Mohonk Mountain House: New Paltz, New York

By Karen Holly Berliner

History can be very romantic—what with love and passion behind every building standing, every stone turned in every age and time known to man.

Enter Mohonk Mountain House…

In 1869, Albert Smiley founded the Mohonk Mountain House and today it stands as one of the most magnificent historic landmarks in the northeast. Originally a ten-room inn named the Stokes Tavern; Albert Smiley purchased it along with its 280 surrounding acres. This small inn and tavern evolved into the grand house that stands today, with accommodations for 600 guests. Owned and operated by the Smiley family since its inception, Mohonk Mountain House is a place of enchanting scenery, and what could be a more romantic backdrop than that? During its esteemed history, this glorious castle has hosted over time, a huge roster of distinguished guests, including business leaders, famous celebrities and actors, musicians, artists, authors and more. Located in New York State’s picturesque Hudson Valley, a short 90 miles north of New York City, this resort others a collection of recreational activities and wellness programs to suit all desires, including ice skating, rock climbing and 85 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, with grounds featuring colorful gardens as far as the eye can see. Add a nine-hole golf course, top notch tennis courts and stables for horseback riding and horse-drawn carriage rides and there is all awaiting you or nothing much at all but indulging the senses. Cuddle into a grand chair by the ƒreplace and read a good book or take a leisurely walk about the premises and breathe in the pristine fresh air. In season, Lake Mohonk is perfect for boating, fishing or swimming. Mohonk Mountain House also offers a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for guests of all ages including archery, boating (kayaks, paddleboats, rowboats and canoes), carriage rides, cross country skiing, fishing, fitness classes, meditation, yoga and more.

While here, visit Grove Lodge, the resort’s first new accommodations in more than 100 years. Located on the northeast side of the property, Grove Lodge features six well-appointed rooms and a sprawling great room making it the perfect retreat for families and groups.

Dining options are plentiful here as well. A stay at Mohonk Mountain House includes three meals a day and afternoon tea including many nonalcoholic beverages. With three dining establishments including the Main Dining Room, The Granary and The Carriage Lounge and helmed by Executive Chef James Palmeri, The Main Dining Room others an all-new Modern American Dinner Menu, featuring in house dry aged beef, pastas made fresh daily and soups and seasonal vegetables gleaned from local Hudson Valley farm – ers and purveyors. Experience the newly rolled out fine dining experience, featuring menus that use both local products and globally sourced specialty ingredients. Enjoy Mohonk’s popular buet experience allowing you to pick and choose your favorites. For a casual dining experience is a sublime setting, The Carriage Lounge offers light fare such as sandwiches, sal – ads and soups accompanied by beer, wine and hand-crafted cocktails. Breathtaking scenery can be relished on the Sunset Porch, where you can enjoy a cold beer, a glass of wine or an inventive cocktail overlooking the Catskill Mountains.

For an unforgettable treat, enjoy the spa on premises and indulge yourself. Completed in 2005, Mohonk Mountain House’s 30,000-square-foot Spa Wing features 16 treatment rooms, a solarium, an outdoor heated mineral pool, an indoor heated pool, comprehensive fitness center, and yoga/motion studio. Enjoy signature treatments such as the Elements of Nature–Mohonk Red Facial. Using plant-based products, this facial begins with a soothing herbal neck wrap and warm towels infused with witch hazel and includes an ultrasonic deep cleanse, exfoliation and a custom hydration using ultrasound and micro current technology to deeply penetrate the skin and stimulate collagen renewal. Perhaps add a face, neck and shoulder massage, featuring warm and cool quartz stones. The Indigo Herbal Poultice Massage is another option, featuring a steamed Indigo Herbal Poultice; this treatment relieves sore muscles and increases circulation. Float out of this experience and vow to return again soon. I did.