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Emerson Resort & Spa

I’m lucky to work with women I consider my friends. This fall I took two of the ladies on the team for a getaway to the Emerson Resort & Spa. Tucked into the Catskill mountains in New York, this retreat was the perfect way to celebrate the successes of the year and hit the reset button so we are ready to have an awesome Q4. Read on to find out why the Emerson Resort is the perfect getaway in the Catskills.


Type of Resort: Luxury Country Inn

Best Age Range for Kids: Babies & up

Food: Full-service restaurant, Woodnotes Grill, plus a café, focus on farm-to-table.

Activities: Hiking, biking, fishing on property. Winter sports and river outings nearby.

Childcare: No kids club or babysitting, but plenty of space to roam and loads of activities. Kid friendly for sure.

Spa: Wonderful full service facility with a well-trained staff.

Clientele: New Yorkers looking for a little mountain romance or family time in nature. Plus locals who use the restaurant and gym.

Charm factor: High, the inn has a wonderful art collection and has worked quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson throughout the property.

Notable: The property is dog friendly and has a “Bark Park” just for canine guests.   

Check out our spa trip for teens here.

Video Tour Emerson Resort

The Emerson is privately owned and operated. It’s a place with a wonderful independent feel and a staff that’s professional while being warm. There's history on the land. The resort used to be a dairy farm and eventually was developed as a vacation spot for city folk like me. A portion of the property was burned down in a fire and the inn as we see it now was rebuilt in 2007. Then in 2016, the property was infused with a $6 million renovation that added the gorgeous, modern inn rooms, the restaurant and the Emerson spa. It's a haven for the harried who want to slow down and reconnect with nature.

Need more proof that this place is about relaxation and getting out in nature? There's zero cell coverage here. US calls are free from landlines in the rooms. It was refreshing to see so few phones out on tables at dinner.

Let's take a look at the specifics of the Emerson Resort & Spa.

Lodging at Emerson Resort

There are two experiences to be had at the Emerson. For families, the traditional lodge rooms offer space for up to 6. The duplex style rooms have two bathrooms and two sleeping areas. The rooms are Catskill cozy (plenty of bears integrated in the decor) with rustic log furniture. There are 27 Lodge rooms.

We stayed in room 308 in the Black Bear. Our spacious room was a little dark, but we loved hearing the tinkling of the Esopus Creek in the distance. We thought the little two-seater balcony was pretty sweet and the beds were quite comfy.

The lodge area has a family game room with indoor ping pong and a gaming setup. They also have free puzzles and games you can take back to your room.

On the flip side, the inn has 26 Catskill chic rooms. These modern rooms have fireplaces (they are gas, so not mess!), soaking tubs and more sleek furniture. For a romantic weekend without the kids, stay here! The rooms in the Inn are closer to the restaurant and spa and are located in the main building.

All the rooms have views of the Esopus Creek and Mount Tremper and everything is within walking distance on the property. 

Food at Emerson Resort

Food at Emerson Resort

The resort embraces the farm-to-table ethos. Woodnotes Grill serves breakfast and dinner and has a lively bar scene. There’s indoor and outdoor dining (weather permitting). For breakfast, we grabbed a table overlooking the creek and had gorgeous veggie omelettes.

Dinner offers fresh food served up elegantly. The chef makes the most of the Hudson Valley farms. To start, there are local made brews and the bar prides itself on craft cocktails.

I thought the menu was terrific, the vegetarian in our group wished there were more options (there is a veggie pasta and a portobello burger on the menu). We found the trio of dips (DIPS & CHIPS) a little disappointing (over-garlicky hummus and spinach dip should’ve been served warm), but we loved our arugula and beets salad and the Woodnotes Cioppino was awesome.

Food at Emerson Resort

After dinner sip coffee of second glass of wine by a roaring fire on the deck, or have the staff fire up the bonfire down by the creek. This is a dining experience to savor.

Got kids? Get a s’mores making kit from Woodnotes and take it down to the fire pit.

Ralph’s Cafe is perfect for a more casual meal and the best spot for lunch. Get a sandwich, wrap or a sweet treat to tide you over to dinner. It’s also a great spot to pick up coffee from Monkey Joe’s or Harney & Sons tea. I just wished they opened earlier than 9am.

Art at Emerson Resort

Art at Emerson Resort

The art collection at the Emerson is impressive. The mission is to create a collection that honors nature and has a restorative property. 

Mission accomplished. 

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Throughout the main house the pieces are fluid and perfectly integrated. For example: The gorgeous wooden entryway to the spa serves to demarcate the end of the rush and the beginning of the relaxing.

One of the artists, Beth Weintraub is one I recognize, because we have one of her etched pieces in our home. One of my other favorites was Alison Berry, her “Watershed: The Flow of Time Through Place” collection of paintings in the lobby gallery are stunning. In all, there are more than 30 artists represented on the property.

Spa at Emerson Resort

Spa at Emerson Resort

The Emerson Spa is the perfect place to undo all the stress you might bring along with you to the Catskills. There is a full menu of treatments in addition to beauty services (you can even get eyelash extensions done here!) and a hair and nail salon. The rooms are serene, clean and comfortable, but the key is they have expertly trained staff. My add-in facial was also top-notch.

Spa at Emerson Resort

Definitely call ahead to book your treatment as the spa is very popular. I suggest the Day of Relaxation package. For $285, you’ll get a massage, an everyday facial and a luxury spa pedicure. These packages are offered Monday- Friday. Family note: They cleverly have a teen menu as well.

After your treatment enjoy the relaxation room, steam and sauna and make sure to give yourself time to soak in the outdoor hot tub. In all the spa has over 6000sf to explore. You could spend an entire day here!

Fitness at Emerson Resort

Fitness at Emerson Resort

With terrific nature right outside, there are a ton of options on ways to workout. If the weather turns ugly, or if you want to take a class, the Emerson has options. The gym is open to local residents Monday -Friday and open 7 days a week for guests. It’s a small but well-appointed space and has all the modern cardio machines, I wish there was a bit more room to stretch, but it was more than adequate.

yoga at Emerson resort

Yoga and pilates classes are offered daily (and locals use this too) in a pretty studio with a stone hearth. There’s something for every ability: from “Very Beginner Yoga” to Core Focus Yoga.  Classes are $15 for guests and $17 for those who aren’t on the property.

If you want to swim, there's a nice outdoor pool with a grass deck. It was closed on our visit. The season of the pool is Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Emerson resort and spa bicycle

It's a nice area for biking, there are a few quiet roads for kids. The resort provides Huffy cruisers for guests to use (no children's bikes). The three of us did a short ride along the creek the bikes were in good shape, but the helmets were in need of replacement.  In the winter the big nearby field turns into a cross country course. For more serious cyclists, it's a wonderful place to ride.

Nature at Emerson Resort

Nature at Emerson Resort

The Emerson is set on the Esopus Creek. There's a short trail 1.2 loop on the property as well as a hammock and swing. I suggest taking one of the complementary nature walks the report provides. Walks depart at 9am and 4pm (see the front desk for details). Jonah (who runs the resort’s social media) led us along the property and creek and was a wealth of local knowledge.

The setting for fishing is ideal for beginners and wonderful for small kids who can't handle long hikes. For the more adventures, harder hikes are just a short drive away. 

Outdoors you’ll find a volleyball net, horseshoes and picnic tables in a grassy area called Emerson Park located near the pool. For kids there’s a mini playground near the dog park

The hiking nearby is spectacular. The resort can give you trail suggestions or head to: Giant Ledge or Kaaterskill Falls. Every day the resort has a cheat sheet on what’s going on. They list the weather and a few suggestions on what to do.

Ashokan Reservoir Hike

On our way up we stopped at the Ashokan Reservoir. We did a stunning 4-mile walk. This area is simply stunning in the fall when the leaves change (for more leaf peeping, consider these Vermont Inns).

The reservoir is about ten minutes south of the resort. It was created to provide the City of New York with water. The Ashokan Reservoir hike is a 5.4 mile lightly trafficked trail that is mostly paved and quite easy depending on your pace. park in Olivebridge (follow the signs for the park). 

Shopping at Emerson Resort

Shopping at Emerson Resort

The Emerson has a charming mini mall setup on property- -- they call the area Country Stores. The boutique area is adjacent to the Inn and packed with local goodies and fashion treasures. From toys to art to fashion it's fun to see and support the local artists in the area.

World’s Largest Kaleidoscope

World’s Largest Kaleidoscope

The Country Stores are home to the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope (it’s 60 feet tall) and there’s also a special show. This is a light and sound show that you’ve got to see. Allot ten minutes to take in the experience. It’s free for guests and perfect for all ages.

Final Thoughts: When you’ve got Ralph Waldo Emerson setting the tone for your resort, it better embrace nature. The folks behind the Emerson haven't let the transcendentalist writer down. This fall if you are looking to take in the changing colors of the season explore the Emerson Resort & Spa it's a charming Catskills getaway.

Plan your trip to the Emerson Resort & Spa

Conveniently located two hours north of Manhattan in Mount Tremper. 5340 NY 28, Mt. Tremper, NY 12457. Reservations 845-688-2828.

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Emerson Resort: Perfect Getaway in the Catskills

This is not a sponsored post. Portions of the stay were provided to facilitate the Emerson Resort: Perfect Getaway in the Catskills feature.

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