From Jackie Cantwell
Historic hotels of America. Mohonk Mountain House [videorecording]
This video features an interview with Nina Smiley, the director of marketing for Mohonk. She’s the wife of Albert K. Smiley, the hotel’s president and great-grandnephew of the founders. The hotel was started in 1869, by brothers Alfred and Albert Smiley. This beautiful inn is a 266-room Victorian castle in New Paltz, NY that sits next to Lake Mohonk and is in the Hudson River Valley. We get a tour of the grounds, with emphasis on the gardens, the lake, nature trails, and even the Barn Museum. Inside the hotel, we see the parlor, the grand dining room, the wraparound porch, and a guest room in one of the towers. Apparently, guests can be as active as they want to be or can idle away the hours in a rocking chair on the porch. There are miles of hiking trails, dotted with beautiful gazebos which serve as rest stops and photo-taking vistas. Ms. Smiley mentions another advantage for guests is the sense of renewal and rejuvenation they receive. Other activities available are ice skating, horseback riding, carriage rides, swimming, canoeing, golf, campfires and much more. The hotel rates include 3 meals per day, as well as tea and cookies in the afternoon. The owners and staff are very proud of the inn’s history and also its sustainability initiatives. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. The inn’s guests also have a sense of ownership of this special place, and many return year after year.
I would like to have seen the ice skating rink, the golf course, a view of the horses on the trails, and a typical guest room. Overall, this program is a wonderful introduction to the Mohonk Mountain House.