From the first whiff of fresh mountain air at the train station in Rhinecliff to the old white churches long since converted into homes that dapple the road to your hotel, there is an absolute release of stress that comes with a sojourn in the Hudson Valley. The gravel parking lot at the Peekamoose tap room is packed and the smoky tendrils from the outdoor fire pit follow our shuttle as it zooms by. The Catskill Mountains sandwich both sides of Route 28 and you’ve forgotten all about skyscrapers and a steel-blocked horizon.
Light years away from Manhattan, the Emerson Resort & Spa is a long, intriguing stretch of property that includes 26 opulent suites, five duplex loft rooms, a family-friendly lodge, two restaurants, an eco-friendly spa, country store, the world’s largest kaleidoscope, and 40 some odd copies of Emerson: Poems by the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets.
Inside door #504, the colorful and modern Asian-themed chamber with a fireplace, jetted bath, and mountain-facing balcony makes you wish you were staying longer than 36 hours.
But you realize—after a massage, 15 minutes in the outdoor Jacuzzi, shopping in the old 19th century dairy barn, and a sitar-serenaded feast at The Phoenix restaurant—that two days and two nights at Emerson is the perfect quick escape from NYC.
How to get there: Take the Adirondack Trailways bus to Rhinecliff station where an Emerson Resort shuttle will be waiting; it is advised you set up travel plans with the hotel in advance. Emerson will also offer transportation to and from Belleayre Mountain. For those interested in a ski and spa deal, including dinner and breakfast, Emerson offers a two night package, from $1,435 at the Inn. Rates for the standard regal or royal suite start at $299 per night.
(Emerson Resort & Spa, 5340 Route 28, Mount Tremper, NY, 877.6882828, emersonplace.com)