Cold Spring Water
Made in the USA
Unparalleled hospitality since 1982
The Osborn House circa 1800s
Considered “America’s First Vacationland”, this area of Greene County, NY has offered exquisite lodging accommodations and distinguished hospitality for 195 years. The Catskill Mountain House, designed to be one of the grandest hotels in the world, operated in its prime from 1850 to 1900 and welcomed famous guests and three American presidents! Although no longer standing, it was perched on the cliff face by North Lake where guests often hike, swim and explore Kaaterskill Falls today.
Sprawling resorts began to nestle among the Northern Catskill Mountains, offering a cool refreshing retreat for affluent socialites looking to escape the heat of the summer, the stress of city life, and the stuffy air that shared conditions, like the then common tuberculosis. Windham, originally a part of Woodstock, was constituted a separate town, March 27, 1798. Two years later the new county of Greene, named for General Nathaniel Greene of Revolutionary fame, was established from parts of Ulster and Albany counties. The original name of Windham Village was Osbornville, after the family of Osborns – Bennet, Milo, Nathan, Merritt, who were so active in building the village. The Osborn domain was over 100 acres and incorporated what is now Windham.
In 1848 the name was changed to Windham Center. This was done by an Act of Congress instituted by Assemblyman Zadock Pratt of Prattsville. It was rumored that this was done because of resentment against Bennet Osborn who reportedly campaigned against Mr. Pratt before his nomination for assemblyman.
The Osborn House, a family built and owned this seasonal vacation complex, swelled to a capacity of 300 summer tourists in the early part of the century. The 100-acre property changed owners several times and eventually over time was parceled off and neglected.
In 1976, Lenore & Vito Radelich purchased the Osborn House Grill, located directly across from the inn and opened up La Griglia Ristorante, a 175 seat Northern Italian restaurant. Several years later, they had the opportunity to purchase two of the original cottages of the former Osborn House. Imagining their former glory, Lenore and Vito began work on these Queen Anne Victorian Ladies.
The front building of the inn is design by architect, George F. Barber. In the mid 1800s, Barber produced his first architectural designs while working for his brother’s construction firm. In early 1888, Barber published The Cottage Souvenir, which contained 14 house plans. The bulk of Barber’s business followed the ‘catalog architecture’ model popularized by earlier architects. Barber’s great innovation was his willingness to personalize his designs for individual clients at moderate cost. Though his firms’ records no longer survive, it is believed that he sold as many as 20,000 plans in his career. Since he frequently modified his designs to fit his clients’ needs and specifications, his houses are sometimes difficult to attribute with any certainty, however, certain elements are thumbprints of Barber.
In 1890, Barber published The Cottage Souvenir No. 2, in which we find ‘Design No. 142’ that is the front of the inn. Albergo Allegria showcases Barber’s signature ‘key-hole’ window, front porch and stained glass. This building, originally named ‘Cottage 2’ by the Osborn’s, remains on its original stone foundation and has not moved since it was built circa. 1892. Its sister house, ‘Cottage 1’, was originally located 200 feet to its right. In 1984 Vito and Lenore moved the cottage, with all its dishes resting in their cupboards, intact 400 feet. Remarkably, nothing was damaged and the Radelich’s attentively rescued all salvageable wood, stained glass and even corner moldings. The original staircase was reassembled in the newly built section joining these two structures; painstakingly echoing the detailed trim and carefully painted woodwork of the originals.
In discussing his architectural philosophy, Barber argued that Nature has ‘faithfully and accurately adhered to the Divine law of harmony,’ and that no place should adhere more closely to the fundamental principles of nature than one’s house. Barber considered proportion the most important element in architecture, likening it to harmony in music, ‘without which all else is a failure’. He described ornamentation as the next most important element, as it gives proportion expression. Lastly was ‘harmony of form,’ or the relationship of curved and straight lines to one another.
Vito and Lenore, resonated Barber’s philosophy. After a two year period, the inn was completed and named Albergo Allegria, Italian for the ‘Inn of Happiness’. Furnished with period wallpapers and antiques throughout, all bedrooms were designed to offer guests modern amenities in a setting filled with character and history. The twelve guest rooms are named after the 12 months of the year; the four suites after the four seasons.
The former Osborn House horse stables were transformed into five Carriage House accommodations. Opened to guests on December 24th 1996, these deluxe rooms are located just behind the inn and provide spacious lodging for seekers of privacy and indulgence. Several of the main house fireplaces are framed with the historic solid oak floorboards of the original horse stables. With each room named after a different herb, the Carriage House overlooks wild thyme fields, the inn’s vegetables and herb gardens and is just a stone’s throw from the Batavia Kill creek that runs though the inns property.
Albergo Allegria continues to offer guests a restful oasis amidst the peaceful luxuriance of the surrounding Northern Catskill Mountains. We are proud to be part of this area’s tradition of classic hospitality.
Greene County Registered Historic Site
Experience Albergo Allegria, the Inn of Happiness – Est. September, 1982
Albergo Allegria est. 1982
“Wouldn’t it be nice to own an inn?”, was the inner monologue of Lenore Radelich as she sat in her office balancing the books of her Northern Italian eatery, La Griglia Ristorante. Perhaps inspired by the then popular Bob Newhart show, she gazed across the road at the former Osborn House buildings, now in a state of disrepair and severe neglect. The vison was cast and on September 28, 1982 the property was purchased and named Albergo Allegria, Italian for the “Inn of Happiness”. It opened its doors with the grace and hospitality of another century, and matured into the “Country Boutique Hotel with a Provencal-style Vibe” it is known for today.
But what happened in between? Work. Lots, and lots, and lots of hard work. Years of continual renovations, repairs, remodeling, and restoration took place; sometimes feeling like it’s never stopped. “There’s always something to do, something ‘to make better’ for the guests and to keep authentic”, says Vito in his soft Italian accent. The architectural and decorative details were painstakingly preserved as the innkeepers strive to keep as much of the tangible history as possible. Preservation throughout this sprawling 21 room hotel property blends the past and the present, with modern amenities. Antiques alongside whirlpool tubs, dream-worthy mattresses gazing up at century-old stained glass windows. The outdoor grounds offer a feeling of sense of place, while harmonious with a bohemian whimsy.
January 2014 ushered in the long-term plan of Vito and Lenore maneuvering into retirement with Marianna and Leslie taking the reins of the inn. Both families still work side-by-side as Marianna notes, “My parents are still my training wheels, and we couldn’t do it without them, their insight, or their wisdom. Likewise, we’re blessed with a charming team of friendly, hard-working staff; excellence in hospitality is our goal post.”
Marianna grew up in the family’s restaurant business. She added to hospitality the heritage of her parents and graduated with a Hotel Restaurant Management degree from Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks. Leslie, a native of Perth, Western Australia, met Marianna while traveling through Windham on a mission trip and they married in 1992. Leslie is an active volunteer and interior firefighter with Windham Hose Company #1, holds the office of a Windham Fire District Commissioner, and proudly became an American Citizen.
Marianna and Leslie’s sons followed in the entrepreneurial tradition and opened their own business, Bean Wise Coffee. At the ages of eleven and ten, they were the youngest members of the Windham Chamber of Commerce and active business owners. In their latter high school years, they put their coffee business on the proverbial back burner, split their assets, and started a new chapter in their lives. In the fall of 2020, their eldest son was accepted into The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, while their youngest son finishes his senior year of high school.
What started out as a “wouldn’t it be nice thought” has become a second generation family business that carries on the hospitality traditions that founded our mountainous area. Welcome to Albergo Allegria, and Welcome Back to The Catskills.
Squeaky Clean Cleanliness
Our dream-worthy beds are prepared with the simplicity of a European custom… a fitted sheet and fluffy comforter. Each comforter is tucked into a fresh duvet cover that is laundered between each and every guest. Likewise, additional closet linens, like a cozy blanket, and extra pillow are attentively laundered every time they are removed from the closet.
Bathroom towels and guest amenities are cleanly kept in the closet! Free from bathroom bacteria. For these same sanitary reasons, our practice has been uncompromised cleanliness for decades. What has been ‘common sense sanitized’ for us is just now being implemented across the hotel hospitality industry. Unparalleled guest room cleanliness beckons you to sleep well knowing we are committed to cleanliness, and your comfort.
Allergen-free & Eco-friendly
Without compromising cleanliness, we choose chemical-free, non-harmful, plant-based cleaning products. The respiratory health of our hard working staff, and our guests, remains a top priority. For years, our product of choice is Melaleuca. Proven safe and effective, the EPA placed Sol-U-Guard on their approved list for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting against viruses like SARS and COVID-19. Used throughout the inn, Melaleuca products provide protection and piece-of-mind. For those with allergies, all current housekeeping products used in guest rooms include, but are not limited to, Melaleuca’s Sol-U-Guard, Mela-magic, and Clear Power; additional products include Windex, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Magic Eraser, occasionally Tilex, and other agents.
Almost all guest room carpets have been replaced with wood flooring for a better night’s sleep. Several rooms have area rugs and there are a few more rooms slotted to have their wall-to-wall carpeting removed. Flooring details for each guest room is noted on room’s description.
Regarding bedding: every primary bed has a feather down comforter, and all rooms have non-down pillows. Secondary beds have blankets. Guests with down allergies can request non-down bedding for their room, but the request must be made a minimum of 24-hours before your arrival.
Note all allergies of those in your traveling party in the “Special Requests” field during the online reservation process, especially food related. If you have any concerns, please contact us. For those with severe or life threatening allergies, please understand we cannot guarantee your safety.
Expectations are outlined to eliminate or reduce confusion and increase personal responsibility. To achieve the goal of viral and bacterial mitigation, proper handwashing is key. Secondary, is the use of hand sanitizers but the much-overlooked activation time for those to work needs to occur. Please bring, and carry with you, personal hand sanitizer (with 60% alcohol, minimum) to be used during your time at our hotel and while enjoying Windham, NY. After properly applying hand sanitizer, do not touch anything for at least three minutes.
Viral midigation requires cooperation, think partnership, between the responsibility of the property, and the responsibility of its guest. Read about “What is expected of me, the guest?” under COVID & Safety Info section of out virtual Guidebook.
If you have further questions on the “what and why” of our COVID-19 response, I invite you to reach out to me via email and I would be delighted to contact you directly.