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V&T DECEMBER 4-10, 2019



A Mountain Retreat BY JENNIFER FAUCI

Photo courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House


igh up in the mountains of New Paltz, lies a dreamy lodge in a quiet, rustic landscape. But what may look like a Bavarian castle is Mohonk Mountain House a historic spa and resort surrounded by 40,000 acres of forest and wildlife. Founded by the Smiley family in 1869, the Victorian Castle Resort is in the midst of celebrating its milestone 150th year. And just because it’s nestled deep in the Hudson Valley doesn’t mean you’ll be short of activities.


In 1869, founder and hotel proprietor Albert Smiley purchased a 10-room inn on Lake Mohonk, eventually expanding it into the sprawling, marvelous Mountain House that exists today. Smiley’s vision was to preserve a natural paradise for guests, a place for rejuvenation from the stresses of work and city life. His twin brother Alfred also played a heavy hand in the success of Mohonk but it was Daniel Smiley, the younger half-brother, who became the

key figure in the entrepreneurial development of the home’s buildings and grounds and overall financial survival. Then, Albert Smiley purchased 300 acres and a 10-room inn by a majestic glacial lake in the Hudson Valley. Today, the fourth and fifth generations of the Smiley family are still involved in Mohonk, truly making the house a family-style resort. History tours are available for guests to learn more about the family and the home, a recommended activity for

first-time visitors to Mohonk. Also new for media lovers is Hidden Histories, an augmented reality experience that immerses guests in the history of the storied resort. A mobile app was specifically developed for Mohonk and sends visitors on a journey to locate 12 pieces of artwork that act as trigger points for the app.


Come hungry and leave full. The National Historic

see MOHONK on page 22A

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MOHONK from page 21A

offers a wide variety of options to satisfy the entire family. Choose between Landmark resort offers delicious farm- in-house dry aged beef, house-made to-table cuisine during a multi-course pasta specialties, fine seafood and meal. The main dining room with its classic desserts. lofty ceilings and cozy ambiance is Activities where guests can find the breakfast One hundred and fifty years means and lunch buffets, serving traditional 150 activities. The most popular time fare such as waffles, pancakes, omto visit Mohonk is anytime, however, elets, a salad station, carving station, many guests come for the fall foliage, sandwiches and sweet treats. winter landscape and plentiful activiGuests can partake in the Surrey ties in the summer. A lakeside nature Brunch in the fine dining room where hike with naturalist Michael Ridolfo the culinary journey begins with educates guests about pond and forest salads, soups, a yogurt parfait bar and ecology, geology, as well as natural selections from the hotel’s pastry chef. and cultural history. The one-mile But save room for more as you venture hike is an easy pace, but those who into Mohonk’s newly renovated want more of a challenge should head state-of-the-art kitchen to discover fresh seafood and egg specialties. Watch first-hand as chefs prepare your entrée to order and indulge in exquisite desserts like made-to-order crepes, bread pudding and chocolate mousse to complete this one-of-akind experience. An endearing tradition, every day at 4 p.m. guests can head to the lake lounge for afternoon tea and cookies as they cozy up by the fire to play board games, read a book or enjoy each other’s company before getting ready for dinner. Once again, you’ll head into the main dining room for the Modern American Dinner Menu, a three-course dining experience that


uphill to the iconic Skytop Tower, Copes Lookout or Eagle Cliff for stunning vistas of the property. This is also a favorite spot for photographers as they can get that classic shot of the entire resort that has become so well-known. For extremists, rock scramble through boulders and cliffs in the famous Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze. Have some fun with outdoor sports and recreation activities like tennis, golf, archery, tomahawk throwing and a horseback riding. Once warmer weather hits, take a canoe or kayak out on the lake or fish off the dock as you try and count all the 120 summer houses peppered among the

Photo by Jennifer Fauci

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the family Christmas tree or stop by the Soda Fountain for a delicious hot or iced beverage. Early riser? Watch the sun come up from a rocking chair on the front porch or wander around the house as you marvel at historical photos and items from Mohonk’s past. Whenever you decide to visit Mohonk Mountain, one thing is certain: you will be treated to an experience that you’ll never forget. Mohonk Mountain House is located at 1000 Mountain Rest Rd., New Paltz. For more information regarding special prices and packages, or to book a stay, call 845-765-3286 or visit www.

Photos courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House


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mountains. In the winter, hiking boots turn into snow shoes and trails turn into cross-country ski slopes. Guests can also enjoy ice skating and curling at the grand open air, which along with the entire resort after Thanksgiving, is beautifully illuminated in twinkling lights. And don’t forget to pamper yourself in Mohonk’s award-winning spa where guests can relax with a facial, massage, body therapy treatment or manicure at the salon. Looking for more fun? Try a flight of local craft beer in the Carriage Lounge. Take the kids to the gift shop, which has been around since 1884, and pick out an ornament to take home and adorn


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Profile for Anton Community Newspapers

Vacation & Travel 12-04-19  

Vacation & Travel is a special advertising supplement of Anton Media Group.

Vacation & Travel 12-04-19  

Vacation & Travel is a special advertising supplement of Anton Media Group.