|Photo by Brittany Edwards|
Travel Agent recently visited The Emerson Resort & Spa in the Catskills in upstate New York. Under the direction of new chief operating officer Tony Lanza, who joined the resort from the nearby Belleayre Mountain ski area in 2013 as marketing director and was promoted to COO that October, the property is reaching out to travel agents with a new mid-week package designed to show off the resort’s dog-friendly accommodations and spa.
We stayed in a Royal Suite, in The Inn at the Emerson, one of the resort’s two hotels. Taking design cues from the nearby Buddhist monasteries of the Hudson Valley (nearby Zen Mountain Monastery, mro.org, offers a Sunday morning meditation program as well as weekend retreats), our room had a king-sized canopy bed, gas fireplace, air-jetted tub and Swiss shower. Regal Suites at The Inn offer the same amenities, but are on the hotel’s first floor. Both Regal and Royal Suites can come with either king- or queen-sized beds. The Inn’s topline Imperial Suite is a two-story suite offering a loft bedroom with king-sized bed, two bathrooms with Swiss showers, one of which has an air-jetted tub for two, two flatscreen TVs, a downstairs living room and a wet bar.
The resort’s second hotel, The Lodge at The Emerson, offers accommodation types ranging from Deluxe rooms to Family Suites, which have two bedrooms, each with a king-sized bed, a private sitting room with a queen-sized sofa bed, two bathrooms and a balcony overlooking Esopus Creek. Both The Lodge and The Inn offer Wi-Fi.
The Emerson is a dog-friendly resort, offering pet-friendly rooms for a $35 per dog, per night fee. Out back of the resort, the Catamount Dog Park is a 60 foot by 100 foot fenced-in area with a dog run, doggy show, fresh running water and a section set a side for small dogs. To ensure a pet-friendly room at the resort, agents should ask the front desk staff when booking a client’s stay. (The Family Suite in The Lodge cannot accommodate pets.) Crate rentals are available, ranging from $10 to $20 per stay, depending on size.
|A snowstorm hit during our ski day at Bellayre Mountain // Photo by Adam Leposa|
Our first full day there we got a chance to ski at nearby Bellayre Mountain (www.bellayremountain.com), a ski area run by New York State. Off State Route 28, the ski area is about 20 minutes from the Emerson and approximately two and a half hours from New York City by car.
With 55 trails, parks and glades, eight lifts, including a new High Speed Quad and a new Area 51 terrain park, Bellayre tends to be a good fit for families. The ski area offers the full-day instructional ski and snowboard program Kidscamp for skiiers aged four to 12 and snowboarders aged seven to 12 from December 21 thorugh mid-March. Kidscamp includes four hours of lessons, rentals (if needed), lift ticket, lunch and supervision for the day. Reservations are requird, and prices start from $116 with rentals and $90 without. The ski area also offers adult lessons, private and group lessons and an adaptive snowsports program.
We also got a chance to visit the resort’s attached Country Store, which offers a collection of country-inspired shops in a 19th century dairy barn. A particular highlight is the Kaleidoshow. Housed in a 60 foot tall former grain silo, the “world’s largest kaleidoscope” shows specially designed music and light shows on three 38-foot mirrors. The attached kaleidoscope shop offers a selection of unusual high-end kaleidoscopes, and it also hosts make-your-own-kaleidoscope workshops.
|The Emerson's signature Catamount Restaurant // Photo by Brittany Edwards|
Our second night at the resort we dined at the property’s signature Catamount Restaurant, which offers classic American food like steak, burgers and prime rib. The attached bar also has a spacious relaxation area for drinking and chatting.
The resort’s other restaurant, The Phoenix, serves a daily breakfast menu and has both an indoor dining room and outdoor deck with views of Esopus Creek. The Country Store Café also has quick breakfast and lunch items, as well as free Wi-Fi.
We capped off our visit with a 50-minute massage at the property’s spa. With 10 treatment rooms, a fitness center, a relaxation room, yoga studio, an outdoor pool and an outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking the Esopus Creek, the spa continues the resort’s Buddhist monastery-inspired design with a set of 17th century Rajasthani palace doors and centrally located water features.
Spa offerings include Ayurvedic treatments, couples massage, manicure / pedicure, waxing, hot stone massage, pre-natal packages, Bindi herbal body treatments, Reiki and gender-specific treatments.
|The Emerson Great Room can also be used for meetings and events. // Photo by Brittany Edwards|
The resort is also equipped for small meeting and incentive gatherings. Conference facilities include two 1,500 square foot conference rooms and three break-out spaces, equipped with Wi-Fi and audio/visual capabilities. The Emerson Great Room, which offers floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the surrounding mountains, also has full conference room capabilities.
The resort’s concierge services team can arrange for a variety of incentive and teambuilding exercises, such as:
- Spa treatments
- Guided hikes
- Mountain biking
- Skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing
- Map and compass course
- Winery tours
- Scavenger hunts
- Art tours
- Yoga meditations
- Cooking classes