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Slow Life Down a Notch at This Leisurely Livingston Manor Hotel


On more than 600 private acres fronting the Willowemoc Creek, The DeBruce gently slows the pace of everyday life. The guests, many from NYC, seem content to while away their weekends in the plaid-walled Great Room, sipping affordable craft cocktails from the downstairs bar; to nestle into wide, leather armchairs by the fire; or to return to their rooms (spring for one with a claw-foot tub) for a little R&R. Maybe they’ll take a leisurely hike on the property’s trails or head into town to grab a bite and shop along Livingston Manor’s one-block main drag.

Photo by Ron Cadiz

But it’s not the unplugged tempo that really fills The DeBruce’s 14 creaky-floored rooms — it’s the dining experience. (In 2018, Esquire named this Catskills hotel to its Best New Restaurants in America list.) Arrive on Friday night, and dinner is pure comfort food: creamy grits with local venison kielbasa; thick, roasted rib-eyes; and smooth-as-silk Joël Robuchon-style mashed potatoes (two parts butter to one part spuds). Get out of bed in the morning, and light floods through the banquette-to-ceiling windows in the Scandi-style dining room to light your shirred eggs, souffléd pancakes, or duck-confit hash with NYS cheddar and house-made hot sauce.

Photo by Lawrence Braun

But the main event is Saturday dinner, when Chef Aksel Theilkuhl does an ambitious nine-course tasting menu of farmed and foraged ingredients — fermented apples, snail caviar, trout, mushrooms — that embrace the region’s traditions from Native American deer-hunting rituals to duck-fat-enriched Borscht Belt-inspired chicken-liver toast.

From $469/night (incl. breakfast and dinner);www.thedebruce.com