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“great hiking weekend”

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Mohonk Mountain House
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in New Paltz
Certificate of Excellence
New York, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“great hiking weekend”
Reviewed June 7, 2006

My wife, our 8 month old baby and I just finished a five-night stay at the Mohonk Mountain House, and we had a great time.

The “House” is in fact a row of interconnected, sprawling buildings which -- apart from the brand new spa -- were constructed between 1879 and 1910. Although the place has been modernized, of course, its décor remains largely faithful to its Victorian era origins. If you don’t like antiques, you’ll probably not enjoy the look of the public rooms. The style is more comfortable and homey than polished. In typical Victorian fashion, most public rooms have far too much furniture for modern tastes.

Our bedroom was good; the décor was basically Victorian as well. (I’ve never stayed in hotel room with working transoms before.) The bathroom was completely modern and the view on the mountainside was beautiful, but the too-thin walls meant we could hear our neighbors sometimes. The hotel supplied at no charge a crib and a small refrigerator.

There are many activities; chief amongst them is hiking. It is a particularly attractive feature of Mohonk that you can just walk out of the hotel and start your hike. No need to drive somewhere, find parking then hike. Just step out the door and you’re on a trail. There are many trails with different levels of difficulty. We used one of the hotels many jogging strollers to take the baby on easy hikes, but if you enjoy rock scrambling, there’s plenty of that, too. Another great feature of hiking at Monhonk are the 135 or so wooden shelters that are perched at scenic points on the property. (The hotel and surrounding nature trust hold 20,000 acres.) The shelters are simple rustic benches with a roof overhead, and they’re great for resting, reading, etc. We also enjoyed boating on Lake Mohonk. There are many other activities described on their website, but I won’t list them because I didn’t do them.

The new spa is first rate. The big swimming pool is terrific. (The baby loved her first time ever in the water.) And my wife reported that her facial and massage were amongst the best she’s ever had.

The food ranged from good to great. The weekend outdoor BBQ at the Granary should not be missed. Breakfast and lunch were buffets. For breakfast, you’ll want to try the omelet and waffle stations. Dinner is a four-course meal. You choose two appetizers, an entrée and a dessert. Dinners are hearty American fare, but lighter dishes of fish or vegetarian offerings could also be found. The soups were consistently amongst the best items on the menu. The wine list was adequate, but could stand a lot of improvement in the category of less expensive choices.

There are no TV’s in the rooms, but there are evening activities such as square dancing, marshmallow roasts, lectures, recently released movies, etc.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
40 Thank LB of NYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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London UK
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2006

We have just returned from a trip to Mohonk. Initial impressions of the hotel were excellent. Huge burning log fires crackling away in a lovely oak panelled room with a sedate atmosphere, helpful staff, excellent food. Our room looked onto the mountains with a small outside area were we could watch the sun setting whilst sitting rocking in our chairs. The lake was beautiful as were the grounds and surrounding areas. We also enjoyed boating on the lake and taking long walks along the trail paths. However, we were disappointed on day two when two school buses arrived - the peace and tranquility were completely ruined as the noise of so many teenagers could be heard everwhere. Iit was made worse by the fact that the children then shared a dining room with the rest of the guests for the buffet lunch. The noise, commotion and rush for food was horrendous - it was actually like being on a summer camp. I felt that as we were paying such an expensive rate to stay in the lodge, this was not acceptable.
I really feel that we were fortunate in that we experienced staying at the hotel at a time when it was not so crowded - after the expereince with the schooldchildren I can imagine that we would have had a completely different view and opinion than if we stayed at the lodge at a busy time - for us the peacefulness was the magic of Mohonk.

Stayed May 2006
25 Thank bets56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2006

I went to Mohonk for Mother's Day weekend to enjoy the spa and some time with my husband and boys. We arrived and had a cup of tea. Then my husband took a hike with the boys on the gided hike while I went to the spa. The spa was gorgeous. I arrived and was checked in to a fluffy robe and slippers and sat in the woman's lounge on Wood Classics lounger while awaiting my turn with the masseuse. I had a lovely massage which was tailored to help my sore shoulder. I followed it with a facial ane then was given 'elixir' and grapes while I settled back into my lounger to admire the scenery. At 4 I took a plunge in the jacuzzi and then metwith hubby and kids for afternoon tea and cookies. We then went into the new pool and had a nice family time.

After dinner there was dancing downstairs but we were too tired to go !

On Mother's Day we had a lovely breakfast followed by a carriage ride around the property. We went into the pool and then got ready for the lovely mother's day brunch.

As we left at 5 pm I felt like a new woman -totally refreshed.

I think that readers need to realize that this is a unique property. This is a mountain retreat not a chain hotel. The wellness and recharge your batteries ambience is key. The property is amazing. The ability to just unwind with no TV just a book is wonderful. I actually brought a DVD player for the kids but they never used it ! They enjoyed watching the Koa Fish in the pond instead.

There is also a kids club included in the price but we never had spare time to use it.

This is a great place to get away for a few days. The spa is awesome. The scenery amazing. Enjoy !

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9 Thank enjoythejourney15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 23, 2006

The lake and mountain views are very nice, although not all that difficult to replicate at any lakeside mountain resort.

The rest of the place was substandard. I understand the place is old, and often times old places will have their quirks. But this place is just worn out. If you've ever been to a Hilton or Radisson that was built in the 70's and never updated you'll understand what I am talking about. This place might even be a bit worse as it has an additional 50 years of wear. I have stayed in B&B's in the US and UK that are as much as 400 years OLDER than this place, much nicer, and much cheaper. A well-run facility can be old without being or feeling dilapidated. This place feels dilapidated; even haggard.

Our room was classed as a "Victorian", which is to say it has a balcony and fireplace. However, the fireplace was pointless because there was no firewood. The bellman said he would bring some, but never did. So the extra expense of the room upgrade (over the "traditional" room) was pretty worthless.

The furniture was the type of miscellaneous pieces that would likely be found in a second hand store. Paint and wall paper was peeling from the walls. The bathroom consisted of a shower and toilet, and a sink in a closet across the room. Not a big deal, and kind of an interesting quirk, but the bath/toilet room was so small that it was difficult to use. The bed was cheap and uncomfortable and the carpets were very old. The light fixtures were also a mismatch of old, cheap hardware that either looked terrible, chinzy, or didn't fit the decor of the room at all. Little repairs were poorly done and made the room look unfinished and cheap; as if the maintenance crew were so overwhelmed that they were only concerned with keeping the place from falling apart and did not have time to do a proper job.

The dining room smelled of sour milk both times we used it (on two different days). Not a slight odor, either, but a very strong smell that permeated the entire (large) dining area. The food, too, was mediocre at best. The grilled shrimp appetizer was nice (but served cold, which was a surprise since it was grilled) but small (only three cocktail-sized shrimp). I ordered a medium-rare steak, but was served a medium well/well done steak instead. When I mentioned this, the wait staff captain told me I should have told the waiter before eating half of it (but he never returned after we were served--I instead mentioned it to the wait staff captain when she stopped by our table). She did offer to provide another steak (with quite a bit of sarcasm and attitude, though, which really surprised me).

Breakfast was pretty bad. It was buffet style with most of the food in lukewarm trays. The bacon was undercooked, the eggs dry and crumbly, and the pancakes pre-cooked and cold. All in all, Denny's or IHOP is better by a considerable margin.

But what made all of this intolerable was the price. Had it been $160/night for two people, it would have ALMOST been worth it for the rural setting and use of the trails and lake. But at the "special" rate of $416/night, plus 8% sales tax and a mandatory 15% gratuity that is added on to all costs it was an absolute ripoff. We had 3 drinks at dinner and a rented TV in the room. The 15% gratuity is added to everything (including the TV and room rate as food is included and not itemized), so our extra charges after one night came to $154. That works out to about $570/night!

For $570/night I would expect at the very least an updated, well finished room with a Victorian flair (not hard to achieve; we've done it in our own house with a guest room). Also, I would expect the food to be at least very good if not memorable. What I would not expect--mediocre to bad food, served by wait staff in filthy and crusty aprons, in a stinky dining room that requires me to wear a jacket at dinner.

I have noticed a lot of local/regional reviews of the place are quite favorable. Some even sneer at people that criticize the place (with comments like "it's a mountain house--what do you expect?!?!"). I wonder if these people have fond memories of the place that keep them interested? Or perhaps there is a northeastern definition of "mountain house" that implies a "hunting cabin" ambiance? If there is such a definition, I am not aware of it. Regardless, I am not interested in paying high-end B&B prices for side-of-the-road motel accommodations and diner food. In fact, we are so uninterested in the place that we cut our stay short and left after the first night.

If I ever go back, which is doubtful, I'll stay in New Paltz, get better food at IHOP and Lone Star, then drive 10 minutes and pay the $20 fee to use Mohonk facilities for the day.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
24 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 4, 2006

The hotel property is absolutely beautiful and the common areas of the hotel are very nice. However, the rooms are old, simple, and not worth $300+ a night. The furnishings were old and worn out. The carpet was bunched up and in need of replacing. The bed was very uncomfortable. I wouldn't come back as I felt I was getting ripped off for this place.

Stayed May 2006
25 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 18, 2006

This is one strange place. Observations 1)Building is getting a little old, but is still somewhat charming. 2)Dining hall like being on a cruise ship, but food OK 3) Beautiful lake and views from the trails. 4) No wildlife at all around the resort, we did not see one bird, one cricket, one fly...nothing, very strange??? 5) Sign stating horses not allowed on mountain cliff walls unnecessary...it would take one hell of a mountain climbing horse to scale the sheer cliffs. 6) old woman with oxygen tanks grace the premises. 7) Do all children scream....they do at the Mountain House. 8)Worth going for a saturday and one night for the laugh factor and great stories to tell your friends.

Stayed July 2005
23 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2006

Above average only if you follow some simple steps to enjoying Mohonk:
Make an appointment at the lovely spa. The treatments are wonderful, the solarium beyond relaxing and everything is shiny new.
Never pay full price. Go mid-week or during a promotion. We would have been very disappointed with our experience had we paid full price. As it was we could shorten our stay to one night for less than $300. The only confusing part about the taxes and gratuities was the room gratuity. When we stay at a hotel or B&B the average housekeeping tip is $5-10. Are we crazy for not dropping over $30 on gratuity to the room? Well, you'll feel crazy when you have to agree to that pre-arranged fee.
The grounds are best enjoyed if you arrive early for a hike so you can relax in your room afterward. The Ice Skating Pavillion was beautiful and peaceful. The lake was gorgeous and packed with huge fish! We wanted to fish from shore but it requires a license. We would have liked to have taken a boat out but you can't enjoy the lake until Mid-April. So wait awhile and be prepared if you want to fish or boat.
The hotel had a wonderful sense of history. You can almost see visions of gentlemen and women in bustles parading around the grounds. That's the best part of the experience! Now for the worst part: the food!
It is so sub-standard I would never eat at the restaurant no matter how much I paid for the room. Breakfast was okay; a big buffet of options at least. But dinner is an emabarrasment. The appetizers are served on teacup saucer sized plates. Your salad resembles a few leaves and dried vegetables! Dried! The cheese plate with "crisp apple" was a wedge creamy bland cheese and a dried cinnamon and sugar apple. Yuck! Who is thinking of these dishes?
I think they're trying way too hard to be gourmet over there. Maybe if they just attempted some comfort food like meatloaf and fried chicken it would be more successful. But even veggies had a canned taste and simple fresh ingredients were lacking. Everything was wrong about it. Worst was the chipper and friendly server asking how every course was. Poor girl. We were so depressed we told her it was great, thanks. A friend guided us to the Depuy Canal House in town for next time. We'll do that!

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
33 Thank lotusveda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mohonk Mountain House

Property: Mohonk Mountain House
Address: 1000 Mountain Rest Rd., New Paltz, NY 12561-2814
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New Paltz
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in New Paltz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Mohonk Mountain House 3*
Number of rooms: 265
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A hotel, built in the 1860's and filled with charm...ideal for families in summer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mohonk House
Mohonk Mountain Hotel
Mohonk New Paltz
Mohawk Mountain House
Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz Ny
Mohonk Mountain New Paltz
Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz New York
New Paltz Mohonk Mountain House Resort
Mohonk Hotel New York

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