Catskills Getaway to the Emerson Resort & Spa

The kids are back in school and busy schedules are the new norm. So when the kids had a couple of days off from school, we decided to enjoy some fall family fun at the Emerson Resort & Spa in Mount Tremper, NY. The Emerson is an easy drive from northern Westchester County, less than two hours away.

The Emerson is conveniently situated for visiting the nearby towns of Phoenicia and Woodstock to the East or Belleayre and Hunter Mountain to the West. However, if you’re looking to simply enjoy some rest and relaxation, it’s perfect for that as well!

The History of the Emerson Resort and Spa

The Emerson Resort is located in Ulster County, in the Eastern part of the Catskills, and borders the Esopus Creek. Once you arrive at the resort, you will quickly discover who it was named after. Every room has books of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poems, and quotes from these poems decorate the walls of the Resort.

The Resort sits on what was originally an 1840 dairy farm owned by the Riseley family. Part of the original building was transported onto the current property. Over a century later, it was developed into tourist destination Clinton Corners, which included a variety of shops, a restaurant and the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope. After a move and various renovations, it is now the Emerson Resort & Spa as we know it.

The Rooms

There are two different lodging options when visiting the Emerson Resort. You can stay in the Lodge buildings, which are more rustic, Adirondack-style rooms.

The second lodging option is the Inn, which features more contemporary, Catskill chic type accommodations. We stayed in room 502 of the Inn which was perfect for our family of four. This Royal Suite room has two queen beds.

I enjoyed a soak in the large whirlpool tub and we all enjoyed the waterfall shower with adjustable side sprays. Although we did question the window looking into the bedroom! Luckily, the blinds close for privacy.

During the afternoon, our balcony was a perfect place to enjoy some reading time, while listening to the tranquil sounds of the Esopus Creek. And in the morning, my husband and I enjoyed our coffee with a beautiful view!

Fall evenings in the Catskills can get chilly. We enjoyed sitting nearby our room’s gas fireplace in the evening. On the second night, we enjoyed a family game night in front of the fireplace as well. The kids really enjoyed the complimentary snacks (peanut trail mix and granola bars) and water available in the room. The water came in handy on our outings. It’s important to know that there is no cell phone service in the area. Thank goodness the Emerson has complementary wi-fi!

Amenities

The Emerson Resort is very family-friendly . Although it is a resort and spa, we noticed many families with children visiting. For dog owners, the Resort is also pet-friendly! It was fun seeing guests walking the property with their dogs.

The spa at The Emerson Resort is spread over 6,000 square feet and is only for adults. Reservations are recommended prior to arrival if you wish to enjoy a massage, facial or one of the other treatments they offer. All overnight adult guests can enjoy the fitness room, sauna, steam room and outdoor salt water hot tub. The entrance to the spa is one of the few decorative pieces that remains after a major renovation in 2016. The hand-carved imported doorway was too fantastic to change .

The day of our arrival we enjoyed participating in a kaleidoscope making class. While you can purchase the same kits in the gift shop, it was nice to be guided through the process. After making our kaleidoscopes, our instructor, Jonas had us walk around the property to look for objects in nature that we could add to the kaleidoscope. It was fun to see how the different items looked while viewed through our kaleidoscopes. If you aren’t interested in making a kaleidoscope, the Resort also offers watercolor postcard painting or design your own t-shirt classes ($20 per shirt). Check the schedule to see which days the classes are offered.

The Catskills are truly beautiful. The Emerson really wants guests to explore and take in all the beauty of their surroundings. The grounds of the Emerson include 1.2 miles of trails and a small pond. There are several cruiser bicycles available (adults sized only, they do not have children’s bikes) and you can get helmets from the front desk. If you are interested in doing some bird watching around the property, you can also borrow binoculars at the front desk.

Twice a day, guided nature walks depart from the lobby. We enjoyed participating in one of these walks that takes you down to the Esopus Creek and along the property. The creek’s water comes from the mountain and leads to the Ashokan Reservoir. Weather permitting, swimming is allowed in the creek. The Emerson has partnered with the Ashokan Watershed and offers fresh water snorkeling on select dates during the summer! The resort even had its moment of fame as the recent movie The Dead Don’t Die, starring Bill Murray and Adam Driver, was partly filmed on the property!

In the warmer months guests can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. There are outdoor games including volleyball, horseshoes and corn hole. There’s a playground for younger kids and even a dog park for all of the four-legged visitors. And, of course, there’s a pool open during the summer.

All guests are invited to enjoy the Family Room in the Black Bear building at the lodge. We walked over one evening and enjoyed several games of intense and competitive family ping pong. There are also several fire pits throughout the property and s’mores kits are available for purchase at the front desk for guests to enjoy.

The World’s Largest Kaleidoscope

The Emerson Resort is probably most well known for housing the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope. The Kaleidoscope sits in the former silo of the Riseley Farm. It has a 50-foot virtual sphere that can reflect 254 images, which creates an illusion of over 3,000 images! Overnight guests are able to view a complimentary showing of Star Dust, a 10 minute experience that will dazzle your senses. Seating is available, but we all enjoyed laying down on the floor to view the show.

There are a variety of shops in the Emerson, including a toy shop, housewares and souvenir and clothing shops. However, you must take a visit through the Kaleidostore. There are a couple of fun, interactive exhibits to see. But the showstopper is the large collection of kaleidoscopes for sale at the Kaleidobar. Children are asked not to touch these and even I was afraid to touch some (most?) of them. There’s a kaleidoscope that costs $1,850! They are truly works of art!

The Food

The Emerson Resort has two restaurants onsite. Ralph’s Cafe is open from 9 AM to 5 PM (except Sundays when it’s open until 6 PM). Here you can pick up pastries, soup, sandwiches, salads and more. There is seating both inside and out where you can enjoy your food, or you can take it to go.

Woodnotes Grille is the sit down restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner. Locally sourced ingredients are used to create delicious meals in what they like to call “Catskill Creative Cooking.”

We enjoyed dinner there one evening and some of the highlight dishes included this Black Angus Beef Brisket with Parmesan Twice Baked Potatoes and Wilted Swiss Chard…

…as well as the Pan Seared Beaverkill Trout with Lyonnaise potatoes and French beans. Most entrees are priced between $22-$26.

We enjoyed breakfast one morning at Woodnotes as well. The restaurant serves everything from Eggs Benedict and House Made Corned Beef Hash to Quinoa Granola and Avocado Toast.

Our second morning, we stopped at Ralph’s Cafe. Overnight guests can enjoy a free cup of coffee or tea each day of their stay. We purchased a variety of breakfast goodies to share before we headed out that morning. Everything is reasonably priced, including breakfast sandwiches.

We had a great stay at the Emerson Resort & Spa. Our weekend had a mix of relaxation, fun and exploration. With an eleven and thirteen year-old, there was enough to see and do during our stay to make it an enjoyable visit for the entire family. If you are looking for a quick weekend getaway to the Catskills, we highly recommend a visit to the Emerson Resort & Spa in Mount Tremper!

The Details:
Emerson Resort & Spa
5340 Route 28
Mount Tremper, NY 12457
(845) 688-2828

Room Prices: Rates start at $224/night, depending on date and room type

*Be sure to check out the Emerson website for specials and packages.

*This is a dog friendly resort! You can bring your pet with you!

*There is a full service spa onsite as well as fitness classes (for a fee).

(Thank you to the Emerson Resort & Spa for hosting NY Foodie Family. As always, all opinions are our own.)

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Celebrating “40” at Cranberry Manor Bed & Breakfast {Poconos}

Dana and I are fairly new to the bed and breakfast scene. Besides our recent visit to Cranberry Manor, the only other bed and breakfast that we visited was a couple of years ago when he turned 40. When my 40th arrived last month, I decided that I also wanted to go to a B&B to celebrate my birthday. After a little research, we decided to stay at the Cranberry Manor Bed and Breakfast in the Poconos. It’s roughly a two hour drive from northern Westchester County, a perfect distance for a one night stay. Plus, all of the reviews I read were very positive.

Why a bed and breakfast?

Bed and breakfasts are small and intimate. They are usually old houses that have been renovated and restored to accommodate guests. A big plus is the “breakfast” part of a bed and breakfast. Not only is the home cooked meal included in the price of your stay, but it’s usually delicious and filling. But most importantly, bed and breakfasts cater to adults. All of the B&Bs that I’ve looked into do not allow children to stay.

Cranberry Manor Bed and Breakfast

The Cranberry Manor Bed and Breakfast is a house that dates back to the 1880’s when it was a boarding house. Its most recent owners Sharon and Ric Anderson have been running the bed and breakfast since 2007. Sharon formerly had a career in IT support. She and her husband moved up to Pennsylvania from the South for what she thought would be a tech job. But when that fell through, they ended up purchasing the bed and breakfast.

Cranberry Manor has a cozy, homey feel. I love the holiday tree that Sharon made out of grape vines and decorates for the different seasons.

There’s a community sitting room that has books, games and lots of brochures for local attractions and restaurants. The walls are decorated with antique Collier’s magazine pages that were discovered in the walls during a renovation! There’s a large dining room where guests dine for breakfast.

The dining room also has a billiards table that visitors are welcome to enjoy. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to play during our short stay.

There’s a Butler’s Pantry in the dining room as well. It includes a refrigerator stocked with sodas and bottles of water, and tea and hot cocoa can also be made at anytime. It was nice that, after returning from dinner, Dana was able to walk downstairs and make me a hot mug of tea. Sharon asked him what time we were planning to be downstairs the following morning; a fresh pot of coffee waiting for us when we came down.

Cranberry Manor has five different rooms, each uniquely decorated with a Victorian feel. My husband and I just happened to stay in the “Victorian Room”. It has a queen bed with a half-canopy.

There is a small seating area and a gas fire place. Although space is a bit tight for modern amenities, I would have enjoyed a larger television in the room. It was hiding with the cable box in the little nook above the fireplace.

Each room has its own private bathroom with both a shower and large soaking tub.

One of my favorite parts of Cranberry Manor is the large wraparound porch. There are a variety of seating arrangements, including a bench swing, several rocking chairs and cushioned seating areas. It was nice to be able to sit out there before breakfast and read, while we enjoyed a cup of coffee.

Breakfast

On Sunday mornings Sharon serves breakfast at 9 AM. Look at how pretty the place settings are!

Our breakfast started with sliced bananas drizzled with homemade caramel sauce.

We then enjoyed blueberry peach french toast, scrambled eggs and sausage. I was stuffed by the time breakfast was over. We were the only guests that night during our stay in September. So Sharon asked if she could join us for breakfast and we had a lovely time chatting with her.

Guests are given two keys when they arrive. One opens the front door and one that opens their bedroom. While Sharon and Ric live on property, they live in the space beyond the kitchen, separate from where guests stay. If you are in need of ideas of things to do or places to eat, Sharon is full of recommendations and information.

If you have never been to a bed and breakfast, I highly recommend giving Cranberry Manor Bed and Breakfast a try. It’s not too far away from Westchester County and is conveniently located to various Pocono attractions and restaurants.

The Details:
Cranberry Manor Bed and Breakfast
406 Cherry Lane Road
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
(570) 620-2246

Price: $145 – $175 a night, depending on which room you choose and when you visit.

*Although some weekends require a two night stay, give Sharon a call. Depending on the date(s) of your visit, you may be able to stay for one night like we did.

*There is plenty to see and do in the area. But if you just want to relax and hang out at the bed and breakfast, you are more than welcome to do that as well.







The Roxbury Motel {A Hidden Catskills Gem}

The Catskills are a region in the Hudson Valley, approximately 100 miles northwest of New York City. It is made up of four counties and is home to the Catskill Mountains and the 600,000 acre Catskill Park. The town of Roxbury is located at the eastern end of Delaware County and has a population of less than 3,000. As you travel on state Route 30 and drive into the town, it looks and feels like you are stepping back in time. The entire Hamlet of Roxbury is on the National and State Register of Historic Places. And right off state Route 30 on Bridge Street is the Roxbury Motel.

I first discovered the Roxbury Motel while searching for lodging in the Catskills. When my husband and I decided to go away for a couple of days to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, I thought the Roxbury Motel would be a great place to stay. It’s an easy trip and not too far from home, a little over two hours away.

When you hear “motel” please do not envision rundown or cheap. The Roxbury Motel is anything but! Owners Greg Henderson and Joseph Massa first opened the motel in 2004. After several expansions, it now consists of two main buildings, North and South. Altogether, there are two studios, five themed studios, five big king rooms, seven kitchenette rooms and eight suites, plus the Digs. As you will quickly discover during your visit, lime green is their signature color!

What really drew us to the Roxbury was the themed rooms. Inspired mostly by television shows and movies from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, each room has a different theme and a unique name like Fred’s Lair (Flinstones), Samantha’s Cloud (Bewitched) and The Wizard’s Emeralds (Wizard of Oz).

I told my husband to pick the themed room that he wanted to stay in and he chose Maryann’s Coconut Cream Pie (room #27). For fans of Gilligan’s Island, this room is a reference to an episode (episodes?) in which she bakes a coconut cream pie. Greg and Joe really put attention into ALL the details of the room. From the round bed with the whipped cream pillows, the three framed and signed Maryann photos, to the SOS spelled out in shells. Every room detail is on theme. However, the real piece de resistance is the pie crust and meringue ceiling, which makes you feel like you’re in a pie.

Even the bathrooms carry out the room theme. The toilet is in its own room. There are double sinks and a deep tub with double showerheads. The Roxbury provides a selection of bath toiletries from the LATHER aromatherapy collection. This line of products are 100% vegan and contain no animal by-products or parabens. If you really enjoy them, full-size products are available for purchase in the main office. Staying in the Maryanne’s Coconut Cream Pie room, we also received a tub of coconut body cream to take home with us

The kitchenette rooms come with a mini fridge and a microwave. This is great if you want to store leftovers, pop some popcorn to have while you watch a movie, or chill your hard cider (or wine) that can be purchased from Roxbury Wine and Spirits down the street, which is what we did! The refrigerator is also stocked with wine and champagne for purchase.

The Roxbury serves a Continental breakfast, which during our stay included cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, cold cuts and cheese, croissants with a variety of spreads, fruit and several different pastries. There’s several different seating areas to enjoy breakfast. There are chairs and tables inside the office and in the enclosed porch area. When the weather’s nice, you can dine outside on the deck. There’s also a small dining room in the Roxbury North.

Coffee, tea and hot cocoa are available throughout the day in both the main office and the dining room in the Roxbury North. They also put out cookies and other snacks in both places that you can nibble on throughout the day.

The Roxbury’s Shimmer Spa consists of a spa in the North building and a spa in the South building. We pre-booked a couple’s massage before our we arrived, so we enjoyed complimentary access to both spas. Otherwise, it’s a $10 fee per person, per stay (not per day!) to enjoy both facilities.

When we entered our motel room on arrival, two fluffy bathrobes and slippers were waiting for us along with the spa key. Since we don’t frequent spas very often, we have very little to compare it to. The website notes that the Shimmer Spa isn’t a huge full-service spa. The South spa has a jacuzzi and sauna. While the North spa has a steam room, a reading library and is where the massages take place. The Shimmer Spa is appropriately named, with lots of shimmer and sparkle! The painstaking attention to detail that went into the room designs, was not forgotten at the spa.

The spas are both pretty small. We had the jacuzzi and sauna to ourselves. We spent part of the day in the North spa reading books and enjoying the sunshine (and snacks) before our massage. There was another couple using the space as well. We visited during the week in March, but I can see the spas getting crowded during peak times.

Although there isn’t a restaurant on-site, Cassie’s (during the day) and Chappie’s (at night), is a short walk right up the street. We visited for lunch one day and dinner another and can say that the food is good. Otherwise, the Roxbury provides a list of restaurants in the area in the info binder in your room. They include driving distance and type of food served.

A stay at the Roxbury is just plain fun! There tend to be a lot of repeat guests, which I know we will soon be. A couple of miles down the street from the Roxbury Motel, Greg and Joe are currently building the Roxbury at Stratton Falls. This property will consist mostly of themed cottages and a larger spa with a pool. You can bet that we are planning to visit this property when it opens!

The Details:
The Roxbury Motel
2258 County Highway 41
Roxbury, NY 12474
(607) 326-7200
Check the website for more information!

Rates: $90-$698 depending on room choice and date.

Tips:
*For suburbanites like us, the Roxbury Motel felt like it was in the middle of nowhere. Be prepared to drive to any area attractions.
*Cell service is basically non-existent. My husband had to take a work call on the room phone. The wi-fi worked well though.
*Every room has a DVD player. The office contains a DVD collection of over 400+ movies that you can borrow. Or, like us, knowing there was a DVD player in the room, we brought our own movies that we wanted to watch (BlacKkKlansman and Outlander Season 1!).
*The office also has a game closet if you are looking for something to do.
*For more photos of of the Roxbury and of our trip, check out our “The Roxbury” instastories!




A Weekend in Corning

Nicknamed “Crystal City,” Corning, NY is perfect for a fun family weekend getaway.  Situated in the southern Finger Lakes region, there is something here for everyone. Last summer I visited Corning with my two children and we had a great time. However, the town will appeal to art lovers, wine connoisseurs, or couples looking for a romantic getaway as well.  The trip to Corning is a little less than 4 hours by car.

Where to Stay:

Staybridge Suites Corning
Staybridge Suites Corning is located a short distance from the Corning Museum of Glass.  This hotel is perfect for families.  Our suite had a small kitchenette with a table and chairs and a living room with a television.  The kids shared one bedroom and each got a bed all to themselves, while I slept in the other bedroom.  Getting ready in the morning was made easier with a bathroom in each bedroom.  My kids loved swimming in the indoor pool.  Breakfast is included with your stay, which is always nice when traveling, to save on expenses.  The buffet had a decent selection of hot and cold choices including oatmeal, scrambled eggs, waffles, pastries, fruit and more.  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings the hotel hosts an evening reception with complimentary food and beverages.

What to do:

Rockwell Museum
The Rockwell Museum is located in the heart of Corning, on the corner of Cedar Street. The museum houses a diverse collection of art that tells the story of the American experience through the works of American artists.  Open at 9 AM, this is a great place to start your visit in Corning.   You can easily spend a couple of hours viewing the paintings, sculptures, photographs and other works of art.  You can buy a combo ticket to the Corning Museum of Glass and take advantage of the free shuttle.  Read all about why this museum is great for families!

 

 

Corning Museum of Glass
Most people associate Corning with the Corning Museum of Glass and of course it is a mandatory stop on your trip. The Corning Museum of Glass houses the world’s largest collection of glass art, with over 3,500 years of glass history exhibited throughout its galleries.  During your visit you will also be able to watch live glass making demonstrations that are held continuously throughout the day.

Prior to your visit, be sure to make a reservation at the Studio if you want to participate in a Make Your Own Glass experience.  For an additional fee, you can enjoy a memorable glass blowing experience and take home a souvenir of your trip.  Because the glass needs to undergo a slow cooling process, it must remain at the studio overnight and can be picked up the next day or shipped to your house, for a fee.  Read all about our visit to the CMOG.

Other Museums and Historic Sites
Located in or around Corning you will also find other museums including the Arnot Art Museum,  Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, the Finger Lakes Boating Museum and the Erie Depot.  History fans will also enjoy Mark Twain’s Elmira.

Watkins Glen International Speedway

Located approximately 30 minutes away is the Watkins Glen International Speedway.  If you are into car racing, you may want to plan a weekend when a race is taking place.  On specific dates, you can purchase a pass to drive your car around the raceway!


Shopping

The Gaffer District is home to over 50 shops. From clothing, jewelry, glass, wine, cigars, art and more, you will find something for everyone among the different shops.

Wineries & Breweries
The Finger Lakes is well-known for its wine trails.  But did you know that the region is also home to many breweries and distilleries?  While not something that I could partake in with the kids in tow, I can’t wait to return with my husband to enjoy the craft beverage trail.

Outdoor Fun
There are many different outdoor activities to enjoy in Corning.  Depending on when you visit you can kayak, hike, bike, fish, boat and even horseback ride.  No matter what season you visit, you should make time for a stop at Watkins Glen State Park.  A short drive from Corning, this New York State park is home to 19 waterfalls, a couple of which you can actually walk behind!  During our visit we kayaked, went horseback riding, and also visited Watkins Glen State Park.

Where to Eat:


 Old World Café

Within walking distance of the Rockwell Museum is the Old World Cafe.  It sits in the heart of the Gaffer District, and is a perfect place to grab lunch.  You can enjoy the homemade soups, sandwiches and salads, but leave room for some Purity ice cream, served in the parlor.

Hand + Foot
Back in the Gaffer District enjoy dinner at Hand + Foot.  The have a drink menu featuring an extensive list of draft beers.  Their menu features sandwiches and dishes made with seasonal ingredients.  The restaurant focuses on community and has one long table for seating, conducive for meeting the locals and making new friends.

Nickel’s Pit BBQ
After a hike at Watkins Glen State Park, visit Nickel’s Pit BBQ located on North Franklin Street. The restaurant is located in the historic Watkins Glen fire department building.   It serves all kinds of delicious BBQ in a casual, but fun atmosphere.

Village Tavern Restaurant
Located approximately 40 minutes away in Hammondsport, near Lake Keuka, is Village Tavern Restaurant.  This European style bar and restaurant serves award-winning wines and over 100 different beers.  While the restaurant specializes in fresh fish and seafood, the lunch menu includes a variety of salads and sandwiches.  This restaurant is seasonal and is open May through the beginning of December.

Note:  Thank you Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes for hosting our visit.  As always,  all opinions are our own.