My trip was hosted by Mohonk Mountain House, but all opinions and thoughts are my own.
Have you ever traveled alone with one child? A few weeks ago, I decided to take my son away for a few days. My other child was actually at sleep away camp, and since he wasn’t having that experience (still a bit young), I thought I’d give him a different type of experience by joining me. I wanted to review a property in the Hudson Valley and thought about sharing the experience with him. After all, this was one my son could wrap his around: an all-inclusive resort with a slate of activities for all age, food for every mood and picky palette (buffet style) and total serenity in the mountains. Not only would it be an adventure, but we’d also have some real bonding time. It would give us both a chance to disconnect and spend quality time together.
I had been to Mohonk Mountain House years ago with my husband but never with one of my children, and I had heard that the resort really caters to families. Rates include all your room charges, three meals, afternoon tea and most resort activities (it’s clear which are not included) and best of all, a kid’s club. The resort also houses a fabulous spa which happens to be the #1 spa in the U.S. by Conde’ Nast Traveler Magazine this year in their annual Spa Poll (which I was lucky enough to experience).
Mohonk Mountain House is located just 90 miles north of New York City in the Hudson Valley. The resort consists of 2,200 acres. The property adjoins 6,400 acres of the Mohonk Preserve, which is crisscrossed by 85 miles (140 km) of hiking trails and carriage roads. It’s a National Historic Landmark resort and Historic Hotel of America that has been running since 1869 when founder Albert Smiley first opened the Victorian-castle resort. The grounds feature well-maintained gardens, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, 85 miles of trails for hikes, a skating pavilion, an indoor pool, stables for horseback riding, a kid’s club, boating, fishing and over 40 theme programs including cooking classes, gardening workshops, music festivals and nature programs. The resort is earth-friendly, with a commitment to the protection and enhancement of the environment.
The end result? Two days of absolute delight for him; two days of absolute relaxation for me. Our room was decadent with our own balcony with a rocking chair and wood-burning fireplace (which we certainly didn’t need in this heat but it was lovely to look at). Our room was charming, decked out in Victorian décor with antiques. Our beds were incredibly cozy. We loved returning to our room at the end of a long day. My son was a bit ferklempt that there was no TV, and he didn’t enjoy peeking into other rooms to find that they had a TV and we didn’t, but I was secretly happy that we had time to read and talk to each other, two things we probably don’t do enough of at home. And he basically forgot about it rather quickly.
At Mohonk there’s something scheduled practically every hour that we both love to do: yoga, meditation, fitness classes, hikes, tennis, horseback riding, golf, mountain biking and aqua aerobics. There are nature program s for all ages including rock-climbing on the Shawangunk Mountain Range. The resort hosts its own museum in a barn (called the Barn Museum, of course) which contains an array of old tools, sleighs, carriages and other Mohonk memorabilia. We spent our time doing what we liked to do together. We took a hike around the Eagle Cliff, went boating in the Mohonk Preserve, went swimming in the indoor heated pool (with music for underwater swim, which my son gaped at), took a horse and carriage ride (at extra cost), played in the game room and enjoyed afternoon tea. Whatever we did, we did together, and we grew closer as a result.
When he was ready to separate and experience the Kid’s Club, which is suitable for children ages 2-12 and included. He was hesitant but excited about the day’s activities, which are outlined on a schedule and presentable the day before. They split the kids into three groups of tykes (2-3 years old), explorers (4-6 years old) and adventurers (7-12 years old). Their trained staff takes them rock scrambling, boating, to the playground and entertains them with arts & crafts and games indoors. My son loved playing disk golf, making kites and meeting the other kid staying at the resort.
While he was there, I made my way to the Spa (I actually dance my way all the way there, jumping for joy), where I indulged in a 75-minute facial. With 16 treatment rooms, a salon, mineral pool, solarium, steam room and sauna, the spa is an oasis of relaxation. As soon as I slid my feet into a pair of slippers and my body into a plush robe, I felt whisked away and taken to the moon. After the facial, I laid flat with my feet up staring out the window. I think that moment will stay with me for a while. Whenever I get flustered or over-whelmed, I may look back to that single moment.
After just two days at Mohonk, we came back not only refreshed, but closer. I absolutely loved traveling with my son and Mohonk was the perfect place for it. When we talk about it, I wonder what he’ll remember most. Will it be our 1.8 mile hike (he’s very specific when it comes to mileage) or will it be our horse & buggy ride in the rain? I suspect it will be our two boat rides (where I did all the work and he steered) but it could very well be his time spent at the kid’s club (score for me). Or maybe it will be the delicious food (chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, the dessert bar after dinner). I’ll ask him in a few weeks and let you know.
For special offers, please visit the hotel’s site or call 1-800-772-6646.