If there were a rating in between average and poor, maybe that's what I would rate the Belvedere Mansion. My husband and I attended the wedding of a dear friend - in order to have her wedding there, she had to guarantee to fill ALL the rooms on the property, and there was no discounted room rate. Full price for each room ($300+ in the mansion). Perhaps it was that the leaves had changed, or I needed a break from everyday life, or the romance of the occasion, but I warmed to the place. Initially, it feels like the mansion from "Great Expectations" - a faded former glory. No televisions, towels wedged under the a/c units to make them "fit" in the cutouts, NO shower curtains on the claw foot tub, threadbare area rugs. It's like shabby chic with the emphasis on the shabby.
The front desk alternated being friendly and rude - we were practically yelled at because we didn't hear that there were no room numbers, got an eye roll for asking for directions to the main road to the church, but they shrugged and chuckled when I lost my room key (which is tremendous and impossible to lose). There are no amenities. No turn down, no extra pillows, blankets, wake up calls (no phones), etc. If you forget something, they won't have a travel size of it. The bed was very comfortable.
The wedding was in a tent attached to the back of the mansion. It was pouring, teeming outside but not a drop of rain got into the tent. The wedding was lovely - the coordinator worked well with the bride and the tent looked romantic and rustic. The food was excellent. Because of the age of the property, all the rooms in the mansion - the breakfast room, the bar, the room where hors d'oeuvres - were small, but felt cozy rather than cramped. There was a lounging area set up outdoors where people went to smoke, chat, etc. which ended up being nice once it stopped raining and dried a bit. The bar was tiny but a fun way to end the night with a lot of other guests and the bridal party. Not a big selection.
The property is broken up into separate buildings with badly lit gravel pathways - a Lodge (think chintz, deer antlers and fireplaces), a Zen Lodge (think miniscule rooms painted red with black night stands and newer bathrooms with stone showers but clear plastic shower curtains), the Mansion itself, and a strip of rooms that looked like mini Bates Motel. There was a shared deck with Adirondack loungers outside of our room, but instead of facing the glorious view of the Hudson valley, it faced the little Bates Motel. There were three cans of wasp spray sitting on the outside of the a/c units, and dead stinkbugs, etc., trapped in the window screens.
The clincher was our bathtub. It had a rubber/plastic attachment over the faucet that you were supposed to hold over your head to shower with. No curtain, remember. And, if you turned the attachment in any number of ways, it kinked, filled the cup at the attachment, and popped off. We were laughing by that point, having fun, enjoying ourselves, but there is a reason there are no detailed photos on their website. I assume the owners try to book as many weddings as possible and just let the guests deal with their unwillingness to update their property.
We had a wonderful time at the wedding, enjoyed the quaint shops, restaurants and artsy atmosphere of the town of Rhinebeck, and would love to visit again, but would absolutely have to stay someplace where the accommodations justifies the price.
- Also Known As:
- Belvedere Mansion Hotel Staatsburg