© Ball & Albanese
October 25, 2010

A-Listers Richard Gere and wife Carey Lowell are trying their hand at the hotel business. The longtime Westchester, New York, residents recently opened the eight-room, eco-friendly Bedford Post Inn, which includes a farm-to-table restaurant called the Farmhouse, an hour’s drive from Manhattan. We talked to the actor, activist, and newly minted innkeeper about his latest venture.

Why did you choose to open an inn in Bedford?
The property once housed a restaurant called Nino’s, which was like a clubhouse for the community. After it closed, we would ride by the deteriorating building. It was so beautiful and cathedral-like, and when it went up for sale we felt an obligation to bring it back to life.

What’s unique about the property?
It’s a farmhouse that used to be on an old post riders’ trail, and when we bought it all the windows were broken and animals were living inside. We refurbished it in the most environmentally sound way possible, reusing as much old material as we could—the yoga room is almost completely built from recycled wood. My favorite place is the private dining room, which is a jewel of an old barn with a big old fireplace, attached to the main house. The people who work there call it Richard’s Room.

Is there a dish at the Farmhouse named after you?
No, but there’s something for everyone. I don’t eat meat, but I am told we have the best hamburgers in the world. And I love chocolate, so we have great desserts and gelatos. The chocolate mousse with peanut butter is pretty amazing.

Did you look at other hotels for inspiration?
Yes, La Colombe d’Or, in St.-Paul-de-Vence, France. Carey was adamant about having similar bathrooms—large ones with pedestal sinks and marble counters.

What do you recommend that guests do while visiting your inn?
There are horses and trails for hiking nearby, and the town of Hudson is only an hour away. It’s got great antiques stores and an old movie theater. The idea is to leave the world behind.

Bedford Post Inn, 954 Old Post Rd. (Rte. 121), Bedford, New York; 914/234-7800; bedfordpostinn.com; doubles from $500.

Bedford Post Inn

When Richard Gere and his wife, Carey Lowell, decided to try their hand at the hotel business, some might have expected a flashy, over-the-top scene fit for the Hollywood Hills. Instead, the longtime Westchester residents opened an elegant eight-room inn that pays homage to its rural surroundings. The 14-acre retreat has interiors built from reclaimed wood and a farm-to-table restaurant that serves seasonal fare such as cappelletti en brodo, a pea-filled pasta with porcini mushrooms, ramps, and Parmigiano. Rooms have working fireplaces and antique claw-foot tubs, but there’s plenty to lure guests to public spaces: in addition to freshly baked pastries served in the restaurant each morning, weekend guests enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese hour, with wines hand-selected by the property’s sommelier.

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