Let’s face it, everyone can use a few days away, to recharge and find balance. The key is finding the right place: enter Mirbeau Inn & Spa Rhinebeck, located in the Hudson Valley of New York.
“Since opening last fall 90 percent of our guests visit us from Westchester County, Northern New Jersey, New York City, Fairfield County, and Long Island,” says Edward Kellogg, owner and general manager. And who is coming? “Mostly couples celebrating anniversaries and birthdays, those looking for a romantic getaway, and women looking for a spa trip with friends,” he says. It’s also an ideal place for solo travelers who have been spending 24/7 with their families during this pandemic and need a little space. Located less than two hours from New York City, and just minutes away from an Amtrak station, it’s an ideal spot for those without a car who want the feeling of a country retreat with the convenience of a nearby getaway.
Here, five reasons to plan a visit:
1. It’s a New Resort
The property opened in September of last year, which means it’s old enough to have worked out any kinks but new enough that everything is still fresh, clean, and not-in-need of repairs. Most guests stay two nights (on average), and that’s the perfect amount of time to get in some spa treatments, try out the classes, and eat at the Willow by Charlie Palmer restaurant. Kellogg says that he considers the property a “destination resort, a place to go to rest, restore, and rebalance your life.” He says the focus is on “life classically balanced.” The resort is a place to get away from the crazy pace of modern life and simply reconnect and regroup in a beautiful environment (the pampering at the spa doesn’t hurt). It has the ambiance of a chic, old-world Parisian hotel, without the need for a passport.
2. The Food at Willow by Charlie Palmer
If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the cuisine at the property’s on-site restaurant, Willow by Charlie Palmer. If you’re not a foodie, you’ll still be in heaven. The menu is that rare combination of unique flavors, fresh ingredients, and locally sourced items cooked to perfection and attracting buzz in the culinary community, while still loyal to those who want healthy dishes without a lot of fuss. The tuna tartare is a fan favorite and for good reason: You’ll want to order another when you eat your last bite (it’s that good). The branzino and duck are great options for mains—perfectly prepared, crispy, yet juicy—and be sure to order the Brussel sprouts and cauliflower for sides. For dessert, the praline chocolate cake with pistachio ice cream is a must. The Chef De Cuisine Xavier James serves up delicious American cuisine with a French flair. Be sure to ask for the daily specials—the in-season tomato salad with burrata from a local Hudson Valley farm—is a big hit. Don’t be surprised if you end up eating all your meals at Willow while staying at the Mirbeau Inn—it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Be sure to make a reservation—the restaurant is open to the public and it has many loyal fans.
3. Luxurious Pampering at the Spa
During this time of social distancing, the spa is the perfect respite with regulations on how many people can be in the outdoor and indoor relaxation rooms and Jacuzzi and with all lounge chairs spaced out. With more than 12,000 square feet of space, the spa has an indoor European-style resting area, the outdoor relaxation area called the Aqua Terrace (which has a thermal pool), eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, and Himalayan salt saunas. It never felt crowded, and people are very respectful of social distancing and wearing masks. French songs are played softly in the background, and attendants are constantly refreshing the towels and bringing guests water, as well as sanitizing the area. There’s an outdoor café in the spa that serves food and drinks. The treatment menu has a varied collection of massages, body therapies, facials, and nail treatments. One of the most popular treatments is the Mirbeau Signature Massage Experience, which uses organic oils. The pressure is customized depending on your body’s needs. For true decadence, be sure to book the 100-minute option.
Many visitors may be surprised by the number of fitness classes offered—everything from yoga, and breathing, to stretch, total-body conditioning, Tai Chi, and boxing. Currently, the classes are being held outside on the lawn adjacent to the Mirbeau Inn. Due to COVID restrictions, classes are small in size, and people are spaced six feet apart. Doing yoga, stretch, and breathing outside in nature—versus a studio—feels very relaxing.
4. The Architecture and Design
From the outside, the property feels like an intimate country home. The architecture was intended to have a residential feel, and it succeeds. The French word Mirbeau is loosely translated as “reflected beauty,” and the inspiration behind Mirbeau Inn comes from the soft light and warm hues found in the paintings of renowned French impressionist Claude Monet. Throughout the property, Monet’s artwork is shown, and the design aesthetic found in his art is carried throughout the design and feel of the 49 rooms and common areas, serving to give the property a warm and cozy vibe. The rooms are large and welcoming. The massive clawfoot tub is a bath aficionado’s dream (and will even convert the non-bath lover). The spacious bathroom includes a separate walk-in shower, a double vanity, and a closet. The bedroom has a fireplace—a lovely cozy touch when the weather gets cool—and two comfy chairs perfect for curling up with a good book. The beds, made exclusively for Mirbeau, are inviting and luxurious, topped with a down-alternative comforter.
5. The Beautiful Hudson Valley Setting
One of the big draws of the property is its location. “We wanted a Hudson Valley destination to serve the greater New York market and chose Rhinebeck because it was already a destination in its own right,” says Kellogg. The property sits on 2.8 acres, and yet it’s just a few minutes from the village’s historic center. One-of-a-kind shops, galleries, and restaurants are all nearby. Plus, there are plenty of nature hikes and walks. The Ferncliff Forest Preserve is a quick 10-minute drive, and the Hudson views from the top of the Fire Tower are stunning. The Poets Walk is a lovely nearby stroll, and it’s great for bird watching.