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.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $135.00, excluding tax at 8 per cent.
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 (USD145.80), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Rates usually exclude breakfast (Continental during the week; à la carte brunch on weekends), which starts from $15 a person.
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.
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).
Two of the Cabin Queen rooms are suitable for wheelchair-users.
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).
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.
Half mountaineer; half Monocle.
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.
Grab a drink from the rectangular bar that forms the centrepiece of Prospect. There’s a whiskey lounge in the works...
The Prospect will keep you fed and watered from 7.30am–11pm.
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.
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).
Hudson Station is a 35-minute drive from the hotel, connecting to New York, Montreal, Philadelphia, Washington DC and other cities (www.amtrak.com).
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. You’ll have worked up a thirst after all that: quench it with a visit to the Angry Orchard, the Catskill Distilling Company or Brewery Ommegang. 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).
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.
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 handsome hotel in Hunter and unpacked their plaid shirts and walking socks, a full account of their mountain break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Scribner’s Lodge in the Catskills…
Rewind to roughly 150 years ago (give or take a year or 10; maths has never been our strong point) and the Hunter Mountain Prospect House is what you’d see on the site of Scribner’s Catskill Lodge. This stately grand dame had hundreds of bedrooms and a reputation for being the place to be, come summer. The buzz around the Catskills in the 1800s faded as steamboat travel fell out of fashion, prompting Prospect House’s own decline. In the swinging Sixties, the Catskills swung back into favour and the Scribner Hollow Motor Lodge – the brainchild of an eccentric artist – opened in 1966, tapping into the festival spirit that saw Woodstock staged three years later in the neighbouring mountains. (Scribner Motor Lodge even had its own indoor swimming ‘grotto’ – can you get more Sixties than that?)
Fifty years later, the Motor Lodge has been given a new name and a makeover: industrial-style fittings and furnishings; cool staff clad in Fjällräven; floor-to-ceiling windows; a restaurant serving Catskills cuisine; walls decorated with photographs of the local landscapes. On top of that, there’s enough playful whimsy to make trendy city types’ hearts skip a beat: a meadow space that’s going to be used for parties and events; fire pits; a whiskey lounge in the works… The one thing that’s remained the same since the 1800s? Those mighty mountain views.
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.
The vibe, the food and the staff! There is great ice-climbing 10 minutes' drive away.