September 2019 NJ ——> Mohonk Mountain House
This past Thanksgiving we had my oldest friend and her husband over for dinner. A few months prior we had the pleasure of celebrating their wedding at the stunning Mohonk Mountain House. As we sat around enjoying our turkey and pie I couldn’t help thinking about how magical that weekend was and how breathtaking Mohonk is. If you are thinking of making a weekend trip upstate to visit Mohonk, keep reading to see how our first stay (but definitely not our last!) went.
First things first – Know before you Go
Ask anyone who has been to Mohonk Mountain House, or anyone who has just heard of it, I think one of the first things they will tell you is that it is NOT CHEAP! For the weekend we were going (late September), a regular priced room for the three of us was upwards of $900/night!* Even with the wedding block discount, it was a pretty pricey splurge. However before we all die of sticker shock, it is important to point out that Mohonk Mountain House offers its guests the full service resort getaway experience. As an overnight guest, that room rate provides you with access to nearly all of the grounds and activities Mohonk has to offer, including Hiking, Canoeing, Horseback Riding, Swimming**, and tons more! Also included in that rate is three substantial and meals from Mohonk’s award winning culinary team. You could very easily enjoy a food and fun filled stay at Mohonk without having to pay a single extra penny.
*They are usually running deals for mid-week accommodations and sometimes have discounts for returning guests. Check out what deals are going on now.
**depending on the season
Now if that room rate still isn’t in your budget, there is an option to stay at any of the local hotels or airBnBs in New Paltz (about a 15 min drive away) and get a Day Guest Package. That will get you access to the grounds and a select variety of the activities and meals at Mohonk.
The Perfect Hudson Valley Retreat
Mohonk is 90 miles outside of New York City so it was about an hour and a half drive for us from our place. We loaded up our car on Saturday morning and hit the road. That got us to Mohonk at about 11 am and we had no trouble checking in early. If our room had not been ready, reception would have gladly held our bags while we enjoyed the grounds and activities until our room was ready.
When we checked in, we were provided with maps of the house and grounds as well as Daily Activity Schedules for each day of our stay. The daily schedules are also available on their website if you want to see what’s happening at Mohonk in advance of your visit.
Once we got checked in and settled into our room, it was right on time to check out the Main Dining Room (and have our first included meal). The food, as promised, was delicious and plentiful. With buffet style stations and attentive wait staff constantly refilling our sodas and iced teas, we surely ate and drank our money’s worth.
After lunch we decided to explore the grounds around Mohonk Lake and the Gardens. Everywhere you go in Mohonk you almost feel transported to a bygone era of naturalism and exploration. Throughout the grounds were these delightful gazebos or “sun houses” for a tired explorer to just sit and take in the scenery. Asher definitely channeled his inner Teddy Roosevelt running up grassy hills and trekking through wooded trails!
After the late September heat got all of us a little groggy, we went to our room for a little nap and then got ready for dinner. Even though meals are included, we were encouraged to make reservations for dinner. We opted for a little later reservation which allowed us time for some cocktails on the Sunset Porch.*
*Alcoholic drinks are an extra charge and not included in your room rate
For dinner we opted to do their “Modern American Dinner Menu”. Aside from the alcoholic beverages, our appetizers, entrees and desserts were all included with the room. Once again, the food was delicious and honestly the portions were to large we were stuffed halfway through our entrees. After a very hearty meal, we headed to bed to rest up for the next day’s festivities.
On Sunday we woke up and went for a short troll on the trail around Mohonk Lake. After Asher got to marvel as some real life “horsies” on the trail we headed to the main floor to start our Hotel History Tour. If you are a history buff or simply like touring old homes, this is a must! I loved how all the stories of the founding Smiley family gave even more character to every room and hallway in the house. The tour ended right below the main dining room and just in time for our noon Brunch reservations.
In the afternoon we decided to check out the Hudson Valley Harvest Festival in the Parlour room on the main floor. It was quite a lovely and unexpected activity (and not to mention free) to kill some time before we had to get ready for the wedding. We got to listen to some great live music; sample some local beers, whisky, and gin; and even picked up some jars of local made jams.
When we got back to our room the wonderful staff left a new friend for Asher in our room. Asher was so excited to see that little stuffed horse waiting for him, especially after his encounter with the horses that morning. It was such a sweet touch to make our stay even more memorable.
I could go on and on about how beautiful and magical the wedding was. If you wanna see photos of the beautiful couple and their special day, head over to their wedding photographer’s instagram account @jferraraphoto . Suffice it to say, the venue was perfect, the food delish, the music delightful and the couple…simply the best! After a night of dining and dancing it was bliss to fall asleep in our room with the sounds of crickets and the great outdoors lulling us to dreamland.
The next morning it was time to say “goodbye” to Mohonk. But not before we squeezed in a little bit more of that Mohonk charm. We completed the full walking trail around Mohonk Lake after breakfast. Next we spent some time taking in some sun on the lakeside porch rocking chairs. We grabbed our final delicious meal and took in the breathtaking panoramic views in the Main Dining Room. Finally we packed up our car and headed home.
We hope you enjoyed our travel diary for Mohonk Mountain House and stay tuned for our next adventure!
If you have any questions about this trip in particular or have suggestions on where we should go next, please leave them in the comments below! And be sure to follow us on instagram (we have even more photos from the trip saved in our story highlights).
M&T (and Asher too!)