Retreat to This New Farm Sanctuary Inn to Support Rescued Animals

By Sabrina Sucato, Hudson Valley 

There’s a lot going on at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary.

Located in High Falls — not Woodstock — the sanctuary is a literal saving grace for rescued farm animals who might otherwise face abuse, starvation, or slaughter. 

Photos provided by Woodstock Farm Santuary.

After getting started in 2004, the organization now houses dozens of furry, feathered farm friends. With so many happy animals on the grounds, the site is a popular destination for weekend visitors, who stop by for tours and seasonal programs.

Come 2019, animal lovers will have one more reason to venture over the river and through the woods (depending on which direction you’re coming from) to the High Falls hotspot.

Opening early in the new year, The Gray Barn at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary will give guests the opportunity to stay overnight on the property for the first time since the organization relocated from Willow, where there was a small, overnight guesthouse.

“We wanted to build on that tradition in our new location, but none of the existing buildings were exactly right,” explains Jess Davis, the programs manager at the sanctuary. “We received a grant to build the inn from a funder who wanted to make sure we continued to be sustainable for years to come, so we were able to work from the ground up with a gifted Hudson Valley-based architect, Marica McKeel of Studio MM, and the construction team at R.L. Baxter Building Corp. to make the vision a reality.”

Now close to completion, the inn will be a convenient destination for visitors and guests who attend onsite events, which range from vegan weddings to community dinners. It will operate as a boutique destination, with cozy common spaces and five onsite guest rooms, each of which come with a private terrace.

On the first floor, a wheelchair-accessible room accommodates handicapped visitors, while additional foldout sleeping space is available for guests who travel with children.

Regarding the aesthetic, McKeel of Studio MM led the way, thanks to her experience with on-trend designs in rural atmospheres. Of course, local artisans make their mark as well. Coffee and tea mugs, for instance, come from Tellefsen Atelier, a ceramicist based in Middletown.

On top of that, all linens and toiletries will be eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethically sourced so as to tie in with the sanctuary’s overall mission.

In terms of amenities, visitors who book a stay at The Gray Barn won’t just have access to the sanctuary grounds; they’ll also be treated to farm-style cuisine that highlights the organization’s vegan-forward initiatives. Breakfast, which is included with each stay, will feature easy, flavorful dishes like house-made granola with local cashew yogurt and pressed breakfast scramble burritos. Keeping allergy concerns in mind, the Barn will also have nut-free and gluten-free options on hand.

As far as reservations go, the inn will host guests year-round, while the sanctuary continues to operate for tours and events. Rooms run $250 and up per night, and gift cards to The Gray Barn are already available for purchase.

“Much like our weekend visitors and volunteers, guests who come to stay at The Gray Barn will likely travel from near and far to meet the animals and enjoy some time in the scenic and beautiful Hudson Valley,” says Davis. “We hope to welcome animal lovers of all kinds who are interested and who care about the work that we’re doing.”

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