Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley

Robert McKinley creates Hotel Kinsley from four historic buildings in Upstate New York

New York's Studio Robert McKinley aimed to avoid the typical aesthetic of "antlers or plaid and reclaimed wood" when creating this boutique hotel from four buildings in Hudson Valley.

Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley

Hotel Kinsley marks the first destination hotel in Kingston, a town located about 160 kilometres north of New York City in the Hudson Valley.

The boutique property comprises four historic houses that were constructed between the 17th and 19th centuries in the Uptown Stockade District.

Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley

Interior design firm Studio Robert McKinley aimed to delicately restore and revive the buildings to capture their original architectural character with bohemian design touches.

"To tie them together, we came up with a fictional family narrative: siblings inheriting the buildings and coming together, all while riffing off of the architectural vocabulary of each," the firm's founder Robert McKinley told Dezeen.

Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley

Among the buildings is former bank 301 Wall Street, which was converted into the hotel's main gathering point and also houses 10 guest rooms. The old bank vault serves as the check-in area for guests. The spa, restaurant and bar are also located within and are designed with a Scandinavian aesthetic in mind.

"We wanted to move away from typical upstate, whistle-call aesthetic," said McKinley. "We didn't want antlers or plaid and reclaimed wood, for example."

Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley

"Wall Street is stately with clean lines and each floor was appointed with a different colour story, indicated by the headboards," he added.

Rooms feature uniquely painted headboards – all created locally – that refer back to the texture of canvas artwork. Desks, sofas and rugs were custom produced for Hotel Kinsley.

Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley

"We also pulled a lot of fabrics and textures that reminded us of the mountains, exploring boiled wools and coated canvases; very functional, but not your usual ‘contract' fabrics," the architect continued.

The Kinsley restaurant boasts vintage cafe chairs and a collection of vintage art, like prints from local photographer Barry Feinstein, and music books from second hand shops.

McKinley also constructed a cafe shelf that runs along the dining room's perimeter, filled with real books and magazines to lend a bistro vibe.

Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley

"It's not a prop, but something guests can really use," he added. "The idea was to make sure people would feel comfortable grabbing the books or periodicals, and really make it a living, breathing base for an exchange of ideas."

The remaining three buildings are slated to open within the next year.

Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley

The oldest is 41 Pearl Street, which was built by Dutch settlers in the 1680s with a grand central staircase and over a dozen built-in fireplaces.

Completing the quartet of structures is 270 Fair Street, a three-storey building with retail space; and 24 John Street, a 17th-century cottage with scalloped shingles, stained glass, cornices, and tin ceilings.

Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley

Hotel Kinsley is among a number of projects the firm has completed in New York state – including a "shoppable" holiday rental in Long Island. It also revamped motor lodge in California's Laguna Beach.

Photography is by Nicole Franzen.

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Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley
Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley
Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley
Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley
Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley
Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley
Hotel Kinsley by Robert McKinley