Attention, attention, fellow New Yorkers!
Seeking a winter wonderland getaway that won’t break the bank or require long travel?
Wishing to get in the holiday spirit with some last minute shopping and festive fun?
Or perhaps you are looking ahead for a winter ski weekend with close proximity to NYC?
Regardless of your winter and holiday travel desires, I think that any Yankee could use a little rest and relaxation up in the mountains this season.
Ladyhattan here, reporting on the Emerson Resort & Spa, located an easy two-hour drive from midtown Manhattan. This luxury lodge offers something for everyone with a diversity of on and offsite activities, a beautiful spa facility, and cozy plush rooms overlooking snowcapped mountains. The Resort specializes in incredible packages for every occasion including babymoons, anniversaries, birthdays and even customized celebrations. Below I am sharing some glimpses through the Ladyhattan lens (with highlighted features and travel ideas) on my recent holiday escape to the Emerson Resort & Spa.
As always, you can scroll to the bottom of this full blog post to find a handy Ladyhattan Guide for fast facts and information about booking this sweet escape.
Welcome to the Emerson
For more than two centuries, travelers have discovered the unspoiled beauty hidden among New York’s Catskill Mountains. Early settlers established farms, which gave birth to small towns like Woodstock and Phoenicia. The site of the Emerson Resort & Spa was once The Riseley Flat, a thriving dairy farm built in 1840. Part of the Resort features the original farmhouse, photographed here.
Suites in the modern part of the Emerson feature gas fireplaces to keep you cozy — this part of the Emerson is referred to as the “Inn” and boasts all your modern luxuries.
As mentioned, guests can customize travel plans through a variety of packages or personalized requests to make sure their stay is extra special. Because we are expecting our first baby, we enjoyed the “mama-to-be package” and were delighted upon arrival to tasty treats and gifts.
The bathrooms in the suites at the “Inn” side of the property feature the finest of white marble soaking tubs, spa-like waterfall showers and high-end Beekman soap products.
In contrast to the more modernized rooms at the “Inn” portion of the property, the resort also features “Lodge” rooms which are ideal for families and provide a truly authentic luxury cabin experience. The Lodge rooms are designed with a log cabin feel and are close to the hotel’s seasonal pool, Emerson Park, and Catamount Dog Park.
The Woodnotes Grille was absolutely delicious and a fantastic spot to enjoy a hot, locally fresh, delicious breakfast spread. You must try to the fluffy buttermilk pancakes topped off with local Catskills maple syrup.
Below is a photograph of the grand entrance to the property’s spa facility. Here you will find a variety of organic relaxation, body and beauty treatments to select from. All guests have access to the general spa services and facilities, including the steam, sauna, relaxation room and outdoor hot tub area. The spa offers several prenatal friendly pampering services, and I highly recommend the prenatal massage for the ultimate mama-to-be experience.
The outdoor hot tub has a stunning view over the riverfront and mountain tops. Snow sprinkled on the pristine natural landscape makes the ambiance idealistic for a winter wonderland escape.
Shopping at the Emerson
The shops onsite at the Emerson property were truly impressive and offer something for everyone to enjoy. I was elated to discover the charm of these local boutique shops that were decorated for the Christmas season because I could complete some much-needed holiday shopping for my family members.
What I loved most about the shops was the local and old-fashioned touch to the overall shopping experience. When you purchase an item, someone will help you carefully wrap the item up as a gift in pretty paper and a ribbon – just like in the good old days.
It felt so nice to be able to look at beautiful products for the home, kitchen and holiday rather than staring at a computer engaged in the typical “online shopping” so many of us get sucked into these days. There is nothing quite like a personalized and local shopping experience, particularly around the holiday season when the shopkeepers are more than happy to help you find the perfect gift and then wrap it in a big-red bow.
Locally wax poured balsam fir candles were on display in an antique hutch. These are the perfect gift for a coworker, loved one or close friend. I bought several and recently lit one in my home when I returned from this trip – the smell is the ultimate Christmas scent and gets you immediately into the seasonal spirit.
Here in the kitchen and culinary shop, you can find locally made treats such as jams, syrups, spreads, fudge and candy. The Hudson Valley is filled with fresh farms and locally made products that are worth trying and gifting for the next special occasion.
As I walked through the shops onsite at the Emerson Resort & Spa, I met Patricia Davis, a local craft maker and artist who specializes in the production of character dolls (including Santa and his elves).
It was lovely to chat with Patricia, a local artist in the Hudson Valley community, and learn about her passion for making these incredibly detailed and ornate pieces that fill so many homes during the holidays. Featuring local artists is another highlight of the Emerson experience that adds character and stories to this magical mountain escape.
Here you can also have the chance to see the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope, an experience that is complimentary for all guests and located in the Shops at the Emerson.
There is a kaleidoscope gift shop where you can even build your own kaleidoscope through the Kaleidoscope class ($16 per kit). A small toy shop filled with puzzles, games and kid-friendly kaleidoscopes is located adjacent to where the class takes place and will be a total hit with your curious little ones.
My favorite of all the shops at the Emerson was the home goods boutique. This store was gorgeously adorned with festive accents and home furnishings for the holidays.
I absolutely loved the cozy “cabin/farmhouse chic” accents such as the faux fur throws, antiqued lanterns, and stacked coffee table books beside pinecone candles. Any lady who loves decorating and interior accents could easily spend hours scouring the fantastic finds in this particular shop.
From sitting cozy fireside overlooking the snow capped mountains, to an afternoon spent shopping and indulging at the luxury spa, The Emerson Resort & Spa offers the perfect oasis from the hustle and bustle of big city living. It’s amazing that this quiet and peaceful retreat is an easy two hour drive away, because once you arrive through the doors of the restored farmhouse you truly feel more than a million miles away.
Regardless of season visited, you will be able to enjoy the assortment of activity, natural beauty and local flare all found here at the Emerson. For more specific details and information on this property, you can reference the Ladyhattan Guide featured below.
Ladyhattan Guide to the Emerson:
- Surrounded by majestic mountains, tranquil forests and rushing waters, the Emerson Resort & Spa is nestled in the heart of the Catskill Mountains.
- 2 hour scenic drive from Midtown Manhattan.
- The Emerson offers 26 spacious rooms in the contemporary style Inn (more modern/luxurious) and 27 rooms in the log cabin style Lodge (great for families with a rustic-cabin feel/kitchenette equipped suites).
- Rates for rooms at the upscale Inn start at roughly $250/night – these rooms feature private balconies and fireplaces with an open living room space.
- You can secure the most competitive rates if you plan your escape during the week days.
- Onsite restaurant at the property, Woodnotes Grille serves “Catskill Creative Cooking” prepared with fresh local ingredients and an innovative twist.
- Beautiful spa facility features relaxation rooms, steam, sauna, an outdoor hot tub terrace overlooking the mountains and luxury treatment options – massages, facials, body scrubs, manicure, makeup and hair salon services as well.
- The spa also offers prenatal friendly services for expecting mothers!
- The Shops at Emerson are steps from the main lobby and offer a diverse range of boutique shopping options with a variety of gifts, fashions, housewares, toys and local food products for purchase.
- Hiking, biking, tubing, fishing, kayaking and skiing are just a few of the outdoor adventures located onsite or just minutes away depending on the season and your preference.
- The Emerson is also home to the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope and there is an amazing kaleidoscope toy shop and gift shop that both adults and children can spend hours enjoying.
- This property is dog friendly, which is always an added bonus for the dog lovers!
- Nearby historic towns throughout the Catskills are fantastic for exploring – be sure to checkout old downtown Phoenicia (which is just a 3 minute drive from the resort) or Woodstock (about 15 minutes by car).
- To book this amazing resort and spa experience for your next sweet escape from the NYC area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-688-2828.