The Catskills are a great year-round destination with highlights from fall foliage in autumn, outdoor adventures in summer, skiing in the winter, and cultural sites open through the four seasons. We recently spent a weekend during peak foliage in the Mount Tremper, Phoenicia and Woodstock area, which is just two hours from New York City. Here are our picks on where to stay and what to see!
1. Where to Stay: Emerson Resort & Spa
On our stay, the Emerson Resort & Spa in Mount Tremper served as a home base, located less than twenty minutes from Woodstock. The hotel is built on a former farmstead along the Esopus Creek and the facade of the original farmhouse has been restored and incorporated into the modern hotel. The barn and silo, built in 1860, also still remains and has been repurposed as a small shopping and food destination connected to the hotel (with a Guinness Book of World Record holder — more on that in this guide). The Emerson has something for everyone, with full service hotel rooms that have all have a fireplace and a huge deep jacuzzi in an en-suite bathroom, or more rustic cabin options in an Adirondack-style lodge. All the rooms face the creek and the mountain behind, so there’s no bad view in the hotel. During the day, you can check out what the great outdoors and the surrounding towns like Woodstock and Phoenicia have to offer, or take a walk along the nature trail that runs along the creek. The Emerson Resort is also pet-friendly!
There’s also great full-service spa with sauna, steam room, and an outdoor salt water hot tub, along with services like massages, facials, and manicures. The pool is open in the summer months. A farm to table restaurant, Woodnotes Grille, serves up scrumptious dishes with locally sourced ingredients and craft cocktails, and a more casual spot at Ralph’s Cafe, where you can pick up coffee, breakfast pastries, and small bites. Throughout the resort, there is a mission to bring the natural environment in through materials and colors, and you’ll even find an ornate gate that came from Rajasthan at the opening of the spa. Named after writer and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, you’ll find a book of poems in your room above the fireplace and reproductions of his handwritten papers hanging throughout the hotel.