Deep in the Catskills Mountains of New York, a former 1920s bunk house is being transformed into a boutique hotel. Called the Eastwind Hotel & Bar, this stylish property is further proof that the Catskills are becoming one of the most design-forward destinations for outdoorsy travelers.
"The Catskills take me back to my childhood spent exploring, hiking, swimming, and skiing, co-owner Bjorn Boyer told Travel + Leisure. “We believe access to those experiences appeals to many people, whether it reminds them of their own childhoods or serves as an escape from city life.”
Just over two hours from New York City (depending on traffic, of course), Eastwind’s guest rooms and A-frame cabins slope upward along Windham Mountain.
Guests can bed down in one of 16 guest rooms and suites — decorated with hand-woven Turkish rugs, custom wall-hangings, and Masaya & Co. furniture — or opt for one of the three Lushna Cabins, which have private fire pits and stunning mountain views.
As a year-round property, travelers can come here to indulge all sorts of cravings for nature and active adventures, including skiing, horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking.
“My wife and I have always enjoyed being able to be active all four seasons, and the unique activities that can be enjoyed in each, ” Boyer said.
But Eastwind also emphasizes communal spaces, offering visitors ample opportunities to mingle around communal spaces like the swimming pool, oversized hot tub, and sauna; the Salon cocktail and coffee bar; and a front lawn with a fire pit and spacious deck.
“The unrushed pace of life upstate and the feeling that nature is right outside your door is a continuous draw. There is a sense of discovery every time you visit [the] Catskills.”
Eastwind, which opens one June 1, isn’t the only hotel attracting a younger generation of travelers to the Catskills. In 2016, Scribner’s Catskills Lodge reopened as a contemporary mountain lodge designed specifically for burnt-out New Yorkers in need of a nature escape.
And in May, another refreshed A-Frame — the 10-room Woodhouse Lodge — will open its doors with a mix of vintage and modern elements, like custom leather and felt wall-hangings and an enviable selection of vinyl records. The lodge sits on a large lawn (with fire pits) that recedes into 95 acres of forest.