When Len and I married, he wanted to find a really special honeymoon spot we would always remember. Did he ever! Mohonk Mountain House is about an hour and a half drive from New York City, tucked into the Shawangunk Mountains, just above the little town of New Paltz, New York. It is a National Historic Landmark Hotel established in 1869 by Albert and Alfred Smiley and still operated by the Smiley family 144 years later.
The Mountain House is a seven-story, turreted Victorian hotel that stretches alongside Lake Mohonk, looking for all the world like a Swiss castle. Inside the hotel, you take a step back in time as the Victorian character has been maintained through period furnishings and reproductions. There are fireplaces in many of the guest rooms as well as balconies and rocking chairs everywhere to take in the views. Afternoon tea is served daily in the main parlor and the meals are exquisite whether you have opted for a hillside picnic, a family buffet or more formal dining.
There is swimming, boating, hiking, horseback riding, fishing and many more activities to fill your days here. My favorite places to visit are in the formal gardens where treehouses and gazebos are plentiful. Climb up to the top of the trumpet vine covered treehouse in the middle of the garden and look out over the entire landscape. Nearby, there are also cutting gardens to visit, where the Mohonk staff pick flowers for the many fresh arrangements found throughout the hotel. There ‘s also a greenhouse and garden shop, where I have always come away with a souvenir to put in our home garden.
Quite a few years have past, but we make it a point to return every so often and Mohonk never disappoints. I hope you get the chance one day to visit for yourself. But in the meantime, here are a few photos we have taken to provide a feel for how special the Mohonk Mountain House is.
* click on an image to enlarge it
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