When we gathered together in the Hudson Valley to scatter George's ashes in the Hudson, I wanted us to stay someplace condusive to family activities, yet also with enough to offer that we could all find pleasant ways to while away hours, both individually and together. To this end, we stayed at Mohonk Mountain House.
In many ways it was the perfect choice. George's mother had gone to Mohonk. When his children were small, George would occasionally fill-in for a colleague as the in-house weekend doctor and his family would spend the weekend at Mohonk. Even though George and I had never stayed as guests, I knew the grounds were beautiful we had been there many times. As a testament to the power of memory, even though Mohonk has been updated and renovated, George's son's first comment to me upon arrival was "It smells just as I remember it from childhood".
Our rooms were in one of the oldest parts of the hotel. My room was not large, but was bright, clean and charming, neither too old-fashioned, nor too blandly modern.
The view from my balcony was fabulous. But as I wandered the hotel and the grounds it was hard not to concede that the view is probably gorgeous in all directions. The hotel has been beautifully maintained and beautifully decorated, in a way that maintains ties to its history without being overly fussy or overdone, with a nod to the past, but also fully accommodating itself to the present.
Walking down the hall toward my room, another row of balconies. These face the sunset.
The view from the large sunset porch.
There were beautiful gardens, also beautifully maintained, a kids activity center, and trails for hikers and nature lovers of every interest and ambition. I stuck to the simple and well manicured paths. The gardens were extensive and beautiful, but as usual I was too enraptured by being there to spend much time taking pictures.
I also walked around the lake, a simple trail, while others in the family ventured forth on steeper and more rocky climbs. I was perfectly content with small vistas and easy walks.
Even so I managed to log at least 5 miles every day we were there, a level of activity I've had to work at maintaining since I've returned to normal life.
Admittedly I still managed to sneak in a nap or two. The youngest member of our group was far more interested in feeding the fish.
Even the food was fabulous, at least the menu service was, although even I, the pickiest member of our little coterie, have to admit the buffet was excellent, for a buffet. Alas, I didn't take pictures of the food, I continue to be old fashioned-enough that I can't quite bring myself to cross that line.
Overall, it was a fabulous vacation, and I would happily go back if I had the opportunity to do so. It was relaxing and envigorating. Everyone was helpful and accommodating and the hospitality staff exceeded expectations in working with our group to plan special events and transportation to the dock in Beacon for the clearwater sail.