the bunch. It’s also the most masculine, with shades of grey and dignified pops of burgundy, a herringbone fabric wall treatment, and the centerpiece: a gigantic chiseled fireplace mantel carved from a single slab of granite Glazman found in Korea and designed on the back of a napkin.
On the top floor, the Artist is an elevated take on the classic loft, with a gallery wall of framed artworks Glazman picked and sourced himself, a long workbench, and a clawfoot soaking tub, for washing all the turpentine and worries of the day away. The stained glass window over the bathroom door was salvaged from the building’s first floor entryway. “Everything we could restore, we restored,” Glazman says. “We are very into sustainability, and we like to reclaim and recycle as much as we can.”
On the other side of the landing, the Gardener suite is a light-filled and playful room with patterned wallpaper, floral motifs, and living plants that brighten the dark, heavy furniture. Restored and repurposed wrought iron garden fencing panels serve as a room divider between the living area and the bath.
In the other wing of the hotel, in the historic Greek Revival building, there are seven more rooms: the Terrace Lofts, the Corner Studio, the Apartment, and the Bedrooms, including one handicap-accessible room. These spaces are less imposing while still equally beautiful. The aesthetic across the accommodations ranges from Hollywood glam to boudoir sultry to the earth tones and clean lines Mid-Mod Scandinavian design.
The beds throughout the hotel are king- and queen-sized with cloud-like goose down comforters clad in linen duvets, plush velvet coverlets, and sheets with thread counts higher than my bank account balance. You’ll never want to get out of bed. Good thing the Maker lets you start your morning lazy with their “Eye-Opener”—a thermos of coffee and fresh baked goods left on your door handle. “When you wake up, that’s that what you want,” Glazman says. “People love it. You can enjoy it just the way you are and then you can come downstairs for a full meal in the cafe when you’re ready.”All Maker rooms come with complimentary full-size Fresh beauty products; linen robes; and luxury towels and slippers from Frette for a spa-caliber weekend retreat.
After Your Stay
The good news? After you fall in love, you can take home a slice of luxury. “The bedding, the furniture, everything was made for us,” Glazman says. “People always want to buy it. So, we’re selling all of it.” Browse and buy the Maker’s custom line of bedding and furnishings in their new online shop.
That’s not there only digital interaction with past and future guests. Glazman and his team are thinking outside of the box about how to continue building a relationship with patrons off-premises. On their Instagram stories you can find their fragrance picks of the month, selected by Glazman, who is a perfume-maker by trade; as well as their book recommendations, curated music playlists, recipes, and classic film suggestions for movie night.
And it seems to be working. The Maker team regularly gets handwritten thank you cards. “We get beautiful, beautiful notes,” Glazmans says. “Because when people stay here, they really have a very nice emotional experience, and they want to keep in touch. Some people have already stayed here three-four times since we opened.”
And the work to expand the Maker’s offerings continues. This fall, they opened the Gymnasium, the most beautiful gym you’ll ever work out in, with a juice bar, vintage exercise equipment like gymnastics rings, aerial silks, and the like. Because of COVID protocols they are limiting access to appointment-only, but anyone can reserve a private session of personal training, pilates, vintage circus physique, or simply open gym time.
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And that’s not all. They also recently rolled out a brasserie-style dinner menu in the Maker Cafe, which is open alongside the more upscale dining option in the Hotel’s stunning conservatory. Like the cocktail lounge, gym, salon, pool, and cafe, the restaurant will be open to the public, a priority for Glazman, who revels in creating luxurious spaces but not in the exclusivity they usually signify.
“We called it the Maker because we are celebrating creatives—designers, artists,” Glazman says. “And that’s what we fell in love with about Hudson when we moved here—the creative energy.”
The Maker is open for hotel bookings seven days a week. The cafe is open daily from 8am-4pm for breakfast and lunch and 4-10pm for dinner.