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As the weather cools and the leaves start to change color, there is nothing Eric and I love to do more than to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and head to places more serene and beautiful. Both the Catskill and Adirondack mountain ranges have been our home away from home when we are looking to get away. The quaint towns, farmers markets and outdoor activities provide such a wonderful variety of things to do aside from those requiring electronics or a metro card.
Eric has been going up to the Pheonecia area of the Catskills for fishing trips for years now and he recently mentioned that he would love for me to join him and he knew just the place we could stay! He has passed by the Emerson Resort & Spa, which is only 2 1/2 hrs north of NYC, on his way in and out of town and knew that it was the perfect place for us to getaway together! The Emerson boasts multiple types of hotel rooms, including rustic lodges and modern suites at the Inn along with a beautiful Spa (sign me up!). With acres of riverfront property on the Esopus, multiple restaurants, a marketplace full of shopping, outdoor gaming options and the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope right onsite, there was plenty for us to do at the Resort! The Emerson was kind enough to host us in one of their gorgeous suites at the Inn and welcomed us with some delicious wine from the Millbrook Winery, which is a local vineyard!
Recently renovated, the entire Resort got a facelift a few years ago with modern decor that has a hint of rustic flair and odes to the past, including these wood castle doors flanking the entrance to the Spa and crystal chandelier from the Breakers Hotel in Florida.
This particular set of artwork (above) that can be seen all the way down the hall depicts the history of the area surrounding the Emerson from the Big Bang through modern times. It was not only beautiful to look at, but quite humbling to take in as well.
We made reservations for dinner at one of the on-site restaurants, the Woodnotes Grille, and had a few cocktails at the bar before we sat down to dinner. There were so many signature cocktails on the menu that there was no way to try them all, but the drinks at the bar included some of the most interesting and creative mixology we have ever seen, including the signature margarita photographed below! The food was delicious and the atmosphere was casual, making for a wonderfuly relaxing night! The Resort also offers the cutest S’mores kits that can be purchased at the front desk for you to enjoy fireside after dinner! Swoon…they had me at s’mores!
One of the biggest attractions at the Emerson Resort is the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope which is housed in a converted silo in the marketplace portion of the Resort. Eric and I enjoyed a private viewing of the show, which is similar to a Planetarium demonstration and got to play in the Kaleisodcope store for a while! We also walked around the marketplace and found the cutest country store and cafe that had homemade honey, pastries and all kinds of adorable knick-knacks.
Aside from all of the activities that I have talked about thus far, the Emerson also hosts small weddings and getaways for friends or couples! Relax with your girlfriends at the spa, get mani/pedis and enjoy the pool or get away with your significant other, like Eric and I did, and enjoy peaceful nature walks, delicious cocktails and romantic dinners fireside!
If you are more of an adventurous vacationer, there are plently of activities outside of those at the resort that would also keep you busy. Fishing, tubing, hiking, skiing (in the winter), winery/brewery hopping and visiting the nearby small towns, like Pheonecia or Woodstock, to sample ice cream, fudge or just to shop are just a few of the activities the Catskills have to offer. Eric is an outdoorsman at heart, so each morning he headed out before I woke up to do some flyfishing (catch and release, don’t worry)! We frequented one of the area’s most delicious diners, aptly named the Pheonecia Diner, which is 2 minutes down the road from the Emerson and had freshly squeezed orange juice, freshly ground coffee and scrumptious pancakes!
From there, we headed out for the day to check out the Hunter Mountain Brewery and to climb Kaaterskill falls. I was told that the hike to the waterfall would be minimally grueling, but I will warn you, it is a legitimate 1 mile rountrip hike over wet stones and rocks, so be careful! The view from the top was absolutely breathtaking though and totally worth the effort!
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Overall, Eric and I had a wonderful time visiting the Emerson Resort & Spa, enjoying all that the resort and surrounding area had to offer and will definitely go back again in the future! A big thank you to everyone at the Resort who made our stay possible!