The Hudson Valley in New York state is a region that hosts a budding food and drink scene in the form of new cocktail bars, farm-to-table restaurants, distilleries, breweries (one of the best in the country, in fact, in the form of Suarez Family Brewery), and artisanal food shops that make it an enticing place for the curious drinker, and foodie, to visit. While visitors to the region have plenty to enjoy regardless of the season, the wintertime is particularly exciting for snow sport enthusiasts who want to escape the city and hit some fresh powder at one of the Hudson Valley’s prominent ski resorts, such as: Hunter Mountain, Windham Mountain, or Catamount Mountain (which actually crosses the New York-Massachusetts border).
The Hudson Valley, which is also rich in U.S. history and beautiful architecture from all eras, boasts some of the chicest boutique hotels around — and a handful of them are not only cozy and romantic, but also have great beverage programs to pair to ensure you are staying hydrated after a long day at the mountain. Here are a few of the boutique hotels worth drinking and staying at this winter season.
Wm. Farmer & Sons
Hudson, New York
Hudson, a city that once boasted the title of the 24th largest city in the United States (back in 1790), still possesses a timeless charm that lures city folk on most weekends (having an Amtrak stop in town makes the destination easily accessible). Just up the block from Hudson’s Amtrak stop is Wm. Farmer & Sons, a family-owned barroom and lodge. The hotel is charming and cozy with thoughtfully designed rooms that have everything you need after a long day of winter sports — most importantly, the drinks. The late Sasha Petraske, a pioneer of the contemporary cocktail movement and champion of the bartender’s choice, designed the bar and set the foundation for its well-executed, and consistent, cocktail program. He trained the initial bar staff who have continued to carry on his legacy by crafting drinks that are practically perfect. Drinks such as the Native New Yorker, which is a warming build on the Mai Tai made with rye, bonded applejack, lemon juice, orgeat, and angostura bitters; and the French Tuck, a Manhattan-esque cocktail made with Cognac, blanche Armagnac, blanc vermouth, peach and Angostura bitters are two standouts from their classic-driven cocktail list. Pro tip: go off-menu and order a Daiquiri, it might just be the best one you’ll ever have. Book here.
Scribner’s Catskill Lodge
Hunter, New York
Scribner’s Lodge is a hot destination for the city-dweller who is looking for a comfortable and accommodating Hudson Valley getaway with where skiing, and aprés skiing are both options. Guests have breathtaking views of the stoic Catskill Mountains, as well as a direct view of Hunter Mountain from the property. Accommodations include a cozy communal lounge with a billiards table, an outdoor fireplace where guests can make s’mores in the evening, as well as a sauna for a little cleanse after indulging at Prospect, the on-site bar and restaurant. Prospect has floor-to-ceiling windows that open out on gorgeous mountain views while you sip on some expertly-curated wines — both natural and traditional wines are available — or one of Prospect’s creative cocktails. The current menu is filled with delicious cocktails to choose from, but the El Capitan is one worth noting as it’s a mix of cinnamon-infused mezcal, lime, banana liqueur, thyme, and an alpine liqueur (it’s so good, you’ll likely have more than one). As for the wine, there is a fine selection to choose from, but you’ll want to order the quaffable and refreshingly acidic 2019 Damien Coquelet Beaujolais New Veau York to pair with one of Executive Chef Alex Napolitano’s pastas — we aren’t here to talk pasta, but they’re all incredibly special and freshly made in-house that we’d be remiss to leave out that important detail. (The parsley root triangoli with bone marrow, and meyer lemon gremolata might leave you in tears.) Book here.
Foxfire Mountain House
Mt. Tremper, New York
Nestled in the Catskill Mountains, this 100-year-old bohemian inn has 11 rooms and is everything you need for a hospitable ski weekend getaway. Guests are welcomed with a bountiful breakfast every morning before getting on with their daily activities — the most important meal of the day — and can end their day at the Foxfire Bar Room which is the on-site bar and restaurant where you can unwind and have a drink, or three, with some tasty food.
The cocktails are creative using expertly foraged ingredients from the surrounding area in the form of herbs, flowers, and more which are used for both infusions and garnishes creating a bespoke beverage experience. The Cast Iron Comfort is a mix of rye, honey water, maple syrup, yuzu, assam tea, and sarsaparilla bitters — a seasonal tipple that delivers in flavor and finesse. Traditional wines and local beers dominate the rest of the beverage menu and are worth dabbling in as well. Book here.
Windham, New York
Eastwind is a Scandanavian-inspired bunk-house-turned-boutique-hotel with sweeping views of Windham Mountain and innovative design. Eastwind’s Creative Director, Julija Stoliarova, designed the interiors of the multiple spaces on the property to boast a Mid-Century look with a hint of clean urban design energized by the hotel’s backcountry. The popular Lushna Cabins — arguably the most Instagrammable cabins on the property — embody a Scandinavian notion of camping without sacrificing comforts.
In the main building, you’ll find the Salon, which is where all the imbibing takes place. The bar offers a selection of local craft spirits as well as some classic staples. The cocktails here are creative, yet simple and to the point. Their Smoky Ginger Mezcal Paloma is everything you need in the cold winter months with mezcal, ginger syrup, grapefruit juice, lime juice, salt, and club soda. It’s said that two is company — and I think that rule applies with this cocktail. Book here.
Kingston, New York
Fresh on the Hudson Valley scene, this new boutique hotel in the original capital of New York state, Kingston, is stylish and perfect for the city dweller in need of a weekend filled with delectable food and drink, a charming upstate town, and some casual snow sports. The hotel was designed and built within an old bank which gives it a unique aesthetic that blends rustic and luxury.
Restaurant Kinsley, where you’ll find the bar, occupies the former lobby of the bank. Vaulted ceilings seem to rise even higher thanks to the space’s exceptional natural lighting, and the wooden bar is one of those that you’ll find yourself sitting at for longer than you’d want to, but in the best way possible. With New York City bartending power-duo Natasha David (Imbibe Mag’s Bartender of the Year) and Jeremy Oertel consulting on the beverage program, you can expect New York City-caliber cocktails such as the Long Day’s Journey which is a mix of gin, lemon, calvados, honey, saffron, and cardamom bitters; as well as enticing non-alcoholic options with witty names such as the Deprivation of Solitude for parents who are thrilled to finally have some alone time on their ski vacation. Book here.
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