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A Romantic Getaway at the Emerson Resort & Spa in New York’s Catskills

By Holly Rosen Fink, GoGirlfriend Contributor

A romantic kids-free escape in the mountains

Every summer my husband and I look for a relatively nearby resort to visit for a few days to celebrate our anniversary and get away from our daily routine, and this summer was no exception as we set out to escape parenthood and all the responsibilities that come along with it.

Emerson Resort and Spa getawayOur destination? The Emerson Resort & Spa, located in Mount Tremper, in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. The resort, which was named for the poet/essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, has all the ingredients we were seeking in a weekend getaway without the kids: a spa with all the amenities needed to relax like an outdoor jacuzzi, a swimming pool, an onsite restaurant, and literally karma every which you look as the theme of the resort is tranquility.

This was not my first time to the resort, but I knew it had undergone a big renovation in recent years, and I was eager to see the results. After securing childcare, we jumped in our car and made the two-hour drive to the property.

What makes the Emerson a Good Choice for a Romantic Getaway

The Emerson offers romantic accommodations with fireplaces and views of the Esopus Creek. Winter couples’ activities include nearby cross-country skiing, spend the afternoon at Esopus Creek to unwindsnowshoeing, snowboarding, and tubing at nearby Belleayre and Hunter Mountains. In the summer, there is hiking all around the resort, at Overlook Mountain, Ashokan Reservoir, and Kaaterskill Falls; inner tubing on the Esopus Creek, kayaking at Halcottsville, or just relaxing by the pool or creek at the Emerson.

Year-round, the Zen Mountain Monastery is nearby for meditation classes. Couples can get pampered at the resort spa which offers a diverse selection of treatments, an outdoors jacuzzi, a steam room, and relaxation lounge. There are evening bonfires, and an outdoor hot tub that is open at night.

In addition, the resort is near the town of Phoenicia, which offers opportunities to hike, shop, and eat homemade food in local restaurants and downtown Woodstock, with even more places to eat and shop, as well as Kingston and Saugerties. The resort is on a main road, but every room has a view of the creek and the vibe is tranquil, one that seeps into the heart of the resort.

What Made Our Room Special?

Emerson Resort and Spa country luxuryDuring the resort’s big renovation five years ago, designer Rosalyn Cama of CAMA Inc. was hired to decorate the resort, incorporating health, the environment, and well-being into her designs. She collaborated with Rick Alfandre of Alfandre Architecture. The look and feel are reflective of legendary poet Emerson, whose famous essay “Nature” was the incentive for the development of the Catskill Forest Preserve surrounding the Emerson grounds.

There are two sections of the resort - the inn and the lodge. The lodge is more rustic, with log cabins. It’s also where larger families can stay. The other part is an inn, which is where we stayed, where you’ll find more modern looking, cozier rooms as they fit no more than four people, the spa, and restaurant. At the sitting poolside at the Emerson Resort and Spaend of the inn, you have a barn with shops, boutiques, and the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope, a show that runs daily.

We enjoyed so much about the room - from its comfortable, lush linens, to the warming indoor fireplace with a couch and easy chair, dining table, desk, and king bed. Plus, the bathrooms have a huge whirlpool bath and multi-jet Swiss rain shower. We also had amenities like free water bottles, a coffee machine, and free Wifi.

But more than anything, we loved our deck with a view of the Esopus Creek. We spent a lot of time sitting there, enjoying the view, and each other.

A Blissful Day of Spa Treatments

After a lovely breakfast out at Sweet Sue’s (a must!) and a walk around Phoenicia, we collected a warm robe with slippers each, and showed welcome to the Emerson Resort and Spa Spaup for our spa treatments on our first official afternoon at the resort. The spa has an emphasis on nature, balance, and restoration and their spa treatments are reflective of the tranquility offered by the region, and we were both enraptured by the get go.

I opted for a Signature Facial; my husband had a Relaxation Massage. The Emerson Spa is the only destination spa in the region to feature the Elemis Biotec Skincare System, and it is delicious. We didn’t have a couple’s massage, but they do have a couple’s massage treatment room and if we go back, that’s what I want to have.

Our Romantic Dinner

We had dinner one night at Woodnotes Grille, where we dined outside overlooking the creek. delights from Emerson Resort and Spa's Woodnotes GrilleThe menu is seasonal, so I tried their trout, as seafood is a big thing in the Catskills. The restaurant sources their ingredients from the Hudson Valley, so they are very fresh and very farm to table. We munched on homemade empanadas and salads as starters. They also have gouda fondue, mussels, calamari, and caprese.  Aside from my trout, they offer many other fish dishes, as well as steak, ribs, and pasta. Woodnotes Grille is open for breakfast from 7 am to 12 pm daily; lunch from 11:30 am to 2:30pm; dinner on Sunday to Thursday from 5 pm to 9 pm, and Saturday from 5 pm to 10 pm.

The Verdict?

Not only did we spend a few glorious days at the Emerson seeping in the bliss, but I think we will make it an annual visit moving forward. The Emerson is as romantic as you want it to be, and for us, it was what the doctor ordered.

Check out their property online at the Emerson Resort and Spa, their reviews on TripAdvisor, their Facebook and Twitter feeds and find the Emerson Resort and Spa offers here. We always recommend you book early to reserve your next getaway opportunity.

Have you had the opportunity to visit the Catskills and Emerson Resort and Spa? We’d love to hear about your experience.  Drop a comment below and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure: I was invited as a guest of the Emerson to facilitate this review and others, but all opinions are my own.

About Holly Rosen Fink

@hollyrosenfinkHolly Rosen Fink is a Marketing, Communications, Public Relations, Branding and Social Media expert and writer based in Larchmont, New York. She is a current contributor to Trekaroo, OffMetro, Family Vacation Critic, and Women and Hollywood.



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