Are you looking for an escape from your everyday surroundings? How about a luxurious suite? A peaceful and private campsite in a beautiful spot? Maybe you’d prefer one of those things, and the person you want to escape with prefers the other. Well, how about both at once?
“We found our passions later in life, took a leap of faith, and couldn’t be happier about it. We love doing this, creating experiences.”
- Alexandra Yosh
The thing about camping is, it typically takes a fair amount of gear and setting up for most of us to get truly comfortable in the great outdoors. The thing about luxury suites is, you’re typically surrounded by other people. But if you’re looking for a getaway that combines the best aspects of both, check out the offerings of The Brigham Group for an experience that’s anything but typical.
“People ask what we do and I say, ‘We build forts,’” laughs Alexandra Yosh, who owns and operates The Brigham Group with her husband, William Yosh. “And we absolutely love that. We’re happy fort builders.”
That joy comes through in the forts they design and build. The Nest @ Woodstock, located on two private acres, is a three-platform “glampsite” featuring a 14x16-foot safari-style sleeping tent amidst the trees, fitted out with a queen-size bed with memory foam mattress and plush luxury bedding.
The Nest @ Woodstock, located on two private acres, is a three-platform “glampsite” featuring a 14x16-foot safari-style sleeping tent amidst the trees, fitted out with a queen-size bed.
Nearby is a rustic, beautifully appointed outdoor kitchen with Keurig, teapot, mini-fridge, propane grill, and rollaway bar, and a gazebo with a comfy couch and chairs, with overhead lighting and insect netting. Oh, and you’ll have electricity.
If you’re thinking this sounds glorious and the only thing that could make it better would be being right on the water, Alex and William have another “fort” that’s right up your alley—Hudson Cove, a luxe safari tent right on the Esopus Creek equipped with kayaks and tubes for your pleasure. So who are the people behind this concept? William grew up in Saugerties, then spent 15 years in the city as a design professional. Alexandra, born and raised in Queens, worked in banking and had found her way as far upriver as Rockland County before she met William and fell in love with both the man and the laid-back part of the Hudson Valley he called home. “We found our passions later in life, took a leap of faith, and couldn’t be happier about it,” says William. “We love doing this, creating experiences. We’ve stayed at both places in all kinds
of weather, to be certain guests would have everything they need—and there’s something very magical about being able to sit out by the fire pit late into the evening and then fall into an incredibly comfy bed just steps away.”
“People will spend three or four days and say it’s life changing—we change their minds about relaxation, about the importance of disconnecting and connecting.
As a reviewer puts it, guests can “go from a five-star hotel, to mountain living in one zip of the tent.” “Listening to the owls and crickets, watching the fireflies—it's magical and enchanting; we strive to make it super-tempting and I like to think we have a little something for everyone,” says Alexandra. “For many people it’s their first time outdoors. I love when they message us ‘sitting in the car just waiting for the bear to walk by.’ People will spend three or four days and say it’s life changing—we change their minds about relaxation, about the importance of disconnecting and connecting. These are experiences, not just stays.”
The not-so-hidden agenda is the hope that guests who fall in love with the outdoor experience will come away with the kind of appreciation for nature that leads them to walk lightly on the earth. “Our goal is to enhance without destroying,” says Alexandra. “We like to make things green. We have an amazing contractor who builds any madness we can think of; he brings us reclaimed wood and stained-glass windows. We collect rainwater to use at The Nest; it’s fun!”
Your hosts are welcoming and responsive, just a text, phone call, or email away depending on your preferred communication method. “I am super-picky in setting up, and if there’s any issue we try to resolve it within an hour,” says Alexandra. “We drop everything for guests. They are our lifeline, and if they are happy they will tell their friends.” William’s design background is at the root of what makes these accommodations so extra-special.
“Any time my husband puts something into Photoshop, it comes to life,” says Alexandra proudly. “That’s how The Nest was born: His beautiful drawings became a reality. He makes it look amazing, then we bring it to life. He gets up at dawn and draws, researches, cuts, pastes, until it’s perfect.” In the future, the special hospitality style that defines The Brigham Group will be available in even more carefully selected locations.
The couple has a property in a Puerto Rican fishing village that they plan to get up and running as soon as the pandemic finally and truly abates, because “the woods are glorious, but so is the ocean,” William observes. “We’d like to have something for everyone.” If the outdoors are not for you, The Brigham Group also has two fully appointed houses. Try Brigham Place in Lake Katrine—with 150 feet of frontage on the Esopus Creek, rolling hills, and barns on an organic bison farm. Or enjoy Woodbine Way in New City in Rockland County, where you can kick back at your private retreat and leave the worries of the city behind. In the fall and winter, enjoy the cozy fireplace; in late spring and summer, enjoy the pool oasis.
Also in the works: more Hudson Valley spots. They have their eye on one in Saugerties and are scouting for another. There may be geodesic domes in the picture. Whatever may come, the basic recipe of design-forward luxury in a private camp-style setting handled with white-glove service will define their offerings.
“We like to dream big and then make it happen,” says Alexandra. “My husband’s wild, quirky ideas, my practicality, and the fact that we both love people have made this work really well so far; people are loving it. The Nest was even booked over New Year’s—it’s got a propane heater. We’re just going to keep building our forts, while staying small enough that we can anticipate and meet your every need. We kinda took a leap of faith, doing this—and now our dream is real.”
The Brigham Group:
the nest @ woodstock, hudson cove,
woodbine way, brigham place
You can book The Nest or Hudson Cove through AirBnB; there’s a direct link on The Brigham Group’s website.