The Emerson Resort & Spa: A Taste of Zen in the Catskills

The Emerson Resort & Spa in Mt. Tremper, NY, is the ultimate escape from New York City. Just two hours away, this Catskills oasis will have you hooked, and coming back for more. I am already planning to return this fall, when I’m told the scenery is breathtaking.

Renovated in 2016, the resort maintains the same attention to detail and excellent service that keeps guests returning. Upon first glance, this quaint property, named for the poet and essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, looks almost like the main street of a small town, with stores on the right side of the Inn. When you enter the lobby, a warm and friendly greeting from the front desk sets the tone, and begins the relaxation. Even the spa desk and entrance is right in the lobby, so you can head straight there for immediate calm after a traffic filled ride.

Photo by Chibi Moku

Shortly after my arrival I entered the spa through the large 17th Century Rajasthan carved wooden doorway, and my pampering began. I decided to try the Integrative Massage, which was like a smorgasbord of customized massages that made me feel like a kid in a candy store. This two-hour treatment includes hot and cold stones, reflexology and Reiki massage. To say that this treatment is incredible is an understatement. My massage therapist, Kerry, was skillful and extremely knowledgeable about the human body. She clued in to my badly tightened quads and explained why they hurt so much when massaged, and what I could do to alleviate the pain. She recommended using a roller on them after working out, and allowing my muscles to recover afterward.

After my massage, I relaxed with some ginger elixir and sat in the outdoor hot tub on the spa deck. Although it was chilly outside, my muscles welcomed the warm, jetted water, and it was surreal to look up at the trees and sky while listening to the nearby creek rushing by. The atmosphere was tranquil and Zen, along with a country vibe.

I was completely relaxed and detoxified following my spa visit. Emerson is a true wellness escape for the mind and body. If you have time, you can also visit the fitness center and even take advantage of the yoga and other fitness classes offered.

Dining is also superb, and all you really need to spend the weekend is right on site. If you don’t want to venture out, the Woodnotes Grille has you more than covered. Breakfast is amazing, with so many delectable items on the menu to choose from, including Cinnamon Challah French Toast Sticks, that my son is till raving about. Our dinner was also fantastic. The menu has something for everyone, and the atmosphere welcomes families as well as couples.

The resort has two distinct sides, with the more upscale Inn, where we stayed, and the more rustic Lodge buildings, that especially cater to families. I personally loved the rooms at the Inn, which were spacious, had fireplaces and balconies or outdoor spaces to enjoy. The rooms are spotless, and the attention to detail is clear. I rarely, if ever, (OK, who am I kidding? Never.) walk barefoot in a hotel room or take a shower without flip-flops, but at Emerson, I did both.

The housekeeping staff is charming and truly seem to love their jobs. I spoke to one young woman who was the most enthusiastic housekeeping person I have ever met. It was such a pleasure to be able to compliment her and the other staff on their fine work.

A visit to Emerson is not complete without browsing in the Emerson Country Stores and the Kaleidostore, with its impressive gallery of kaleidoscopes. Looking through a kaleidoscope is actually therapeutic, and makes you feel very relaxed. Of course, you will also not want to miss the seeing the world’s largest kaleidoscope.

There is no bad time to visit Emerson, especially if you simply want to get a change of scenery, relax and be pampered in the spa. Don’t just take my word for it. Emerson has hosted several former U.S. Presidents, as well as celebrities over the years. Still, the resort makes all guests feel special, no matter who they are.

For more information, visit 5340 Route 28, Mt. Tremper, NY 12457, 845-688-2828.

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