Mohonk Mountain House. (Photo by Jim Smith Photography.)
Ready, set, relax.
It’s easier said than done, right? Finding the time to unwind is a challenge, and the task of determining where and how to relax in luxury may be too stressful to contemplate. Before you scrap the idea entirely, check out our top picks in the Hudson Valley’s Ulster County — you’ll discover a spa or retreat center that will smooth even the most ruffled of feathers.
For a Serious Inner and Outer Health Overhaul: THE COPPERHOOD RETREAT AND SPA
The Nitty Gritty: Sometimes weight-watchers need an extra dose of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual TLC before the scale will budge. Copperhood is a holistic health and wellness retreat owned and run by Elizabeth Winograd that aims to offer the “ideal balance of comfort and elegance,” she tells NYSOM. Think organic juice fasts and healthy diets prepared using veggies and fruits grown on premises and prepared by Winograd’s husband, Lech. And be sure to melt into the Dead Sea mud body wraps, custom facials, hydrotherapy baths, astrological consultations and pupu platter of other options from which visitors can create their own custom package treatments.
Why We Dig It: Using naturopathic principles from Europe and America in tandem with Chinese, Tibetan and Ayurvedic medical therapies, Coppehood was designed to nourish every aspect of a person’s health. Visitors may emerge with whittled middles, but moreover will have tackled the reasons their health became imperiled to begin with, Ms. Winograd explains.
Level of Commitment: Financially moderate-to-intense (day rates start at $35 for use of spa amenities, property trails and grounds; 21-day all-inclusive food, spa and accommodation plans start at $7,350); spiritually as intense as you want to make it.
GPS: 70-39 State Route 28, Shandakan, NY, 12480. (845) 688-2460.
For a Speedy Rejuvenation: RIVER ROCK HEALTH SPA
The Nitty Gritty: Woodstock, the most famous small town in America (renowned for the music festival that actually took place in nearby Bethel), is one of the best places in the State to unwind and get in touch with your inner hippie hedonist free bird. For those in need of a quick relaxation fix after a day of puttering around the town’s art galleries, bookstores and cafes, hit the River Rock Health Spa for one of their botanical-infused facials, scrubs or massages.
Why We Dig It: The spa combines the perfect dose of luxury (including a relaxation lounge with snacks, private steam and sauna rooms and Zen-like private treatment rooms) with a touch of New Age principles (aromatherapy, organic products, programs like intuitive kinesiology and hand analysis) ideal for taking out any lingering whiffs of tension with a one-two punch.
Level of Commitment: Financially moderate (comprehensive spa packages start at $235); spiritually light.
GPS: 62 Ricks Road, Woodstock, NY, 12498. (845) 679-7800.
For Spiritual Seekers: SKY LAKE LODGE
The Nitty Gritty: If you’re looking for a more substantial spiritual tuneup than a scented rubdown can deliver, hit the Sky Lake Lodge, a Shambhala contemplative center for meditation, arts and community. (Sky Lake is part of an international community of meditation centers.) It also happens to be an environmentally sustainable B&B with locavore, organic cuisine just a hop, skip and a jump from the Mohonk Preserve and the historic villages of High Falls, Stone Ridge, New Paltz, Woodstock and Rosendale.
Why We Dig It: Day trippers can hit Sky Lodge to meditate during what is known as a “community sitting period,” which is free and open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. and Sundays from 10:30 a.m.12:30 p.m. Serious students can stay longer. Either way, visitors will revel in the setting of cedar and pine forests in the Northern corner of the Shawangunk Mountains. The lodge is set on 20 acres with walking meditation paths, a pond, gazebos and copious outdoor decks.
Level of Commitment: Financially light (free for meditation, rates start at $90 a night for longer stays); spiritually intense.
GPS: 22 Hillcrest Lane, Rosendale, NY, 12472. (845) 658-8556.
For a Prince / Princess in Need of a Castle: THE MOHONK MOUNTAIN HOUSE
The Nitty Gritty: The Mohonk Mountain House is a national historic landmark nestled on the shore of the half-mile long, 60-foot deep glacial Lake Mohonk. Built in 1869 by the Smiley family, the family’s descendants still oversee the 259-room, Victorian-style American castle, featuring turrets and towers, an ice-skating rink, 2,200 acres of jaw-dropping scenery and a 30,000-square-foot spa and fitness wing.
Why We Dig It: Whether your idea of unwinding involves riding horses, playing shuffleboard, performing Qi Gong, swimming in an outdoor mineral pool or noshing on four-star nibbles while being massaged, chances are, the Mohonk Mountain House offers it. Between rounds of aggressive relaxation, guests can ponder the implications of some of the important historic events (including the Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration that led to the establishment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague) that took place on its grounds. Bonus: all overnight guests savor three meals and an afternoon tea as part of their package.
Level of Commitment: Financially intense (day spa packages start at $175 and skyrocket from there; rooms start at $291 per person based on double-occupancy, and include three meals, afternoon tea and most resort activities); spiritually light.
GPS: 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, NY, 12561. (845) 255-1000
CORRECTION: This article has been updated to reflect the following changes: Mohonk Mountain House was founded in 1869, rather than 1879, as previously stated. Additionally, overnight rates at Mohonk Mountain House begin at $291 per person, per night, based on double occupancy (taxes and gratuity additional) including three meals, afternoon tea and cookies, and most resort activities, rather than $354 per night.