New York City is infamously sweltering in summer, and most full-time residents begin thinking of escape sometime in spring. While the Hamptons, Fire Island, Montauk, Asbury Park, et al are top priorities for some, there’s plenty of charm and relief in a beach-less getaway (provided there are pools, lakes or springs for you to dip in). From the Adirondacks to Saratoga Springs, Woodstock, and all up and down the Hudson River, there are countless towns and hideaways across the state that provide welcome reprieve from the city—thanks to lush greenery, rolling hills, burbling streams and more. We have selected some of our favorite hotels and lodges that each serve as a much-needed oasis from the big city.
Brentwood Hotel, Saratoga Springs
Driving onto the Brentwood Hotel‘s gravel courtyard—which itself clamors with growls of welcome—one can’t help but let out a sigh of relief. It’s a four-hour commitment from NYC, and the Taconic State Parkway doesn’t offer much to look at (in the colder months). Despite the petite nature of these lodgings—at one story, and 12 rooms—the reception desk makes a big impression with its high gloss black paint, antique furnishings, and tasteful gold embellishments. A motel it isn’t, the Brentwood seems to be declaring despite its former life as one built in the 1970s (the only thing preserved is the L-shaped structure and its name). It is, however, a labor of love from its owners Studio Tack, who took a break from designing other company’s properties to try out their own for the first time.
Rivertown Lodge, Hudson
While the Rivertown Lodge doesn’t look like much when you pull up (or walk the 20 minutes from the Amtrak train station), it has a relaxed grandeur that instantaneously embraces those who walk inside. Formerly a 1920s movie theater later converted into a motel in 1958, the 27-room hotel on Warren Street is decorated with custom and vintage finds, resulting in an eclectic but not fussy aesthetic. In the standard-sized rooms, guests will find no closets or bureaus (there’s a rod to hang jackets). All one needs in life is a bed, a comfy armchair, a Bluetooth Marshall speaker, and a shelf to place keys and wallet. The visual message is: leave all your stuff behind at home and lose yourself here.
Whiteface Lodge, Adirondacks
This five-star hotel, named after one of the High Peaks, is without a doubt the most luxurious accommodation in the Adirondacks. Whiteface Lodge does an impressive job of keeping you entertained on-site, despite the hiking that beckons and nature that surrounds. There is a 56-seat movie theater that screens three films a night (with unlimited free popcorn), an old-school bowling alley and game room, tennis courts, skating rink, nightly s’mores by the fire. Take the underground tunnel to the pools and hot tubs; guests also have access to the spa’s eucalyptus steam room and sauna. And because you’re in the middle of the woods, there’s a lot of space: the smallest room type is a one bedroom suite that can fit a family of four.
Graham & Co. Hotel, Catskills
Designed by four NYC creatives who have long-preferred the Catskills to the Hamptons crowd, Graham & Co. Hotel is an idyllic retreat: a rustic-yet-modern alternative to “grandma-ish spots” or expensive resorts. The former Cobblestone Motel is on a three-acre swath surrounded by mountains, sky and river. Since renovations incorporating minimalist design elements, rustic furnishings and intriguing barn-sale finds, it’s been transformed. The main block contains 13 rooms, ranging from cozy singles to deluxe doubles. Some include kitchenettes and each has an iPod-enabled Tivoli radio. There are also bunk-style rooms and plenty of space outdoors for guests to sprawl on the lawn, hang in the hammock, read in Adirondack chairs by the fire-pit or swim in the pool.
Scribner’s Catskills Lodge, Hunter
This hotel’s bones were constructed back in 1966 and the facility accrued a storied history, all while falling into disrepair over the decades. That is, until it was purchased by first-time hotelier Marc Chodock and hospitality veteran Glennon Travis. The two called upon Studio Tack design firm and the result is a mid-century-inspired, 38-room mountain lodge with substantial amenities to keep even the antsiest set of guests occupied. Set atop a hillside with a clear view of Hunter Mountain, Scribner’s represents another stage forward for the Catskills and neighboring Hudson Valley. It’s an all-season destination that embraces the region’s beauty. You can get there without a car, and bring your pet along for it all—even to the impressive on-site restaurant. As much of the materials on site as possible were sourced locally—the chairs, sofas and tables were all produced in the region. All of the signature pine is sourced from a local lumber yard. Regarding the aforementioned restaurant, known as Prospect, from the beer menu (which incorporates Arrowood Farm) to the ingredients, they’re striving to source within a certain radius around the hotel.
Deer Mountain Inn, Tannersville
With only six bedrooms (and two adjacent cottages), the Deer Mountain Inn yields an intimate, wooded sensation. Traditional luxury contrasts serenity, year round. Though, the on-site restaurant is definitely a social hub. Set among 168 acres, the inn’s property contains private trail which lead directly into neighboring state parks. As for additional outdoor activities, Deer Mountain Inn is in close proximity to plenty of advanced hiking trails, but a true regional stand-out happens to be the Town Tinker tubing in Phoenicia, where one trip down the river varies from relaxing to wild.
Hero and Graham & Co image courtesy of Graham & Co, Deer Mountain Inn image courtesy of the venue, all others by Cool Hunting