I recently received an e-mail featuring travel deals at one of my favorite destinations in the U.S. Located about 90 miles outside of New York City, or a 4 hour drive for me, Mohonk Mountain House is the perfect escape for those who love the outdoors and activity, or others who simply want to relax.
I was watching the Travel Channel one day, Samantha Brown’s Great Hotels to be exact (have I mentioned my obsession with the TC?) and she was spending a few days at this gorgeous mountain retreat that looked like a historic castle. Now, you all know I love Disney, and that I was a history major in college so lets put two and two together….historic castle=DREAM DESTINATION! I immediately started researching and found a great weekday deal. Ryan and I were both in college at the time, and the “December Delight” package went through the week of Christmas so it worked out perfectly that it didn’t interfere with our studies, and we could take a few days off work.
Normally guests get breakfast, lunch , afternoon tea and cookies, and dinner included, as well as equipment for most activities (snow shoes, cross-country skis, golf, etc.) but since we were on a discounted deal we got breakfast, tea and cookies, dinner, and all our activities. You could purchase lunch in addition but let me tell you, breakfast is a buffet and is hands-down one of the best spreads I have ever had, and we would eat enough then that we would be full for hours. They have a ton of local choices, omelet and waffle stations, traditional breakfast faire, and a huge array of healthy options for those with dietary restrictions.
Dinner is equally, if not more, spectacular. It is four courses, and you can order anything you want. We are not talking cheeseburgers and fries, but more like Salmon filet, Swordfish, vegetarian options that are so tasty even a carnivore like myself enjoyed them, prime rib, roast duck, etc. If you want to see some sample menus check them out here; http://www.mohonk.com/dining/sample_menus.cfm. Desserts are amazing as well, and they always have a health conscious option. They really are fantastic at catering to everyone’s needs and if you don’t see something you like, just ask for something else because if they have the stuff, they will most likely make it for you.
As far as activities are concerned, Ryan and I love the winter time. Before our first trip to Mohonk neither of us had cross-country skied. It snowed like crazy on our way to New York and as soon as we got there we threw on some snow shoes and tried to hike around. Snow shoeing was ok…but we noticed all these people zipping around on skis and decided that looked WAY better. It also permitted us to cover more ground and see a large variety of the beautiful Mohonk Preserve. According to their website there are more than 85 miles of hiking trails, and we only had three days! We needed to get moving to maximize our short amount of time, and it was just an added bonus that we loved the sport instantly.
The next morning I was in a huge amount of pain, not realizing how much of a workout CCS is, but in the first day alone we covered a good 10-15 miles; the time just passes so fast when you are in such beautiful scenery! Other winter activities included snow tubing, ice skating, carriage rides, trips to the spa (which was featured in Travel and Leisure recently!), an indoor pool, fitness center, and an itinerary of activities they provide every morning. I personally love the historic house tour the best!
Although we have not been there in the summer, there are many activities offered this season, as well; Hiking, biking, rock climbing, golf, disc golf, horseback riding, boating, fishing, spa, fitness, hotel activities, and much much more.
The one thing Mohonk does not offer is television. I believe there are only 2 in the entire resort, but there are none located in guest rooms. I personally love this idea, but some may not. If you are that worried about it, bring your lap top and watch movies, right?! There is access for computers and my cell phone did have service so you are not totally disconnected from the world, unless of course, you want to be. J
The thing that sets Mohonk apart from other resorts we have visited, in my opinion, is the service. All gratuities are included in the hotel fee, but the hospitality Mohonk provides is priceless. Ryan proposed here on November 30, 2008, our second visit to the House. We had a wonderful experience the first year, made a lot of friends with the staff, and were surprised they remembered us, BY NAME, when we returned. After our engagement Ryan arranged with Emanuel, the restaurant’s maitre’d, to have a special private dinner. They gave us a table overlooking the lake, decorated with ribbon and flowers, specially messaged plates, and a waiter all for ourselves, to help make the occasion even more special. I was so impressed by the entire Mohonk family, I had to write a letter singing their praises when we returned home. Any place that makes you feel as welcome as Mohonk, will get my support for as long as I can provide it. I love this resort, and we will go back as often as we can. The only major downfall is the price tag. If we did not go on special rates we couldn’t afford to visit at all. Fortunately they do run deals every season, and I get e-mails probably once a month with updates on last minute prices, etc. Other than that minor glitch, if you love nature, nostalgia, and feeling like you are at home (with people cleaning up after you and providing you with delicious meals), Mohonk is a perfect option.
Where is your favorite getaway?
Do you enjoy active vacations or those that are more relaxed?
Mountains or the shore?