Troutbeck Is (Once Again) New York City's Perfect Retreat
The just-opened Troutbeck hotel is a unique Hudson Valley hideaway that’s at once historic, low-key, and luxurious. Christina Ohly takes a look around.
AMENIA, New York — All the cool kids are flocking to the Hudson Valley — and for good reason. They’re drawn to the lush landscape, the fine cuisine, and the lack of traffic and pretense. So it has always puzzled me why there are so few — if any — really lovely, top-notch places to stay around here.
The scene has just changed for the better with the opening of the re-envisioned Troutbeck, a 250 year-old inn-cum-gathering spot in Amenia that has played host to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemmingway, Governor Teddy Roosevelt, and such giants of the civil liberties movement as Sinclair Lewis, W.E.B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, and Langston Hughes.
You’re swept up in the history of the place from the approach: a glorious lawn leading to a massive slate-covered Manor House. The building has seventeen highly individualized rooms — some sprawling suites, some intimate doubles that are perfect for a one-night escape. They were designed by Alexandra Champalimaud, whose storied hotel credits include The Hotel Bel-Air and The Carlyle. But this project is personal: Not only is she a nearby resident, but her son Anthony Champalimaud is the hotelier running the luxurious compound.
Troutbeck is personal for me, too, as my mother lives in the area. I initially came for lunch, having heard that the chef from Fish & Game, a wonderful Dutchess County restaurant, had landed here.
I was beyond impressed by the food and the ambience. What started as a quest for a simple salad and sandwich led to a leisurely lunch with Anthony, who spent hours telling me incredible stories of Troutbeck’s past and showing me around the 45-acre property, including the rooms at the separate Century House. Cottages, which are slated to open next summer, will no doubt appeal to discerning travelers who love their privacy.
Rates change seasonally and typically range from $225-$900 depending on room type. Click here for reservations.
The Dutchess County property is just two easy hours from New York City on border of Litchfield County, Connecticut. The setting is ideal throughout the seasons: Hiking, biking, snowshoeing, reading by a roaring fire, and swimming in the pool in summer are just a few of the activities on offer.
The current owners — a consortium of area residents who prefer to stay under the radar — have preserved the rich roots of Troutbeck while updating it for today’s tasteful (and demanding) traveler. The original slate tiles remain on the exterior of the Manor House, but interiors have been lightened to create warm, minimalist, homey spaces. The guest rooms are highly individualized and honor the original woodwork, windows, and quirky configurations, but have been updated with LCD TVs, Tivoli Audio Bluetooth everything, and Frette linens that making lying in a must.
This Place Is Perfect For
Couples looking for a weekend escape, anyone looking to gather a group of friends for the ultimate and intimate house party, and families with older children who seek a dose of nature and maybe skiing at nearby Mohawk Mountain. Troutbeck is also perfect for history buffs and, come to think of it, anyone looking to write their next, great novel.
What’s on Site
The smart owners have thought of virtually everything a picky Manhattanite might need, and gear is plentiful supply. No need to pack snowshoes, tennis rackets, yoga mats, children’s toys, or even chic Kenyan Kikoy towels for swaddling post-swim. It’s all here.
The food is no afterthought and is in plentiful supply. The spacious main restaurant seats 76 and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Seating options include cozy booths, an inviting farm table for twelve in front the fireplace, and an outdoor deck for casual suppers under the stars. It has become a magnet for locals, so be sure to book ahead. The seasonal poolside grill serves incredible burgers. A fully stocked pantry (with a cute Smeg fridge) is a nice touch for returning outdoor enthusiasts or anyone in search of cocktail hour nibbles.
Number of Rooms
There are 37 total guest rooms in the Manor House and Century House, with nine suites and multiple connecting configurations possible. Cottages will open in the summer.
The WiFi is excellent, as are the Malin & Goetz bath products that match Troutbeck’s low-key yet luxurious aesthetic. Thick Frette robes, down duvets, radiant heated bathrooms, soaking tubs with smart book caddies, and breakfast in bed are among the thoughtful touches.
I am hard-pressed to identify one, but, if pushed, a few of the rooms are dark. The building is old and made of wood and slate, so this is to be expected. If this is an issue, request a light-filled room upon booking.
The standouts are the original features that have been painstakingly preserved, like the Walled Garden dating from 1916 that’s tiered over two levels and feels like a magical escape. And the stylish pole barn now strewn with little white lights to make for an ideal party setting. A sweet old stone chapel makes the visitor feel like they’re in Ye Olde England.
In terms of contemporary standouts, the food and service make Troutbeck feel so warm and welcoming. I’ve never had a more delicious (if elevated!) grilled cheese sandwich, and the staff are all so incredibly kind and accommodating that the hotel feels, to borrow an overused cliché that really fits, like a home away from home.
The 45 wooded acres of Troutbeck have it all: streams for fishing (poles are provided), hiking trails, towns dotted with cute antique shops, bucolic spots for morning yoga. It’s a quiet, natural setting just perfect for quick restoration.
What to Do Nearby
You’re in striking distance of all sort of interesting options, like the artist-run The Wassaic Project and MassMOCA in nearby Lenox, Massachusetts, a world-class art destination that’s worth a day trip. So is a detour north to the antique-filled town of Hudson for mid-century and vintage furniture at Red Chair on Warren and beautifully curated finds at Finch. Fuel up on inventive pizzas at Baba Louie’s before heading south to explore the quaint towns of Litchfield, Kent, and Salisbury with their postcard-perfect white church steeples. For those with a need for speed, Lime Rock Park offers race car driving lessons and skiers will love nearby Mohawk Mountain.
Plan Your Trip
How to Get There
Troutbeck is an easy two-hour drive from New York City and six minutes away from the Wassaic train station that’s serviced by MetroNorth. Stewart International Airport is an hour away and is serviced by flights from Europe and Canada.
A car is definitely helpful as there is so much to explore — towns, parks, stores, and art galleries. The hotel will happily pick up guests from the train station, so if you plan to sit still and lounge on property, a train trip with no car works perfectly well.
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