Catskills, United States

Scribner's Catskill Lodge

Rates from (ex tax)$145.00

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 (USD156.60), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

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Style

King of the Catskills

Setting

Gold in them hills

Scribner’s Catskill Lodge puts a modern spin on mountain hospitality, with majestically ominous photography by upstate artist Emily Johnston and tactile wall hangings by the Catskill Kiwi. The restaurant and bar shine their spotlights on neighbouring suppliers and producers (word on the mountain is: a whiskey lounge is coming soon). If you’re looking for a hotel with history, you’ve come to the right place: in another life, Scribner’s was a 1960s motor lodge; it occupies a ravishingly rugged patch of the Catskills that has housed holidaymakers since the 1800s.

 

Smith Extra

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A bottle of local hard cider

Facilities

Photos Scribner's Catskill Lodge facilities

Need to know

Rooms

36, including two suites.

Check–Out

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

Rates

Double rooms from $145.00, excluding tax at 8 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 (USD156.60), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually exclude breakfast (Continental during the week; à la carte brunch on weekends), which starts from $15 a person.

Also

Whiskey lovers, take note; the hotel is going to open a whiskey lounge soon...

At the hotel

Deck; meadow; library; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV; Scribner’s bath products. Some rooms have a fireplace and terrace.

Our favourite rooms

Reign over the Catskills in the Scribner’s Suite, which has a sunken living room and a loft. The corner Loft rooms have extra windows, making them lighter, brighter and better for appraising the scenery.

Poolside

The heated outdoor pool is open from early summer to late autumn; Hunter Mountain is visible just beyond, and sunloungers flank the pool on two sides.

Packing tips

Bring the energy to conquer a mountain and the appetite to eat a horse (or beef-burger – they don’t actually eat horses in these parts).

Also

Two of the Cabin Queen rooms are suitable for wheelchair-users.

Pet‐friendly

Hounds are invited too (for $50 a night); treats and dog bowls are provided. See more pet-friendly hotels in Catskills.

Children

Little Smiths are welcome, but the hotel doesn’t have lots of family-friendly frills or thrills. A rollaway bed or crib can be added to some rooms (for $50 a night). Babysitting can be arranged with 24 hours’ notice ($15 a night).

Food and Drink

Photos Scribner's Catskill Lodge food and drink

Top Table

If it’s warm enough, and/or you have the requisite cashmere/plaids, sit out on Prospect Deck and soak up those mountain views. (There’s an antique fire pit in the works, too.) Two fireplaces are being added to the dining room: you can cosy up wherever.

Dress Code

Half mountaineer; half Monocle.

Hotel restaurant

The hotel’s Prospect restaurant is as young as a budding mountain rose; watch this space to see how it flourishes. One thing’s for sure: you can expect seasonal mountain fare, sourced from Scribner’s near neighbours, plus eye-pop mountain views, courtesy of the handsome dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows, which also let in lashings of natural light.

Hotel bar

Grab a drink from the rectangular bar that forms the centrepiece of Prospect. There’s a whiskey lounge in the works...

Last orders

The Prospect will keep you fed and watered from 7.30am–11pm.

Room service

It’s a refreshingly relaxed set-up here, with no room service and no minibars. If you want something, just let the obliging staff know.

Location

Photos Scribner's Catskill Lodge location
Address
Scribner's Catskill Lodge
13 Scribner Hollow Rd.
Hunter
12442
Hunter
United States

Planes

Albany International Airport is the closest hub, 60 miles away (a 75-minute drive). Hotel transfers can be arranged ($250 in a private car). JFK International Airport is 130 miles away (around a three-hour drive).

Trains

Hudson Station is a 35-minute drive from the hotel, connecting to New York, Montreal, Philadelphia, Washington DC and other cities (www.amtrak.com).

Automobiles

It’s well worth having wheels so that you can do the Catskills justice. Scribner's is just off Main Street, in the village of Hunter. From the New York State Thruway, take Exit 20 and follow signs for Hunter; from Hudson Station, take the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and follow Route 23A to Hunter.

Worth getting out of bed for

There’s so much to do outside the hotel, you can feel completely justified in doing very little at Scribner’s itself. Eat, drink and make merry at Prospect; curl up with a good book besides the fire in the Library. Take advantage of Scribner’s Hunter Mountain perch by going skiing, snowboarding and snow-tubing in winter. The mountain is equally lively in summer, when you can try zip-lining, hiking and river-tubing (or enjoy a cold pint at one of the local craft-beer festivals). In autumn, go apple-picking or fly-fishing. Sports fans might enjoy a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown. Don’t miss the village of Woodstock and its arterial Tinker Street, a gold mine of boutiques and cafés (for summertime shopping thrills, hit Phoenicia Flea).

Local restaurants

If you’ve been stomping up and down mountains and throwing yourself off ski slopes and so on, you’ll definitely deserve an Angus beef burger. Mama’s Boy Burgers at 6067 Tannersville has just the thing, along with vegetarian options, salads,house-made onion rings and French fries. Join the locals enjoying three-course feasts at Deer Mountain Inn at 790 County Route 25 in Tannersville. The chef’s thoughtful menu doffs its hat to the local game and produce; try gold apple, goat’s cheese and roasted beet salad, ricotta gnudi and butter-poached lobster, and gingerbread with salt-roasted pears, candied ginger and cream-cheese ice-cream. Hustle your way to a table at popular Phoenicia Diner (5681 NY-28), the brainchild of a Brooklyn export. Pick from breakfast skillets, waffle sandwiches, meaty mains and flavour-packed salads.

Local bars

Once you've worked up a thirst after hiking, quench it with a visit to the Angry Orchard, the Catskill Distilling Company or Brewery Ommegang.

Reviews

Photos Scribner's Catskill Lodge reviews
Tom Wright

Anonymous review

It started innocently enough. While absent-mindedly scrolling through a list of Netflix’s baffling recommendations – ‘You watched Breaking Bad, so we think you might like Sharknado: the 4th Awakens’ (disclaimer: I didn’t) – I paused on a title that somehow caught my eye: Wet Hot American Summer. Mrs Smith rolled her eyes.

Not to be discouraged, a little digging revealed a (slightly) more innocent proposition than that title suggests: a small screwball comedy, now a cult-classic thanks to the fame of its then-unknown stars (hello Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper).

Satirizing popular 1970s camp comedies, when women were permed and bouncy, real men wore short shorts and everyone was getting off with everyone else, it had us hooked. We watched it all, flushed with Americana-awe. Then we binged the prequel TV series; then the sequel TV series; and then we booked our flights to New York.

In search of our own wet hot American summer, Mrs Smith and I didn’t linger in the Big Apple. Instead, we headed for the Catskills: home to some of the most stunning landscapes of the verdant American north-east. We found it dominated by dramatic mountains, oak and maple forests, river rapids and tranquil lakes. For us quaint-isle Brits, it doesn’t get more Camp America than the Catskills, and it doesn’t get more Catskills than Scribner’s.

Housed in a refurbished Sixties drive-in motel – the hotel was originally known as the Scribner Hollow Motor Lodge – the place certainly fitted our mischievous mood. It even, the knowing staff tell us, had a semi-apocryphal basement pool grotto, akin to the Playboy Mansion. I left any worries of seediness at the door, though: Scribner’s is rustic, plaid-shirt luxury done right. Its playful heyday is referenced subtly: outdoor fireplaces painted sex-shop red, luxurious lotions in spacious bathrooms, make-your-own s’mores kits and, crucially, enormous beds with pillowy-soft all-white sheets.

With NYC summers notoriously stifling, we found out that a short road-trip up north is how informed locals do July and August. We hired our car in Manhattan and were at the hotel in under three hours. (Quick tip: when driving out of the city, take the uptown George Washington Bridge, rather than the Lincoln Tunnel, for the best wide-angle view of New York you’re ever likely to see.) In fact, the drive’s brevity is almost its downfall; cruising a wide American car through sweeping, forested hill roads (the official Mountain Cloves Scenic Byway criss-crosses the region) was one of my favourite driving experiences ever.

The car-based fun even sneaks into the hotel itself. The lofty reception area is still decked out with a warm terracotta-hued cobbled floor, a legacy from the motel days, when guests would drive right up to the reception desk – I almost wished I could have done the same.

We found those eccentric touches continuing throughout and they were made even more enjoyable by a tasteful backdrop of minimal alpine chic – handsome blonde wood, accented by black wrought-iron detailing, the rich green felt of a pool table, sofas draped in fur rugs and the smell of well-thumbed tomes in floor-to-ceiling bookcases.

It’s in these bookshelves that you might come across further esoteric links to the hotel’s past. Carefully curated, the hotel’s library was put together with more than a knowing wink – spend a quiet moment perusing the shelves and you’ll soon see what I mean…

That handcrafted touch extends beyond the reading matter; much of the furniture and woodwork was done by local artists, as was the photography. And mirroring the hotel’s close geographical link to the heartbeat of New York City, its design – which I loved – is also connected to the city’s coolest spots. Furnishings are from the achingly trendy Fern NYC, and many of the textiles are from the vintage rug mecca Heirloom Brooklyn.

If the design enthusiast in me was piqued by these stylish curiosities, the gastronome in Mrs Smith was sent into overdrive by a glance at the hotel restaurant’s menu. Known as the Prospect, we found it a real delight – hitting all the right notes for us demanding and discerning city types: seasonal ingredients, local produce, and contemporary twists on regional favourites. And so it should, the team are another Brooklyn import, having established a number of celebrated Williamsburg eateries.

Finally tempted out of the hotel by the wisdom of the enthusiastic staff, we found the area brimming with life. Pack your hiking boots, swimming trunks and bug repellent (or goggles, gloves and ski pass, depending on the season): this is truly the great outdoors.

In our short stay we packed in horse-riding with an ex-Wall Street, ex-DJ, ex-army, and delightfully eccentric, park ranger; death defying white-water surfing on nothing more than an inner tube and plank of wood; not to mention mountain walking, lake swimming and flea-market bargain hunting.

The Catskills is dotted with tastefully reimagined reminders of its last boom era. From renowned road-side eatery Phoenicia Diner, a brief drive from Scribner's (and serving thoroughly modernised but thoroughly naughty American comfort food), to the hippy-turned-hipster town of Woodstock.

In fact, so dripping with in-the-know gems and Brooklynite outer-borough cool is the Catskills, that Mrs Smith and I half-expected to bump into one of Wet Hot’s A-listers holed-up at Scribners, taking their own break from the city heat.

As we curled up together by the fire, legs aching, tummies sated and happily shrouded in a cocktail-induced fog, we looked at each other and said: ‘Was that Paul Rudd sneaking out for a drink in the whiskey lounge?’

‘I don’t think so. But I definitely just saw Bradley Cooper snogging Amy Poehler by the pool…’

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 Scribner's Catskill Lodge’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The bartenders made great cocktails, and the food was very good! Hiking, biking, and cute towns nearby – but try to go off the beaten path as it gets crowded fast!

Don’t expect

Too much quiet –I could hear the kid in the room above me stomping around!

Rating

Stayed on 2 Jun 2017

We loved

The vibe, the food and the staff! There is great ice-climbing 10 minutes' drive away. 

Rating

Stayed on 27 Jan 2017

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