This is now our second stay at this wonderful little retreat and we hope to visit again in the future. Although this hotel is really nothing to look at from the outside (ugly rectangular box construction, retaining former significance as a paper mill) they have done a nice job turning this into a lovely boutique hotel. My wife is now labeling this place the Restoration Hardware hotel since the vast majority of their furnishings are from Restoration Hardware. It is true that they have got quite a bit to work on as most of the employees in this place do not have years of hospitality industry experience, they are doing a fine job improving.
First the pro's.
- Tastefully appointed rooms in Restoration Hardware furniture.
- A magnificent view of the waterfalls directly from your balcony.
- A delightful dining experience at The Tavern. I think this place does not get enough credit. Although they are not a "fine dining" establishment and many of the servers are relatively inexperienced, they offer a delicious selection, at somewhat reasonable prices and deliver through an honest attempt at courteous and attentive service. The chicken & waffles which they recently took off the brunch menu was one of the best I've ever had. Bring it back!
- Housekeeping was very thorough and the bathroom and living areas were very clean. This is still a rather new hotel so I hope they continue with the upkeep and maintenance.
- Nice touch with the in-room Keurig.
- Heated bathroom tiles. Just lovely
- Although part of SLH, they don't seem to know about loyalty travelers. They could learn a thing or two and upgrade their repeat guests, especially during the low-season when occupancy rates are low. During our first visit when the hotel first opened, the place was practically deserted yet we still were not able to obtain an upgrade. And on this occasion it was the same.
- The continental breakfast is sorely lacking. Does yogurt, a couple mini-boxes of cereal, mini-pastries and juice constitute a legitimate continental breakfast? I'm not looking for a full service station, but in this day and age when bare-bones hotels such as The Element and Aloft hotels can provide, breakfast sandwiches, eggs, bacon and the like, it's hard to wonder why this place can't provide a more complete continental breakfast.
- The bathroom amenities do not quite fit with the level of "luxury" they are trying to present. They are simply the same quality as one would find in a Four Points but re-branded as "Diamond Mills". Other high-end hotels in NYC offer toiletries from l'Occitane, Molton Brown, Asprey, Bliss, Bulgari, Aveda etc. If they want to demand higher revenue rates for these rooms, then an upgrade in these products would seem necessary. If not, then these low-end toiletries would suffice.
- No bathtub. Going away for a weekend jaunt outside NYC and no bathtubs doesn't make for quite the pleasing weekend away.
- Evening wine service was spotty and didn't offer any crackers or bread. Just cheese and wine? Didn't make sense.
- No outdoor jacuzzi, spa or swimming pool. They built a deck leading up to the falls. How about a jacuzzi? What hotel doesn't have one? Especially to enjoy during winter months?
Neither pro or con but just strange considering this place wants to be luxury.
- In room iPhone/iPad dock, but instead of Bose or some other high-end brand they choose iHome which is really cheap.
- Flat screen TV is pretty much a standard luxury item, but the size 32" I believe is just too small.
- Exercise room. It's nice they have one but it feels like a dungeon and the equipment selection and layout is just really poor. Any fitness junkies would be sorely disappointed.
This hotel has a lot of opportunity for growth and could be a really nice destination outside of their small market of equestrian clientele. I'd really love to see this place do well and thrive over the coming years.If they really want to be in the "luxury boutique" market, they could learn a thing or two from hotels such as JK Place in Florence or 137 Pillars House in Chiang Mai.
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