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Catalpa House

Catalpa House

Catalpa House, a historic bed and breakfast located in Rensselaerville, New York, offers three rooms for guests to reserve year-round. The owner describes the decor style as “eclectic,” with each room being decorated with a mix of antiques and modern pieces in a rich color palette. During a stay, visitors can read books, play games, and watch movies and TV shows from a variety of streaming services. The property also has a traditional Norwegian Viking game called "Kubb," which guests can play. Ellen Boyce, the owner, along with Edwin Csukas, says that she strives to be welcoming and friendly in the hope of creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests. The area nearby the bed and breakfast has a variety of activities that patrons can take part in, including hiking the Huyck Preserve, skiing the Windham and Hunter Mountains, and visiting the historical sites of Schoharie, such as the Old Stone Fort, the Schoharie Valley Railroad Museum and the Palatine House 1743 Museum.


The house has three rooms available for booking, all of which can accommodate two adults and have amenities such as clawfoot tubs with showers, hair dryers, and clothing storage. The Moonlight Serenade room features a king-sized bed, an adjoining private bathroom, and a “treetop view,” according to the property’s website. The Magic Hour room has two double beds and an adjoining private bathroom. Ellen, the owner, notes that the Magic Hour room is intended for friends, siblings, and other similar parties to stay in. Lastly, the Sunset Swim room has a queen size bed and a private bathroom down the hall. Ellen calls the home a “whimsical traveler's refuge” and aims to provide guests with a unique and memorable stay.

Ellen offers complimentary snacks and tea-making facilities in a shared guest area throughout the day. The dining room and the morning room are available for guests, as well as the living room and library, which has a desk and Wi-Fi for private work or calls. Multiple activities are available for patrons during their stay, such as a variety of books, board games, and jigsaw puzzles. Additionally, the game “Kubb,” a Norwegian Viking game, can be played by those staying in the home.

The outside area of the property has a firepit, outdoor couch area, hammock, and an outdoor table that guests can utilize. The porches are intended by the owner to be a spot for guests to “sit and watch the world go by,” according to Ellen. There is a small private garden area, but the house is in a residential area, surrounded by neighbors.

When creating the breakfast dishes to be served to guests of the Catalpa House, Ellen focused on making “high protein, low-sugar, and not many grains” dishes. There are three options for meals in the morning: a country breakfast with two servings of protein, vegetables, and optional sides; “grain-free” pancakes, according to the business’ website, topped with either blueberries, bananas, bacon, coconut yogurt, walnuts, or hazelnuts; or oatmeal. Breakfast is served in the morning room, and each dish is gluten-free and "hearty and healthy," according to Ellen, and there are vegan options available as well.


Ellen wants those who say with her at Catalpa House to feel comfortable, relaxed, and “pampered.” The rooms are set up with the intent of providing an experience that is “unlike the guests' normal life,” with a unique decor, according to Ellen. She additionally strives to be available to guests, provide a hosting experience, and plans on offering workshops and activities in the future.

At the Catalpa House, there are a few important policies in place to enable a more comfortable visitor experience. The bed and breakfast does not accommodate children under the age of 12, and pets are not allowed on the property. Smoking is only allowed outside of the building. The Catalpa House also has quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. every evening. Ellen notes that the property is intended for relaxation. She requests that guests refrain from using hard drugs on the property.

Those who have stayed previously at the property have commented on the ambiance of the bed and breakfast, as well as the decor, hospitality of the owner, and location of the home. One former guest said, “Catalpa House is a historic home with quaint rooms and claw foot tubs. The beds are very comfortable, and the food is delicious. This is not your typical continental breakfast.” Another patron said, "Catalpa House is so comfortable with lots of nooks and books and an expansive front porch where you can enjoy breakfast or while away the afternoon. The breakfasts are made from locally-sourced ingredients and can be vegan if you choose. But the best part was the hospitality and kindness of Ellen."

Catalpa House is located in the Great Northern Catskills region of New York, surrounded by a diverse range of attractions and activities. Some of the attractions that the guests can visit include the Egg Performing Arts Center in Albany, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Thacher State Park, Bronck Museum - the Hudson Valley’s oldest home, and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, which is the former home of Hudson River School of Art founder, Thomas Cole. The town of Hudson, about 40 minutes away from the Catalpa House, has varied antique stores and restaurants as well as the Olana State Historic Site, home of Frederick Church, another artist of the Hudson River School of Art. 


The Catalpa House was built in 1806 by a man named Frisbee and has been utilized for various purposes over the years. Some of these purposes include a ballroom, tavern, doctors' and lawyers' offices, a family home, a library, and a boarding house for some time. Edith Lounsbury, who ran the house as a boarding house in the 1920s through the 1970s, used to make a chicken dinner for up to 50 people on Sundays and host weddings and anniversary parties. After Lounsbury retired in the 1970s, the house was in private use until the 1990s, when it was renovated to modernize the bathrooms and kitchen. It was also at this time that the property was turned into a bed and breakfast by the new owners, Steve and Marlene Omlar. The current owners, Ellen Boyce and Edwin Csukas purchased the property in 2021 and renovated the interior with new wallpapers and paint colors. While no major renovations are planned for the future, they intend to keep working on the garden and patio area.

Ellen, who has worked in restaurants and catering, enjoys hosting guests and introducing them to the surrounding area. The house is located near the Huyck Preserve, which has 12 miles of trails, a waterfall, and a quiet environment for guests to slow down and process. Ellen is also a life coach and enjoys having conversations with guests about their plans and goals. 

Click for directions on Google

5032 Delaware Turnpike
Rensselaerville, New York 12147
United States


Bed and Breakfast


Ellen Boyce and Edwin Csukas

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