We could wax poetic about the endless allures of upstate New York—its charming towns, its forested landscapes, its ever-increasing crowd of expat designers—but we’ll let these six retreats speak for themselves.
Mohonk Mountain House
This family-owned Victorian lodge on the edge of Lake Mohonk was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986, but by that time, it had already secured its place in the record books. No less than five presidents have roamed Mohonk's halls, but this hotel is anything but a history lesson: both families and couples will find themselves well-occupied with all there is to do here, from hiking and horseback riding the property’s 85 miles of trails to swimming and boating on the lake, blissing out at the 30,000-square-foot spa, and indulging one’s inner foodie with the tasting menu at the chef’s table.
Lake Placid Lodge
Lake Placid’s tranquil shores are occupied by just one hotel—the mansion-like Lake Placid Lodge—which has everything you could want in a lakeside retreat: we're talking stone fireplaces, antique rugs, plaid everywhere, and large covered terraces dotted with Adirondack chairs. The distractions couples usually seek here, however, lie beyond their cabins and cottages. Canoeing, kayaking, skiing and snowshoeing, boating and ice skating—there’s no end to all you can get up to during a day in the mountains. Come sundown, all gather for farm-to-table eats before s’mores and stories by the bonfire or a pint at Maggie’s Pub.
Saratoga Springs is the latest town in upstate New York to fall on the radar of weekenders and city expats in search of small-town living. You might know its famous race course, but there’s a new celebrity in town. Brooklyn design team Studio Tack (they also had a hand in Scribner’s Catskill Lodge down in Hunter) brought a 70s-era motor lodge across the street back to life as the Brentwood Hotel. Interiors are now rustically handsome, with glossy black paint, antique chairs, brass fixtures, and—yes—equestrian-themed details like gilt-framed oil paintings and tasseled key rings. At just 12 rooms, you’ll probably rub shoulders with the same guests, but that’s nothing a spin around town on one of the hotel’s Linus bicycles with your S.O. can’t fix.
You only have to head 60 minutes north of the city to feel like you’re in some Tuscan fairytale. Glenmere Mansion, an Italianate villa built in 1911 on 150 rolling acres in Lower Hudson Valley, doesn’t help break the reverie—not that you’d want it to. The former residence has been deftly reformatted as a boutique hotel, and the attention shows: its living room is an eclectic mix of pendant lamps and hand-painted frescoes surrounding a baby grand piano overlooking the lake, 18 guest rooms feature working fireplaces and Italian linens along with heated bathroom floors and soaking tubs, and the newly manicured grounds—originally laid out by prestigious landscape architect Beatrix Farrand (Edith Wharton’s niece)—are as beautiful as ever. Don’t miss a meal at the Supper Club, which spotlights local ingredients, or a treatment at the 8,000-square-foot spa, which has its own bathhouse and hammam.
When co-owner and operator Akiva Reich bought up this once dilapidated 18th-century Dutch colonial in Stone Ridge, he knew he wanted to create a sanctuary for anyone looking to escape the city. Hasbrouck House is just that: just 17 suites, spread out between the original stone mansion and surrounding carriage houses, are now decorated with curated artwork, historic antiques, reclaimed wood floors, and large windows overlooking the grounds. It might prove difficult to rise early from beneath that goose-down duvet, but trust us—it’s worth catching breakfast at downstairs restaurant Butterfield, which can (and should) be taken on the bluestone patio outside.
So what if this is the second Adirondack Park hotel to make the list? The area around Lake Placid is just that beautiful, and this lodge one of the country’s most romantic. Built from hand-milled timber, Whiteface Lodge is the very definition of rustic-luxe—that is, if you’re envisioning walls of mounted deer antlers and leather armchairs cozied up around cast-iron fireplaces. You can get a taste of North American bounty at the restaurant before and after explorations in the wilderness, be it horseback riding in the summer or hiking in the winter (snowshoes provided). After all that outdoor adventure, a nap—or otherwise—might be in order.