The outdoors blends elegantly into the indoors at the Emerson Resort and Spa. A recent multi-million dollar renovation was executed with stunning attention to detail and a misty elegance. The dedicated, family-like staff guided us through our weekend and pointed to the elements that brought the history of the region and the nature of the environment into the hotel with the pride of owners and the warmth of friends.
The Emerson's walls are lined with maps of the area, echoes of the forest pines and speckled with the light of the world’s largest kaleidoscope. We spent the weekend lounging with our dogs in our room by the fire, hiking in the nearby hills, scampering around the on-site dog run, tucking into a booth to enjoy the Resort’s impressive nod to local fare, buying local honey in the Country Stores and shifting into our lowest gear after a full day of Spa treatments. It was a magical weekend.
This beautiful resort welcomes New Yorkers and their canine companions searching for the quiet of the woods within two hours’ travel time. Following generations past, our family of urbanites piled into the car in the middle of a fast moving winter storm.
We arrived with the tail of the storm and were welcomed to our room under the moonlight. Our two-story suite was washed in dramatic splashes of light that we were reluctant to disrupt. Starting a fire instead, we settled down and opened the sweet welcome packages for both the human and canine guests over a bottle of wine before turning in for the evening.
We woke with the sun the next morning and crunched over the snow-covered lawn to the wooden fenced enclosed dog run snuggled into pine covered hills for a bit of Golden Retriever energy depletion time before heading out to the Phonecia Diner for breakfast.
After breakfast we spent the afternoon in a snow globe of world-class tough hiking and easy walking trails available nearby. These mountain paths are beautiful year round. the Emerson is situated a short distance from Belleayre Mountain and Hunter Mountain and offers various midweek and weekend packages for visitors wishing to hit the slopes. Never forgetting its canine guests, the Resort's packages include a "pooch package" catered to canines. In the early evening we sauntered into the Emerson Spa at the Resort and were wrapped up in cotton ball robes, rubbed until we fell asleep, moisturized back into our high-school skin and then led back to a resting room to sip on local health elixirs and look out at the brook behind the hotel.
On Sunday morning we strolled through the country shops taking stock of the local products and purchasing (yet another) coffee maker because, well, we couldn’t help ourselves. We noticed that local Catskills community members were filtering in and out of the resort, going to yoga and attending a special holiday breakfast hosted at the resort and featuring Santa Clause for the kids even, as we shopped. The Emerson Resort team members mentioned to us that the owner and her team work hard to make the Resort a local destination, by keeping the fitness classes and restaurant price points reasonable enough for everyday use.
We returned to our room for yet another bottle of wine before dinner at Woodnotes Grill restaurant where we were treated to four courses of Catskills contemporary cooking. We were so stunned by the quality and local curating of our Catskills mountain poutine and blue cheese calamari starter, butternut squash risotto cakes, pan seared beavertail New York caught trout, and a flourless chocolate torte dessert that we doubled down on the experience and returned the next morning for an eggs benedict breakfast.
After leaving this wonderful resort, we spent the rest of our last day touring the remains of the yesteryear of the Catskills resort community. Making stops at Kutsher's and Grossinger's resorts we reflected on the fickle tastes of tourists and how regions move in and out of fashion with the masses. The Catskills has been just north of The City all along waiting to welcome us back.