Emerson Resort & Spa: Redefining the Catskills


If the Catskills only conjure up images in your head of Dirty Dancing, sleepaway camp, and color war, think again. The Emerson Resort & Spa offers its sophisticated guests a high-end destination spa experience. Just 2 hours from New York City, it’s convenient enough to easily get away for a night or two but far enough away that you can actually feel like you’re escaping the stress of city life.

In desperate need of a girls-only getaway, I road-tripped with my mom and my aunt to Emerson’s expansive property in the Hudson Valley’s Mt. Tremper, New York. Upon arriving, we were greeted by the friendly and helpful staff to our luxurious accommodations in the main ‘adults-only’ house. The suite was cozy (complete with fireplace and balcony) yet contemporary and sleek with the best of modern amenities. The calming neutral color palate was infused with bursts of rich color and fine fabrics. The resort also has a separate lodge perfect for families – and even their pets. With an outdoor pool and dog-run, Emerson provides the perfect accommodations for any type of guest.

We then enjoyed a delicious light lunch in the spa café. With a vegetable garden just out back, it was not surprising that our chicken wraps and salads featured the freshest and most flavorful produce I think I have ever had. Before heading to the spa, my mom, aunt and I took a self-tour of the rest of the main house. We enjoyed perusing the on-site country store where one can find beautiful and unique antiques and farmhouse-type furniture, fine clothing, high-end spa products and for the youngest guests at Emerson, charming toys and games. Emerson also houses the World’s Largest Kaleidescope Museum (tickets to the kaleidescope show are included with your stay).

The décor at Emerson is a mix of Native American and Eastern influences. The entrance of the spa features intricately designed 17th century palace doors imported from India. As you enter the space, white tiling along the walls emit positive energy while moving the negative energy out, and a fountain made of blue stone from the Hudson Valley soothes the mind and calms the senses.

The three of us relaxed in the lounge with some tea and fresh fruit while awaiting our spa treatments which included a prenatal massage for me, an Indian Scalp Massage for my mom and the Signature Emerson Facial for my aunt. All three of us emerged from our respective spa treatments rejuvenated and fully relaxed. Needless to say, my mom and aunt, both of whom could be considered total spa-newbies, had that look in their eyes that simultaneously said, “OMG, that was heaven” and “OMG, why haven’t I been going to the spa for all these years?!”

Still in our post-spa bliss, we relaxed in our room for a couple of hours before heading to the Catamount Restaurant for dinner. Though the ambiance is casual and rustic at the restaurant, the food at the Catamount is of 5-star caliber. Our fully satisfying meal included comfort foods like mac and cheese, mouth-watering fresh salads, flavorful steaks, mashed potatoes and homemade apple crisp for dessert. We basically negated all the healthy eating choices we made earlier at the spa café but this meal was totally worth every calorie!

Though we didn’t get a chance to explore the Catskills’ area attractions and activities, our girls-only getaway to Emerson Resort & Spa was so relaxing and fun, that we unanimously agreed to make it an annual tradition. Whether you’re there as a wedding guest, on a family vacation or on a romantic second honeymoon, Emerson is the discerning New Yorker’s antidote to city stress.

Emerson Resort & Spa
5340 Route 28
Mount Tremper, NY 12457
(877) 688-2828

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