When the Hampton Inn by Hilton opened in New Paltz, New York in December 2016, it created a buzz in this New York State University college town that is choked with tourists and students, particularly on the weekends. For a busy town with a robust bar and restaurant scene –some in existence for more than 40 years, and boutique-style stores filled with plenty of wonderful, the hotel options were limited. The Hampton Inn was a needed addition and has done well to champion local flavor.
The stone worked into the architecture reflects the centuries old stone walls and houses that are prominent features of Huguenot Street that dates back to 1677 when New Paltz was getting its start next the Wallkill River. One of the iconic stone walls edges the parking lot of the Hampton Inn.
The walls surround Putt Corners Cemetery, a lovely spot under the trees between the hotel and the strip-style shopping mall right off I-81, the New York State Thruway. Even though this cemetery is next to the road leading to where I went to high school, I didn’t know it existed until I stayed at the Hampton Inn on a recent visit.
Other local flavors incorporated into this Hampton Inn are framed photographs of local landscapes, artwork and items for sale. In the kiosk, several locally made items–honey, soap, baked goods offer guests at taste of the Mid-Hudson Valley. On the bathroom wall of my room, a framed print of the famous image used to advertise the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 is a nod to the music scene in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
Because the Hampton Inn is less than two years old, there’s a freshness in the cheery décor. Carpeting, upholstery and fixtures are colorful and new. The mood here is fun combined with relaxation. One detail I like about Hampton Inns–whether this one or any other, is the amount of seating. There are plenty of comfortable, casual groupings of couches, tables and chairs for visiting. Also, attention to décor through accent highlights of a vase here and a lamp there creates aesthetically pleasing spaces.
This Hampton Inn also incorporates informational brochures about what to see and do around New Paltz as part of the hotel’s common area. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts where the Woodstock Festival took place is 55 miles from New Paltz, for example.
Another welcome feature of this hotel are the large windows of the pool area that let in light and creates an airy, non-boxed in feeling. The exercise room has several pieces of high end equipment for a decent workout. The windows here overlook the pool so there’s an open feeling here as well.
My room, a double queen, was just what I needed after a 10 1/2 hour drive that put me in New Paltz at 2:30 am. Clean, comfortable, and all parts functioning. Hair dryer, microwave, flat screen TV, plenty of plugs and space to work when I used by laptop in the morning, and a sleek, large walk-in shower with toiletries ready for use.
When I arrived, bleary and road hashed, the desk clerk was friendly with a well appreciated, glad you’re here smile. At 9:30 am, when I surfaced for the included buffet breakfast (scrambled eggs and bacon cooked to crisp perfection were the hot item offerings, along with the standard make yourself waffles) , the staff was equally friendly and helpful. Food in the breakfast area was quickly replenished and the non-rushed feel led to a leisurely respite before check-out.
Because I didn’t have a reservation before I hit Scranton, PA around midnight–I wasn’t sure how far I’d be able to drive, I called the Hampton Inn’s reservation line and was able to book the AAA rate and link to my Hilton Honors points. By the time I arrived, my room was waiting for me without a snag.
Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein