By Stephanie Ila Silver-Silberstein
Ok. We get it. You love NYC and there’s no other place like it in the world. But even the best of us 5-borough-obsessed city dwellers could use a weekend in the country, right? So, hop in your car or Priceline a rental, and faster than it takes most of us to get from the Upper East Side to Tribeca, you could be at Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa. You’ll feel like you’re a million miles away but you’ve only traveled…oh…about 70.
Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa can best be described as the perfect blend of historic charm and modern oasis. Recently undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation, the inn and state-of-the-art spa facility opened this past October. Located on an environmentally friendly, beautiful 70-acre estate, Buttermilk will have you luxuriating in modern day spa treatments while decompressing from cosmopolitan Manhattan in a historic setting. Think Carrie Bradshaw meets Martha Washington.
Each of the 13 renovated rooms exudes charm. The rooms are located in the main house, which was originally built in 1680 and was actually a Revolutionary War landmark. You can curl up with a book in front of your fireplace, fall asleep in your fairy tale canopy bed or relax in your private Jacuzzi tub. There’s also the option to stay in a private apartment-like suite and bring your pooch. My mini-dachshund loved playing in the snow and exploring the grounds without the fear of city traffic whizzing by. He did go a little berserk with the geese, llamas (yup, llamas) and occasional goat roaming the premises, but that just added to the fun of this unique experience. I can only imagine how gorgeous the estate looks as the seasons change. The staff is super friendly and warm – you’ll feel like you’re at a bed and breakfast in Vermont (but without the shared bathrooms or long drive to get there).
Now for the spa. Ahh, the spa. Developed by the same people who bring you NYC’s Great Jones Spa, the Buttermilk spa experience is of the highest quality. I indulged in their signature Warm Stone Facial, which was by far one of the most relaxing spa treatments I’ve ever had – and that’s saying a lot for a facial. My facialist, Donna, never left the room and used the warm stones when massaging my head, neck, shoulders and arms. Heated bean-bag booties placed on my hands and feet kept me nice and toasty, and I hardly noticed when she started on the dreaded extractions. I’m not sure whether it was the Jurlique skin care line that had me glowing or the warm stone therapy, but my skin has been smooth and glowing for weeks now. With a spritz of some lavender facial toner, I moved as if in a dreamy daze into another treatment room for an Aromatherapy Massage.
Upon smelling the 3 different Jurlique essential oil blends – travel, tranquility and pampering – my body lured me to ‘travel’ for its restorative and balancing properties. Heidi was quite the determined masseuse as she tirelessly kneaded away my admittedly tension-filled knots. But I left feeling like a ball of mush; to say I felt relaxed would be an understatement. Although I regrettably forgot my bathing suit, and couldn’t take advantage of the indoor pool, I did spend some time in the steam room and sauna before taking what is hands down the best shower ever. The spa’s rain shower with side jets was so invigorating; I think I may just have to remodel my bathroom!
If being green is your main resolution this year, you’re in the right place. Not only were all the renovations made with this goal in mind, but there are plans to use the herbs grown in the estate’s garden in the products used during spa treatment. And all of the on-site cuisine is made with the healthiest, organic and freshest of ingredients (we’re talking omelets made with eggs laid that morning!). A three-course gourmet dinner is served on Wednesday nights, and brunch, afternoon tea and spa lunches are offered daily. My husband and I, visiting on Saturday, enjoyed a lovely Italian dinner at the nearby Hidden Cellar Restaurant and Wine Bar.
Located in the heart of the Hudson River Valley, there is no shortage of things to do both on and off the premises – be it apple picking, wine tasting, snow shoeing, hiking, skiing (about an hour away) or exploring the historic region. Plans to build an on-site fitness center, yoga/dance studio and professional kitchen for cooking demos are also in motion. Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa is the perfect destination for couples wanting some romance and families needing a quick, relaxing but fun weekend away. With its close proximity to the city and wonderfully friendly service, I’ll most certainly visit this gem of a destination spa again and again.
When booking your stay, mention that you read about Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa in Beauty News NYC and get 10% off your first spa treatment! (offer valid thru 2008)