For restless New Yorkers in need of an outdoorsy weekend, a new boutique hotel in the Catskills makes for an ideal mountainside escape.
WINDHAM, New York – When the inescapable buzz and energy of New York City gets to you, going Upstate might just offer the reprieve you need — boutique hotels, abundant nature walks, bike-riding tourists, and street side wine bars can all be found in Windham, a city with a Scandinavian sensibility just a two-hour drive from Manhattan (or an easy bus ride from Penn Station). A mountainous skiing region by winter, you might think of it as a cold-season destination, but the area offers something every season.
Where to Stay
Eastwind Hotel & Bar
5088 Route 23, Windham; +1-518-734-0553
Nestled into the hillside, and just moments out of the main town, Eastwind is more of a Scandinavian family home than a hotel. Retaining all the original charm of the 1920s bunkhouse, once used as a lodge by hunters and fly fishermen, with a hint of clean-line Scandinavian style, the property is welcoming and chic. The Bunk House, often ringing with the laughter and chatter of the owner’s young children, houses eleven guest rooms, including two writer’s studios, as well as the Salon, a raw timber, white-walled breakfast room and bar, with floor to ceiling windows looking out on impressive mountain views, where guests can join in a communal breakfast of pfannkuchen, or German pancakes. For those looking for a little more privacy, the Hill House offers five guest rooms with similar lagom styling to the main house — think black, white, and navy color schemes, hand-woven Turkish rugs, Alexis Sassard custom wall-hangings, and Faribault Mill wool throws. The property also features three Lushna cabins, spacious timber A-frame structures for a glamping experience decked out with queen beds and wooden storage chests.
Where to Relax
The Windham Spa
16 Mitchell Hollow Rd., Windham; +1-518-734-9617
A cozy cabin complete with rocking chairs on the porch, just off Windham’s main road. The spa offers all the massages, facials, and manicures you could need using eco-friendly, organic skincare products.
Mountain Breeze Yoga
11111 Route 23, Windham; +1-518-588-3195
Get your chi on in front of stunning Windham Mountain views. The studio offers yoga or meditation classes every day of the week, a great way to get yourself into a relaxed mindset to enjoy a weekend away.
What to Explore
A 30-minute drive from Windham’s main thoroughfare will take you to the Kaaterskills trailhead, where a scenic 1.7-miles round hike will reward you with impressive waterfall views. Those who want to skip the walk can also drive to the top for some bird's-eye views.
An easy two-mile loop through gentle meadows that can be walked or cycled, offering great views of the northern Catskills area. The path also offers the only public access to the Batavia Kill stream, which you can cross over an enclosed bridge.
Where to Drink
The Vineyard at Windham
11 Mount View Estates Rd., Windham; +1-518-734-0526
Sample Riesling, merlot, and cabernet franc from the vineyard, alongside a larger selection of wines from the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, and Long Island regions, in a scenic winery setting where the rows of vines disappear into the greenery of the mountain backdrop.
Ze Wine Bar
5369 Main St., Windham; +1-518-724-9200
Sealed with the local stamp of approval, the cozy cafe specializes in wine, charcuterie, and cheese boards. The area’s only accredited sommelier has curated a list of over 40 by-the-glass wines, alongside a selection of German beers. Take a lesson in vino and food pairings at the weekly wine school, or enjoy summer evenings in the beer garden.
Where to Eat
Bistro Brie & Bordeaux
23 Main St., Windham; +1-518-734-4911
Keep the European vibes rolling into dinner at the local bistro. An 1875 white clapboard building, oozing French provincial charm, allows you to enjoy a glass of rich Bordeaux at a white-clothed table on the patio, underneath the red-and-white striped awning.
The Windham Local
5410 New York-23, Windham; +1-518-750-8300
A family-friendly cafe highlighting fresh ingredients from local farms in an industrial-chic space. Go for the baked goods (cranberry-rosemary oat scones, blueberry lavender donuts) and live jam sessions featuring local musicians.
The Prospect at Scribner’s Lodge
13 Scribner Hollow Rd., Hunter; +1-518-628-5150
Further afield, the Alpine-inspired restaurant and bar is a quick fifteen-minute drive from Windham, and worth the effort. Offering a playful twist on local cuisine, the year-round restaurant sources much of it’s produce and meat from local purveyors. Warm up by the fire with a craft cocktail during the colder months, or enjoy an alfresco dinner with mountain views in the summertime.
Fall in the Catskills
Heading upstate this fall? Add these happenings to your calendar.
- Corn Maze at Hull-O Farms
- Catskills Wine & Food Festival (October 6-7, 2018)
- Cider in the Mountains (October 13-14, 2018)