• Saturday, August 19, 2017

Glenmere Mansion in the Hudson Valley

Glenmere – So Close Yet So Far
October 9, 2013
By , Founder and Editor-in-chief

Picture an idyllic Italianate mansion encircling a graceful courtyard. Set it atop 150 English countryside-like acres of rolling hills overlooking a tranquil lake. Throw in a Turkish hammam – why not? Now stick the whole shebang in your backyard. Well, almost. Just 50 miles north of Manhattan is where you’ll find the Gatsby-esque Glenmere, a fully restored country home-slash-boutique hotel originally built in 1911 for industrialist Robert Goelet. It’s actually more the blue-blooded home that Daisy, Gatsby’s love interest, would have lived in during the old days of West Egg. Back then, Glenmere hosted royalty, celebrities, and aristocrats. Fast forward to 2013, and a $30 million renovation since the property reopened in 2010, and now it would like to host you.

Good For: Couples – it’s pretty much the pinnacle of romance. It’s also great for coupled-up groups of friends, girlfriend spa getaways, and chilled-out bromance. Basically, this is a grown-up hotel for those who want to decompress in sumptuously comfortable surroundings, explore the picturesque Hudson Valley, and be on the cusp of what’s still a relatively insider travel destination.

The Highlights:

  • Catching the first glimpse of the hotel and its view over Glenmere Lake, and wondering if you somehow leapt back in time and wound up at an exquisite Italian mid-century villa.    
  • Being challenged to find a Turkish hammam more lavish, even in Istanbul. The spa’s relaxation room takes it to a whole other level – our advice is to clear your afternoon of any other activity and make a day of it. 
  • Eating – there’s a reason Daniel Boulud chose the Glenmere for his wedding (bringing along Best Man Thomas Kellar and Groomsman Eric Ripert). To say Glenmere’s new chef Geoffroy Deconinck has skills is a major understatement. Check out our Cooling Your Jets feature for recipes you can take home with you. 
  • Curling up to read in the luxurious library, scotch on the rocks in hand.
  • Never needing to leave the property unless you want to. If you’re on empty, this is the place to recharge and feel like you’re a guest at a very, very, wealthy friend’s home.

Suggested Stay: 2 days

What to Know: Look, we love your kids, but just this once, leave them at home. You’ll thank us. Rest assured that if all hell breaks loose, you’re just a quick car or chopper ride away. Yep – we said chopper. Manhattan’s elite have been known to land right on the front lawn for a quick weekend getaway, or, since Chef Deconinck arrived, dinner. The area is stunningly beautiful during the fall months, though there is something to do no matter what time of the year you visit.

The Forgotten Art of Chillin’

Think of Glenmere as your go-to fall escape where you can cozily switch gears into hibernation mode. Stroll the mansion’s private fountained gardens, taking in the foliage. Hit the spa to soak in side-by-side tubs before side-by-side chardonnay body drench massages. Or, get the signature hammam treatment, enveloped in what feels like endless pillows of suds. Afterwards, slip on your new cashmere turtleneck (they’re back), curl up around the fireplace in the relaxation room, and do just that.

Frogs End, the hotel tavern, borders on gastropub cuisine with specials like borscht soup along with regular items, including the Angus beef burger and decadent deviled eggs. The Supper Room is a more formal affair, which naturally inspires the gents to don their smoking jackets (with coordinated pocket squares) and the ladies to dress equally Daisy Buchanan for dinner. The arrival of the new chef, Geoffroy Deconinck, has put Glenmere on the culinary map. He’s trained under such greats as Daniel and Bouley, and after a stint in Maine, is back creating his French degustation menus, which showcase gorgeous dishes like crab Napoleon with avocado and grapefruit segments reminiscent of Le Bâoli in Cannes, and a duo of beef tenderloin and short ribs. Finish with an ice cream sundae with toffee brittle and intricate chocolate torts by pastry chef Taiesha Martin.

The Joy Ride

In the chance that you’re looking for off-property excursions, the town of Sugar Loaf, chock full of crafty artisan fare, is a five-minute drive down the road. For a vintage Americana fix, Warwick is also nearby. La Petit Cuisine is great for breakfast and lunch; Charlotte’s Tea Room and Jean-Claude’s Pastries for treats and coffee. If you’re going for an ice cream run (you miss your kids – we get it), the Bellvale Farms Creamery offers an epic view alongside homemade delights. And we wouldn’t be doing our duty without mentioning that Woodbury Commons, the upscale outlet mall, is a short distance from the hotel. For the ultra ambitious, Bear Mountain is an easy drive and at this time of the year, prime for fall foliage. A weekend at Glenmere goes to show that sometimes it’s nice to get away without having to go too far.