- Mohonk Mountain House
Although the Shawangunk Mountains are certainly ripe with natural beauty, the Mohonk Mountain House might be one of its most iconic wonders—and our readers agree. (Mohonk also took home top honors in the Resort and Spa categories, as well as second place in the Buffet category.) Aside from the lavish meals (including a spot of afternoon tea) that come with a stay at the resort, or the award-winning spa equipped with a eucalyptus steam room and dry rock sauna, this mountain top getaway also offers an abundance of exhilarating outdoor activities to choose from.
Purchased by the Smiley family in 1869, what was originally a 10-room inn on Lake Mohonk was soon transformed into the beloved 259-room, Victorian castle that is now the Mohonk Mountain House. Since its genesis, the iconic Mountain House has been visited by several world-renowned artists, musicians, and actors—as well as five US presidents.
Even Hollywood was drawn to the mountain top retreat, with eight productions using Mohonk as their backdrop—including Amazon Prime’s “Upload” and Showtime’s “Billions.” The fifth season of “Billions” not only featured Mohonk in one of their episodes, but the actors also stayed at the resort overnight during their tight, two-day filming schedule. The resort is even rumored to have been the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining, which was later adapted into the 1980 cult classic film starring Jack Nicholson.
Although typically open all year round, the Mountain House had to close for a short period of time due to the spread of COVID-19. As soon as Mohonk Mountain House announced their anticipated June 15 opening, their phones lit up and online inquiries poured in. Those who’ve made the resort an annual tradition should expect a few changes this summer.
“Mohonk will be implementing a number of new protocols to protect and prioritize the health and safety of staff and guests,” explains the resort’s president, Eric Gullickson. “Some of these protocols include wellness screenings at the Gatehouse, physical distancing, increased sanitization of the entire property—especially at high touch-point areas, face-mask requirements, takeout options, and modified activities, such as moving mindfulness and fitness programs outdoors.” Luckily, the majority of Mohonk’s outdoor activities allow for social distancing, meaning you can still explore the 85 miles of hiking trails or take a refreshing dip in Lake Mohonk without worrying about bumping into other guests.