Mohonk Mountain House, NY is a unique resort that appeals to many kind of travelers, but it is primary targeting those who look for luxury, style, and great service. These qualities come with a high price, therefore I opted only for a day pass, just to get a taste of this upscale hotel and its charming blend of old world architecture and outstanding scenery.
I went with the least expensive option – a hiking pass, currently at $26 per person. It includes a shuttle ride from the parking area to the hotel’s grounds. It runs every 20 minutes. It will not pick you up directly from the parking lot. You will find it at the top of wooden stairs leading from the lot. There is only one bus which takes 15 passengers, no standing is allowed. It will take you to Picnic Lodge where you can have your own picnic or get a sandwich or a slice of pizza. (There are no alcoholic beverages). This area is definitely designed for day visitors. It lacks the character and style. I would not waste my time there.
Form Picnic Lodge, I took a stroll toward the lake. On the way, I spotted a nice garden. It was small but very romantic. It gave me a first taste of the old world charm I was looking for. It felt I was stepping back in time, when I finally took my first view of the castle. I could tell that its architecture developed throughout the years into a cluster of additions and styles, but still came together in one beautiful piece. My favorite are its massive porches with rows of rocking chairs overlooking the lake.
After a short tour of the hotel’s grounds, I headed toward the mountains to get a bird’s eye view of the resort. My day pass gave me an access to 85 miles of hiking trails, but in place like this it would be a sin to be roughing it. I took an easy trail along the lake with constant views of the resort. It was a steady climb, but it did not feel like hiking. The path was dotted with benches and small wooden gazebos sitting on the cliff. The views of the castle were spectacular.
After the hike, it was time to head back to catch the last shuttle (leaves at 5 PM) towards the exit.I only got a little taste of Mohonk Mountain House, but I fell in love with it. I know, I will be back. I can only imagine how spectacular it looks during the fall. Next time, I will go for more expensive option – $80 per person for dinner and a day pass, tax and tips included, drinks not included. With this pass, I will be able to drive to the lodge and spend an entire day at the resort and do more hiking. I think this place is worth the price!