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Discover Wellness in Nature at Mohonk Mountain House

Regardless of the season, wellness reigns supreme in all of the activities at Mohonk Mountain House.
An aerial view of Mohonk Mountain House and Skytop Tower

Upon passing through the welcome gate at Mohonk Mountain House, you might be instructed to follow the road up to the main building. Signs that read “drive slow” and “quiet please” pepper the roadway, and for good reason. If you listen, you’ll likely hear hikers on trails or birds overhead. You might even see a fox crossing the road (like I did). About a mile up the way, you’ll pass the resort’s award-winning gardens before the trees open up to what staff and guests alike have come to know as “the view:” a breathtaking spot from which the 153-year-old, seven-storied historic castle seems to appear out of thin air. If visiting in the spring and summer, you’ll be greeted with lush greenery, while in the fall and winter you’ll be treated to dazzling Hudson Valley foliage and snow-topped trees. A resort for all seasons, there’s something different to experience each time you visit Mohonk Mountain House.

Despite its plethora of modern amenities, stepping into Mohonk Mountain House feels like stepping back in time, likely because much of the resort still utilizes its original structure from the late 19th century. Nestled on 300 acres, Mohonk Mountain House—then Stokes Tavern, a 10-room inn—was purchased by Albert Smiley in 1869 to serve as a place where he and his family could relax and unwind the mind, body, and spirit in a natural setting. The mission of Smiley and his property have remained true throughout the centuries, as Mohonk Mountain House is still owned and operated by the Smiley family today.

What We Love:

  • In-room fireplaces and private balconies facing the Catskill Mountains and Lake Mohonk
  • 85 miles of trails for walking, hiking, skiing, and horseback riding
  • Greenhouse and Garden shop offering a variety of heirloom plants, garden accents, and more
  • Curated events programming, including lakeside concerts, movies under the stars, and more
  • All-inclusive meal packages

Not To Miss:

  • The Lakeview Summerhouse outdoor treatment room at the award-winning Spa at Mohonk Mountain House
  • Cocktail hour on the Sunset Porch
  • Breathtaking carriage rides to Copes Lookout or Eagle Cliff
  • Walking trail with QR codes featuring Mindful Moments from Nina Smiley, Ph.D.
  • Nine-course Chef’s Table tasting experience

Guest Rooms

Victorian King Mountain
A King Victorian Room at Mohonk Mountain House

The property is home to 259 guest rooms and suites, in addition to the Grove Lodge, which features six luxury guest rooms, natural stone fireplaces, and a 1,080-square-foot Great Room. Thankfully, my room on the fifth floor was ready before the resort’s standard 4:00 pm check in time, so I was able to sneak in and check out my digs early. To my surprise (and excitement), I was in one of the Victorian Rooms, which boasts a private balcony and two antique-style rocking chairs facing the Catskill Mountains, as well as an authentic, wood-burning fireplace. My room had a queen and a twin bed, while other Victorian Rooms have king beds. The warm wood touches and soothing earth tones bring the outdoors in and reflect the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley region. To really encourage your connection with nature, technology is minimal around the resort, and you won’t find a television in your Victorian Room . With all of the activities available, you likely won’t be spending much time in your room at all, though it was lovely to have a cozy place to call home while visiting.

Cuisine

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The Chef’s Table tasting area

One of the biggest appeals for guests of Mohonk Mountain House is the all-inclusive overnight packages, which include three meals a day plus afternoon tea and cookies. With two dining rooms, two cocktail lounges, an old-fashioned soda fountain shop, and numerous seasonal activations, there is no shortage of dining options on site. I ate most of my meals at The Granary, a seasonal, outdoor casual buffet overlooking Lake Mohonk that served country-style breakfasts, barbecue lunches, and evening cookouts, complete with a lobster bake. I also ate a few meals in the Main Dining Room, which is also open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offers a three-course dining experience with a wide variety of options including house-made pastas, nightly specials, and classic desserts. The only thing better than the food was the mountain views from the room’s enormous west-facing windows.

For an additional cost, foodies will not want to miss the nine-course, three-hour Chef’s Table tasting menu and wine pairing. The unique culinary experience offers guests a glimpse behind the scenes as they dine in the heart of the resort’s fast-paced kitchen. Farm-to-table recipes feature locally sourced ingredients native to the Hudson Valley that are prepared by executive chef Jim Palmeri.

Spa & Fitness Facilities

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The Lakeview Summerhouse outdoor treatment room at The Spa at Mohonk Mountain House

During my trip, I was easily most excited to visit the revered Spa at Mohonk Mountain House. Built in 2005, the 30,000-square-foot spa wing is the newest addition to the property and in 2022 completed an impressive refresh, which included design enhancements throughout the space like the addition of warm wood tones and rich natural stone to create a simple, welcoming environment and promote wellbeing of the mind, body, and spirit. Much like the spa’s intentional interior design, its treatment menu is inspired by the natural healing elements of the surrounding areas and features a variety of both natural and luxury product lines that guests can also purchase at an impressive retail area.

I was treated to an incredible Lakeview Summerhouse Massage; a new treatment being toted as the ultimate Mohonk Mountain House spa experience. From the comfort of a new, airy outdoor treatment room, the treatment began with a Mohonk Foot and Leg Ritual, which included an invigorating dry-brush treatment and a frankincense and peppermint foot and leg massage, before a full-body deep-tissue massage using aromatic oils inspired by the earth’s unique forest biomes. The simple-yet-thoughtful experience left me feeling both grounded and relaxed unlike any treatment I’d had before. After my treatment, I took a dip in the outdoor heated mineral pool, which infuses Dead Sea salts with healing elements like magnesium, calcium, and sulfur into the water for a relaxing, detoxifying experience. Post-swim, I relaxed on the spa’s new swinging chairs in the solarium, which overlook the nearby Catskill Mountains.

The spa features 16 indoor treatment rooms and one outdoor treatment room; indoor and outdoor heated pools; men’s and women’s changing rooms; saunas, steam rooms, and relaxation verandas with waters and teas; a co-ed solarium with a stone fireplace; a salon with hair, nail, and makeup services; a yoga/motion studio; and a comprehensive fitness center. During my stay, I participated in a singing bowl meditation and a stretch class in the studio, though there are numerous other programming options like classes for core strengthening, Pilates, Tai Chi, Mosaic Barre, private training options, and more.

Programming

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The Stables at Mohonk Mountain House

Whether visiting Mohonk Mountain House alone, with friends, or with family, there is something unique for everyone to do. My itinerary included a Mini Forest Bathing Experience with Nina Smiley, Ph.D., the director of mindfulness at Mohonk Mountain House. The 90-minute session began with an informal discussion about mindfulness in nature and how our surroundings impact our states of mind and wellbeing. After a short guided meditation, Nina led me on a Mindfulness-in-Motion walk through wooded trails along picturesque cliffs high above Lake Mohonk. Every few minutes we would stop for a mindful moment, where we’d close our eyes and listen to the sounds of nature, take in the scents, and feel the warmth of the sun or the breeze of the wind on our skin. I discovered there’s so much to observe when you choose to be present and pay close attention. It’s really awe-inspiring. Throughout the rest of my stay, I enjoyed two nights of live music, an archery lesson, a self-guided tour of the gardens, and even a carriage ride up to Eagle’s Cliff, where I took in an aerial view of the 8,000 acres of Mohonk Preserve.

Additional available activities include boating, disc golf, fishing, guided hikes, horseback riding, history tours, ice skating, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, lawn games, children’s and teen’s activities, outdoor movies, tennis, tomahawk throwing, golfing, and more.  Guests are welcome to join group activities that can be found on the hotel’s daily activities schedule, or they can choose their own adventure and customize their trip with additional excursions.

Activities and offerings change seasonally at the resort, so between the sheer size of the property and programs to choose from, it’s safe to say that each time you return to Mohonk Mountain House, you’ll be in for a unique, exciting, and maybe most importantly, welcoming experience.

About The Author
Samantha-Reed-headshot

Samantha (Sam) is a digital and content strategist who has been covering the health, wellness, and hospitality industries since 2016. A journalism graduate of Rider University, she has bylines in American Spa, American Salon, Travel Agent Central, Luxury Travel Advisor, International Meetings Review, BroadwayWorld, The Odyssey, and more. When she’s not working, she enjoys listening to podcasts, visiting Instagrammable art exhibits, looking for new restaurants to try, and petting dogs she passes on the street.