Friday, May 18, 2012

Mohonk Mountain House

A Favorite Place
Step into the past
New Paltz, NY

This 19 Century treasure is a most amazing resort in upstate NY, about two hours from my place in Hartford.  A stunning drive up a winding mountain road, past the 18 hole golf course and pristine forest that goes on for thousands of acres.   You arrive at the “mountain view” side of the hotel which is only the tip of the iceberg of this stately hotel like you have never seen before.

The main house of Mohonk, with the rocking chairs facing
the lake, I love the buildings that were added on.
Many rooms have balconies with their own rockers.

There are two ways to visit Mohonk, you can go as a day guest, or stay overnight.  I have to say, I have never stayed overnight, but it is on my list of places to spend a night or ten!  I have been twice though as a day guest, which means you get access to the huge property for hiking, views and boat rentals as well as a grommet meal, afternoon tea and rocking chairs overlooking the lake.  If you stay at the hotel your meals and activities are included, thus making this a resort and not just a hotel.

This particular property started out as a small getaway in the woods, but was purchased by a set of twin brothers who grew it into something bigger and breathtaking.  As you look over the hotel you can see that it has grown in sections through the gilded age of America and continues to change with the times, but it in classy way.

Me on the lower porch overlooking the lake.
I love this picture of me.

It was many years before the hotel had electricity and remnants of the gas fixtures can still be found in the common spaces.  Until 1980’s, AC in the guest rooms was not an option, folks coming for a weeks’ vacation might bring their own fan to cool their rooms.  And as for TV’s, if you want to catch the game, you have to go down to the common rooms unless you have a tower suite. 

For day visitors Mohonk offers a great buffet lunch in the rich-wood dining hall or some days you can sit outside for a BBQ spread that is out of this world.  I have done them both!  Once you have paid for your meal you can wander through the opulent house, rest is the sitting rooms, walk through the well manicured gardens, stroll through the gift shop, chat with employees who know the history of the property, go for a hike up to the top of the mountain where a stone tower over looks the worlds.  You can sit by to dock on the lake, enjoy afternoon tea with cookies or my personal favorite way to spend time; you can sit in a rocking chair overlooking the lake.  This peaceful view from the enormous covered porch can be enjoyed for hours on end and as they have dozens of rockers on two levels you never feel like you have to give up your seat.

My mom is enjoying teh view on the mountain side
of the hotel.

You can also pay extra for canoes that you can take around the lake, enjoy their beach for a swim, go rock climbing or enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride.

If you are looking for a great place to experience nature, a beautiful hotel to stay at for a romantic weekend, an award winning spa and a way to step back in time then Mohonk Mountain House is the place for you.

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