Friday, January 11, 2013


I have had an unbelievable response to my first ever storewide (and internet) sale in progress. Please note the prices on the website are not marked with the sale price but EMAIL ME and I will get back to you pronto with sale info. I can offer very affordable delivery as usual.  I also have been bringing in other items from my inventory as the space allows as we continue the storewide sale at the shop. All window panel orders and Dash and Albert rugs including orders are on sale, too ".  Stop in to take home a sample.
 The following post features a wonderful getaway in the east just 90 miles from NY city.....

I had stayed at the Mohonk Mountain House for the first time when the kids were young.  It was before all the artificial rock climbing walls were around and this resort looked great near the Shawnagunk Mountains in Ulster County, New York where we were taking them climbing. Located in the Catskill Mountains where, years ago families had choices of summer resorts to trek to (think Dirty Dancing).  This resort, a National Historic Landmark, is more upscale but started with the same idea. Currently a throwback for families...actually it seems like a throwback now but it started that way so let's say they continued with the original plan of the founders in the mid 1800's.....bring active, nature loving people together to enjoy spectacular natural settings with sports, games, programs and great food .

When we first visited years ago the only alcohol served was wine at dinner but they have since changed and now have a large bar serving cocktails in every restaurant. This year my husband and I planned an overnight for New Years Eve to celebrate our wedding anniversary and were excited to enjoy the outdoors at this unspoiled resort known for its recreation and renewal of spirit amidst a beautiful natural setting.

The newer entry gate to the 7800 acre privately owned resort owned and operated by the Smiley family for 4 generations.

The rock ridge you see has trails and steps traversing with old wood handrails and resting huts sprinkled along the way.

There are many stone huts...

The 3 story outdoor porch is a great spot in winter to enjoy the lake and mountain views with a hot chocolate. This picture gives a glimpse of the confusion I felt in taking in the architecture and decor.  Although from a distance the architecture appears breathtaking as you get closer you see it is a hodgepodge of different colors and materials and structural styles.  As each addition was added I don't think they used a good architect to blend the local stones and materials...there is no harmony between additions....

As a visitor very influenced by architecture and design I found myself walking around saying to myself, "What were they thinking?"

This spectacular fireplace made from local stone is one of the over 100 fireplaces throughout the resort BUT adds to the hodgepodge nature of the design when.....

THIS fireplace was only a few feet away in the same room???   Even the most amateur of observers can tell they do not compliment each other at all, although you can't deny this carved mahogany is magnificent.

The owners were Quakers committed to environmental stewardship and respect for local citizens and the social issues of our country. Instead of photos of owners shaking hands with athletes and movie stars the long hallways are full of photographs and information on the many important international conferences held here over four generations with guests including Theodore Roosevelt and William McKinley.

Without a colorful plastic laden playground and video game room to attract today's families Mohonk Mountain House instead has family and kids workshops covering every wholesome interest imaginable for both young and old.

This huge Christmas tree is the perfect size for this large meeting room.

The main lodge house gathering rooms are always spotted with people working on puzzles and board games. It is also where tea and cookies are served each afternoon.

The main dining room was built in 1892 with its high clerestory windows.  When I entered the dining room for lunch and saw the cafeteria style long buffets, I sighed.   With a little updated effort the presentation could have matched the delicious, creative gourmet foods. Unlike other buffet offerings I have experienced over the years the selections were flavorful, moist and creative.  Bison and duck included for the meat eaters but I especially enjoyed all the grain and fresh vegetable dishes....not your typical fare.

Our room....Although the Victorian period is the most depressing of historical furnishings. (think Lincoln), the working fireplace was a great treat along with the outdoor porch overlooking the glacial lake.  There are 266 guest rooms varying in style, 138 have working fireplaces.

As I walked through the endless hallways and rooms with a "why don't they lighten this place up a bit" look on my face I made sure to notice that although they chose Victorian style rugs and furniture (how dreary) everything was new and in very good condition.

The ice skating pavilion, above. Rentals of snowshoes, cross country skis and ice skates as well as other top quality sports equipment is included in your rate.

The cross country trails were remarkable and, although there are many sets of skis resting here we only encountered 5 other people on our trek through the "enchanted picturesque woodland trails" .

There are many wood gazebos dotting the trails with benches and scenic overlooks...

Massive local stone used throughout...

In summer the natural lake is enjoyed for boating and fishing.

While skiing  everything was beautifully white and I noticed some red spots up ahead.  When we got closer I discovered there were rose petals and they had stenciled "Just married" in the snow.

Another reason I will rush back to Mohonk as soon as I can is because the town of New Paltz is very charming.  A few nice antique shops held my attention and the small local restaurants and merchants offer creative, artistic and unique contributions to this area.  Wineries are close by as well.

The restaurant, A Tavola, is superb.

We drove less than 10 minutes from the resort and came upon a few buildings and antique shops. It was New Years Day and I thought stores would be closed but one seller was having a neighborhood open house and welcomed us to there intimate party amongst the antiques.  It reminded me of our travels in Europe.
LOVE that stone wall, above.

One of the most memorable parts of the trip for me is, after our late visit to the spa (new from 2002) we were getting dressed for our New Years dinner and my husband quitely comments he forgot his stud set.  His solution was a plastic clip he found in a drawer.....BLAHAHAHA!!

Nice look, huh??  It was a great anniversary celebration.  We did miss the polar bear plunge in our hometown lake but there's always next year.  Let me recap the positives and reasons I will return as soon as we time with more of my family
Short trip to a different world from my home 1 hour and 15 minutes from northern NJ
Spectacular natural setting
Wonderful outdoor activities
Delicious food
Charming town with antiques
Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz, New York

Warmest regards,

Please note delivery and shipping is available on all items
EMAIL ME with any questions.

Bonny Neiman Antiques & Artisan 
12 Beechwood Road  Summit, NJ
 Monday-Saturday 10-5:30

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