An hour and a half from the chaos and concrete of Manhattan, the calling card of Wildflower Farms, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, is its so-near-yet-so-far appeal. Stationed on a vast expanse of seemingly untouched countryside where the Catskills merges with the Hudson River Valley, this haute resort has been given a sense of belonging to the landscape as interior design firm Ward and Gray and architects Electric Bowery have drawn upon swathes of blonde- and darkwood, wool, hand-knotted rugs, and canvas, with glass walls framing wildflower meadows. Provenance-driven restaurants, classes in foraging, and access to a private reserve reinforce the locavore approach.
12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £395.23 ($429), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $43.20 per room per night on check-in and an additional resort fee of 8% per room per night on check-in.
Rates do not include breakfast.
All public areas are ADA compliant, as well as a spa treatment room. There are four ADA-compliant guest rooms.
At the hotel
Indoor saltwater pool, outdoor pool, spa, restaurant, bar and lounge, free WiFi. In rooms: TV; minibar; Goop bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Though the cottages and cabins at Wildflower Farms are flush with space, for extra room in which to kick back, opt for a Ridge Suite. The main draws are a bedroom terrace with private cedar hot tub, walk-in wardrobe, and a living area anchored around a fireplace whose sleek, pared-back appearance seems more Silicon Valley than Hudson Valley.
Wildflower Farms has two options for swimmers: an indoor saltwater pool, where a backstroke will allow you to gaze up at the gabled roof; and an outdoor pool enclosed by wildflowers and whose bar serves seasonal cocktails.
At the onsite spa, traditional practices are paired with hand-blended lotions and slicks that are made with local ingredients. There is a pair of treatment rooms and what’s on offer changes with seasons’ rhythms – an ideal remedy if you want to scrub away the chaos of Manhattan. A 3,000-square-foot fitness centre – complete with ‘movement studio’ – offers personal-training sessions and guided yoga.
When the scenery is defined by deep-yellow hues and rusty-orange tones, try a foundation of selvedge denim, down jackets and a gingham overshirt for that classic fall look.
Campfires are lit every day at 5pm, encouraging guests to gather around and fill up on skewered grilled cheese with local honey, and roasted apples picked from the orchard.
The hotel’s serene, spacious environment is family-friendly. The experiences on offer are educational, and any one of the six suites is suitable for those with children. However, a kids’ club, crèche and babysitting services are not available.
Driven by the seasons, the cuisine here revolves around produce that has either been grown onsite or sourced from local suppliers, all of whom use sustainable agricultural practices. There are also culinary-themed experiences – in the autumn, for example, guests can learn how to cultivate wild leeks in an environmentally conscious way – providing visitors a chance to channel their inner René Redzepi. Plus, the hotel takes part in a community solar project, which allows it to lower its carbon footprint, minimise greenhouse gas emissions, and provide electricity to local communities. Other green practices include composting, reusing water from storms, and recycling.
Take a pew at the edge of Clay in order to take in the lofty gabled roof, the plush furniture, indoor foliage and the fireplace centrepiece.
o chime in with the restaurants’ contemporary-American DNA, consider donning pieces by fashion designers such as The Row, an East Coast favourite; or New York-based Thom Browne (just no tight-fitting Texas tuxedos, please).
At both onsite dining venues, chef Rob Lawson’s New American fare dovetails the local larder with global influences. The menu at Clay, the hotel’s all-day restaurant, revolves around vegetables and well-reared animals that have been grown and bred on surrounding farms. The wine list zones in on well-established Old and New World makers, and under-the-radar drops are championed, too. Libations on the ever-changing cocktail menu make use of herbs and plants from the onsite garden in order to create left-of-field mixes and infusions. The Great Porch, an open-air lounge that’s focused around a central fireplace and displays antique textiles and botanical-themed artwork, draws in a crowd with its unbroken, otherworldly views of Shawangunk Ridge. Here, you can fuel up on a caffeine fix and pastries; there are lighter, shareable plates in the afternoon; and aperitifs and digestifs round out the evening.
With this being a celebration of en plein air activity and Hudson Valley’s open landscapes, the hotel’s poolside bar is found among wildflowers and foliage. Angled towards those looking to top up the tan, it’s open from May to September, and the drinks menu takes its cues from what’s grown nearby.
Among thick woodlands and fields, Wildflower Farms is set across a bucolic landscape in Hudson Valley, New York. It is 90 minutes north from Manhattan by car.
The nearest airport is New York Stewart International Airport, which is a 30-minute drive away. Other major hubs include: Newark Liberty International Airport, which is a 90-minute drive away; LaGuardia Airport, which is a 105-minute drive away; and John F. Kennedy International Airport, which is a two-hour drive away. There is a private carpark onsite – but if you’re aiming for minimal hassle once you hit the tarmac, airport transfers can be arranged with the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Wildflower Farms’ sylvan scenery and the dipping landscape in the distance look so postcard pristine that they appear untouched. Immersion in the land, however, is recommended. Green-fingered travellers can book sessions in foraging and harvesting seasonal produce, followed by a farm-to-table cooking class; to burn off some of the extra calories, a three-mile onsite trail encourages an exploration of the grounds; visit the nearby Tuthilltown Distillery, the first in New York's post-Prohibition era, to get an exclusive single-barrel tasting tour; learn how to bake with edible botanicals (no, not those type); or, for the more daring, book a session to scale the Shawangunk Ridge with a local guide. Those seeking a more hands-off approach can take repose in Thistle, An Auberge Spa, which is replete with an indoor saltwater pool and a pair of outdoor hot tubs. Treatments here make use of small-batch ointments, oils, scrubs and floral elixirs.
This being an area that provided inspiration for the 19th-century Hudson River School painters – a cadre of artists known for their dramatic, and sometimes primitive, depictions of native landscapes – big-hit art galleries abound. At Storm King Art Center, one of the world’s most important outdoor museums, site-specific commissions and large-scale sculptures punctuate a 500-acre grassy estate that’s worthy of a Brontë novel. Maya Lin’s undulating, wavy earthwork and Isamu Noguchi’s granite replica of a halved peach are highlights within the permanent collection. East of the river, in a one-time Nabisco box-printing factory, the Dia Beacon harmonises steel, brick, concrete, and glass, with sawtooth skylights that dapple the interiors in sunshine. Artwork from the 1960s to the current day are exhibited here, including big-hitters such as Robert Irwin, Dan Flavin and Andy Warhol. The area is also flush with superlative craft distilleries: although based within an 1850s monastery, the tipples at Hudson House & Distillery are devilishly delicious; and at Black Dirt Distillery, the in-house apple brandy incorporates the Jonagold variety and is aged for a minimum of four years in American-oak barrels.
Under an hour’s drive west, Tuscan-style La Salumina deals in cheeses and cured meats. All charcuterie derives from sustainable farmers; is handmade in-house using organic wines and ethically sourced spices; and is dry-cured. The ton-no (braised pork that’s been preserved in olive oil with black pepper, and bay and cinnamon leaves) and the salsiccia stagionata make for ideal post-hike snacks. Northern Farmhouse Pasta uses local wheat flour as the basis for dishes such as oxtail ragù, guanciale and tomato sauce with rigatoni, and chicken sausage with vodka sauce and penne. Further afield, north east of the hotel, you’ll find Damon Baehrel, a long-term farm-to-table advocate that celebrates the glorious cornucopia of the Hudson Valley.
At Seminary Hill, all reclaimed wood and expansive orchards, cider is the rule, with 60 varieties of heirloom apples and pears used as a base point. Full tastings are hosted on Sundays, and make sure to soak it all up with chef Jack Tippett’s menu of American classics – the barbecue plate is difficult to resist. Above a 19th-century general store, Henning’s Local has a creative menu that features a Bootlegger Negroni (Bootlegger gin, Campari, Dolin red vermouth) and Corn & Oil (Brazilian and Jamaican rum, housemade falernum, lime, bitters).
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 rustic escape in Upstate New York and unpacked their rollneck knits and Redwing boots, a full account of their rural break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection, in Hudson Valley…
Though deep in the jaws of the Hudson Valley, a hallmark of America’s east coast, Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection, with its farm-fresh fare, naturalistic ethos, and setting that looks as though it’s been smuggled from a Cézanne, has the breezy feel of a Napa Valley estate. The tone is set in the Great Porch, an open-air lobby large enough to host a Knicks game and with vistas of Shawangunk Ridge, and the refined rooms eschew an all-wood rural cliché by incorporating locally sourced materials, such as canvas and bespoke fabrics, alongside rich-hued schemes. For full engagement with the terrain, walk along vegetable beds and peek inside the greenhouses; snip wildflowers; and cycle on winding tree-lined trails – for something less hands on, soak it all in from a private hot tub.