Family Friday: Cozying up to the Catskills
The symptoms were reaching dangerous levels. After being cooped up with our twin three-year-old boys in a 900-square-foot NYC apartment in the dead of winter, my husband and I had a serious case of co-op-cabin fever. The cure: Get out of dodge—and burn off some energy—as quickly as possible. My only prerequisite: BRING A FULLY CHARGED iPAD WITH US IN CASE OF A MELTDOWN.
We settled on the quaint hamlet of Phoenicia, in the Catskills, where I discovered a new retro-chic inn, Graham and Co. (below) that offers discount ski tickets at Hunter Mountain. Yes, Miles and Sebastian would learn to ski! The inn is a find for any parent wanting to hold onto some semblance of cool, with a Williamsburg feel that even the kids can appreciate: hanging Edison lightbulbs for swinging; an enormous black beanbag for crash-landings; a reclaimed-wood picnic table for dancing on; and a stylish kitchenette full of pots and pans to bang. "I like this hotel!!" yelled Miles.
A drive around town led us to the just-opened, 50s-style Phoenicia Diner, the perfect spot for heaping plates of French toast, buckwheat pancakes, and some off-the-caloric-chart dish my husband ordered called The Full Phoenicia Breakfast, which included eggs, baked beans, bacon, and sausage—all locally sourced, of course.
Once at Hunter, we stuck to the bunny slopes despite the constant cries of "Go on big lift now." I spent the day lugging the kids up and down the hill—and trying, but failing, to keep them from eating snow. But there was nothing more incredible than seeing their thrilled little faces as they sped down the slope with their arms outstretched like airplane wings. We decided to reward them (and ourselves) with a truly decadent dinner, so we hightailed it to Peekamoose, a cozy farmhouse-style restaurant helmed by chef Devin Mills, an alum of Le Bernardin. The boys scarfed down their hot dogs. Then my husband and I pulled out the iPad (don't judge), and settled into a plate of tender short ribs, chicken liver pate, and a bottle of red wine. And life was good.... until Toy Story ended.
Clara Sedlak is a mom of two and a senior editor at Travel + Leisure.
Visit T+L’s Catskills Hotel Guide for more Hudson Valley hotel inspiration.