Cozy Winter Vibes (Claw-Foot Tubs! Wood-Burning Stoves!) Await You at the Best Hotels in the Catskills
Plus where to eat and shop.
Published Nov 30, 2022 1:20 AM
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From dreamy decor to top-notch amenities, Domino’s Wish You Were Here series is your first-class ticket to the most design-driven getaways around the world. Whether you’re looking to steal away for a few days or just steal a few ideas for back home (we encourage both, for the record), check out where we’re checking in.
Long before pandemic-fueled escapes to the countryside or the area’s resurgence of wanderlust induced by seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the Catskills region of upstate New York has been a centuries-old getaway for fresh-air-seeking city dwellers. And for good reason: Charming hamlets and valley vistas are a welcome respite from the concrete jungle. And then there’s the views of nature, the cast-iron bathtubs, and the thought that, maybe, one day, you could live there for real. Until then, the best hotels in the Catskills will only solidify that idea.
What we love: A fourth wall made for leaf peeping.
Every moment at this getaway was crafted to showcase one of the most universally renowned designers: nature. “Booking a room” here is a loose translation for checking into a sleek prefab wood cabin with a floor-to-ceiling view into the forest. (The spa, which is only open to guests, boasts a massive hot tub that also looks into the trees.) Even the man-made elements inside take their cues from what’s outside. In the bathrooms, blue tile nods to the hotel’s location on a bluestone quarry. The surrounding oak trees inspired the wood paneling. And the lobby’s terracotta Gianfranco Frattini sofas resemble autumn leaves.
The Boarding House at Seminary Hill, Callicoon
What we love: A new take on Shaker (and all-you-can-drink cider).
Local design firm Homestedt (a husband-and-wife team of former Brooklynites who made the Catskills their full-time home, nudge, nudge) meticulously restored this 1930s hospital with a focus on natural materials and the luxury that comes from well-made things. From beechwood utensils and enamel serveware to pots and induction stovetops, everything you need to make simple home-cooked meals is right there in your country-style kitchen. In the bedrooms, kilim rugs lead the way to luxury Wright mattresses dressed with crisp linen sheets. Dotted throughout, details like fauna-inspired canvas art and ostrich-feather dusters hung on peg rails add the right amount of lived-in warmth to the otherwise minimalist environment. And just down the road, you can visit the property’s family-owned cidery, where more than 60 varieties of apples and pears contribute to a seemingly endless supply of sparkling liquid gold.
Callicoon Hills, Callicoon Center
What we love: Summer-camp utopia all year long.
This century-old resort blends modern design and nostalgia in a way that embraces everything you’d want in a grown-up sleepaway experience: top-notch amenities, playful decor, and nothing but good vibes. Thanks to the Brooklyn-based creatives from Post Company (the firm that also worked with Scribner’s and Inness below), the 65 guest rooms are filled with a variety of custom furniture (such as wavy settees and wood light fixtures) along with thrifted finds like cushy bench seating that might seduce you to stay inside. But a charming coffee shop, scattered firepits, and communal picnic tables make it too easy to find new friends.
Little Cat Lodge, Hillsdale
What we love: It’s like the love child of a Berkshires cabin and European chalet.
From the depths of the minds behind Love Is Enough (also responsible for the visual delights at Brooklyn’s Le Crocodile and Rule of Thirds), this recently revamped 14-room escape was expertly designed to feel like it has always looked this way. The inspiration was taken from afternoon naps, forest paths, and the crackling silence of winter and materialized with gingham bedspreads, vintage card tables, knotty exposed beams, and secret writing nooks lined in mushroom wood.
The Maker, Hudson
What we love: Every room has a story to tell.
Spread across three historic buildings, each of the Maker’s guest room categories is distinctly influenced by, well, makers. (Even though it’s not technically part of the Catskills, the property lends itself to a bit of creative freedom.) The Architect suites strike a balance between light, space, and texture with a mix of clean lines and moody colors. In the Gardener spaces, wrought-iron furniture is softened by flora-inspired art and motifs. In the Artist sanctuaries, you’ll find bohemian hideaways anchored by eclectic gallery walls and a mashup of patterns. And the Writer studios stoke the curious mind with a collection of global trinkets and, naturally, an impressive library. In the lobby, another kind of library lures guests with an exclusive stash of dozens of perfumes, collected during the travels of the hotel’s founder, Lev Glazman.
What we love: An all-inclusive compound that oozes luxury.
It makes sense that this place would be named after a 19th-century landscape artist from the Hudson River School—it looks just like a scene from a George Inness painting. Set on top of a misty rolling hillside in the middle of 220 pastoral acres, this retreat and members’ club, founded by Freemans Sporting Club owner Taavo Somer, redefines modern farmhouse through a marriage of Scandi-chic and rustic Americana. Clean lines complemented by antique seating, hand-thrown ceramics, and customized lighting from Roll & Hill feel indulgently cozy, while crowd favorites like Frette robes and Aesop amenities keep it modern.
What we love: Clean, contemporary design that’s slightly offbeat.
Each of the 38 stark-white guest rooms is grounded by dark maple floors, vintage rugs, and custom-built furniture, but the one to snag is the Scribner’s Suite. If you’re not enamored by the sunken living room with a central fireplace, you’ll be taken with the lofted sleeping spaces, terracotta bathroom tile, and walk-in rain shower sporting Waterworks fixtures.
Hutton Brickyards, Kingston
What we love: Private patios made for conversation and cocktails.
A stately hall, a historic cottage, and a handful of cabins make up the inventory of this industrial-chic hotel, which is set on a former brick-making factory’s grounds. From the inside of the pine interior, no two views are the same, and every room is a whole vibe with a mood-setting record player and an expansive private deck for coffee at sunrise or sundowners at dusk.
Hotel Lilien, Tannersville
What we love: A lounge you’ll never want to leave.
This storied estate–turned–boutique hotel dreamed up by Field Theory is filled with a quirky mix of handpicked treasures and classic Victorian antiques. Once the 1890s residence was restored, the 18 rooms were transformed into airy yet earthy hideouts with rattan headboards against soft white walls, but the heart of the hotel is really in the lobby’s library and cocktail bar. In the “neighborhood’s living room,” guests can thumb through tomes while surrounded by original shiplap paneling, stained-glass windows, and seating that begs you to sink in and warm up by the wood-burning stove.
Where to Shop
- Newt Boutique. Quaint, colorful, and just a few months old, the newest addition to Kingston’s shopping scene is filled with everything from artsy office supplies and quirky stationery to striped ceramics and printed pillow covers. You won’t leave empty-handed.
- Homestedt. From the designers of Seminary Hill, Livingston Manor Fly Fishing Club, and more, this tiny shop on Pearl Street will fuel your off-the-grid fantasies with a carefully curated selection of rustic homewares and actually chic outdoor gear, all tried and tested across Homestedt properties.
Where to Eat
- Catskill Provisions. Founded in 2010 from a passion for beekeeping, this woman-owned gastro-distillery offers craft cocktails, elevated bar bites (don’t skip the beer-battered cauliflower “wings”), local gifts, and, of course, bottles of bee-friendly booze to go.
- Millstream Tavern. This seasonally driven Woodstock gem recently reopened with executive chef Dan Silverman (an alum of Starr Restaurants) at the helm. In the colder months, duck inside to enjoy elevated comfort dishes like butternut squash risotto, but in warmer seasons, grab a seat on the riverside wood patios that were made for brunching.