Anything but a one-size-fits-all resort, the Emerson Resort & Spa delivers two very different experiences in the same location. Choose between the super-sophisticated The Inn or the more casual Adirondack-style Lodge. Both accommodations are family- and pet-friendly.
If you’re set on some pampering, indulge in the luxury of a sweet duplex suite at The Inn, where you’ll find a loft bedroom with a canopied plush bed and one of two sleek spa-like baths with an air-jetted tub and multi-jet Swiss rain shower. The roomy first-level living room feels even larger thanks to its cathedral ceiling and elevated windows with remote-controlled shades. Also equipped with WiFi, a wet bar, and its own spa bath, the space is perfect for lounging in front of the gas fireplace or TV, dining in, or even hosting guests. For a more casual stay, opt for a comfy, airy suite or duplex (some with mountain or Esopus Creek views) at The Lodge, with its rustic log-cabin accent walls.
Curious about Emerson’s backstory? The name is a tribute to legendary essayist/poet Ralph Waldo Emerson who, inspired by the beauty of the area, penned the essay, “Nature.” The essay, in turn, was the impetus for the development and protection of the 450-square-mile Catskill Forest Preserve surrounding the Emerson grounds.
Explore: Do go shopping for one-of-a-kind finds in the resort’s on-site stores (the quaint Country Store was formerly the site’s 19th-century dairy barn); rejuvenate at its award-winning spa, which offers a menu of holistic treatments, yoga studio, fitness center, and outdoor pool; and immerse yourself in the country’s largest kaleidoscope (yes, really!) created within a 56-foot-tall silo. For a mere $5 admission fee, prepare to be mesmerized by one of three different innovative Kaleidoshows—a creative retrospective of American history from the country’s settlement through the tumultuous 1960s, a soothing visual tour through the seasons, and an inspiring artistic tribute for the holidays. Late September and October are the perfect time to catch one of nature’s greatest shows and to get your fall foliage fix right at the Emerson. But don’t leave the area without a stop in nostalgic Woodstock, which also delivers dual experiences from opposite ends of a spectrum—one side seems to have stopped in time with a decidedly ’60s feel, where vendors sell tie-dyed shirts, jewelry, and crafts (baby boomers take note!), while the other is brimming with sophisticated dining destinations (like cozy Joshua’s Café with its signature farm-to-table Middle Eastern fare), art galleries, and upscale boutiques.
Dine: You never have to venture beyond the Emerson for a host of mouthwatering options for meals and munchies. Whether you’re pining for a full, everything-included breakfast or you’re keeping it light with a fruit bowl or house-made granola, begin your day at The Phoenix, where most dishes are made with locally grown ingredients. For a menu filled with hearty dinner choices, step into the Catamount—a favorite local haunt fondly known as “the Cat,” where wining and dining (comfort food rules!) is regularly paired with live music, dancing, and weekly open mic nights.
Insider’s Tip: Book any 50-minute spa treatment weekdays during September and receive an additional complimentary 25 minutes on the treatment.
Emerson Resort & Spa
5340 New York 28, Mount Tremper, NY (845) 688-2828/(877) 688-2828; www.emersonresort.com
Distance from White Plains: 2 hours Details: Rates range from $159/night midweek ($209 weekend/holidays) for a deluxe room or $329 for a family suite at The Lodge to $269 (midweek) or $350 (weekend/holidays) for a duplex suite at The Inn.