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Reviewed February 22, 2010

We had hopes that this would be a romantic getaway for my 50th birthday. Our room with a fireplace and balcony was smallish, but clean and romantic. The food was great as well. My only complaint (and it's a big one) was that the place was infested with rude, NYC types and their bratty children. The staff caters to these people instead of discouraging bad behavior. We have four children and are not anti-kid, but .... We spent the entire day outside in single digit temps just to get away from the scene at this hotel (and the funky smells). I can't imagine what this place is like in the summer. We would come back only for a day pass to enjoy the hiking trails and stay somewhere else that is peaceful. If you are looking for romance, I would suggest doing the same. The Mohonk management needs to find a way to control their guests or make more of an effort to acccomodate guests who are not traveling with children. And for those of you watching your budget, the final bill will heap on roughly 25% after tax and gratutities.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kjajebml
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2010

We booked our family of four - two girls 12 & 15, for a five night stay at the last minute during Presidents week school holiday because Delta cancelled our flights to Belize! We were disappointed with our cancelled tropical vacation and needed a good replacement. My wife had stayed at Mohonk Mountain House for a business conference some years ago and always said we should go for a family stay and that's what we did. Mohonk provided two adjacent rooms, each with a queen bed on the sixth floor. One room (655) was darker and we had the girls stay there and we stayed in 653 which had a raised seating area and much brighter. Great views of the Shawgahunk Mts. from the rooms. We had a good rate for the rooms so they were acceptable. No TVs in room but some available to rent according to hotel info. I was concerned with the rooms as previous reviewers found fault with them but I enjoyed the historic charms of this old hotel and the rooms were quite adequate. Staff was very cordial and helpful. We waited abount 45 minutes after check in at 4pm to obtain our rooms - luggage was quickly received. The meal service (included with room rate: American plan) was good and the food quality very good overall. Every evening meal was four courses: two appetizers/soup/salad, main course and desert. The menu rotates on a four day cycle. Most of the offerings were outstanding -some only good. Breakfast and lunch were buffet & cook stations and the offerings were varied and very good. Deserts were all outstanding. There were many young children present during our stay - the staff and hotel is very accomodating to families. Those who prefer not to be wth children should choose their stay accordingly - not during school vacation times. We had snow while at Mohonk and the cross country skiing & snow shoeing was great - my girls first time on XC skis (all eqipment is included with the rooms). We skated in the beautiful covered ice rink and snow tubed on a big hill on the Mohonk golf course. The staff naturalist, Mike, led an informative snowshoe hike into the morning woods to hightlight flora and fauna of the region - just like a National Park Ranger - he offered educational hikes daily. Every evening there was a live entertainiment - from a "mentalist," wildlife display/lecture, square dance, etc. There was a scheduled movie each evening and two rooms for TV viewing. There is a library, billiards, game room and many seating areas with fire places blazing to enjoy. Beautiful flowering plants adorn the common areas from the Mohonk greenhouses. The bar is open daily with great cocktails. My wife and I enjoyed the Spa - a couples massage (80 mins at total of $436 with tax and 18% gratuity - full use of Spa facilities all day - $20 per person if you choose only to use Spa facilities) which was excellent and the Spa wing (2005 opened) is where the large indoor pool is located - great views appear everywhere you look. Children under 16 must be accompanied by adult in pool and Spa is only for those over 16 with an adult present. The setting is mountain top looking across a broad valley in the Shawgahunk mountains in New Palz, NY. Mohonk has a lake and many rocky crags and cliffs - we skied to the mountain top where a stone tower is located and the views were spectacular along most of the trail. Founded by a Quaker family, the Smileys, in 1849, Mohonk has history, charm, 19th century architectural flourish in a wonderous natural setting. The Quaker heritage is evident for those attentive to such nuances - hence the stress on healthy community/family activity. My teenage girls enjoyed their stay as well although they possess historical curiosity, are content with books, outdoor activities and their parents' company. Our 5 night stay with taxes & the resort 15% gratuity came to $4,665 or $933 per night - room rates vary for larger or fireplace suites. Spa adds 18% gratuity and any bar service has 15% gratuity added. We felt for all the amenities, setting and meals that this was a fair value for this memorable Mohonk Mountain experience.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank NedHickey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2010

My wife and I overall enjoyed our stay at MMH, but it certainly required some adjustment on our part. Our Victorian-style room was very charming with a truly wonderful working fireplace, nicely appointed, cozy and with a very comfortable bed. Room negatives: awful view (complained and got a discounted rate 25% off), tiny and spartan bathroom with a miniscule tub. Honestly, we almost left after checking in to our room based mostly on the obscene prices for the size and nature of the room.
Staff was very nice and helpful.
Food was abundant and mostly fantastic. We had a few misses, but with 4-course dinners and gigantic buffets, it didn't matter much - we still overate to the point of pain.
Staying here is a different kind of experience. The activities, views, and history are what it is about. We went ice skating repeatedly and were surprised at how much we enjoyed it.
The spa was a wonderful experience - frankly one of the best massages we have had. Sitting in the solarium and in the hot mineral tub was delightful.
Although we have two fireplaces at home, we loved having the fireplace in the room at the foot of our bed. We are even considering adding something to our bedroom to recreate that feeling. Just delightful.
It is an absolutely beautiful location and so storied, but it took a major shift in our expectations and a decision to make the best of it. In the future, we would likely go back for meals, the spa, and activities, but can't really spend that kind of money on a room and sleep well.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank adschlec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2010

Mohonk Mountain House is a unique resort that brings you back to a different age. The Victorian main house is incredibly interesting in its own right (an amalgamation of several additions that go together - sort of) and the setting can't be beat. Located on a mountain lake in the Shawgunk range it provides spectacular views over the valley below, of the lake beside it and the of the peak a couple hundred feet above. The extensive hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails allow you to really become one with nature. The skis and snowshoes are all complimentary as part of your stay as are guided hikes. The resort attracts a great deal of visitors but you can really be alone on the trails which was a welcome respite for this city dweller. The word that kept coming to mind to describe Mohonk was wholesome. The whole experience: the tv-less rooms, the focus on the outdoors, etc. consistently brought to mind an ideal of wholesomeness that seemed to be from another age. I could imagine that this would be where the Waltons would vacation - if they ever had the money to afford the high price tag.

All that said, Mohonk is has some significant drawbacks. First, the wholesomeness can lead to boredom. The evening entertainment during our visit over President's Day/Valentine's Day weekend were children's movies, a lounge act playing old standards and a performance of arias and old showtunes. They were fine for what it was, but the target audience seemed decidedly older than us (early 30s). If that isn't your preference you don't have too many other options (other than go back and enjoy your room which can be romantic, as most of them include fireplaces (real wood fireplaces!) and balconies).

The second drawback is the food. Three meals and an afternoon tea are offered as part of the hotel stay (though alcohol is extra). The breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch are buffet style. For dinner you have the option of a buffet or a sit down dinner. The buffets are good, though not great - about what you would expect from a mid-range buffet. The Sunday brunch gives you plenty of options, but again is only good. Dinner is a mixed bag. You select two appetizers, a main course and a desert. The appetizers are generally good, though not great. I found the main course the most disappointing as the food was generally overcooked and blah. It would be fine for a wedding, but really isn't what one would hope for a dinner at a place of this type and at this cost.

Finally the service was very uneven. Our first evening the waiter disappeared for long stretches and failed to check on us after being served. Throughout our stay food was regularly brought to the wrong table and there was an overall feeling of borderline incompetence. Though there were a few bright spots, the servers seemed to be overmatched to the job (or indifferent - tips are already built into the cost of your stay, so there isn't an extra incentive for service, though you can tip extra). The waitstaff appear to be mainly college kids or locals that probably haven't received the type of training necessary. That said, everyone was incredibly polite and friendly.

One other word of warning - leaving the resort is an absolute mess. There is one road to the main entrance which is completely overloaded at checkout time with cars waiting to get to the door to be loaded with luggage. Add to that people who arrive early to check in and you have mass chaos. It took 45 minutes for our car to be brought around and loaded. This after we had called down and let them know what time we would be there at. Others had to wait for even longer periods and it again seemed that there wasn't clear leadership on what to be done. Some of the problem is because of the space constraints of the mountain top, but a lot could have been improved with better communication and planning (this couldn't have been unexpected but those I spoke to say it's a regular problem). It's unfortunate that this was the last impression Mohonk left.

Mohonk is fantastic for what it is - a chance to commune with nature and relax in a Victorian setting. It can be completely relaxing and free from most of the intrusions of modern life. The rooms can be romantic and the lack of a tv can be a blessing. What it is not is a 5 star resort that you might expect based on its reputation and price. While service is very polite it is too uneven for a resort of this type. I think we'll come back in the fall and take advantage of the beautiful foliage. I would also recommend it for families with children (assuming the cost isn't prohibitive) as there were a lot of families there who seemed to enjoy the chance to enjoy the wholesomeness I described above. When the time comes that I have my own family I would strongly consider coming here for a vacation. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone looking for a hip or sophisticated weekend away. My final rating would be 3.5 stars.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Irishdevil04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2010

Ok I never write reviews for hotels airlines etc but I had to for this experience to save others from making the same mistake as me. I planned a valentines day getaway with my wife. The website of the hotel makes it look like a serene romantic place. I paid over $650 for one night for a standard room. The rooms are of an old motel 6 quality. Old fixtures, creaking bed, cheap mattress and blankets. They were clean though. The carpet was older than me, and I am 35. The place was overrun with noisy kids but thats not an issue for me, I have kids of my own. They were running down the hallway and making noise all the time. The room had no TV and they charge $25 a night to bring one old 25 inch clunker. The room window had a thin curtain and blinds that were ripping to shreds. You get the picture.

The 4 course dinner was average food wise, although the service was good. The place is great from the outside and if the management would just upgrade the rooms or upgrade the pictures on the website, people can go with their eyes open.

I really urge you to not waste this amount of money on this place. Definitely don't go if you are under 40 and are not going with kids. Do go if you are a senior citizen who is just trying to spend his money as fast as he can.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank rakram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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