Is Mohonk Mountain House worth it?
Let’s get this out of the way: a night at Mohonk Mountain House is an expensive proposition.
I’ve been told their marketing mailing list offers some decent mid-week discounts, but booking directly through the website, you’re looking at around $1300 a night for two people. Now, this does include meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which require reservations) … but not booze or certain activities (e.g. horseback riding).
The hotel itself sits on 700 acres of land that were once part of a farm owned by John Smiley in New Paltz, New York. Today it houses more than 70 buildings with over 200 rooms—and they’re all available for guests. The grounds and hiking trails are gorgeous and the hotel has a storied history with the Smiley legacy and whatnot.
That said, for this blogger, who has little connection to the history (or generational wealth), I found the $1000+/night price tag more than a bit difficult to swallow. However, Mohonk does offer gorgeous scenery, a delicious escape from NYC, an irresistibly personal touch, a bevy of activities, and enough to keep the whole family entertained.
The customer service
We’ll start with an area in which, IMHO, Mohonk fell a bit short. In fall of 2021, I stayed at the Ojai Valley Inn, a luxury property in southern California recognized for its incredible customer service and special touches. It was all kinds of wow, and difficult not to compare the two experiences directly. There was nothing markedly wrong with Mohonk, but there were a lot of instances in which we’d encounter staff sitting idly and gossiping. They also seemed strangely ill informed about the event schedule and unable to answer questions about directions.
The grounds and the property
The grounds are lovely. I admittedly lean West Coast in my aesthetic and nature preferences, but if I’m embracing the small room, New England vibe (heavens, that foliage!), Mohonk delivers.
The rooms themselves are relatively small, charming, and furnished in a style that reminds me of my Grandma Gee (she grew up in the 1930s).
The Granary at Mohonk Mountain House
As an alternative to the meals served in the dining rooms, the Granary offers an outdoor cookout experience with a staggering variety of foods: both appetizers and entrees. Once again, drinks are available for purchase (but extremely expensive; a small pour of wine will run you over $20).
Overall, the meats were good, there was a surprising amount of seafood (though they ran out of cocktail sauce), and it was refreshing to wash it down with a crisp fountain soda (call me Deborah Vance).
Directions to Mohonk Mountain House
We drove from the city in under two hours.
Mohonk Mountain House Trails: The feature attraction
The hiking trails near Mohonk Mountain House are the feature attraction, hands down.
The grounds are wonderfully maintained, with a little picturesque gazebo every 100 yards or so. (Bonus: They light up at night.)
On our last day, we hiked up to the Albert Smiley Memorial which offered some pretty rockin’ views of the terrain.
I also recommend hiking out to the lily pond — I can’t say I’ve ever seen one before, and it was beautiful and lovely. Textbook.
What to Do at Mohonk Mountain House
This is where Mohonk shines.
Though we opted out of a dip, it was enjoyable watching an old woman in her 90s making her way into the lake for a swim. (Her daughter offhandedly informed us that she’d been swimming in Lake Mohonk for decades.)
In addition to hiking, you can boat, spend time at the spa, attend daytime events (guided hikes, archery, ride horses, participate in tomahawk throwing, and much more).
For the billiards lovers (cough, Brian, cough), there’s a small billiards room that’s often unoccupied.
The evening itinerary offered movies and live music.
Below: the sparsely attended outdoor movie being projected against the Barn Museum.
Is Mohonk Mountain House Pet Friendly?
No. Unless Fido is registered as a service animal, Mohonk Mountain House is not a pet friendly establishment.
Mohonk Mountain House Bar
As mentioned above, Mohonk Mountain House is not alcohol-free. That said, adult beverages are not included in the all inclusive price, and the drinks feel a little more out of the way than what I’d expect from this type of establishment. (I think it might have to do with the Quaker origins?)
You can imbibe at the Sunset Porch, pictured below.
Or, you can head to the (somewhat out of the way) Carriage Lounge.
Though quaint, I had to wince when the Carriage Lounge bartender seemed clueless at my two pretty standard martini recipe requests.
That said, when we got it right, the below beverage did the trick.
You can also order wine with your dinner, and carry all drinks freely around the resort.
Dining at Mohonk Mountain House
We split our time between the two dining rooms (pictured below).
If you dine at Mohonk, be sure to try the naan bread at dinner. It’s oddly incredible. (Did a Smiley spend time in India?)
In conclusion …
If this sounds like your cup of tea (which is, by the way, served at 4pm with cookies daily in the great room), head over to the Mohonk website and book yourself a relaxing weekend!