The Hudson Valley has long been known as a travel destination for those looking for a break from their hectic lives. It’s not a typical tourist area dotted with motel chains—instead, people come to seek out local business and in return are presented with lodging that suits all personalities. Here, Chronogram profiles lodging choices that are far beyond a room with a view.
A great number of restaurants in the region have created a concept that make local and organic de rigueur, and anything less is becoming unacceptable. Many of the resorts below have adopted the same concept. One hotel that was chosen has an accomplished restaurant that has won a slew of best-of awards.
Some resorts have sprawling properties that take an entire visit to roam—one even has a maze. Most of these featured also have plush spas, even some that are eco-friendly. Buttermilk Falls, one of the more well regarded properties that manager Dan Reyburn says “is neither b&b, hotel, inn, spa. It’s really just not definable,” has a menagerie of animals that roam the property.
Most have stood the test of time—some throughout hundreds of years, while the owners have painstakingly preserved the history, where generations have lived, visited, and created memories. This is about the best of the Hudson Valley’s multiple personalities.
Mohonk Mountain House
For some, the perfect getaway is not about rest, it’s just about getting away. The Mohonk Mountain House and its 2,200 acres of property with activities around every bend, are ideal for keeping cabin fever at bay. The Victorian castle is perched atop the Shawangunk Mountains, with uncompromising views of the lake. If that doesn’t float your boat (an activity that is also an option) there’s a head-spinning number of things to do, including ice skating, skiing, hiking, swimming, rock climbing, and golf. There’s even a Victorian maze on the property. It’s rumored that Stephen King has paid a visit to the Mohonk to work on his novels. Activities and daily meals, along with afternoon tea are included, but rather than schlepping it to dinner in cargos and flip-flops, gents are required to wear a jacket. And for those who want to wind down, Mohonk has an eco-friendly spa, with an outdoor mineral pool and spa treatments that will make you feel as if you did nothing the entire visit.
Antique aficionados will swoon over the one-stop road show at the Belvedere Mansion. Luxurious rooms boasting canopied beds are draped in silk damask, and the fireplaces and antique collection (mostly of the Chinese and European variety) offer the ultimate in neoclassic comfort. The marble bathrooms have claw-foot tubs. But something fascinating is happening at Belvedere—old melds with new in a conglomeration of lodging options. The owner, Patricia Rebraca, offers some interesting tidbits about the Belvedere’s newest addition, the Timbers lodge. “This earthy structure was designed using and inspired by Hudson Valley sources,” she says. The lodge features the modern amenities of a stainless steel kitchen and glass-bowl sinks, combined with natural materials of wood beams, sisal, and a rugged stone fireplace. The Timbers was recently christened by playing host to Anthony Hopkins, who Rebraca says “takes five tea bags in one cup of boiling water to make it strong enough for his liking.”
Emerson Resort and Spa
The East-meets-West theme at the supremely chic Inn at Emerson Resort and Spa is unique from the outdoorsyness of many Hudson Valley resorts. Each Asian-inspired, jewel-toned room of the 26-room of the Inn is equipped with a gas fireplace, jetted tub, and a private deck. There’s also a 24-bottle in-room wine selection. These touches attract celebrities like the Clintons, Bill Cosby, and Victoria’s Secret and Vogue Italia models. The spa at Emerson specializes in ayurvedic rituals drawing from ancient Indian healing wisdom, along with wellness classes for those seeking rest and rejuvenation. Tamara Murray, public relations director, explained that many of the guests love the property because it’s self-contained (though exploring the area’s outdoor beauty is encouraged). You never need to leave the property to visit the spa or restaurant. Also, the Inn at Emerson is adults-only (but not in that freaky-deaky, hedonistic way), so this is the ultimate retreat. If you can’t manage a sitter then you can bring the kiddies (and the pets) along to the Lodge, the more rustic property located across the road.