Disclosure: I was invited by the CEO and the Manager of the Emerson Resort and Spa and their PR agency to be a guest at the Emerson for a weekend. My opinions that I share here are entirely my own.
The Emerson Resort and Spa, located in the town of Mt Tremper, New York, is nestled among the Catskill Mountains, along the Esopus Creek, and is close to towns of Woodstock (New York) and Rhinebeck, New York. When visiting the Emerson, I felt as if I was a million miles away from the noise of New York City, but yet I was only a short two-hour drive away.
The resort was named for Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great 19th century American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who once said “Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.” Years ago, I’d visited the Emerson, marveled at the beautiful landscape and buildings and visited its world-renowned kaleidoscope store.
Here, I was five years later, at the Emerson, which I could best describe as comfortable luxury or perhaps luxurious comfort. It also houses an award-winning spa. More on that later.
The hotel lobby was grand and the staff was friendly and helpful. The first thing I noticed was the Warhol-esque arrangement pictures of Ralph Waldo himself on the wall.
Our room which was located on the second floor of the Inn (there was also an area of the hotel called the Lodge, which has the look and feel of an elegant log cabin). The first thing that caught my eye was the Casablanca feel of the canopied king bed, the pillows piled high and the headboard of oriental tapestry with a baroque flair. I quickly fixed my eyes upon all of the special nuances of the suite. The rounded doorway. The light within the bamboo cage. The reflections of light everywhere I turned. And while each feature, perfectly balanced , carried me to another time and place this oasis also had every modern luxury I could ask for. An instantaneous fireplace, a curvy sofa and a gift of some deep red wine.
The bathroom was full of air and light. There was a jacuzzi built for two and a shower – a rain shower. The soap fascinated me-both whimsical and functional it was a hoop of sort.
I walked to the door – the balcony welcomed me. Outside was green and lush. We sat in the wooden arm chairs sipping on the red wine, looking out at the vast premises. The zen-like statues brought peace and reflection. It was hard to believe that only a few hours earlier, I’d been in the frenetic world of NYC. It dawned on me how badly I’d needed a break from the city and how this visit to the Catskills was the perfect answer!
Won’t Run (aka Dave) fell immediately asleep on the bed and I went for a walk to explore the grounds. Clearly there was something for everyone here. I came here to experience the health and fitness aspects of the Emerson, so that is where my emphasis is
We had dinner friday night at one of the three restaurants on the grounds: The Catamount. The atmosphere was upscale country lodge and the food delicious. I couldn’t believe it – a band was playing country music and guests were line dancing! It was a fun evening.
The next morning, the fitness regiment began early. Won’t Run slept in. I got a delicious cup of coffee from the General Store on the premises, after which I went for a short run.
I had a 10am massage appointment, followed by an 11 am fitness class. My afternoon plan was to connect with nature – i.e., go for a hike.
Directly on the premises is a world-renowned spa. The door to the spa is breathtaking – huge 17th century Rajasthani palace doors.
The transformation began the second I walked through the doors. I had been shown a menu of a wide assortment of treatments in advance and opted for a Swedish Massage. I went into the locker room, put on a robe, and sat down in a lovely living room and sipped on jasmine tea. The decoration was zen, and the aura was peaceful. The therapist, Kim, escorted me to the treatment room.
The massage was magic and the tension melted away from my joints. After the massage, I changed into a bathing suit and went into the outdoor hot tub. See my toes?
The Emerson has a state of the art fitness center. It is composed of one very large room containing everything one could imagine a fitness center would have. It did not feel crowded – but rather it felt inspiring. All hotel guests may use the fitness center free of charge.
For the fitness class, I chose a body sculpting class. It turned out that I was the only one there (I think most of the guests usually opt for the Yoga classes), so my “class” became a personalized one hour training session by the instructor, Emily.
We were given a few brochures describing all of the trails to hike in the area. There were so many trails nearby. Won’t Run and I decided to take a ride to Woodstock, N.Y.
First, we strolled around the town and then we went for a walk around a trail that was barely ten minutes away. It was rich, thick forest. And, of course, you can always count on there being a waterway nearby and mountains in the horizon..
That evening we went to a restaurant about 15 miles away called Peekamoose (I love that name!). I had been told by many people that this restaurant was awesome. Boy were they right! The restaurant is a little pricey, but well worth it. I absolutely want to go back there again!
The next day I dragged Won’t Run along for a walk – the scenery was too beautiful to miss. There was also an antique car show that was phenomenal. That is discussed in a separate post (see, here).
The Emerson is cordial and idyllic, but simultaneously comfortable and real. There were families with young children playing in the pool or on the playgrounds, friends gathering for weddings and other festive events and there were sisters on spa retreats, The Emerson Spa and Resort has something for everyone. I was surprised that the Emerson has many special offers making a stay there an affordable reality rather than just a dream. I was there two days, but I could easily stay there for five days or a week. I will happily return.