HUDSON VALLEY, NEW YORK
Blanketed with meadows of native flowers and wild woodlands, Wildflower Farms sways in rhythm with the seasons to embody Hudson Valley ease.
A place where connecting with nature is an authentic experience
As I reached under a chicken to retrieve a freshly laid egg on a recent spring morning at Wildflower Farms, and was told the property’s chickens are among the happiest (that same egg would later be enjoyed for breakfast), a thought occurred to me: I may be a city girl but there’s nothing quite like connecting to another creature in this way.
Such were some of my thoughts that seem to roam wild at this 140-acre Hudson Valley resort located in Gardiner, New York, just 90 minutes north of New York City. In fact, the feeling of retreat and renewal happens the minute you check in and find yourself ensconced in acres of meadow and flowers.
It’s worth mentioning, too, that Wildflower Farms has forever ruined me from checking in anywhere else, so tapped in they are to the exhaustion of the road. I mean where else are you greeted with an iced purple beverage and a ritual handwashing station quite literally next to the check-in desk, replete with all-natural soap and salts to literally exfoliate the cares of the world before the relaxation can begin?
Every single detail is well-thought-out at Wildflower Farms, a cross between a high-end adult summer camp (each guest has a fully appointed cabin stocked with binoculars, cozy wool blankets, custom quilts, a yoga mat with a message to slow down and enjoy the abundant nature around the property) and the most luxurious of five-star hotels. Clay, the resort’s top-notch restaurant, features small plates and an innovative menu seemingly built around all that could be harvested from its expansive garden.
A day here could be as filled as you’d like. You could spend all day enjoying treatments such as The Cultivate Facial and Body Botany at the Thistle Spa, which incorporates ingredients grown on the farm. Or, if you prefer, dip in and out of the indoor saltwater pool, outdoor hot tubs (there are two) or outdoor pool. In between, consider signing up for such daily wellness classes such as vinyasa hatha flow, mat Pilates or forest meditation.
For the truly worn out, an airy atrium called the Great Porch, open at both ends, features a gigantic fire pit and sweeping views of the Shawangunk Mountains and New Paltz in the distance. Just sitting and gazing at this gorgeous view is likely something that would never get old.
If you’re more active, you can hop on a bike for a local tour with the activity team, hike on one of the four gorgeous trails surrounding the property—one of which goes right down to the Shawangunk Kill river or enjoy some wood-chopping at dusk.
Or, just enjoy daily walks down to the hen house to feed the chickens or head to the greenhouses for a farm session (it’s important to note this is a working farm) where you get to meet the property’s farmers to talk about seasonal plantings and the ethos of the farm, including how it works with the chef to explore growing old seeds in new ways.
And right before you fall asleep in one of the property’s 65 cabins, refreshed and rejuvenated for your time here, a bedside message awaits. This Rest Ritual contains a lavender sachet that you’re encouraged to place over your eyes. The mantra is just as soothing:
Today I connected with…
The earth beneath me
The sky above me
The water within me
The air around meAfter just one day at Wildflower Farms, I emerged rejuvenated, relaxed and ever more connected to the natural world in all its abundance. If I also became an egg snob, well, this is what happens when the chickens are as happy as the guests who spend time here. aubergeresorts.com