A Picturesque New York Hotel Takes Design Tips From a Historic Race Track

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It almost seems like a no-brainer to renovate a hotel across the street from a city's main draw, especially if that attraction is as storied as the Saratoga Springs Race Course. At least that's how the design firm Studio Tack — which is responsible for getaway upgrades in Wyoming and California — saw it when the team came across the aging midcentury property in the namesake New York town.

The firm didn't want to simply modernize the site, which features 12 rooms in a classic one-story build. Instead, they sought to reflect the area's character within that layout, and draw on the surrounding history to influence a modern-meets-timeless design. The result? Brentwood, a destination hotel that opened last November as a stylish nod to the past and present.

"We were inspired by the local vernacular and building typology, and wanted Brentwood to feel like it had always been there," Jou-Yie Chou said, one of Studio Tack's four partners.

Guests are greeted by a white board-and-batten exterior with forest-green accents, which leads to a raven-hued lobby complete with an intimate cafe. Rooms are cozy yet minimalist, showcasing art from regional collectors, and the outdoor space glimpses horses on the way to the track in the summer. It's just homespun enough to feel like Brentwood has, in fact, always been here.

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exterior
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Exterior

The white board-and-batten exterior resembles horse stables, while the doors and trim are painted a soothing forest-green hue.

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cafe
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Cafe

Mimicking a classic parlor with gilded mirrors and custom millwork (with oak and brass detailing), the cafe is a great spot to sip a beer or enjoy breakfast.

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Guest Room

Each room features a custom pine-wood bed by local woodworker David Cummings, which is topped by Sharktooth's custom-dyed linen blanket.

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Guest Room

Tivoli clock radios and solid brass Jaclo fixtures are timeless accents, while the black trim is decidedly more modern.

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Guest Room

Oil paintings in gold frames were culled from the collections of regional art collectors.


Based in Wisconsin, Kristine Hansen covers art, architecture, travel and food/drink, and lives in a 1920s bungalow.

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