Home Food + Drink This Jersey City Couple Owns a Colorful Motel in the Catskills

This Jersey City Couple Owns a Colorful Motel in the Catskills

by Jean Lee
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Living in Downtown Jersey City or Hoboken, finding a great escape within the trees and mountains can seem impossible. Well, with our Airbnb and travel series, The Hoboken Girl has found the place for you — especially if you have a big group and fancy the outdoors. Grab up to 18 of your closest friends and drive about two hours north by car to an amazing Catskill escape called the Norsdale, an Airbnb owned and operated by two Jersey City locals. Keep reading for more about this amazing private property getaway, including a motel for your guests to stay in. (Yes, this seems like a Schitt’s Creek dream).

norsdale catskills

(Photo credit: @chellisemichaelphotography)

The Property

Originally built in the 1950s, the original owners built a little inn for family and friends who visited. Today, the whole property is available for rent — both the main modern home, as well as the inn, or CMYK Motel, as Shane and Jess named it.

norsdale catskills

(Photo credit: @chellisemichaelphotography)

Outside you’ll find a great area to hang out and have a picnic, a firepit for the cold nights (or winter days), and a hot tub perfect for any time of year. There are 10 acres to explore and the property is at the base of a mountain.

Every room and building provides a new color scheme to feast your eyes on. When you rent this Airbnb, you get the entire property, so don’t worry about picking the colorful room you want — and leave it up to drawing up names out of a hat if you can’t decide.

norsdale catskills

(Photo credit: @chellisemichaelphotography)

The motel includes four separate rooms, each decorated with a different color. The motel is called the CMYK Motel for Cayan, Magenta, Yellow, and Kay, each a different color used in printing. It pays homage to the printing industry which is so incredibly unique.

norsdale catskills

(Photo credit: @chellisemichaelphotography)

The main house is no different with the vibes, though it is filled with more patterns with rooms that are green, purple, red, and more. While Jersey City isn’t the focal point of the rental, the vibes in the motel and house are “playful and diverse,” just like our beloved Jersey City.

Read More: The Coolest Catskill Hotels That You Need to Book STAT

From Jersey City to Phoenicia, NY

Owners Shane and Jess Cooper wanted to find a getaway and purchased a piece of property in upstate New York to create a place for friends, family, and really everyone to visit and recharge. After getting married in August 2022, they decided to make the jump into owning another property in Upstate New York.

norsdale owners

(Photo credit: @chellisemichaelphotography)

Shane’s family friends have lived in the Phoenicia area for more than 40 years, so they were very familiar with the area, especially since it’s not super far from Woodstock, NY, another important locale for the couple and highly-coveted Catskills town. They worked with friends Jove Meyer, Nick Harris, and Tim Harrison to completely decorate the space, so there is a new Instagram opportunity in every room (no seriously, each room is a different color, but more on that later).

norsdale catskills

(Photo credit: @chellisemichaelphotography)

Even though the couple both have day jobs, they want to ensure guests enjoy their stay. “We want to help provide anything [our guests need] to make the best weekend possible,” said owner, Shane Cooper. From in-home yoga sessions to the best hiking for fly fishing in the area, they’ve got ideas galore.

Dining in Phoenicia

The center of Phoenicia is just a few minutes down the road and Kingston is about 30 minutes away. The best way to get around really is by bringing a car, but there are also taxi services Shane and Jess can help you book in advance.

For breakfast from Friday to Monday, try Sweet Sue’s Phoenicia, located at 49 Main Street, Phoenicia. The pancakes and coffee are crowd favorites. Then, head to Woodstock Brewing’s tap room located at 5581 New York 28, Phoenicia, to taste the local brews. When the weather allows, there are great tables to post up. Just make sure to visit Thursday through Sunday, because they are closed the rest of the week. And don’t worry, there is a food menu to try as the drinks keep flowing.

For dinner, try Sportsman’s Alamo Grill. This local watering hole serves up some great staples and even better local beer options. Located at 70 Main Street, Phoenicia, customers can dine inside or on the patio on a nice day. For a fancier night on the town, try The Phoenicia Steakhouse, located at 10 Main Street in Phoenicia. Then of course, there’s the world-renowned Phoenicia Diner that is a staple to any Catskills visit.

See More: Getaway Guide: Our Visit to PostBeamLove in the Catskills

Things to Do Nearby

While you really never need to leave the property, there are also a number of great activities in the area. During the winter, Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain are go-to’s for skiing,  snow tubing, and other snowy activities. During the summer, there are plenty of water holes to swim at. Shane and Jess can help you find the best option.


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A post shared by Hunter Mountain (@huntermountain)

For anyone who feels a bit more adventurous, try the Rail Explorers: Catskills Division, where visitors can ride a stretch of the railroad on a pedal-powered vehicle to see the area. Meandering the main street in Phoenicia, hitting up the Westkill Brewery, town-hopping the Western Catskills,  or heading on any number of hikes nearby is another great way to spend a few hours.

Some good trails include Mount Tremper Trail (5.9-mile hike) or the Tanbark Loop (2.1-mile hike).

This place really is the best way to spend a week (or weekend) with friends, or even host a cozy and cool bachelor/bachelorette party. It’s “kind of like our mini Schitt’s Creek,” said Shane, and it’s definitely quite a colorful gem in the beautiful Catskills mountains.

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