If the country serves as a tonic for the madness of the city, Troutbeck is the perfect vessel to deliver much-needed therapy. Just two hours north of Manhattan, Troutbeck sits on 45 pastoral acres with access to 5000 acres of wilderness near the Hudson Valley community of Amenia. Built as a private estate for a noted New York family in 1765, the historic property saw a fitting rebirth as a hotel in 2017.
Tasteful, imbued with Old World sensibility, the restoration touched on guest rooms, the restaurant and bar, and common areas, while managing to honor the home’s storied past. The key to this balanced overhaul: a collaboration between Alexandra Champalimaud of Champalimaud Design, renowned for her work on such icons as the Dorchester, along with son Anthony and daughter-in-law Charlie. The trio cemented a partnership with Douglas Horne of real estate company D.R. Horne & Company, known for his work on Blue Hill at Stone Barns, to revive Troutbeck, bringing life to the property anew.
Indeed, respecting the manor home’s legacy proved imperative. Counting only two families as prior owners, past guests received at the woodsy estate would impress the most jaded of Manhattanites. Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Langston Hughes, Sinclair Lewis, and Teddy Roosevelt along with key figures of the Civil Rights movement, were all spurred into discourse within Troutbeck’s rooms and halls.
Though refreshed, historic details abound, providing the bridge between contemporary pieces and antiques. Rooms tread lightly on luxury, careful not to ebb too deeply into modern notions of extravagance. Even suites earn their classification due to size, like the addition of a sitting room or a second bedroom, plus romantic four-poster beds, rather than opulence. After all, luxury breeds laziness, and there’s much to do at Troutbeck.
Manor House guestrooms feature Frette linens on king beds, radiant heat floors in bathrooms, and Malin & Goetz bath products. Given the quirks of the original building layout, no two rooms are identical though all have climate control, smart TVs and high-speed Wi-Fi, none of which you’ll need after settling into a leather couch downstairs, a perfectly mixed cocktail in hand.
Though patronized primarily by overnight guests, the excellent restaurant deserves destination-worthy status. Michelin-starred Chef Gabe McMackin lends creative flair to familiar seasonal fare sourced from nearby Hudson Valley farms. Beef eaters will enjoy the tender buvette steak with earthy fingerling potatoes while anyone, including vegetarians, can savor the umami flavors of red kuri squash and mushrooms with ricotta cavatelli.
Dishes play nice with the region’s most inventive and inspired wine list. Sift through selections like a Pelaverga from Castello di Verduno in Piedmont, Italy. This rare, dry, pretty red makes the list not for peculiarity’s sake but for sheer deliciousness. Clearly, the property summons the curiosity of all the minds behind it.
In the summer, guests can hone forehands on two tennis courts, sunbathe at the pool, or bike, hike, fish and practice warrior poses on house yoga mats. Other delights include contemplative strolls in the turn-of-the-century walled garden.
In the winter, the sentence of a frosty day is best served indoors, snug with a book by a roaring fire, or at the copper-topped bar exploring the range of local beers stocked. The wild ale “Barn Beer” by Plan Bee Farm is especially good. For the motivated, several nearby ski mountains beckon. The hotel will even arrange shuttle service.
Though Ralph Waldo Emerson touted the restorative value of simple cabin life, one needn’t refuel the spirit or mind on such modest terms. The Troutbeck delivers a quintessential retreat with the pleasures of good food and wine. Cabin Porn may be pleasant to flip through, but great ideas are still born in properly plumbed idylls, even if that idea simply is to book another night.
For the end of 2019, Troutbeck offers Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve programming. For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, staff welcome guests with warm cider and ginger cookies. Expect roaring fires daylong for maximum coziness. For last minute gifts, guests can comb Troutbeck’s neighboring country towns of Kent, Millerton, and Millbrook for unique presents.
A special set menu for Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day lunch is available at $85 per person.
New Year’s Eve will be an exuberant affair with the following program: an oyster bar, Champagne toasts, a five-course dinner, open bar from 6 PM to 1 AM, plus a firework show and a party for the kiddies.
Book tickets New Year’s Eve tickets here.