The Wick: A Large, Full-Service Hotel Opens In Hudson
By Jamie Larson It’s no secret that Hudson New York, has been in desperate need of a large, modern, full-service hotel for a long time. That need has become blatant as the city’s grown into a hot cultural destination. So it’s a relief that not only does the brand new Wick Hotel, which opened softly over the holidays, speak the language travelers have come to expect from a major hotel but it does so in a voice reverent to the cultural nuances that draw people here. The Wick is a 55-room hotel by developers Tom Rossi and John Blackburn, the principals of Tribute Portfolio. It’s got all the modern bells and whistles: a bar and elegant dining area, gym, conference room and event space. It’s also a franchisee of Marriott, so it meets the company’s standards and honors applicable programs. But The Wick is anything but some sterile Hudson-themed Marriott, as local skeptics worried. “Our design inspirations were the historic heritage of Hudson and the industrial past of this building and the area. It’s important to us that our hotels fit,” said Rossi, standing in the elegant and stylish entryway of his new hotel, first built as a factory in the 1800s. “Restoration is a lot more work and more expensive than new construction but it’s a labor of love and it’s just how our company operates. If it fits, people will come.” Tribute Portfolio is uniquely suited for Hudson. As evident by the company's other locations, it specializes in renovating existing historic buildings. It’s an extra-complicated process in pretty much every conceivable aspect but Rossi says that’s what they're committed to. As a part of a younger generation of developers, they see this as their responsibility to the people and environment in which they invest. In that same vein, they're also committed to making their hotels highly energy efficient. It makes moral and business sense. RPI Engineering grads, Rossi and Blackburn are just as proud of their basement utility room as they are any other aspect of the place. The heating and cooling systems use an impressive process to retain as much energy as possible. It’s a complex system that Rossi talks about with the specificity of a scientist and the enthusiasm of a new father. Their commitment to modern, green engineering and historic preservation results in interesting solutions to unique problems. For instance, because they didn’t want to spray high-efficiency insulation on historic brick walls, they affixed a sub wall with tiebacks and insulate, so anything they do can be reverse engineered. Given Hudson’s complex personality, diverse community and unique challenges, The Wick's ability to thread the needle so excellently in both appearance and mission is, frankly, really impressive. Also, the size of the investment that Rossi and Blackburn have made here shows that they believe in Hudson’s future in a big way. With all the Wick has to offer, room rates are currently very reasonable, with rooms available now for around $150 a night. There are also large suites available at a range of rates under $500. At the moment, getting to the Wick takes a roundabout route. It’s perfectly situated right next to the train station, the riverfront and restaurants, and only blocks from the center of the shopping district, but it’s also perched right along the edge of Hudson’s old industrial zone. You can either pull in between a utility building and an empty warehouse, or snake down a cute but narrow street/alley. Then you'll see the whitewashed former soap and candle factory. (The Wick, get it?) Inside, the decor is a blend of clean industrial modern design softened by new and replica Hudson River School paintings and, wherever possible, the preserved brick and wood beams of the building's past. The halls are lined with large metal plates etched with the image of old patent drawings for machinery that might have been used in the building’s former industry. The rooms are warm and elegant, with high ceilings, Restoration Hardware fixtures and large-format Hudson River paintings that give off a subtle pastoral regality. The same can be said for the amenities. The beautiful bar and atrium-like dinning area boldly welcomes the industrial view. Hudson has many fabulous B&Bs, boutique hotels and an ever-multiplying selection of Airbnb accommodations, but anyone who’s visited or come for a wedding over the past few years knows there are more than enough lodging seekers to go around. The Wick team has put in a lot of work to make sure they are respecting Hudson without taking it for granted and, in this town, that goes a long way. The Wick 41 Cross St., Hudson, NY (518) 249-6825 Rural Intelligence needs your help. Unlike other websites, we haven’t put up a paywall, but the expenses involved in publishing RI can’t be met by advertising alone. We are asking readers to step up to the plate so we can continue to cover the people, places and events that make our region so special. We need 1,500 readers to contribute or we will cease publishing at the end of March. Please click here to become a supporter now.
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