Winter travel: Inside one of the best new resorts nestled among New York’s Catskill Mountains

While the idea of traveling with a “pandemic pod” might be on its way out, other pandemic-inspired travel trends are here to stay. That ranges from looking for a hotel or resort with lots of outdoor space for seasonal activities and sports to finding a location where one can both work and relax during the same extended stay.

Many spacious resorts in locations that experience dramatically different seasons over the course of a year typically close for part of the year (i.e. ski resorts in the summer, and beach hotspots in the winter). But there are more and more all-season resorts that are catering to new and returning visitors with new experiences and activities all-year round.

For off-site entertainment, a vintage Land Rover Defender 110 provides shuttle service taking guests to and from Windham Mountain, Windham Country Club, and downtown Windham.

Michael Carnevale

The newly-opened Wylder Windham in update New York was designed to reflect and celebrate the local vibe of the town of Windham, embracing long summer days, leaves changing colors in the fall, and the ski season. (Also an ideal destination for anyone looking for a town that loves Christmas.)

With plenty of parking around the property, most guests arrive by car, but the Hudson Station isn’t too far away for those who want to take Amtrak from New York City or Boston, for example. (But note that Uber is scarce, and so are taxis, so arrange a car service with the hotel in advance. The hotel does have a restored Land Rover that it uses to shuttle guests to Windham Mountain during the ski season, too.)

Wylder Windham offers more than 4,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

Michael Carnevale

The property hosts seven different lodging experiences across the 20-acre property, with 111 suites total. One of those suites is actually a guest house, with a full kitchen, living room, a washer and dryer, and four bedrooms that could sleep eight people.

And while the 110 other suites can only be booked through Wylder Windham directly, the “Farm House,” as it is named, is also available to rent via Airbnb. And better than most Airbnb rentals, guests aren’t on the hook for cleaning before departure as this is the best of both worlds: staying in your own property with all the amenities of a home but also all the amenities and services of a hotel.

The Farm House during the holiday season.

Rachel King

Among those other amenities include a full bar and restaurant open for dinner daily and brunch on weekends with a bakery open for breakfast and lunch everyday. For spring and summer visitors, there is an expansive outdoor lawn complete with hammocks, tree swings, fire pits, lawn games, an oversized in-ground heated pool, and live entertainment. (The hotel is also very dog-friendly, and there is a dog run on property for the very most important guests to get some exercise and play.)

Adjacent to the restaurant, guests will find Babblers Bakery serving up its signature strawberry rhubarb pies, soft serve ice cream, house-made croissants, and fresh coffee.

Michael Carnevale

And in the winter, there are multiple private saunas, shaped like barrels and with views of Windham Mountain, tubing and snow-shoeing, and a new ice skating rink opening in time for New Year’s. Currently the hotel is in the midst of setting up a small cabin for skate rentals with an outdoor bar serving hot chocolate and hot toddies.

The site is very family friendly, but also good for couples and/or groups of friends traveling together, so this is the kind of resort where you can truly say there is something for everyone.

Rachel King

Also crucial for anyone looking to work remotely, the hotel does provide very strong, fast Wi-Fi included in the room rate, which is essential given there is little to no wireless phone service in the immediate area.

Established in 1880, the Thompson House Resort was family owned and operated for over 140 years until Wylder Hotels became the proprietor in 2021.

Rachel King

And while the seven lodges themselves are historic and are more than 140 years old, everything on the inside has been renovated and upgraded to modern standards. All rooms have king- or queen-sized beds with oak floors, custom furniture, marble bathrooms (some with clawfoot soaking tubs), and central heating/air conditioning units. Most suites do have balconies with custom wooden reclining chairs, and unobstructed views of Windham Mountain or the Batavia Kill River.

The dog-friendly hotel offers a collection of 110 suites and king- and queen-bedded rooms featuring oak floors, custom furniture, and luxe bathrooms.

Michael Carnevale

Since opening six months ago, the hotel has already hosted several events, including weddings and multiple corporate retreats, the latter especially during the fall conference season. For weddings, business meetings, and other events, the ballroom that has a capacity up to 200 maximum (although 150 would be more breathable for tables, live music, and the like).

Right underneath the ballroom is a massive rec room of nearly the same size, fully renovated and livable with a pool table, foosball table, video game machines, and couches in front of a large HDTV. The space is open to guests now, and the hotel already hosts some events for guests down there, such as movie nights. It can also serve as an after-party space for weddings, and management hopes to eventually add a popcorn machine and a bar down there, among other amenities in the future.

Inside Babblers, welcoming to visitors and locals alike, serving comfort classics for brunch and dinner.

Rachel King

Also for wedding parties (or anyone looking for a weekend splurge), there is the “Baller Suite,” a two-bedroom suite in the main lodge directly above the lobby and steps away from the ballroom. With plenty of space, lots of natural light, views of the creek, two spacious balconies, and a full bathroom with a clawfoot soaking tub, the Baller Suite would also make an ideal bridal suite before the big event.

After a day of playful adventure, guests can unwind in the oversized heated pool and bask in the views of Windham Mountain.

Michael Carnevale

Starting rates for guest rooms and suites range from $172 to $215, depending on availability as well as size. Rates for the Baller Suite start around $675 per night, and the Farm House starts at $1,200 per night.

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