Ready to get away to get things done? Apply here.
Every since we saw this property, we knew it had to be used for one thing: a place for writers, editors, bloggers, and other creatives to come and do deep work:
- finishing a first draft of a book
- editing a documentary
- processing a huge batch of photos from a trip you’ve just wrapped up
- banging out an entire month’s worth of blog posts
- finishing some big feature assignments
- recording a series of videos for your audience
- writing the materials for a course you’re planning to launch
To ensure that all residents have the space to do the work they’ve come to do, we’ve created a system to ensure that everyone is able to interact on the level that fits their work style.
When you check in, you set up a card on the resident’s board with your name, what you’re working on, how often you do or don’t want to chat with others during your residency (i.e. “I’ve got a deadline on Wednesday, so don’t talk to me until then, but I’m happy to take a break and have dinner with folks that day.”), and anything else other residents should know about you.
That way, if you’re working hard and pop out to grab a snack, you don’t have to break your flow to get to know other residents or chat with someone who’s on a break even though you’re not. All residents agree to respect these boundaries and their fellow resident’s process and need for focus by applying for a space in the residency program.
What Your Residency Includes
For $250 per week, you’ll get a private room with writing desk and full access to the entire facility, including the sauna.
You can also opt to have your food prepared for you in advance according to your preferences with produce from our and other local farms and set up for your arrival, so you don’t have to break your work flow thinking about what to eat or preparing food. Personalized, brain-fueling food will all be there for you to grab or quickly heat up and eat.
Transportation to and from the facility is also not included in the residency fee, but the location can be reached by bus from Manhattan.
How to Apply
To ensure that all residents are able to work unencumbered during their stay and we support a complimentary groups of residents during each open period, we ask that people interested in the residency apply here.
We will follow up with you at the email provided on your application with any questions, confirmation of your date, and payment information.
What dates are available?
Begin Sunday and end on Saturday. Dates available this spring, summer, and fall subject to availability and confirmation:
- Sunday, May 19 – Saturday, May 25
- Sunday, June 23 – Saturday, June 29
- Sunday, July 14 – Saturday, July 20
- Sunday, August 4 – Saturday, August 10
- Sunday, September 8 – Saturday, September 14
- Sunday, September 22 – Saturday, September 28
- Sunday, November 3 – Saturday, November 9
- Sunday, November 17 – Saturday, November 23
If you would like to use a date in a later month that’s not listed here, let us know. We have several guided retreats going throughout the summer and fall months, so we are not able to open residency times for any days that are not listed here until we know the stay dates of all guided retreat participants, so if you would prefer a date that you do not see listed here, let us know if your application.
If the dates are available and you choose back-to-back weeks, there’s no need to leave for the Saturday night in between, of course!
Please do not book any travel until the dates you’ve requested are confirmed in case we have run out of spots that week.
What happens when I arrive? How do I check in?
Unless you’ve set up a special arrangement to come during a week outside of those listed, there will always be one of your hosts there to greet you and show you around the property when you arrive.
After we tour the space and get you settled into your room, if there are other guests staying during the same week as you, we’ll work on your section of our guest board. This board, with a spot for each current guest, is where residency participants can communicate with each other in a way that is non-invasive to others’ work flow and process.
Each guest spot features a picture of the guest, a brief description of what they’ll be working on during their stay, and–most importantly–your interaction preferences. If you don’t want anyone to chat with you until having a night cap in the pub in the evening, write it down. If you have a deadline and want everyone to leave you along until dinner on Thursday, write it down. If you are incredibly focused in the morning and the smallest interruption of your thought process before you break for lunch can derail your whole day, write it down.
How do I confirm a date?
When we respond to your application with the payment link, we will let you know which of the weeks you’ve requested have spots available.
If anything has changed since you first applied and these dates no longer work for you, there is no financial risk. Simply let us know and we’ll open your spot to someone else.
What is the food like?
We live in an area rich with farms. If you want to cook your own food during your retreat, we can recommend farm stands nearby to shop at.
There are also many restaurants right in town and a short drive away if you prefer to go out or order in.
If you would prefer to have your food prepared in advance so that all you need to do is grab something out of the fridge when you’re hungry, we are delighted to offer the option to set up custom catered cuisine based on vegetables from our own on-site farm for a fee in addition to your basic residency fee.
Gabi has a food background (her first blog was around 30-minute dinner parties and featured recipes from all over the world) and has often catered events in the 100-200s over the years. She also has a certificate in plant-based nutrition from Cornell (the same one Giselle and Tom Brady’s personal chef has!). She works with local farms and chefs to coordinate a menu of locally-sourced items that fit your dietary needs so you can focus on your writing.
Expect everything to be healthy, primarily gluten- and dairy-free with vegetables from our own mini-farm or other farms right in our village. We have a detailed food preference form to capture your choices, and will confirm the menu with you in advance to allow you to request changes as necessary.
Can I arrive Monday?
We can only check-in in person on the weekend, so we’ll leave you a key and detailed instructions if you can’t arrive until Monday. You will still need to check out on Saturday for the next folks’ arrival unless you are staying for multiple weeks.
Who are your hosts?
Author and journalist, Gabi Logan, and her husband, Satyen Kale, a highly-published research scientist at Google, spent years looking for the perfect place for their own individual weekend retreats for times when they needed a place to hole up and get a ton of writing done in a focused environment.
They started looking for a piece of land in Vermont to put a tiny house on. They had the tiny house all picked out and some lovely folks in British Columbia (Canada) ready to drive it across the country to meet them in Vermont, but they couldn’t get the right piece of land. Then they moved their search closer to New York City, so it would be easier to get away for the weekend or even in the middle of the week.
While looking for land in Ellenville, New York, amid regionally famous rock-climbing mountains and at the intersection of the Hudson Valley historic area and the Catskills mountains, we came upon a ridiculous property. Custom built for a family of industrialists in the 1950s, the property had everything from a sauna to a full-sized bar, and we knew that we could make the price (not so bad) and the high taxes (way more than the mortgage actually!) work if we shared this amazing space with others.
We run both travel writing and computer science weekend retreats throughout the year, as well as travel to speak at conferences internationally, so the residency schedule is limited to ensure that the days that residency guests are arriving, there is always one of your hosts there to meet you personally and help you settle into the space.
How many other people will be there?
It might just be you! But there will never be more than four residents in any given week. Some weeks Gabi or Satyen will be there working on the farm or setting up for events and the next round of guests.
How do I get there?
There is a bus directly from Port Authority near Times Square in Manhattan (connected by train to JFK airport) to our village of Ellenville if you do not have private transport. Otherwise the house can be reached by car in just under two hours from New York City, just under four hours from Boston, and five hours from Washington, D.C.