Nestled among the stately homes of Allen Street, a 19th-century Queen Anne adorned in all white is the site of Hudson’s newest boutique accommodations— the Amelia Hotel. Featuring eight guest rooms, shared common areas (including a library, parlor, living room, kitchenette, and dining room), plus backyard deck, seasonal swimming pool, and English gardens, the Amelia has been conceived as each guests’ “very own country house,” as described by its owner and proprietress, Shannon Wu.
Although her professional background is in human resources, this is not Wu’s first foray into the hospitality industry.
In 2007, she and her husband purchased a hundred acres across the river in Coxsackie, renovated the dairy barn that stood on the property for over 100 years, and re-opened it as Meadow Ridge Farm, a wedding and event venue overlooking the Hudson River.
Wu quickly realized there was a need for more lodging for the guests to Meadow Ridge Farm. “From the conversations we had with couples, we found there was a lot of demand for additional accommodations,” she told us. “I started thinking, maybe we should do something that would have some synergy with the wedding venue.”
With that in mind, and given their affinity for Hudson’s restaurants and antique dealers, the wife and husband purchased the property at 339 Allen Street in 2020. While Wu describes the house as having “really good bones,” they led a fairly significant renovation, breathing new life into the historic home, while also maintaining much of its original details. Wu’s desire to preserve the history and character of the house was influenced by her own childhood growing up in Beijing, where century-old homes are too often demolished to make way for modern apartment complexes. Some floor plans were respectfully altered, to reduce irregular corners and fragmented spaces, thus creating better flow throughout.
“We made a big effort to change the layout to make each guest room bigger and with more light. Almost all the bathrooms have windows, and there are a lot of south-facing, big walls with windows.” Staying true to her cultural roots, Wu explained to us with a laugh, “For Chinese, that’s what we like— we always like rooms that face south because that’s good feng shui.”
Throughout the hotel, clean and simple design meets the ornate detail of the original house, including elaborate woodwork, like that found on the mahogany fireplace mantles and a prominent central staircase. The third floor features two spacious suites, each accommodating up to four guests, and one additional room overlooking the backyard pool and out to Mount Merino.
The guest rooms themselves are spacious and appointed with more modern and minimalist furniture, fixtures, and appointments, and light color palettes throughout are brightened by Wu’s selection of artwork in each room. There are nods to contemporary and pop art in nearly every space, like Gavin Evans’ oversized portrait of David Bowie and an array of skateboards painted with Warhol-esque soup cans hanging on a living room wall.
One of the true standout features of the property is its size and expansive backyard. With a lot size measuring over an acre, the yard features a 35 ft. long Hamptons-style swimming pool, two sizable lawns for lounging, and a deck for guests to sit out on, all surrounded by lush gardens of roses, hydrangeas and bluebells, designed by Hudson’s own noted landscape architect firm, Wagner Hodgson.
Wu and her husband have supported the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center for many years, and are friends with the new director of the U.S.-China Music Institute within the College Conservatory of Music at nearby Bard College. The Amelia has so far hosted two live performances this summer (see below), with more slated for the remainder of the season.
“I really wanted to make a cultural hub, not just a place for people to come stay, but also to experience some events. People enjoy the intimacy of the closeness with a live musician. We’re also talking about having book readings and other types of performances in the future. It’s more about my interests, but I think guests and the local community together will really enjoy it.”
The Amelia is a beautiful, spacious, and sunlit haven for discerning visitors to Hudson, and is well-positioned to become a distinctive addition to our beloved community.
Carol McCranie- Hudson resident and art collector who established the art advisory HUDSON BRICK, LLC. upon moving from NYC to Hudson in 2014- attended the Amelia’s first performance earlier this summer. Here’s her report:
On July 10, Shannon Wu, owner of The Amelia Hotel, personally greeted a select group of visitors at the door of her property and welcomed them for the first in a series of performances which she’ll host this season on-site. Attendees sat riveted, enjoying the magic hour glow of late afternoon Hudson light appointing this delightful front parlor room, the strum and rhythm of strings and percussion courtesy of The Avila Ensemble— a quartet of young Venezuelan musicians courtesy of the Bard College Conservatory. Violins and double bass and a lively guitar enchanted the audience as we relaxed in this elevated moment of stellar talent.
The beautiful Queen-Anne style boutique hotel (with its origins as a former 19th century residence) has retained a great deal of its original historical presence, thanks to the collaborative vision and appreciated aesthetics of Wu and her architectural firm, Barlis Wedick.
Après performance, a most tempting array of charcuterie was offered and drinks served— including a crowd-favorite pink lemonade on that sunny, summer day. At the rear of the rooms on the first floor— one could view a few of the hotel guests already enjoying the pool and lounging under wide open umbrellas. The expanse of the property – as it reveals itself at the rear of the establishment – is impressive and offers a private, relaxing retreat with care places on the landscaping and plantings to create a getaway oasis.
Our hostess led her guests up the grand staircase to view several of the hotel’s guest rooms. We beheld beautifully restored wood floors, serene and well-appointed choices of furnishings— the overall sensibility is one of an uncluttered promise of zen and peace of mind for guests. Original Victorian beauty couples with the fresh inclusion of modern and contemporary lighting and several works of art that reference the legacies of Andy Warhol and Basquiat, lending pops of color to this handsome and airy space.
The beauty of the restoration is to be applauded! On our exit from this wonderful introduction to the Amelia we noted the most divine Victorian brass door knob with its fine relief design of an opening flower. A brilliant, auspicious object and remembered image – perhaps to symbolize the beginnings experienced in those rooms on that day.
The Amelia (339 Allen St.) is now open year-round for individual stays, group accommodations and company retreats. For more information or to book a stay, visit theameliahudson.com or call (518) 768-7900. Follow them on Instagram at @theameliahudson.
Words and photography by Alexandre J. Petraglia— President, Hudson Business Coalition, Inc., and Founder, Hudson City Digital
Video production by Allison Valiquette.
Event report contributed by Carol McCranie. Some additional photos by Lawrence Braun.
Proper distancing and health standards were maintained during the production of this interview.