Entertainment Magazine: New York: Mohonk Mountain House

The Mohonk Mountain House

By David Krell

Location: New Paltz, NY

The biggest, and only problem with luxury is its exclusion of those people who do not look and act the part.

Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz, New York

Country clubs, for example, would be desired by everyone if it did not seem as if what members enjoyed most was the fact that most people were not welcome.

Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz, New YorkSince 1869, the Mohonk Mountain House in upstate New York has reacted against this notion of exclusivity without losing any of its sense of luxury.

In fact, it may be the most amazing and awe-inspiring location I have ever been to which never felt pretentious or locked in to an upscale and limited mode of thinking.  

Of course there are rules, for it could not exist as it does without them, but the manner in which they are enforced is the appeal.  Guests must dress their best on a daily basis, the speed limit is an awkward 5 miles an hour and certain outside influences, such as shots of alcohol, are not permitted.

But the difference between the Mohonk Mountain House and every other perfect resort is that Mohonk's purpose in regulating such rules are for the benefit of the guests.  

Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz, New York

In other words, taking shots, for example, puts one in a state of recklessness, or at best, mindlessness.  Mohonk wants every guest to experience clarity, peace of mind and most importantly, a sense of purity rarely found anywhere in the world- and while intoxicated, one cannot reach such a state. This pure and peaceful view has been a part of Mohonk's ideal since it first opened.

"Founder Albert Smiley was much more than simply a hotel proprietor. His Quaker beliefs led him to a dedication to the cause of peace.

Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz, New York

In 1895, Mohonk Mountain House held the first of many annual conferences on International Arbitration," as well as a series of annual conferences which helped Native Americans to share their voice in government.  

He was also serious about having nature intermingle with the resort, purposefully keeping the border between where the resort ends and nature begins as vague as possible.  Smiley felt that the more a person was involved in and surrounded by nature, the more at peace he or she felt.  To make sure Mohonk stayed this way, Smiley purchased acre after acre of nearby land.

The second the owner of bordering acreage showed any sign of disrespect towards their land, Smiley would purchase it from them, as if to spare the land from its owners torment and give it a more safe and purposeful home.  

Over the years, Mohonk has been praised for existing under this eco-friendly message of peace and purity, and that message continues to this very day.  

Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz, New YorkUpon arrival, guests are greeted by an overabundance of Mohonk employees.

This will become a trend for the weekend, as there always seems to be more space and help than is needed and I constantly felt as if I kept seeing the same 20 people over and over again.  I also never worried about having a great meal, or finding whatever it was that I needed at any particular moment.  As I walked into the impressive dining hall for my first meal, I muttered to myself, "I want to eat outdoors, it's so beautiful."  

And before I could even process whether that option were possible, three Mohonk employees came over with a conveniently designed bag of drinks, utensils and two tightly closed to-go containers saying, "you will want one for your appetizers and main course, and the other for dessert- our desserts are wonderful, but I do recommend you return for a meal in our dining room."  

They were right, the desserts were wonderful, so was the meal in the dining room later that evening and no, they did not respond in unison- but they were awfully close.  

The dining experience- both in the dining room and outside on the dock- was wonderful, not only because the menu changes daily and is constantly fine-tuned and perfected by its executive chef, but due to the settings in which those meals were enjoyed.  Imagine feeling surrounded by the finest foods and decor while constantly trying to snap yourself out of your sleepaway camp flashbacks and multiple viewings of Dirty Dancing.  

Mohonk's Dance Weekend- otherwise known as, "Mohonk Thinks You Can Dance"- was actually the reason for my visit to the Mohonk Mountain House, but it is certainly not what I will remember most.  That is not to say it wasn't well-organized, fun and educational, as it certainly was, but it was simply outmatched by the setting it was placed in.

Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz, New YorkAs I was learning the foxtrot from professional dancer, Jeni Breen, I could see the sun shining perfectly on the lake outside- or maybe it wasn't shining perfectly, but it looked that way from my vantage point.  

I could also see guests' enjoying the sense of calm I so desperately wanted to be a part of- their relaxed faces rocking back and forth on the picturesque patio.  Unfortunately, the exact reason Mohonk is ideal for such a dance weekend is the reason I did not want to be dancing.  

Because Mohonk is such a special place and will now forever be a part of my life, I will do what all attached family members do- make up an excuse as to why he or she isn't perfect, blaming improbable circumstance as to the reason for its imperfection.  In this case, global warming.

Each year, Mohonk organizes the Dance Weekend for mid-March, because during this time of the year, it is still far more comfortable indoors than outdoors, but on this weekend, it was 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.   Or in other words, it was perfect, just not for dancing indoors on a sunny day.

Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz, New York

The Mohonk Mountain House is very close to the ideal for such a vast range of people, as the goal for any establishment is to be widely accepted and sought after by as many demographics as possible, while limiting the amount of alienation brought forth upon those demographics; though that balance is almost impossible to achieve.  

Country Clubs nowadays are less popular than ever before, and the middle class represents quite a majority, but similar to the famous vocalist, Adele, who is enjoyed by everyone despite her obvious similarities to cliche pop music, the Mohonk Mountain House has achieved that balance of approachable luxury, allowing anyone to take advantage of its property.  

And everyone does take advantage, but the best part is that you will never notice they are all there with you. 

Promotional consideration was provided for this coverage.

Entertainment Magazine New York

? 2012. EMOL.org. New York Entertainment Magazine. All rights reserved

Travelocity to NY

New York Getaways, Fun Weekends in the Big City: 4-Day NY Getaways From $377

New York cities that participate with Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Offer 300 x 250Dining out in New York City is cheaper when you use gift cards from the popular discount coupon dining site Restaurant.com for New York City coupons. If you plan to visit New York, or live in the City, there are hundreds of NYC restaurants that accept Restaurant.com coupons. Save when you use the exclusive promotional code "EMOL" at checkout. No limit!! Use "EMOL" Promo Code on restaurant.com NYC coupons.

NYC Entertainment Book Coupons

Save on all the things you love to do!

The Entertainment Book has hundreds of coupons to save on local dining, shopping, attractions and travel in New York City. Order an entertainment coupon book before you travel to have all of your offers available before you make plans. Browse the entertainment book web site for participating merchants, print out coupons online and obtain repeat coupons from the web.Print out NYC Restaurant.com Coupons

New York & Company

New York & Co. is a specialty retailer of high quality, moderately priced women's fashion apparel, accessories, and bath & body. New York & Company operates over 550 retail stores across the United States.

New York Pass coupons

New York CityPass includes admission to popular New York City attractions.The New York Pass has admission to over 40 top attractions in New York City, including: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Museum of Modern Art, American Museum of Natural History, The Guggenheim, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, NBC Studio Tour, Circleline Sightseeing, Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour, The United Nations Tour, Madison Square Garden All Access Tour, and much much more! Dozens of coupons all for one price! Find out about discounts offre3red with the New York CityPASS attractions pass.