Swap the urban jungle for the rolling Catskills countryside at luxury boutique hotel, Hasbrouck House. Spend your mornings leisurely lounging by the outdoor pool, or strolling through grounds filled with beautiful blossoms and gloriously-hued geraniums. Yogis can strike a tree pose among the evergreens in a private yoga lesson, while couples can kiss goodbye to their knots with a massage – it’ll leave you and your beloved so relaxed you may need a short afternoon snooze before turning your attention to dinner at Butterfield restaurant. Having dined on the area’s most appetising farm-to-table fare, watch the night’s sky light up with stars while toasting marshmallows on the alfresco fire pit – what s’more could you want…
11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm; both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £213.98 ($270), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates include a light breakfast of fresh pastries, and teas and coffees (Monday to Friday). On weekends, enjoy a cooked breakfast with dishes like sourdough fried-egg sandwiches and French toast in Butterfield restaurant (not included).
There’s a two-night minimum stay on weekends (Friday to Sunday). Energise and relax with a private yoga lesson on the lawn, specially adapted to suit your yogi goals.
At the hotel
Games room, nightly bonfires (in summer), weekly events and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, Aesop bath products, air-conditioning, minibar, free bottled water and Nespresso machine.
Our favourite rooms
If you like to be at the centre of things, choose a room in the main house; the Balcony Suites have private verandas with wooden rocking-chairs from which to gaze over the grounds. For more privacy, stay in the Stable or Carriage House. Couples can cosy up in a suite, and families and groups of friends should opt for either the two-bedroom Stable House Grand Loft, or the three-bedroom Carriage House Grand Suite.
Surrounded by tall evergreen trees, the outdoor pool is open between Memorial Day and Labor Day. There’s no lifeguard, so under-16s must be supervised when taking a dip.
Bid adieu to any knots and tensions with a relaxing deep-tissue massage in the treatment room, or from the comfort of your own bedroom (only some rooms can accommodate in-room massages); loved-up Mr and Mrs Smiths can unwind à deux with a couples massage. As there’s only one treatment room bookings can fill up quickly, so be sure to organise your spot of pampering well before your stay.
Bring an engrossing book for lazy afternoons by the pool.
All public areas are wheelchair accessible and there are three disabled parking spaces near the main building. Rooms 11, 12 and 14 in the the main building, and the ground-floor rooms of the Carriage House are specially designed for disabled guests.
Only over-12s can stay at this peaceful country retreat.
In winter, cosy up with your Mr or Mrs Smith by the roaring fire; in summer, take a table outside on the terrace so you can watch the chefs at work, grilling and smoking meat and fish.
The locally-inspired menus at Butterfield restaurant change with the landscape around the restaurant. In spring, you’ll find juicy roast lamb belly and leg on the menu; in summer the menu’s full of fresh vegetables with dishes like ember-roasted beets and shaved-radish salad; autumn brings meat dishes like aged duck cooked in a cherry sauce; and in winter, tuck into cool-weather favourites like roast chicken with all the trimmings. The restaurant looks like a revamped, traditional countryside pub. Black-leather banquettes flank the large, original fireplace and brass and ceramic lampshades hang from the panelled wood walls, painted a sophisticated deep-navy colour. Between Memorial and Labor Day, tuck into all-American fast food at the alfresco Butcher & Bar on the hotel’s tree-lined patio. Tuck into berry-topped French toast, spicy huevos rancheros, rich coffees and tomato-based cocktails during weekend brunch. Looking for breakfast during the week? You'll find pastries, tea and coffee laid out near reception.
Much like the restaurant, Butterfield’s bar looks like a traditional pub given a suave modern makeover. Take a seat on one of the simple wooden bar stools and admire the ornate cornicing, sleek copper metalwork and trompe l'oeil wallpaper – particularly beguiling after a few drinks – while perusing the frequently-changing cocktail list.
Butterfield is open for weekend brunch from 9am–1pm, and dinner from 6pm–10pm, Wednesday to Sunday. Butcher & Bar opens between Memorial Day and Labor Day; 5pm–10pm, Thursdays and Fridays; noon–10pm, Saturdays; and noon–5pm on Sundays.
Hasbrouck House is set in the leafy Hudson Valley in southern New York.
New York’s JFK and Newark International Airport are just under a two-hour drive away; fly direct to both from across the UK, Europe and Australia. If travelling from within the US, fly to Albany International Airport which is a 90-minute drive from the hotel. Call our Smith24 team of travel experts to book your flights.
Rhinecliff Train Station is a 30-minute drive away. Trains arrive from cities throughout the state; New York Penn Station is 90 minutes away.
You’ll need a car to get around New York’s lush countryside. Our Smith24 team can arrange a set of wheels for you to pick up at the airport. There’s free on-site parking at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
There’s a lot happening at Hasbrouck. It’s movie night every Thursday and Friday between May and October; screenings vary from cult classics like Labyrinth to modern rom-coms such as Bridesmaids, action-packed hits like Die Hard and a couple of kids’ films too. Start your Saturday with a group yoga session, then sample the area’s finest vintages on a wine tasting, followed by a live music performance on the patio. The hotel also hosts monthly markets where you can sample and buy local wares from artisanal suppliers. Outside of the hotel, take a hike up the Catskills Mountains, or through Minnewaska State Park Preserve: you can also cycle, horse-ride, canoe or kayak if you’d prefer. Adrenalin junkies can explore the local area at up to 50 miles an hour on one of New York Zipline Adventure Tours, where you can whoosh along up to five miles of cables. Vernooy Kill Falls is a relaxing spot for families to cool off in – don’t be put off by the name, it’s a very gentle cascade. Kids can pet a piglet, milk a cow and pick their own flowers, fruit and vegetables at Kelder’s Farm – where a giant pillow for jumping onto is also a big hit.
Dining in Stone Ridge is very down to earth. If you get a taste for Hudson Valley fare at hotel eatery Butterfield, head to Hash Food just down the road from the hotel. All their food – including nine different styles of egg dish – is locally sourced; if you stop in for lunch, get the signature hash burger, which is made with half a pound of grass-fed beef, cheddar cheese and organic trimmings, followed by a generous slice of home-made apple pie. Momiji is a popular local restaurant serving a wide variety of traditional Japanese dishes. Take a starter from the sushi bar, then order a katsu curry, or a bento box with a selection of hibachi-heated nibbles and tempura to share. For a hearty home-made meal, look no further than Lydia’s Café and Bar, where each dish, from the lasagna to the soup of the day, is made on-site by Lydia and her family.
The Phoenicia Diner is an all-American roadside diner serving home-made waffles piled high with fruit and drizzled with maple syrup, eggs sunny-side-up with grits and greens, and classic BLT sandwiches made with fresh vegetables from the Hudson Valley; there’s also a kids menu. For an easy and relaxed lunch, pop into Bodacious Bagels on Main Street and take your pick from their fresh fillings and seasonal soups.
Brunette is an elegant little wine bar on Kingston broadway. Order a cheese plate, or a hot-dog to go with your glass of red, white or orange wine. Arrowood Farm Brewery has a bar that all the family can enjoy. While mum and dad discover Arrowood’s homegrown hops with a couple of cold ones in the tasting room, kids can make friends with the local wildlife at the farm – everyone’s happy.
It’s Friday, 9:25pm, and soon-to-be Mr Smith and I are tired – so, so tired. We’re both recovering from our respective bachelor parties, and now added to our fatigue is stress. We’re stressed that we’re late for our dinner reservation. Stressed the kitchen will be closed. Stressed about a forgotten bottle of moisturizer. Stressed we’re not parking in the right spot. You name it; we’re stressed about it.
Enter, Hasbrouck House.
Rushing down the pathway at an unnecessary speed, we burst into the foyer. And – almost embarrassingly – a rush of serenity immediately washes over us. It starts with a kind smile from the wonderful Meg, the guest services manager who isn’t ruffled by a pair of frenetic city travelers. Then, the scent: peaceful, light, faintly like lavender. Later we’d learn this is the house candle, produced by the owners.
Suddenly, and even though we’re now 40 minutes late for our dinner reservation, it no longer matters. Our stress subsides. Meg checks us in with ease and takes her time to show us a map of the sprawling grounds, being sure to mention the free yoga class at 8am… all the while knowing we’re late for dinner but assuring us not to worry, that we’ll be in good hands.
We’re curious to explore our room, but with hunger trumping curiosity, we drop our bags in one of the Heritage Lofts on the 2nd floor and head back downstairs for dinner at Butterfield, the property-owned restaurant run by chef Aaron Ambramson.
It’s inspired by and uses local ingredients, and it’s perfect. At each course, the dishes are balanced, interesting, and incredibly fresh. The menu itself is tightly edited, as it should be – each dish built on the best flavors found in the Hudson Valley. Wine pairings are impeccable, too.
Stumbling back to our room a few hours later – pleasantly full, somewhat tipsy and now totally exhausted – we finally have time to discover our room. The Heritage Loft is homey and spacious. There’s a lounge area with a desk, an espresso machine and a brilliantly white king-sized bed in a separate space which, once inside, feels like you’re sleeping on a cloud. And that lost moisturizer? No stress: the bathroom, glowing from a chic combination of subway and marble tiles, is stocked with tempting Kiehl’s products.
Safe to say, we slept like we were far from the city hustle.
Hasbrouck House looks more beautiful in the daylight. While Mr Smith gets some early morning work out of the way, I make my way downstairs to chat with Meg – who, predictably, has made us fresh coffee – before setting off for a run around the neighborhood. Warning: only make a left out of the property driveway if you’re prepared for an uphill route. This is my path, and it makes the complimentary muffin and scone platter left out for guests in the lobby that much more rewarding upon my return.
Afterwards, I allow myself to get lost around the property… I watch the yoga class downward dog by the pool, take a swing in a hammock, and discover a flock of monarch butterflies in the garden. After spending an hour walking the grounds, I return to our room and proclaim to Mr Smith that this place couldn’t be more idyllic.
There’s plenty more to do in the local area. Using Meg’s recommendations, we pick a local place for lunch in Kingston, a 15-minute drive away. Later, we check out the farmer’s market, grab an ice cream, and head over to Rosendale to walk the Trestle, a trail that includes an old railroad high above a lake with stunning views on either side.
Returning to the House, Mr Smith suggests we take a more extensive tour of the grounds, which leads us to a small trail beyond the fire pit. We weave through a serene forest that opens onto a vast orchard where, if you’re daring enough to follow the trail all the way to the farmhouse, you’ll get to experience some of the freshest produce and crispest cider the Hudson Valley has to offer.
Knackered from our day of what city people would describe as ‘hiking’, we purchase a bottle from the boutique wine shop next to the House (it’s within walking distance), borrow two glasses from front desk and retire to the patio to take in the evening.
As night draws in, we stumble upon a bluegrass band performing outside by a bonfire. Joining fellow guests, glasses in hand, we sit as they perform three encore songs, with everyone singing along. After the band wraps up, we’re not quite ready to retire so we move to the fire pit that’s crackling quietly in the meadow. Cozy, warm, and totally hypnotized by the flames, we notice a few hotel guests making their way towards us. Soon, all eight adirondack chairs are taken, and we’re sharing stories and wine (probably too much wine) with our fellow housemates – some of whom are toasting s’mores, compliments of Hasbrouck.
What was initially a quiet fire pit get-together becomes an impromptu party, and near strangers feel like close friends who haven’t seen each other in years – no talk of work, no exchange of names; all just enjoying the moment.
As the fire winds down, and the last glasses are poured, one-by-one we return to the house. And Mr Smith and I realize how special Hasbrouck is, how it transports you to that summer-camp-like headspace, where time stops, new relationships are formed, and there’s a feeling of lightness, inspiration, and a little bit of magic.
The next morning we pack our bags, say goodbye to our new friends and head to the city. But this time, we’re not rushing. We take the long way back – the scenic route – to take in the spirit of Hasbrouck House for just a little bit longer…