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The best hotels in the Catskills

  Summary List Placement Just two hours from New York City, the Catskills is a year-round destination teeming with outdoor activity options. The area has seen a resurgence in recent years and new hotels have popped up accordingly. We curated a list of top accommodations from quaint B&Bs to luxury lodges, ranging from...

 

best catskills hotels eastwind

Summary List Placement

Although the pandemic continues to spread across the US and New York is currently seeing an uptick in cases in many areas, some city dwellers are eager to get away, even if just for a weekend. But with all the uncertainty still surrounding travel, many vacationers are looking to stay close to home. 

Roughly two hours outside of Manhattan, the Catskills offer a scenic outdoor escape that makes social distancing easy. The area has seen a resurgence in recent years as developers and hoteliers have been quick to revitalize hotels around the region in the hopes of attracting the next generation of urbanites looking for fresh air to go with their cup of locally sourced artisanal coffee. Historically, the Catskills have been known as a spiritual retreat, from iconic Woodstock to the quaint town of Phoenicia. In the 1970s, everyone from Janis Joplin to Jimi Hendrix frequented the area.

I’ve been vacationing in the Catskills for over a decade and watched the area not only evolve, but reclaim some of its former glory as the vacation destination of yesteryear. And now, I’m more eager than ever to return to the charms and fresh mountain air, along with the plethora of lodging options, the Catskills provide.

You may be wondering if a hotel stay is safe right now. The answer depends on several factors, including the size of the hotel and how many other guests are staying there, as well as what precautions the hotel is taking. Many hotels have rolled out enhanced cleaning and safety policies over the last few months. However, it’s worth reading up on the specifics of a hotel’s policies before booking.

Of course, it’s important to know that there’s still no guarantee for safety when traveling right now. We talked to experts to weigh in on travel risks from renting a car to staying at hotels, but you should also consider your own risk factors and always follow guidelines from places like the CDC and WHO. Handwashing, wearing a mask in public areas, and practicing safe social distancing are all measures that should be taken no matter where you plan to go.

You may also want to consider these affordable Airbnbs in the Catskills since experts have noted that stays in private rented homes may be safer due to fewer interactions with other people.

With those precautions in mind, I’ve curated a list of top Catskills hotels, based on the following criteria:

  1. All are well-located hotels where it’s easy to take advantage of the areas outdoor offerings, from skiing and hiking trails to local breweries and sweat lodges.
  2. Every hotel has excellent design details, amenities, and offerings that truly help set them apart, from standalone glamping cabins to uniquely themed rooms.
  3. I’ve been to many of these hotels personally, and have also taken into consideration feedback from well-traveled friends, along with the ratings and reviews of trusted traveler sites like Trip Advisor and Booking.com.
  4. Hotels range in price from $149 to $397 per night to suit a range of budgets.
  5. All have new COVID-19 protocols and procedures in places, which I’ve noted below to help you rest easier. 

Read on for the best hotels in the Catskills, sorted by price from low to high.

The Graham & Co.

Book The Graham & Co. starting at $145 per night

A 20-room hotel meets trendy motel located at the foot of Hunter Mountain, The Graham & Co. sets the tone for a throwback to the Catskills retro era. The low-key locale is simple but cozy with wooden furniture and free-hanging lightbulbs. Think of this as going back to summer camp with an upgraded hipster chic twist.

A good spot for everyone from solo travelers to families, room options range from Standard Singles with queen-size beds to Bunk House rooms with twin bunk beds to roomy Bungalows with a master bedroom, second bedroom with bunk beds, and a full living room and kitchen area. 

Spread across more than three acres, the property is chock full of activities and amenities including a swimming pool, hammocks, badminton court, fire pits, and wood-burning stoves. There are even free bikes available to guests to explore the grounds and find a secluded place to relax. 

While there’s plenty of activities to keep you busy here, there are no TVs and cell service has been described by past guests as spotty at best. The emphasis here is on unplugging and getting away from it all, but for those who find it impossible to live without it, Wi-Fi is available.

Pros: Charming and boutique, the hotel is praised for its excellent service and attention to detail when it comes to accommodations and on-site amenities. They also have some of the best cider donuts in town.

Cons: The property’s rustic decor and the lack of tech are not well suited for anyone looking for an elevated hotel experience.

TripAdvisor Ranking: 2 of 2 B&B’s/Inns in Phoenicia.

Hotels.com Rating: Not yet rated

COVID-19 status and policies: This hotel is currently open with limited capacity and has adopted several new protocols including requiring face masks in public areas, as well as contactless check-in and minimum 24-hour room vacancy between guests.

The Roxbury at Stratton Falls

Book the Roxbury starting at $149 per night here

The Roxbury at Straton Falls is full of imaginative and quirky accommodations including mansion rooms, cottages, and suites. 

Spread across two properties in the Catskills, for those looking for little to no exposure to other guests, the hotel’s new Tower Cottages are just the ticket. The standalone, three-story accommodations have multiple bedrooms, screened-in porches, and private balconies and observation decks.

Each boasts a bespoke theme from a Game of Thrones cottage called the “Crown of Pendragons” to the fairytale fantasy “Cinderella’s Gown,” which welcomes guests with an 18-foot ball gown doubling as a bedroom canopy. 

Beyond the cottages, there are 43 rooms and suites, 36 of which have exterior access doors, so most travelers won’t ever have to interact with other guests in tight hallways. 

Pros: In addition to the hotel being truly one of a kind, most rooms include exterior access doors ideal for social distancing.

Cons: The hotel is relatively remote in terms of its location within the Catskills. While there is a nearby tavern and restaurant, they’re running on limited COVID-19 hours.  

TripAdvisor Ranking: 1 out of 1 in Roxbury

Booking.com Rating: 9.5 out of 10

COVID-19 cleaning procedures: This hote is currently open. On the hotel’s website, a page dedicated to COVID-19 cleaning protocols including contactless check-in, hospital-grade cleaning and disinfecting technologies, and leaving rooms empty for 24-48 hours between guests.

Read our full review of the Roxbury hotel here

The Gray Barn at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

Book The Gray Barn at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary starting at $179 per night

Opened in 2019, The Gray Barn at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary is an elegant, boutique inn with just five modern guest rooms. Each comes with its own private terrace with views of Mohonk Mountain, Rondout Creek, and the property’s garden.

Rooms feature minimalist but chic interiors with sumptuous bedding, built-in wooden shelving, marble bathroom countertops, and large walk-in showers.  

Overlook the breathtaking Shawangunk Ridge and the Sanctuary’s resident goats grazing in their pasture, common rooms gather guests for dining and lounging in spaces flooded with ample natural light. 

Guests here enjoy mouth-watering seasonal and locally-prepared vegan breakfast options. Private tours to meet the 370-rescued animal residents are an immersive experience and a chance to see the work and mission of the sanctuary up close.

Pros: Truly a singular stay, this is a great option for animal-lovers who also appreciate good design and elegant accommodations.

Cons: While the hotel is set on an active animal sanctuary, pets are not welcome. Additionally, only children over the age of 12 are allowed, which can be a deterrent for some guests.

TripAdvisor Ranking: 3 of 4 Specialty Lodgings in High Falls

COVID-19 status and policies: This hotel is currently open but only accepting full space buyouts. According to their website, a full deep clean and disinfection of the entire inn is performed between each stay and strict safety protocols are practiced by staff on and off the sanctuary property.

Inn at Lake Joseph

Book the Inn at Lake Joseph starting at $199 per night

Perched on a 250-acre private lake, Inn at Lake Joseph is a 17-room hotel in a resort-like setting. With a variety of summer and winter activities from kayaking and swimming in the outdoor pool to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, guests even have access to a nearby health and fitness spa. 

This is an ideal option for those who love a classic country bed and breakfast, but want all the bells and whistles that come with a more traditional hotel stay. 

Guests range from couples seeking a romantic retreat to families with pets, and there’s truly something to appeal to anyone looking to unwind and embrace the majestic scenery. Some rooms come with full kitchens while others include private jacuzzi tubs. Cozy stone fireplaces, deep armchairs, and wooden furnishing complete the look.

The inn is located close to The Bethel Woods Center For Arts, which will encourage music lovers to post up and catch and local show.

Pros: For those who like the charms of boutique country inns but want all of the offerings you’d expect from a larger resort, this is the best of both worlds. The hotel is also pet-friendly as an added bonus.

Cons: While the hotel does have a delectable country breakfast on the veranda along with a self-service kitchen and fully stocked refrigerator, dinner service is not available at the hotel.

TripAdvisor Ranking: 1 of 2 B&Bs/Inns in Forestburgh

Booking.com Rating: 8.7 out of 10 

COVID-19 status and policies: The hotel is currently open and is taking extra efforts to keep their rooms and public areas safe and clean with a focus on enhancing routine cleaning in preparation, with more proactive and preventative measures in place. 

Shandaken Inn

Book Shandaken Inn starting at $260 per night

Bordered by the Esopus Creek, Shandaken Inn was built in the late 1920s as the clubhouse for the renowned former Rip Van Winkle Golf Course. After a multi-year renovation, the 15-key inn reopened this winter. New amenities include a heated swimming pool and two pet-friendly suites located in an annex on the property, which are especially ideal for a socially-distanced getaway.

With rustic-meets-inviting design, every room is uniquely furnished to look and feel like a cozy cabin and each is named after a historic resort found around the Catskills. For those who want the classic history and allure of the region, but with elevated and modern touches added in, it’s tough to find a better stay.

Free breakfast, top-notch service, and the peaceful location along the creek further set this property apart. 

Pros: The on-site restaurant has one of the best complimentary breakfasts I’ve ever experienced at a hotel.

Cons: Due to the communal nature of the inn, social distancing might be a challenge at times in some of the common areas like the bar and main sitting rooms.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 of or 4 B&Bs in the Shandaken. 

Hotels.com Rating: 10 out of 10

COVID-19 status and policies: The hotel is reopened and accepting reservations. They are taking necessary precautions outline by the CDC and New York Department of Health. Masks are required and they are adhering to strict social-distancing protocols according to their website.

Eastwind Hotel & Bar

Book Eastwind Hotel & Bar starting at $279 per night

Located in Windham, New York about three hours outside of New York City, Eastwind Hotel & Bar presents vacationers with outdoor-focused experiences. 

Fusing Scandinavian inspiration with mid-century eclectic, the hotel’s design draws upon the property’s history as a bunkhouse for hunters, fly fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts dating back to the 1920s. 

Guests can choose from 19 accommodation options, ranging from more traditional guest rooms to Lushna cabins that are small, standalone A-frame cabins with picturesque window views. Those looking for even more private space might also enjoy the Lushna Suites, which include lofted bedrooms, lounge space, a writer’s nook, and a private deck complete with firepit and outdoor shower. 

Ideal for how we have to consciously travel today, the property has numerous ways for guests to immerse themselves in the natural setting, from spaced apart communal firepits to hammocks, picnic tables, and easy hikes.  

TripAdvisor Ranking: 4 of 8 B&Bs/Inns in Windham

Booking.com Rating: 9.2 out of 10 

Pros: When it comes to upscale glamping experiences, the Lushna cabins are tough to beat. Additionally, the on-site bar and cocktail program is exceptional.

Cons: The restaurant is closed during the week leading guests to head off-site for lunch and dinner.

COVID-19 status and policies: This property is currently open. The hotel is continually working to ensure the health and safety of guests. New policies include contactless check-in and sanitizing stations placed throughout the public spaces. Currently, in lieu of salon and bar service, the team is offering text-in-order breakfast with complimentary delivery to rooms, cocktail deliveries to anywhere on property, and outdoor catered barbecues over an Argentinian Wood Fired Grill.

The Herwood Inn

Book The Herwood Inn starting at $300 per night

Peace, love, and positivity are all at the heart of The Herwood Inn. Set directly on Tinker Street in the heart of Woodstock, this charming boutique hotel opened in 2019 and is the place to come to savor the best of this historic hamlet. At its core, The Herwood strives to build a sense of community while providing a peaceful and relaxing environment for everyone who stays there.

Music aficionados and history buffs will love the fact that each of the four guest rooms are named after iconic female musicians from the King Suite (inspired by Carole King) to Mitchell Manor (named for Joni Mitchell). 

The boho-chic decor draws guests in from the start. Natural wood, hanging plants, pops of colorful pillows, and tiled showers set the tone. Some rooms come with kitchenettes and others have small outdoor patios. In-room amenities include a concierge iPad, yoga mats, and a record player with a curated collection of vinyl. 

Each room is separate from the others, and you can even find and book Mitchell Manor on Airbnb.

The inn’s courtyard is a popular spot and guests like to hang out in the hot tub or by the fire pit.

Pros: Guests love the inn’s privacy while still having close proximity to downtown Woodstock. 

Cons: The hotel is designed around creating communal experiences, but unfortunately some of the public areas including “the commune + shop” are currently closed in an effort to comply with COVID-19 protocols.

TripAdvisor Ranking: 1 out of 1 hotel in New Woodstock

Airbnb Rating: 5.0

COVID-19 status and policies: This hotel is currently open. According to the hotel’s website, all rooms are sanitized and left vacant for a minimum of 24 hours between each stay. Guests here are provided complimentary masks, wipes, and sanitizer.

Urban Cowboy Lodge

Book the Urban Cowboy Lodge starting at $397 per night

Nestled on 68 acres in the Big Indian Wilderness, Urban Cowboy Lodge boasts Wild West luxury accommodations. Dating back to 1898, the hotel has been artfully revived by Lyon Porter’s signature design style incorporating bold patterns and hand-picked Americana antiques. With just 28 guestrooms and 12 signature suites, highlights include clawfoot tubs with forest views and private balconies with rocking chairs. 

The lodge features a hand-built Estonian sauna, a 75-foot spring-fed pool, nightly communal bonfires, miles of mountain trails. The Esopus Creek also runs through the property for fishing or taking a cold plunge.

Guests here are encouraged to disconnect, and no cell service is viewed as one of the hotel’s greatest amenities. However, there is complimentary Wi-Fi if you must.

Not to be missed is the live-fire restaurant that focuses on outdoor cooking with foraged ingredients and a seasonal menu intended to bring people together. 

Pros: Uber trendy and dripping in Instagramble moments at every turn, Urban Cowboy is the ultimate upscale but unplugged stay.

Cons: Past guests have remarked on additional costs and lack of attentiveness when it comes to service.

TripAdvisor Ranking: 1 of 2 B&Bs/Inns in Big Indian

COVID-19 status and policies: This hotel is open, but is only accepting reservations Thursday to Sunday nights, with a three-night minimum for all stays.

The hotel has outlined several new cleaning measures on their website including enhanced hygiene services, limiting capacity, daily housekeeping suspended, and masks required in all common areas.

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