Catskills, United States

Foxfire Mountain House

Rates from (ex tax)$350.00

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD385.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Foxy lady

Setting

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

Get this when you book through us:

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

Facilities

Photos Foxfire Mountain House facilities

Need to know

Rooms

11

Check–Out

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

Rates

Double rooms from $350.00, excluding tax at 10 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD385.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include a generous buffet breakfast, plus happy-hour wine, cheese and lemonade on Saturdays.

Also

(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.

Poolside

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.

Also

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

Children

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

Food and Drink

Photos Foxfire Mountain House food and drink

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.

Location

Photos Foxfire Mountain House location
Address
Foxfire Mountain House
72 Andrew Lane
Mt Tremper
12457
Mt Tremper
United States

Planes

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.

Trains

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

Automobiles

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.

 

Reviews

Photos Foxfire Mountain House reviews
Jordi Lippe-McGraw

Anonymous review

Most New Yorkers dream of escaping to a country home on the weekend. After a week filled with sirens, awkward encounters with subway strangers and enduring a cramped apartment, a vision of peace, quiet and space for a couple of days might be the only thing keeping me sane. Thankfully, boutique hotel Foxfire Mountain House in the Catskills was created specifically to make that reverie a reality. Or, so it seemed.

That sense of escapism set in the moment we hit the road to the former inn and boarding house. First, because we were in our own car instead of a yellow taxi and second because along the main road, Route 28, country living was coming to life. The whole strip was dotted with antique shops, farm stands, and quirky art galleries curated by leftover, Woodstock-era hippies. This was a nice departure from walking past furniture stores with wares I can’t afford and grocery stores where basic produce is deemed – literally – worth its weight in gold (I’m looking at you Whole Foods). Are you sensing my need for this getaway yet?

Pulling up to the all-white inn, which was first built in 1914, felt as if we were parking in the driveway of our own home. There was no valet or doorman; we simply let ourselves in through the front doors. The dark-wood floors and taxidermy-adorned walls that greeted us in the entryway only enhanced that warm homey feel and a warm greeting by a welcoming staff member quickly followed.

After a low-key check-in at the restaurant bar, we were escorted to our simple second-floor room, which again was decorated with what I assume were flea-market finds. Mismatched nightstands stood on either side of the locally handcrafted wooden bed, and woven rugs covered portions of the creaky floors. Every little detail about the room was Pinterest pin waiting to happen.

The design elements made sense considering the owners Eliza Clark and Tim Trojian, who bought the historic property in 2013, are pretty crafty people. The couple did most of the renovation work themselves, and it was their personal touch which created the overwhelming sense of this hotel as a home. Even in our ensuite bathroom (a word to the shy: some rooms share a communal washroom), had one tile facing the wrong direction – probably intentional, but it seemed like a charming DIY mistake.

We arrived late on particularly cold weekend; the room-heating options were little limited in the old inn, so getting into bed was our most viable course of action. With no TVs or cell-phone service in the lodge, late-night activities were limited too. But, that’s all part of the charm, right? Free WiFi is available, but lest you accuse us of not embracing the off-the-grid serenity, we only used it to post the occasional Instagram pic of hidden treasures throughout the building.

Speaking of hidden treasures, we delayed exploring the property and nearby town till Saturday. To prepare for a frigid day out, we indulged in the free, buffet-style breakfast served in the in-house restaurant. We grabbed our coffee, fruit, oatmeal and cheese biscuits (some of the best I’ve had, I might add) from the various trays offered to us.

And, just as if we were in our own dining room, we sat at a table of our choosing. Only this dining room was much more rustic chic than anything I could have ever designed. There were several different wood tables complete with chairs of varying styles, some with fuzzy throws for those who needed a bit more warmth in the draughty lodge.

More than the vintage high-school pennant hanging from the wall or freshly picked flowers on each table, it was the other guests who really made it feel like home again. With just 11 rooms and one cottage on the property, the number of overnighters is kept to a minimum. So, the handful of people walking into breakfast in casual dress could very well have been our friends who spent the night.

The rest of the day was spent walking around the quaint village of Woodstock nearby, popping into boutique clothing shops and stores peddling Tibetan artwork. We returned in time for a sneaky afternoon nap before heading back downstairs for an early dinner. Again, we gave our fellow guests a nod hello before poring over the seasonal menu.

We opted for the winter citrus salad, spiced carrot-and-parsnip soup and Foxfire burger with onion-honey marmalade. We paired it with a house cocktail cheekily called Penicillin, which was made with blended Scotch whiskey, which we later took with us to sip by the fireplace. Fun side note: there’s no line on the check for tipping as the owners pride themselves on providing their staff with a ‘full living wage.’

Sunday morning was spent doing much of the same: grabbing breakfast with our guests-turned-pals, and enjoying a few precious last moments on the velvet couch by the fire. It seemed especially cruel that it was Daylight Savings and we lost an hour of escapism, something that only dawned on me at check-out. But it would be ok: as we drove away from our new country home and headed back to reality, we knew that weekend spent at Foxfire wouldn’t be our last.

 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Foxfire Mountain House’s Guestbook below.

We loved

I usually never write reviews, but Foxfire really deserves praise. Impeccably designed but unpretentious. Tim and Eliza make you feel right at home, right down to making you a fire in the huge, amazing fireplace, but they don't hover. Vibe is hunting lodge chic with an emphasis on the chic. We did venture out for dinner, but didn't want to leave. The perfect spot to lay low, read and restore. Great hiking in the area. Tim's breakfast is incredible. Amazing bed. Really was one of the most gracious hotel stays we've ever had. Go to Peekamoose for dinner (Tim and Eliza's rec - spot on), and go hiking at Overlook mountain in nearby Woodstock.

Don’t expect

There's no big staff to provide room service or anything like that. It's more quiet and intimate than that.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Oct 2016

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