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Motel Chic

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Photo: Catherine Ledner

Kiss Me, Kate

If less is more at the Thunderbird Motel in Marfa, too much is never enough at Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel in Mount Tremper, New York, a tiny hamlet near Woodstock, in Ulster County. Kate is Kate Pierson, of the rock band the B-52’s, and her unbridled panache and hyperkinetic personality shine through. On her motel’s Web site, she promises, "you’ll find mind-blowing Midcentury Modern/space age/rocket-your-socks-off decor."

Monica Coleman, 41, in addition to being Pierson’s partner, is the co-owner and general manager of Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel, the person responsible for the day-to-day operation of the nine-plus-acre compound. "It’s sort of a hippie hangout," she says, adding that excited guests (and Pierson fans) arrive from as far away as Australia and Japan to revel in Kate’s over-the-top accommodations. Three traditional Catskills cabin-style wooden buildings, complete with knotty-pine interior walls and wainscoting, house the front desk and the nine suites. One low-slung building features horizontal rough-cut wood siding, painted barn red with forest- green trim. The other two have Lincoln Log-like exterior finishes.

The Lazy Meadow Motel was owned in the early 1950’s by a German couple, according to Coleman, and "then the local biology teacher took over and ran it as a campground and apartments." Pierson bought the property in 2002 and after retrofitting the rooms with her somewhat ecstatic vision of the 1950’s, hung out the shingle for Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel, in the spring of 2004.

The rooms transport you back to a time in the 1950’s when Formica, Tupperware, and the Avon Lady were young…a time when lime green and burnt orange were considered viable options. A popular alternative to the nine suites are five vintage aluminum Airstream trailers, which began turning up on the property in 2005. Parked on the bank of the Esopus Creek, in the high spirit of the endeavor, the restored Airstreams come complete with catchy names like Kate’s Hairstream, Bubbles, North to Alaska, Tinkerbell, and Tiki, as well as such amenities as barbecues and outdoor lounge chairs, hammocks, and tiki torches.

Though there is a front desk manager and a caretaker, you are pretty much on your own at Kate’s. They do not, for example, provide daily maid service. But with all of the "groovy" furnishings and accoutrements, all the hip hype and boisterous banter, Pierson has managed to create a delectable, authentically personal place. 5191 Rt. 28, Mount Tremper, N.Y.; 845/688-7200; www.lazymeadow.com; doubles from $150.

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