The Catskills, United States

Foxfire Mountain House


Foxy lady


Mighty Mount Tremper

At Mr & Mrs Smith, we don’t have favourites – but if we did, they’d look remarkably like Foxfire Mountain House: a revamped rustic inn with tiles, taxidermy and two brilliant owners. Mountain men – and maidens – have been drawn to this corner of the Catskills for centuries; now they’ve the perfect boutique base camp, equipped with vintage-chic rooms, a bocce ball and badminton court, fire pits, hammocks and more…

Smith Extra

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The hotel's signature, locally made soy candle, with a scent inspired by the surroundings


Photos Foxfire Mountain House – Catskills – USA

Need to know




11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.


(Trucker) hats off to the owners, who turned an abandoned inn into the vintage sweetheart you see today. Tim restored the foundations of the building; Eliza masterminded the styling. They both hand-tiled the patio, designed with dancing in mind and decorated with large, colourful tiles that are almost too pretty to prance on. (Almost.)

At the hotel

Grounds with hammocks, a bocce ball court, lily pool, pond, bonfire pit, horseshoe pit; on-site parking; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: iPod dock; Om bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Are you feeling foxy or aquatic? If the former, bed down in the Queen room decorated with fox-print wallpaper; if the latter, opt for the room graced with a pretty shell lamp. Groups of friends can stake out the Three-Bedroom Cottage, which has its own shiny, well-equipped kitchen.


There’s an abandoned kidney-shaped pool in the grounds – an atmospheric reminder of the property’s former life as Mountain Breeze House – but it’s only used by lucky frogs and water lilies these days.

Packing tips

Bring marshmallows – you’ll make friends around the bonfire.


The former pool house has been turned into a gazebo for socialising; there’s also a fire pit designed for nightly bonfires.


Teenagers can come too; this hotel isn’t designed for tiny Smiths.

Food and Drink

Photos Foxfire Mountain House – Catskills – USA

Top Table

Combine your morning coffee with a serving of fresh Catskills air out on the terrace. By night, nab a spot around the bonfire.

Dress Code

Trad plaids; distressed denim; facial hair (not you, Mrs Smith). Basically, clothes you could hike up a mountain in. We won’t tell anyone if you don’t.

Hotel restaurant

Originally, the plan was just to offer breakfast (Nordic-style, generous and featuring smoked fish, frittatas and deep-fried, sugared rice donuts). However, owner Tim used to be a chef and he clearly isn’t ready to hang up his chef whites – metaphorical or otherwise – just yet. Foxfire has an ever-changing menu of relaxed but interesting dishes, designed for sharing: smoked-trout fritters, lamb kofta in sumac broth; chilli-lime-roasted acorn squash and the ilk. It also plans on hosting themed dinners; comedy nights around the campfire, for example.

Hotel bar

Grab a drink from the striking cement bar in the breakfast room. Browse the stash of vintage vinyls while you’re at it, then queue your choice up on the record player.

Last orders

Dinner is served until around 11pm, though nothing’s set in stone here (other than the hotel’s foundations, which clever Tim set himself). Breakfast is available between 8.30am and 10.30am.

Room service

It’s not that kind of joint, but we doubt the owners would mind if you asked for something in between meal times.


Photos Foxfire Mountain House – Catskills – USA
Foxfire Mountain House
72 Andrew Lane
Mt Tremper
United States


LaGuardia Airport is 105 miles away (a two-hour drive). The hotel can arrange transfers in a private car or limousine ($275 each way). There’s also Newark Liberty International Airport, 111 miles from Foxfire.


Rhinecliff station is a 40-minute drive away, with Amtrak services connecting to New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Montreal and other destinations ( Hotel transfers are $65 each way (more, if you want to be whooshed to the hotel by limousine).


It takes less than two hours to drive here from New York City (hop on the I-87 to the 28 West highway, which merges with the Onteora Trail; turn off onto Mt Pleasant Road then Andrew Lane, where the hotel resides) and the Foxfire has plenty of on-site parking. It’s worth having wheels so that you can explore the region.

Worth getting out of bed for

Gambol around the hotel’s 10-acre wooded playground; stage a bocce ball or horseshoe tournament; hang 10 in the hammocks (spray yourself liberally with bug repellent, first). Stomp up the hillside trail that starts in the backyard (clever Tim built it). Splash around Peekamoose Blue Hole or hike up Tremper Mountain and visit its fire tower. Give your wallet a workout at the boutiques and galleries along Route 28; set aside an hour or two just for Scandinavian Grace (, an Aladdin’s cave of Scandi covetables (the coffee’s not bad, either). Tick off the region’s tourist must-dos: the Kaatskill Kaleidoscope, the Catskill Mountain Railroad and Kaaterskill Falls. If you book a massage at the Emerson Spa just down the road, you’ll get free use the spa’s sauna, steam room and alfresco Jacuzzi.

Local restaurants

Push, shove and elbow locals out the way – not really – to get a table at popular Phoenicia Diner, a Sixties diner that has had a new lease of life, thanks to its ex-Brooklynite owner, Mike Cioffi. The menu puts a playful spin on comfort food: breakfast tacos, duck and grills skillets, fried chicken and waffle sandwiches and more (+1 845 688 9957; Pancake-addicts’ hearts will flip when they pay a trip to Sweet Sue’s at 49 Main St, Phoenicia, which serves the best battered goods in the Catskills (+1 845 688 7852). There’s more to this joint than A+ crêpes though (fruit-packed flapjacks and poppy-seed French toast, for example). Tavern 214 at 76 State Route 214 is a relaxed gastropub with a passion for local produce and an inventive menu: try line-caught yellowfin tuna with apple-ginger ponzu, wasabi cream and cucumber, or beef short ribs with cheese-and-onion mash, sugar-snap peas and chipotle gravy (



Photos Foxfire Mountain House – Catskills – USA

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this stylish hotel near Mount Tremper and unpacked their antiques and antlers, a full account of their mountain break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Foxfire Mountain House in the Catskills…

This is an open love-letter to Foxfire Mountain House (we don’t believe in playing it cool). Items here that made our hearts flip like local Sweet Sue’s pancakes include: the Scandi-lously good styling and generous Nordic breakfasts (anyone that serves up sugar-dusted doughnuts in the morning gets our vote); the bocce ball court and badminton; the hammocks; the horseshoes; the bleached-wood beds fashioned by local carpenters; the butterflies, antlers, tiles and taxidermy; the jaw-drop views of moody and majestic Mount Tremper. Oh, we like the sari curtains and the velvet and leather sofas, too. If we could only choose one thing about Foxfire Mountain House to write home about, it would be its owners: Eliza and Tim, who swapped careers in TV production and hospitality for their new roles as custodians over this once-abandoned inn. Their former colleagues must be mourning their loss, while we are shouting from the mountaintops with glee.

The Guestbook

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