Clove Cottages is the offspring of a proud husband-and-wife team who’ve chosen to share their sense of creativity and environmentally-friendly hospitality with the public. “We love nature—hiking, camping, animals, gardening—and vintage items,” says Michelle Gullickson. “We are the proud owners of a 1963 Shasta Compact camper, a 1965 Ford Ranchero (to tow the little camper to our campsite), and two 1964 Honda motorcycles (to tour around on once we get there). Each of these is in need of some restoration work, which we also enjoy doing.”
“We are very pleased to provide a comfortable, peaceful place for folks to come unwind and enjoy this fabulous area.”–Michelle Gullickson, co-owner
Noah Gullickson’s family has been in this area since the 1800s; Michelle came to this area from Smithtown on Long Island, where her parents still reside. Each is the eldest of three siblings—he of three brothers, she of three sisters.
“We reclaimed this property from a run-down state and are very pleased to provide a comfortable, peaceful place for folks to come unwind and enjoy this fabulous area,” says Michelle. “We’re pretty laid-back in our approach to hospitality and tend to let the guests set the level of involvement with us that they desire. We are friendly and we do all we can to ensure our guests are happy and comfortable.”
Meanwhile, the couple hopes to demonstrate that green living can be fun. “We hope that our commitment to lightening our environmental footprint by recycling, composting, and generating solar power inspires our guests to do likewise,” says Michelle. “We are concerned with not only earning a living, but with the sustainability of our endeavors and its impact on our planet. Our guests are usually eager to get into a more natural setting and get their feet on the ground (or their tushes into a hammock!), breathe in the fresh air, and listen to the rural sounds of nature.”
When the couple met in 2001, both were recently divorced and separated from their first spouses. Noah was a carpenter and had been building houses with his dad Ron. In 1995, Ron purchased a vacant, vandalized 1940s bungalow colony as an investment. Noah later purchased the property from him, built his house (incorporating two cottages in the structure), and began reclaiming the cottages.
“We’re pretty laid-back in our approach to hospitality and tend to let the guests set the level of involvement with us that they desire.”–Michelle Gullickson, co-owner
Though her degree is in geology, Michelle had been working as a social worker for teens in foster care. After meeting Noah, she became an environmental educator at Minnewaska State Park while she and Noah continued renovating the cottages. “We opened Clove Cottages in 2002 with two cottages and continued getting the others restored over the next few years,” says Michelle. They now operate seven cottages, all of which have a kitchen completely stocked with ammenities to cook with, an outdoor grill, a bathroom, heating and air conditioning, and wifi service. They are clean, simple, and charming, with plenty of space in between them, allowing for peace and quiet to enjoy the acreage and the views. They vary in size from studio to two-bedroom.
The couple hopes to demonstrate that green living can be fun.
“We’re pretty unique at this point, since so many other bungalow colonies that were once so popular in this area have fallen into ruin. Our guests find it’s just so nice to be able to get away and have their own little house with a hammock and a grill that’s near great attractions. We’re child- and pet-friendly. We’ve got two pet llamas, many cats, a dog, and three hens.” Clove Cottages offers midweek and week-long stay specials to make their little slice of paradise affordable. “We rely a lot on repeat customers and word of mouth since we don’t advertise with the big online hotel sites,” says Michelle. “This is our sweet sixteenth year, and it’s so great because we now feel experienced in what we do, and that brings a confidence to all we do. And we do a lot. We actually do not have employees, though we plan to hire some help in the coming years.”
When the cottages first opened, Michelle says, “we were a B&B and we would stock the kitchens with offerings of breakfast foods for guests to prepare. It was nice and most guests liked it, but it wasn’t something we could sustain. Because the cottages have kitchens, people would bring their own food so there was waste if they didn’t expect it.
Also, it wasn’t what people expected of a B&B, so guests who expected a B&B were disappointed. So we changed our model and stopped stocking the fridge and everyone became a lot more clear about what to expect, which increased everyone’s satisfaction. We kept our homemade granola and our Sunday scone delivery, much to everyone’s delight!” Michelle and Noah’s satisfaction is found in hearing what a great time has been had, as well as in helping to make it happen. “It is always such a pleasure to see folks return from a day spent hiking or touring the area, sitting in their Adirondack chairs with a glass of wine, beer, or cider they just purchased locally, watching our llamas graze at the end of a beautiful day, and know we have provided the opportunity for that experience,” says Michelle. “It’s magical!”
Clove Cottages 200 Rock Hill Road, High Falls