Holly’s trip to Mohonk was hosted by Mohonk Mountain House, but her opinions and thoughts are her own.
When I realized that my 8-year old son and I were going to have a week together between the end of school and the start of school, I immediately sprung into action planning a quick getaway for the two of us. We headed to Mohonk Mountain House, a luxurious retreat for travel enthusiasts of all ages. It’s all-inclusive and incredibly child-friendly. Rates include the room, three meals, afternoon tea, and most resort activities. Best of all, it has a kids’ club and offers a fabulous spa — the #1 spa in the U.S. by Conde’ Nast Traveler Magazine this year in their annual Spa Poll!
Mohonk Mountain House is located just 90 miles north of New York City in the Hudson Valley. The resort consists of 2,200 acres. The property adjoins 6,400 acres of the Mohonk Preserve, which is crisscrossed by 85 miles (140 km) of hiking trails and carriage roads.
It’s a National Historic Landmark resort and Historic Hotel of America that has been running since 1869 when founder Albert Smiley first opened the Victorian-castle resort. The grounds feature well-maintained gardens, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, 85 miles of trails for hikes, a skating pavilion, an indoor pool, stables for horseback riding, a kids’ club, boating, fishing and over 40 theme programs including cooking classes, gardening workshops, music festivals and nature programs. The resort is earth-friendly, with a commitment to the protection and enhancement of the environment.
Upon our arrival at Mohonk, we were immediately struck by the impressive woodwork and old-world feel and charm of the main building with outdoor covered porches that provide a stunning view of Lake Mohonk and the beautiful grounds and rock formations that rise from the edge of the lake.
After running through the long halls of the mountain house, we arrived at room 161. After opening the door with a traditional key (not a key card!), my son was pleased to find that we had our own balcony with a rocking chair and wood-burning fireplace (which we certainly didn’t need in this heat but it was lovely to look at). The rooms are charming, decked out in Victorian décor with antiques. The beds are incredibly cozy.
At the end of a long day full of bustling activity, we both loved coming back to crash. In general, guests have a choice of cottages or rooms, and they range in size. Each type is different in style and price, but if you plan on staying a week or longer, the cottage accommodations have kitchens and other home-like amenities.
When we arrived, we were handed an agenda for the two and my son was stunned by the number of activities from which to choose. Every hour there is something scheduled: yoga, meditation, fitness classes, hikes, tennis, horseback riding, golf, mountain biking and aqua aerobics.
There are nature programs for all ages including rock-climbing on the Shawangunk Mountain Range. The resort hosts its own museum in a barn which contains an array of old tools, sleighs, carriages and other Mohonk memorabilia. We spent our time doing what we liked to do together.
We took a hike around the Eagle Cliff, went boating in the Mohonk Preserve, went swimming in the indoor heated pool (with music for underwater swim, which my son gaped at), took a horse and carriage ride (at extra cost), played in the game room and enjoyed afternoon tea.
On our second day, my son was ready experience the kids’ club; the club is available for ages 2-12 and included in the nightly rate. We were one of many guests using the facility, as the line began to form well before opening.
Given the crowd, kids were split into three groups of tykes (2-3 years old), explorers (4-6 years old) and adventurers (7-12 years old). Their trained staff takes them rock scrambling, boating, to the playground and entertains them with arts & crafts and games indoors. My son loved playing disk golf, making kites and meeting the other kids.
They offer morning, afternoon and evening sessions. My son was glowing when I picked him up. Success!
Meanwhile, I made my way to the Spa, where I indulged in a 75-minute facial. With 16 treatment rooms, a salon, mineral pool, solarium, steam room and sauna, the spa is an oasis of relaxation. As soon as I slid my feet into a pair of slippers and my body into a plush robe, I was whisked away.
Dining at Mohonk is something special. The resort uses the freshest ingredients and offers a variety of ingredients, many of which are picked from surrounding farms. There is a buffet at every meal with an amazing variety of options for everyone.
We loved sitting by the window during meals with views overlooking the Hudson Valley. My picky son had more options than he knew what to do with and was delighted by the prospect of pancakes for breakfast and trying new foods like polenta at dinner. As a vegetarian, I was thrilled with the salads and other veggie and fish options.
Mohonk also offers more casual dining, as well as more formal dining. At lunch, weather permitting, they also feature an outdoor BBQ at the Granary overlooking the beach and Mohonk Preserve.
Photos by Holly Rosen Fink unless otherwise noted
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