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The Best Place To Laugh At The Mayan End Of The World (Unless They Were Right): The Roxbury Motel In New York
Forbes Magazine
December, 2012

By Ann Abel

The brand-new “Archaeologist’s Digs” cottage at the Roxbury—the Hudson Valley’s most fun, best-run “boutique motel,” about three hours from New York City—isn’t just about the Mayans, but part of it pays homage in grand style. The Mayan Temple bedroom cleverly riffs on the ancient civilization’s numerical system and astrological calendar. It’s a great place to be next week or anytime this winter. (It’s welcoming its first guests December 26, with rates from $650.) The three-bedroom house is a comfy, campy base to look back and laugh at this whole “end of the world” thing, while also warming up in front of a fireplace after a day of skiing. (All four nearby ski basins are currently open.)

The Roxbury is among the most theatrical places I’ve ever stayed—the owners worked and performed on Broadway before becoming hoteliers—and this is their tour de force. They call it a “room adventure,” and they filled it with pieces they picked up at auction when the estate of a local antiquities enthusiast was liquidated.

Their primary focus is Indiana Jones, who is most cheekily represented in a bedroom with brown leather walls and a bed canopy made of 40 bullwhips. And the rest of it is what Indy might have collected if he’d been experimenting with hallucinogens and had access to top-notch craftsmen: It’s a madcap mashup of secret passageways, hidden treasures, idols, reptile skins, hieroglyphics, gold, treasure maps, sultan’s tents, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Micronesians, Indians Romans, Spartans, Arabians, Aztecs, Siamese, Trojans, and a 400-gallon saltwater aquarium separating the living room from the Cleopatra’s-underwater-tomb-themed bathroom.

But about the Mayans: The hidden temple bedroom is the most playful (if not most spacious) feature. The cottage’s foyer has a six-foot boulder suspended from the ceiling and damask snake-print wallpaper designed by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, and a 3-D wall sculpture of a Mayan god that could pass a relief from Chichen Itza. The face also contains a secret lever that makes the wall swing open to reveal a snug bedroom with an extra-long full-size Murphy bed that folds down when you pull the nose ring of another Mayan sculpture—this one of a maternity goddess (hmmmm).

Designed by high-caliber Hollywood set designers (The Bourne Legacy is among their recent credits), the bedroom has the look and feel of an ancient stone temple tells the story of the Mayan numerical system, alphabet, and astrological chart. The illuminated blue night-sky ceiling depicts the civilization’s cosmology.

It’s the kind of fantastic, fantastical place that will make you happy the world didn’t actually end.

Click here to view the story and slideshow of photos as they originally appeared in Forbes.