By ML Ball
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
This was the question posed by Russ Gibson and Duncan Calhoun to each other, well over a decade ago. The answer: owners of a bed-and-breakfast.
And so it came to pass. In 2008, the couple bought an elegant, spacious, delightfully charming two-story house in Hudson, right next door to their own house. Built in 1875, it needed some work but was in very good shape, having been lovingly cared for by a previous owner, the British actress Meg Mundy.
Russ and Duncan spent seven months renovating the property and converting it into a bed-and-breakfast, which they named The Croff House in honor of its original architect, G. B. Croff. Then, with great anticipation, the new B&B opened on April 10, 2009, the 137th anniversary of the founding of Willard Place, the cul-de-sac where the inn resides. “We thought it was fortuitous if we kept that date,” said Russ.
By all accounts, it has been. Three months after it opened, The Croff House was Hudson’s #1 B&B on Trip Advisor, a designation it kept for eight and a half years.
And in the bustling, high-end destination town of Hudson, that is no small feat. Now in its tenth season, The Croff House has ample competition, from other B&Bs to hotels (including The Barlow, also owned by Russ and Duncan) to the growing proliferation of Airbnb. Yet year after year, it rises to the top, brilliantly.
“What makes us unique,” Russ explained, “is our emphasis on comfort, personal space, privacy and quiet. If you want to sit outside, read a book, enjoy the fresh air, sit by the fountain patio, relax in the parlor or just sleep, you can do that, all in beautiful surroundings. Premium details such as fireplaces, luxurious robes, the finest quality sheets, pillowtop mattresses and aromatherapy bath amenities are included. We also offer in-house massage and custom picnic baskets, all with an eye toward giving our guests the best possible experience, from the time they book to the time they leave, and even afterward.”
As well as meticulously caring for their guests’ comfort, Russ and Duncan also place great emphasis on caring for the environment. They use green cleaning products; recycle all bottles, cans and packaging; use high-efficiency lighting, toilets and laundry machines; and obtain their electricity from wind and solar energy sources.
Yet, just when it seemed The Croff House couldn’t get any better, it did. Four years ago, Delphina Madera was added to the staff. “Delphina has brought a new energy to the whole enterprise, and she runs the place now,” Russ said. “She’s putting her own unique stamp on things…such as, we recently switched to meatless breakfasts, which was completely her idea.”
So when you’re ready to trade frenzied hustle and bustle for something restoratively quiet, exquisitely beautiful and thoroughly relaxing, The Croff House is ready to welcome you.
For more information about The Croff House, visit TheCroffHouse.com. █