The last remaining outpost of the Willowemoc Valley’s resort era, The DeBruce’s spectacular location between the Willowemoc river and the sloping shoulders of the Catskills has helped it remain evergreen. The window-lined dining and sitting rooms offer a vantage to admire over 600 acres of surrounding forested mountains. Guests can hike, fly fish the Willowemoc, or join head chef Aksel Theilkuhlon on a foraging mission along 30 miles of trails – and later enjoy their spoils in the award-winning restaurant. The hotel interior resembles a modern country manor house, with a fieldstone fireplace circled by wingback reading chairs and dedicated “Tackle Room” to store waders and snowshoes.
982 DeBruce Road, Livingston Manor, NY 12758 (+1 845-439-3900)
Formerly the town cinema and later a divey motor inn, the 1920s Hudson hotel was reimagined with a mid-century retro aesthetic in 2015 by Brooklyn-based designers Workstead and a host of local craftsmen. Artisan-made features to take centre stage in the Rivertown’s 27-room and communal spaces, from custom brass bed frames and light fixtures, furniture in cherry and cedar, and artworks by Melissa Auf de Mer and Gordon Hull. Beyond the open-plan front lobby — complete with kitchen and pot-bellied wood stove — the sleek panelled tavern boasts an impressive bar programme and a menu starring the seemingly incongruous pairing of Hudson Valley and North African flavours.
731 Warren Street, Hudson, New York 12534 (+1 518-512-0954)
For down-to-earth appeal, this “bed and bar” in West Kill is a low-key master of trendy escapism courtesy of illustrator and designer duo Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg, Brooklyn transplants who remodelled and opened the lodge in 2015. Each of the nine rooms is a study in simplicity, featuring white walls and reclaimed wooden furniture. The idiosyncratic style of the one-story inn mirrors its history; Spruceton was once the Schwarzenegger’s Sunshine Valley House hotel—yep, of Terminator fame. With trails, hammocks, an absence of Wi-Fi, and pop tarts for sale at the front desk, Spruceton Inn channels a nostalgic summer camp vibe with the added bonus of craft beer.
2080 Spruceton Road, West Kill, NY 12492 (+1 518-989-6404)
Four Scandinavian founders have channeled their native aesthetic into this 19-room Catskills former hunting lodge, combining a muted palette with mid-century designs and colourful soft furnishings. Dubbed “the land in the sky,” guests can roam the impressive Windham Mountain landscape surrounding the lodge. Despite the lodge’s outdoorsy appeal, there’s no sense of roughing it – even when camping out in one of the three “Lushna” A-frame cabins dotted along the tree line, which come complete with Frette linens and a private sauna.
5088 Route 23, Windham, NY 12496 (+1 518-734-0553)
West of Woodstock, the Phoenicia hideaway’s brand of retro-cool attracts a young New York weekender set. The former motor inn offers modern-rustic design principles – de rigeur for the area – plus a keen eye for a hook, evident in its branded merch (“Catskills vs. Hamptons” tees) and an Instagram-friendly pool area. Good clean fun can be had at the pool, badminton court, or on one of the hotel beach-cruiser bikes, followed by communal bonfire-side cocktails on the lawn come nightfall.
80 NY-214, Phoenicia, NY 12464 (+1 845-688-7871)
Perched in the cradle of Catskills’ Hunter Mountain, the 38-room resort is revisiting its 1960s glory days thanks to hoteliers Marc Chodock and Glennon Travis and Brooklyn design firm Studio Tack. While the main lobby is a throwback to the hotel’s swinging past, all pine-panelled walls and retro furniture, its bedrooms are understated: dark maple floors, white shiplap wainscoting and terracotta-tiled bathrooms. Guest can dine at Prospect, the on-site restaurant that serves three locally-sourced meals a day, plus an “apres-ski” afternoon menu, in front of floor-length windows with a 270-degree view of the valley.
13 Scribner Hollow Rd, Hunter, NY 12442 (+1518-628-5130)