After decades of business travel for the international expansion of Fresh Beauty, the brand’s founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg have launched a boutique hotel: The Maker in Hudson, New York.
The new 11-room hotel officially opened on July 28, with limited availability due to Covid-19. It currently offers bookings from Thursday to Monday, with minimum stays of three nights to ensure that guest rooms will remain unoccupied for at least 24 hours in between stays. In addition, it’s operating its restaurant, café and cocktail lounge at 50% capacity. With additional Fresh alumni working on the new project, The Maker brings a beauty industry perspective to hospitality, said Glazman and Roytberg, who serve as co-presidents at Fresh.
“For us, it wasn’t really that far off” from working in beauty to starting a hotel, said Roytberg. “Family hospitality is a core value at Fresh. It’s always something that we’ve been really fascinated with. People still have to drive to come to your store to experience a treatment, to buy products — but what if you go beyond? You can connect on a much deeper emotional level with the people.” In 2016, the duo opened the kitchen, bakery and café Bartlett House in Upstate New York, which is still open.
While the hotel is owned by the couple and not affiliated with Fresh or its parent company LVMH, the owners’ beauty background is apparent. The hotel is offering each guest $115 of complimentary full-size Fresh products, including its Seaberry Shampoo and Conditioner, and Sugar Lemon Shower Gel, Body Lotion and Soap. Its gift shop also stocks a limited-edition gender-neutral fragrance created by Glazman in collaboration with Christopher Draghi, the co-founder of local Hudson fragrance brand Source Adage. Rooms at the upscale property are named after creatives including “Architect,” “Artist” and “Writer,” and range from $350-$1,150 a night.
Fresh Beauty used to have a hotel amenity program, but is currently “reevaluating” it and not distributing to other properties, said Glazman, who noted that The Maker had decided to distribute full-size products to cut down on plastic waste. “Sustainability is a very big deal. We are trying to figure out a way to supply products with a minimal amount of packaging.”
“Alina and I were always passionate about design,” said Glazman, who noted that they originally participated in the design of Fresh’s stores. While LVMH is not connected to this hotel, the luxury conglomerate has a strong interest in hospitality. LVMH owns the Cheval Blanc hotel line and completed its acquisition of hotel chain Belmond in April 2019. In addition, LVMH-owned Bulgari has six luxury hotels worldwide, with another set to open in Rome in 2022.
Glazman and Roytberg are not the first beauty founders to enter the hospitality world. Bobbi Brown also opened her own hotel, The George in Montclair, with her husband, Steven Plofker, in 2018. The company has partnerships with companies like Dyson, The Laundress and Hello toothpaste, but does not sell Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.
Although Covid-19 has decimated the hotel industry, this hotel’s proximity to New York could be an advantage, said Glazman.
“The idea of creating an escape — but a reachable escape — is very much connected to the concept of this first hotel that we would open,” said Roytberg. “Ironically, it became even more important now.”
Since the pandemic hit, planning the launch of the hotel while managing the Fresh business has been done remotely from Hudson, said Glazman. “It’s been easier this way, because we didn’t have to travel.” The Fresh Beauty corporate offices have not yet reopened, said Glazman.
Glazman and Roytberg plan to expand their hotel concept to other properties. “Our focus for the next few months is going to be really reading and adapting to the world right now,” said Glazman. “During this time, there are also other opportunities and we are definitely going to be looking into them.”