Upscale Upstate

As millennials, we’re very picky when it comes to our ‘Upstate Instagram vacations’. We want quaint cabins but with good linen, nature but only from a distance and of course, we need to be able to bring our $5000 French Bulldog.

Emerson Resort and Spa in the Catskill Mountains is the perfect place for the whole (and by family I mean myself, Daniel and Winston). Located in the heart of the Catskills, this 20-acre boutique property with both modern-inn rooms as well as traditional log cabins is the perfect place to kick back and pretend to ski.

When I was not enjoying our in-room Jacuzzi bath, the bedroom fireplace or playing scrabble in front of the common room’s roaring fireplace, I was working on my après-ski at the resort’s 6,193 square-feet destination luxury spa. The opening of the spa also marked the unveiling of the Emerson’s new spa menu, featuring a variety of signature lines, treatments and experiences. Highlighting the new menu is the Biotec Skincare System, a ground-breaking series of anti-aging and energizing facials. The menu also includes vegan nail care by Spa Ritual, hot and cold stone treatments, customized therapies and in-house blended aromatherapy oils. After enjoying a treatment it was a mad (and icy dash) to the outdoor hot tub overlooking a gorgeous river.

After freshening up, Daniel and I headed to the on-property restaurant, Woodnotes Grille for handcrafted cocktails and a Catskill-theme menu with items sourced locally from the Hudson Valley area. My personal favourite was the baby bok choy and roasted garlic aioli, as well as house-made fettuccine with Catskills Food Company sausage with heirloom cherry tomatoes, roasted cauliflower, shallots, roasted garlic, white beans, parsley, goat cheese and roasted mushrooms. Once we had devoured our mains, what better way is there to end the evening than with an array of desserts and a pot of tea?

Heading back to our room for the night we couldn’t wait to be reunited with our king size bed, fire place and enough room for Winston run amok until the early hours of the morning. Breakfasts at Emmerson either consist of the best pancakes at Woodnotes Grille or for late sleepers a spot of brekkie at Ralph’s café. At the shops at Emerson, this quaint little café serves freshly prepared soups, salads, and sandwiches, as well as a variety of local coffee and teas.

Emerson is also an idyllic location for special events, including corporate retreats and destination weddings, with panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains. From hosting intimate ceremonies to large-scale weddings including Vice President Biden’s nephew’s wedding to model Amy Bracco, the Emerson’s veteran event staff has hosted a range of high profile events and has over 20 years of experience.

But the best feature of Emerson is without a doubt their pet-friendly policy. The property features a dedicated 60-feet wide by 100-feet long park just for canines with a dog run, doggy shower, fresh running water and a special area for smaller dogs too. Guests can also book the “Emerson Pupgrade” which 
includes bottled water, gourmet dog treats, dog walking
service, special gift, dog bed, donation to the local Catskills
animal shelter and more. The Pupgrade is available for $50 in addition to the $35 per night pet fee. In addition, the Emerson features a “Pup Fare” menu that offers homemade treats, including baked in-house dog bones, chicken breasts, steak filets and “Bear’s Dinner” which is made with chicken, chicken livers, potatoes, carrots and pasta.

For more adventurous guests, Emerson offers seasonal year-round activities that include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking, swimming, waterfalls, boating, fishing, water tubing, horseback riding and zip line adventures.

If you’re looking for a perfectly relaxing weekend away from the hustle, bustle and frequent harassment from fellow New Yorkers, we have found just the spot (with limited cell phone reception so our mother in law’s can’t find us either).

Throughout the month of February, they’ll be offering special packages including:

Packages available year-round include:

  • The Romance Packagewhich requires 24-hour notice, comes with a fresh flower bouquet, bath bombs, an Emerson private label wine with an Emerson logo bottles topper, assorted chocolates and mints for just $100.
  • The Proposal Package, this two-night package starts at $1,238 and includes on-site proposal coordination, a VIP couples massage, a private dinner for two in the Great Room, a bottle of Champagne and a floral arrangement.

On the other hand, if you’re celebrating “Galentine’s Day” instead, guests can enjoy a delicious meal after a relaxing day at the spa at the resort’s signature restaurant,Woodnotes Grille. The menu features handcrafted cocktails and Catskill-themed items with ingredients sourced from the local Hudson Valley area. The menu changes seasonally and focuses on the bounty of the region. Popular dishes include Snowdance Farms Lemon Chicken complete with herb roasted fingerling potatoes and grilled zucchini as well as the Rigatoni Primavera made with baby spinach, olive oil, garlic and white wine. The Emerson offers a Girlfriend Getaway package which includes a two-night stay for four people (two per room) starting at $1362 and a $100 Emerson Spa credit per person.


Follow the Emerson on Facebook at Emerson Resort & Spa, Twitter @emersonresort and Instagram at EmersonResort.