Mohonk is a private mountain resort located in the Hudson Valley, surrounded by 40000 acres of forest and wildlife. Founded in 1869, it’s an old and historic landmark resort, well-known for the loyal families that make an annual 90-minute drive up from New York City. Rumor has it that it’s also the supposed inspiration location for the movie The Shining, and it’s not hard to see why–With it’s long, carpeted hallways and creaky floors, picturesque surrounding wildlife, and old-timey, secluded atmosphere, it closely resembles the hotel in the movie.
Mohonk is a rare vacation spot, an all-inclusive high end mountain resort, with activities ranging from kayaking in the summer to ice skating in the winter, and yoga, meditation, and indoor swimming offered year-round. Depending on the season, they also offer a range of outdoor activities like mountain biking, horseback riding, and rock climbing. But my favorite part about the place is its hiking trails, which offer scenic resting spots along the way.
What makes Mohonk unique is not just its facilities and services, but they put wellness at the forefront of its values– for example, you’ll notice that their hotel rooms aren’t equipped with televisions, to encourage individuals to either spend time outside, with family and friends in the lounge area, or just explore ways to spend time without a screen.
The design of the Mohonk wellness experience is deliberate, and let me tell you it works– I’ve never had such incredible sleep, felt so well-fed, and spent such quality time with my family.
For starters, the food at Mohonk is incredible.
There are two main dining areas, one is a buffet-style dining place and the other is a four-course full service restaurant.
The Buffet-style Meals
The buffet options were impressive, with a focus on using local and seasonal ingredients for many of the dishes.
There were multiple vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. The kitchen staff and chef were clearly aware of specific dietary needs of individuals and offered a wide range of foods; examples include bean tacos, vegetable dumplings, a special hummus station, and vegan vanilla cake or sorbet.
In this way, my sister who is allergic to dairy had plenty of different foods to eat from.
The 4-course dinner meals were absolutely fantastic. The course included a starter, an appetizer, a main dish, and a dessert to top it all off.
A 4-course meal seems like a lot, but the portions were all perfect, and both myself and the people I was with found that it was neither grotesquely filling, yet we were not left hungry; instead we finished our meals completely satisfied.
In this way, I feel as though I was able to indulge in fancy, well-prepared foods without leaving the restaurant feeling overstuffed. It was an incredible evening of good conversation and company, and loved how considerate the staff were throughout the meal.
The trails at Mohonk are well-paved, and perfect for scenic strolls. You can see both old couples, young couples, and big groups of families of three generations enjoying the sunny weather.
Because of the large acreage of the property, even if the hotel rooms were all full, the trails were comfortably sparse. My family and I would often be by ourselves, only occasionally bumping into other people (or animals!).
Because of the serene quietness of the space, my father compared the experience to forest-bathing–it truly left us feeling much more calm, content, and at peace. I am constantly amazed at nature’s ability to heal the human psyche; while most of us have grown accustomed to the urbanized lifestyle, there is something about human nature that belongs in the wilderness.
All this good food, movement outside, time with family, and just being away from a computer screen primed me for the best sleep I’ve had in a long time. I slept for 9 hours both nights, without a single moment disturbed, and woke up feeling refreshed.
Mohonk is specially designed for the guests to spend time with family, outside of their phone screens and rooms.
In addition to activities, they have a billiards room, multiple reading rooms and cozy lounges equipped with a fireplace, a public library with books to borrow, plenty of board games and card decks you can borrow from concierge, and an outside observatory deck with multiple rocking chairs.
Would I Go Back? Heck Yeah
Overall, this was a great way for my family to spend Thanksgiving. Especially for a Japanese family that has very weak Thanksgiving traditions (haha) but wants to spend time with family and express gratitude for our community over food and drink, this was a perfect way to celebrate. Bonding over food and outdoor activities, I got to spend a lot of time with those important to me and not to mention the getaway from work and get plenty of sleep.
I hope to be back next year!