How do you fall asleep? I enjoy a glass of red by a fire pit, a long bath in a jetted tub and a few lines of poetry by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Then I sink into the perfect nest – a firm mattress tucked in with crisp white linens and the scent of balsam.
No, this is hardly my bedroom. Rather, it’s the super chic and modern, Emerson Resort & Spa in Mount Tremper, NY – the heart of the Catskills. Normally, this casa gorgeous would be out of Santa’s price range but special discounts abound midweek in winter. And, the best part: furry companions, 50 pounds or less, are welcome!
While the gloss, glitter and shine reflects the holiday spirit at the inn it’s also about the $6 million worth of spa renovations and restaurant expansions completed over the summer. A soak in the deck’s new 12-person hot tub; “big enough to be considered a pool,” says Marketing and Sales Director, Tamara Murray, is the priceless apres-hike antidote for tired limbs.
Mutti and I navigated from hall to spa to Great room taking special note of an unfurled wall painting called Watershed by artist Alison Berry. The commissioned piece tells about the natural evolution of the Catskill region. Cozy nooks allow for nail treatments, biotech facials, newspaper reading and relaxation next to a raging fireplace.
Unspoiled views of the normally shallow Esopus mountain stream flows strong this time of year. During the tour, the harmony of the rushing water was like music to my ears. And, speaking of acoustics, let me give a shout-out to the music alchemist who piped in my favorite college alternatives, especially during dinner. I couldn’t stop singing.
At the Woodnotes Grill restaurant, once dark and somber, now bright and voluminous, Mom and I sat at a snug 2-top. In between dishes of local guinea hen and spoonfuls of butternut squash, plates described as “Catskill Creative Cooking,” Mom and I toasted with a bottle of Pinot.
As new as it might look, the historic property actually dates back to a thriving dairy farm once owned by the Riseley family. Local developer, Dean Gitter and co-founder Emily Fisher bought the abandoned buildings with the mission of turning the rural property into a tourist destination. They puzzle-pieced the grain silo into the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope and the federal-style family home into a lobby and offices. The new kaleido 10-minute show is called Star Dust and is a must-see journey for anyone enamored by mirrors and illusions.
The 19th century dairy farm was renovated into a unique motley of specialty shops featuring toys, housewares and fashion. Mutti and I lingered over the bath and body lotion collection testing out scents from all over the world. And, no need to make a lunch for a hike up Mt Tremper, order up a piled-high-sandwich-to-go at the Country Cafe. As popular as the Emerson gets, especially during holidays, it still feel exclusive because of the sprawling complex.
For more photos, visit my FLICKR album. Don’t forget your pup!
The Emerson Resort & Spa
5340 Route 28
Mt. Tremper, NY 12457