Emerson Inn

By Organic Spa Magazine / September 14, 2011

It was springtime and raining like mad the night I arrived at Emerson. Much too dark and too late for me to get my bearings, I wearily followed the very awake and very cheerful front-desk woman to my room. I was staying in 501, The Royal Suite, and after a quick tour, collapsed happily into the canopy bed that was adorned in colorful, ethereal silks.

I awoke to light, birdsong, and the faint sound of water. I had not realized that the Inn overlooked the Esopus Creek and Mt. Tremper, one of the area’s most dramatic peaks. At breakfast, the waitress told me that during the summer months, there was great fishing here, and that the Creek was well-used and loved by all. Despite the weather, I spent some time strolling along the River Walk, enjoying the creek in all its muddy, gray, and rainy glory.

Located in the heart of New York’s lush Hudson Valley, I had been particularly curious about this highly rated property that was a combination of cultures. The Inn, a two-story structure that features 26 jewel-toned suites, definitely takes its design cues from the East, while the adjacent 27-room Lodge is comfortingly Adirondack in style. At the award-winning spa you’ll find both Eastern and Western modalities on the menu, including Ayurvedic massage rituals (the Indian Head Massage and Bindi Herbal Body Treatment, among others) and the more traditional choices that include Aromatherapy Massages, Espresso Mud Wraps, and Soothing Bath Soaks. I opted for a standard deep-tissue massage and found my therapist, Audrey, to be quite good and refreshingly down to earth.

Since opening, the Emerson has established itself as a favorite getaway for city dwellers (it’s about two hours from New York City). It not only serves the couple in need of a romantic weekend (it offers a unique “Emerson Elopement Package”), but equally pleases the corporate retreat-goer. An odd combination that appears to work here. But odd combinations are wherein the magic lies at this eclectic property. One day, I entered the spa through massive 13-foot-tall 17th century Rajasthani palace doors, and in the evening entered the Catamount restaurant crafted from homey pine logs. I enjoyed perusing the goods (loved the collection of antiques) in the charming Country Store that’s housed in a 19th century dairy barn, and was sad to miss the infamous Kaleidoscope Show that takes place in the silo. Who knew that Emerson is home to the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope? It stands at more than 60 feet and features three 38-foot mirrors. Definitely worth a return visit. www.emersonresort.com