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Welcome to Cottagers Bottom, Bovina

SuperhostBovina Center, New York, United States
Entire house hosted by Julian
6 guests3 bedrooms3 beds1 bath
Entire home
You’ll have the house to yourself.
Self check-in
Check yourself in with the smartlock.
Clean and tidy
10 recent guests said this place was sparkling clean.
Julian is a Superhost
Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.
Cottager's Bottom: an eccentric 3-bedroom cottage in the village of Bovina, with land rolling down to a private stream and views across fields. Restored with appropriate peculiarity, retaining the dyed-in-the-wool vernacular of what was once a tannery, the telephone operator's house and now a family home. It's an original. Private and rural, yet steps from the village store and the sleepy life of this unique Catskills village. Come cook, eat, gather, watch movies and, for a moment, live here.

The space
Built in the mid-1850's, Cottager's Bottom was cobbled together from two little old houses that met in the village and decided to spend the rest of their lives glued to each other. Being stuck together, their layout and character owe little to the traditional village home. Rooms turn up where they're not expected, combine, stumble into one another. It's a little maze of doors and corridors, with its own whimsical narrative; a paean to living creatively.

The heart of the house is a vaulted room consisting of a rustic, open-plan kitchen which rolls down an accidental slope into a cosy living room with a massive couch, wood-burning stove, heaps of books, 1970's turntable, amp and speakers. An iPhone plays just fine over the wireless Apple TV network, but we hope you'll lose heart trying and put on a record instead. We have records. And in lieu of television, there's a wall-sized screen that deploys in front of the window when needed, turning the room into a fireside movie theatre. Use our Criterion Collection, Mubi, Netflix and Hulu accounts or any other account you have on that there telephone gadget of yours.

The front door opens directly into the kitchen, which has the semblance of a workshop. Counters are iron-edged bowling-alley lanes. Floating shelves are old pine from a decommissioned factory in New Jersey. The sink was stolen from Kai and John. The kitchen table has been with us for 20 years and is etched with the names of friends and a few strangers. The stove is a 4 burner Viking that lights with matches, the fridge a SMEG from Italy. The floors are wood and frequently not perpendicular to the floor. If you drop anything spherical you'll find it a few minutes later in the southwest corner of the living room. There are no cupboards, just shelves; everything is visible, to hand, ready to be used. By you as well as us. Which is emblematic of the experience of staying here. It's a home, not a pared-down Airbnb rental. We move out, the house is cleaned, you move in. Everything that was ours is now yours. And vice-versa at the end. Shelves and mason jars are full of supplies, spices, condiments. The stuff you'd expect to find in your own kitchen is here too. There are copper saucepans, steel frying pans, iron skillets, dutch ovens and every tool and implement you'd expect in a well-used kitchen. Appliances include a stand-mixer, food processor, Vitamix, rice-cooker, toaster, Bialetti stovetop espresso makers, Italian ice-cream maker, donabe, coffee grinder. Plates, bowls, cups, glasses, flatware have been gathered along the way and woven into their own storyline. We leave Italian espresso coffee and PG Tips teabags from England, (as well as WWII teapots to brew them in). We'll also have local milk and eggs waiting for you. If you're looking for a sterile rental with six IKEA bowls and a plastic corkscrew, this isn't it.

High-speed Fios wireless internet throughout. Movies stream instantly.

The kitchen has a door onto an unheated three-season interior porch, fashioned from old planks, salvaged stained-glass windows, mirrors and clown paintings. It's the perfect room for reading or composing your screenplay about wide-eye people from the city who move to the country and go slowly insane. Pass through a door taken from a catholic girl's school in Elmira onto the open deck, which feels vaguely like the prow of a ship overlooking Bovina's self-vaunted fields and hills. Sip coffee at the beer-garden table or scrape off the ceramic grill and start BBQ-ing stuff from local farms. Wander down the hill to the stream and fields. There's loads of mint in the stream for lamb or mojitos (or lamb mojitos) and a 9-foot picnic table by the water which threatens every year to be swept away by the floods, but was there last time we looked. Dangle your feet in the water, gaze across open fields to the barns and roofs of the old creamery in the distance.

The gable-end wall of the kitchen constitutes the end of one little house and the beginning of another. The attached building is a full floor higher. At ground-level there is an open office/library, windows facing north and east. An old steel workbench serves as a desk, there's an IBM electric typewriter and Apple display (which you're welcome to plug your laptop into), a wall of books, old, new, rare, odd. This room has its front door to the path and adjoins:

Winnie's bedroom - cosy, made like a ship's cabin, with elevated double bed, cubbies and it's own little built-in desk area looking down the fields to the stream.

In all cases mattresses are great, bedding and towels from Muji are, of course, provided. What kind of place would expect somebody to bring their own sheets? Each bedroom has an additional portable electric heater for flatlanders who happen to run chilly in the morning.

The library adjoins the spacious bathroom (proudly the only one in the house) with antique claw-foot tub and shower, an old pedestal sink and heated Toto 'washlet' toilet - a unique sensory undercarriage experience. There are plentiful towels, hairdryer, and a window that looks south to the hills. There's also soap and shampoo.

Between the kitchen and library a narrow, steep set of stairs take you up to two bedrooms:

Dusty's bedroom is open-plan, with a full-size old iron bed. Pass through this to:

The big bedroom with views to the south, the stream, fields, hills and beyond. The sound of running water at night (and birdsong in the morning) are abiding characteristics of sleeping in this room. Starlings are determined nesters above the windows, so no, that scratching is not a Victorian child trapped in the attic. The room has a king-size bed with redwood plank headboard, zinc shelves and cupboard. it also also has its own free-standing clawfoot tub, for languid bathing privacy and a rustic frisson of romance. The tub, full of hot water, goes well with a spritz Campari.

The basement is rough and unfinished, but has a washer and dryer which are yours to use.

There's loads of dry, seasoned firewood stacked in front of the house for use in the wood stove downstairs. And off-road parking for 3 cars, as well as an old wooden garage which we use for storage.

The village of Bovina preens itself on having become the destination of choice in the northwestern Catskills. It's a pretty, tiny, no-stoplight hamlet. The only businesses are the village store - Russell's (which we have to point out, is pretty great) and Brushland Eating House, with a locally sourced dinner menu, wine and beer. Both places are a quiet, relaxing meander down Main Street. Bovina has trails, streams, hills, a tiny library, a museum that opens once a year or not at all, and a playground. And that's it.

This is spectacular biking country. Whatever you're looking for, it's here. Undulating, quiet roads with good climbs. Dirt roads into the hills. Old, rough fire trails for the truly manly. There's a great indoor swimming pool and gym over Bovina Mountain in Arkville, open all day every day.

We have a close relationship with the well-known pizza restaurant Table on Ten in Bloomville. Head over and they'll greet you with giddy enthusiasm and wood-fired pizza, salads, weekend brunch.

But eating, farmstanding, antiquing aside, the main reason to stay here is to kick back, hang out, cook, belong, wander down to the stream and treat the house as your home. We're not encouraging you to wander or to go out at all, actually. Once you've gathered local food from the farmstands and markets, we suggest you don't get in your car again until you leave. Instead, stay home the entire time and listen to Serge Gainsbourg, flipping the record every 24 minutes whilst slow-braising local pork shoulder and perfecting your absinthe-tinged Manhattan. With a trunkful of groceries, wine and beer, there's not a lot of reasons to roam.

Guest access
All of it.

Other things to note
Cottager's Bottom is our home. It's not a hotel or curated bed-and-breakfast. The stuff here is ours. It's basically like being in a play; for a weekend, you're pretending to be a family in the village.
Cottager's Bottom: an eccentric 3-bedroom cottage in the village of Bovina, with land rolling down to a private stream and views across fields. Restored with appropriate peculiarity, retaining the dyed-in-the-wool vernacular of what was once a tannery, the telephone operator's house and now a family home. It's an original. Private and rural, yet steps from the village store and the sleepy life of this unique Catskill…

Sleeping arrangements

Bedroom 1
1 king bed
Bedroom 2
1 double bed
Bedroom 3
1 double bed

Amenities

Wifi
Kitchen
Indoor fireplace
Free parking on premises
Iron
TV
Hair dryer
Laptop-friendly workspace
Dryer
Heating

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5.0 out of 5 stars from 72 reviews
5.0 (72 reviews)

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Location

Bovina Center, New York, United States

Hosted by Julian

Joined in February 2012
  • 218 Reviews
  • Identity verified
  • Superhost
Sometime photo agent, occasional writer, cook, troublemaker. 2 daughters - 18 and 11 - part time Venice, most-time Catskills.
During your stay
Always available by phone, text and email.
Julian is a Superhost
Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.
  • Language: Italiano
  • Response rate: 100%
  • Response time: within an hour
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Things to know

House rules
Check-in: 3:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Checkout: 11:00 AM
Self check-in with smart lock
No smoking
No parties or events
Pets are allowed
Safety & Property
Carbon monoxide alarm
Smoke alarm