This All-inclusive Hotel in New York's Hudson Valley Has 85 Miles of Hiking Trails, Fantastic Food, and a Brand-new Spa

Stepping into Mohonk Mountain House's new spa — and indulging in the great outdoors.

My Lakeview Summerhouse Massage begins with a pause as my massage therapist and I take a few steps from the Spa at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York. We are on the short forested path up to the newly built outdoor spa treatment room that sits perched high above Lake Mohonk. It is encircled by sweeping cliffs, ancient trees, and plant and animal life, all part of the 265-room Mohonk Mountain House’s 1,185 acres of land. My massage therapist invites me to take a moment to embrace these surroundings, to listen to the birds singing, to smell the fragrances of the outdoors, and to look at the colors of the flowers and foliage.

We then climb the steps to the Lakeview Summerhouse, which is part of the Spa’s refresh, unveiled this summer. Similar in design to the rustic wooden summerhouses that can be found throughout the resort’s incredible 85 miles of hiking trails, its secluded lofted location makes it seem like it’s my own private tree house. Before we enter the main area, which is covered with billowy curtains allowing for both privacy and the intake of summer breezes, my therapist asks me to sit just outside to once again take in my locale. As I do, she gently massages my hands and wraps my feet in heated sacks. The pampering continues inside the Lakeview Summerhouse with a magical full-body massage.

Exterior of Summerhouse at Mohonk Mountain House

Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

Even beyond the Lakeview Summerhouse, nature is the dominant theme throughout the Spa. The focus is not only on bringing guests into nature through the new space, but also on bringing nature indoors, according to spa director Margaret Lora. “There is a power in nature to calm,” she says. You’ll find large windows facing the outdoors in the solarium and veranda. The full refresh of the Spa features warm wood tones and rich, natural stone. The Spa also includes steam, sauna, an outdoor heated mineral pool, an indoor heated pool, fitness center, and yoga/motion studio.

The Lakeview Summerhouse Massage is just one of the new treatments launched as part of the Spa’s refresh. On another day, I was treated to the new Luxe Lift Facial. The botanical products used in the treatment root it in the resort’s nature theme and the 60 minutes of pure pampering featured face, hand, arm, and neck massage, face masks, and more.

The view surrounding Mohonk Mountain House

Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

Mindfulness at Mohonk

The Lakeview Summerhouse can also be the site for those lucky enough to opt for a private mindfulness session with Nina Smiley, Ph.D. and director of mindfulness programming at Mohonk Mountain House. Smiley, along with her brother, David Harp, M.A., is the author of "The Three Minute Meditator" and "Mindfulness in Nature." She married into the Smiley family, who have owned and operated the resort since 1869, and she continues the wellness focus that began as part of the resort’s experience even back then. In cooler months, or if you choose to be inside during the warmer months, the session takes place in a dedicated room that dates back to the 1890s and is filled with Victorian furniture. My mindfulness session, focusing on breathing and sensory imagery, provided real-life tools that I hope will help me take the serenity found while enveloped in this special place home with me.

Exterior of Mohonk Mountain House

Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

Following my session with Smiley, I realized that, without even knowing it, I was already practicing mindfulness as my family and I walked along Mohonk’s magnificent trails. It’s hard to think of anything but the views of the mountains, the lake, and the castle-like resort as you walk high along the trails or sit in one of the 120 historic summerhouses blending into the landscape. Smiley has even created a virtual mindfulness hike accessible via QR codes along the stunning Eagle Cliff trail. The concierge at the hotel can point you in the right direction for trails of your desired level. We challenged ourselves one day to the Sky Top Tower trail, rewarded at the summit with a 360-degree view of six states including New York.

The tranquility continues within the National Historic Landmark resort. Here, you feel as if you are stepping back in time to the slower pace of the Gilded Age when city visitors would once retreat to the country for fresh air and scenic beauty. Multiple outdoor porches are lined with rocking chairs facing the majestic environs. You’ll find no television sets in the Victorian furniture-outfitted guest rooms, but you will discover rocking chairs on private balconies for internal contemplation.

Interior and view from summerhouse at Mohonk Mountain House

Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

Feeding the Mind and Body

Other activities at the year-round resort differ by season but can include golfing at a nine-hole course, tennis, swimming, boating and water sports at the lake, archery, Tomahawk throwing, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, ice skating, snowshoeing, a kids' club, and touring the gardens and greenhouse.

Dining at Mohonk is superior, with locally sourced ingredients and an abundance of choice available from the main dining room to the extensive buffet at The Granary for summertime outdoor dining. For a bit of indulgence, try the nine-course tasting menu with a wine pairing, featuring only farm-to-table ingredients and served inside the resort’s kitchen.

Lodging packages feature all-inclusive pricing (though the tasting menu comes at an additional cost, as do spa treatments and horseback riding excursions). Pay a single rate for accommodations, three meals a day available in multiple venues and afternoon tea, most non-alcoholic beverages, activities, evening entertainment, and more. Book your stay here.

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