Multi-Generational Zen at the Emerson Resort and Spa

When I invited my mom to accompany me to a weekend at the Emerson Resort and Spa in the Catskills, I had a feeling we were in for something special. I’d been to the area and knew it holds an aura of tranquility. I also knew we were going to be near hippie-esque towns and that we needed time to explore after our stint at the spa.

We both needed the experience to escape stress and reality, and I had no doubt the time would be bonding and rewarding. After all, my mom just moved to New York, and I’m embracing the time with her. The Emerson would be our first getaway together. We packed only our necessities and took the two hour drive to the Catskills. Our zen state probably started as soon as we hit the road and we relished the quiet, child-free zone.


The Emerson Resort rests along a beautiful creek, with views of the mountains from every balcony. From the minute you walk in, you start to enter a zen state, as a result of being in the mountains. The lobby is both elegant and inviting. The desk attendants were welcoming, calm and checked us in easily and without hesitation.

The hotel offers a gym, daily yoga classes, a spa that is swoon-worthy with Asian-inspired treatments (more on that in a bit), an outdoor jacuzzi, on-site restaurants (the Phoenix and Catamount) and a shopping area with a Kaleidoscope museum. Their suites, 26 of them, feature gas fireplaces, flat screen TVs, bath tubs with multiple jets, decks facing the woods, comfortable bedding and relaxing decor. Everything about the experience oozed relaxation, and for that reason, I’m a big fan of the Emerson.


Source: TheFreeGeorge.com

Our room was no exception. We had a lovely imperial suite, a duplex with a King sized bed upstairs and beautiful view. The decor was contemporary with Asian influences, yet simple and classically designed. After spending the evening going from the hot tub to the steam room to the sauna, and may I add we drank wine in the jacuzzi located on the outside deck, we were in a zen state in our room that evening. My mom took one sofa, I took the one by the fire, and I left my computer, reading materials, everything in my bag alone and completely disconnected. There is access to Wifi at the Emerson but we were happy to be cut off from reality and loved spending the night watching Barbara Streisand films.

I started my day off with a yoga class. It was the perfect thing to do, complete with a view of the fall foliage through the window. Our instructor was experienced and the class wasn’t hard nor easy. It was exactly what I needed.

My mom had a quiet morning and we met at the Phoenix for breakfast where they offer delicious breakfasts. Unfortunately, there was a wedding party going on so the staff was pre-occupied and our food took over 30 minutes to arrive, but we were so relaxed. We just sat and took it all in, feeling lucky to be where we were and being in the moment. Our smoked salmon/bagel platters were truly worth the wait.

The resort offers a slate of activities from hiking to biking to shopping to lounging, but the popular attraction has to be the spa, and oh, what a spa it is.


The treatments are almost spiritual. My facial was so cleansing and cathartic, and my mom’s hot stone massage was like a ritual. They use Ayurvedic rituals and Buddhist inspiration. The woman who gave me my massage also gave me information about living a healthier life and I took her advice in stride. My mom and I were both there for inspiration, to cleanse our spirits, and both our treatments had an element of rejuvenation we would take with us.

Woodstock is just a 20-minute drive from the resort, so we spent the day roaming the town’s shops, plugging into our artsy, hippy sides. When we got back, we nipped into the hotel’s Kaleidoscope Show, perfect for all ages. Lying on the floor, we watched a video of various looks through kaleidoscopes. It was mesmerizing.


We ended our visit with dinner at the hotel’s on site Catamount Restaurant. The restaurant has a homey, autumn feel with Classic American offerings on the menu such as shepherd’s pie, pot roast and lasagna. I opted for a tofu stir fry and salad to cap the weekend off with a healthy flare, which was delicious. We also made our way down the road during the course of the weekend to the Phoenicia Diner, a landmark known for its home made food and had the most yummy pumpkin cheese cake. You just have to try it.


I highly recommend a girl’s getaway or a weekend away at the Emerson Resort and Spa, regardless of the time of year. The 24 hours my mom and I had together were cosmic, rewarding, memorable and to wrap it up, zen like. We’ll be back.

Disclosure: My visit to the Emerson was complimentary to facilitate this review and others.

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