"I didn't know there were any great, old, cool places like this in New York," marveled my step-daughter soon after we checked into the 139-year-old Mohonk Mountain House on a recent weekend. A teenage world traveler, she's seen Asia and Europe, but her first trip to the Shawagunk Mountains of upstate New York did not fail to impress.
With its winding hallways, creaky staircases and oak-panelled everything, the lodge reminded me of The Shining—that is, if The Shining had been a family comedy. Kids were everywhere in evidence, scampering through the halls, spending their parents' quarters in the game room and dressing up for dinner in the massive dining hall, where jackets are still required for men of all ages. We slept late, overate and played endless rounds of Scrabble and hearts in front of our room's crackling fireplace.
Mohonk has managed to make its spa, which opened just three years ago feel equally old-world. There's an outdoor hot tub, a sauna, steam rooms and sixteen treatment rooms where you can get treatments like warm stone massages and rosemary sage body exfoliations. While you wait for your appointment, you can relax in the spa's glass-enclosed veranda, surrounded by ancient trees. I now hear that Mohonk may soon offer outdoor treatments. Excellent. Now I have a work-related excuse to plan our next visit.