Winter isn’t here, but as we’re all aware, winter is coming. Without leaving New York’s neck of the woods, upstate lodges and hotels are getting ready for next season. Lock down your next chilly retreat before the cold nips you by surprise.
Lakeside Lodging (For Lounging)
Those who enjoy weaving along Whiteface Mountain’s ski slopes or winding across tracks at 55 miles per hour in a bobsled should head towards Lake Placid. The charmed village, among many in the Adirondacks, was once a perfect host for the Winter Olympics—twice, actually—but it’s not only fun for the games. Lake Placid Lodge, poised along the frozen lake, requires little from guests besides keeping their eye on the snowfall. Its main lodge, rebuilt over a decade ago to capture the craftsmanship of grand lodges of a bygone era, is a masterwork of stone and wood beams. Visitors will find farm-to-table fare at its cozy pub, roaring fireplaces and lakeside bonfires complete with s’mores and hot chocolate. It’s the perfect winter retreat for the whole family (since last season, kids are officially allowed to stay, too).
Après-ski in Style
The Catskills, rich in hemlock and handsome cabins, is more attractive than ever. Just across from Hunter Mountain, Scribner’s Catskill Lodge is a feature attraction of the area’s revival. Just over a year old, the 38-room boutique is as hip as it is happening. This winter it will bring new life to the classic après-ski. At its locally-keen restaurant, Prospect, chefs helming cast-iron stoves will craft a special menu for Hunter’s skiers looking for a break (or for anyone who’s just interested in sampling a seasonal fondue). But the ultimate treat is reserved for guests. Its highly coveted, extremely Instagrammable guest rooms are made for winter. Each is built with brilliant white wainscoting, rich maple wooden floors, touches of terra-cotta, rustic textiles and, most importantly, a crackling fireplace. Leave the room to ski if you must, or scout the area with the hotel’s Mountain Concierge who, starting this season, will offer guided hikes for those opposed to ski-boots.
No matter the season, a castle is still a castle—full of romance no matter the weather. In New Paltz, Mohonk Mountain House never housed royalty, but its regal, cliffside perch over the icy Lake Mohonk has reigned for well over a century. The historic castle-like resort is surrounded by 40,000 snowy acres of forest. And for non-princess types, the abounding nature preserve’s trails are hike-able even in the chilliest of months. To that end, the resort whisks guests deep into the forest—by foot, snowshoe or cross-country skis—for therapeutic sessions along winter trails (called Forest Bathing). Back at the resort’s spa, a new Ginger Rejuvenator treatment that blends ginger root, cinnamon, peppermint and lemongrass, will warm even the chilliest spirits. Not to mention, the resort will also start hosting fireside meditation sessions to ease restless guests into bonafide sleeping beauties.
Worth the Wait
The eastern Catskills gets most of the attention for design-minded boutiques, but the more quaint western Catskills has more than enough gems. Chief among them, The Arnold House, near the town of Livingston Manor, brings cozy cabin vibes that are hip all year round. But it’s the annual Ice Fishing Derby that’s worth a look forward—way forward to February. Guests booking one of the inn’s 11 rooms will lock down their spot for an oddball, annual tradition. For the weekend, each room gets an ice fishing kit, a private ice fishing lesson and an afternoon on the adjacent, frozen Shandelee Lake.