When the couple, here for their 20th visit, commented that it was the first time they had taken the house tour -– one of the staples of the Mohonk Mountain House experience -- I asked what they had been doing all those years. Liz and Dan Gleason from Haddon Heights, New Jersey replied: “There’s just so much to do all the time, you just can’t fit it all in. Every year there’s a new surprise. This year it’s the Smiley family parlor.”
And therein lie two of the greatest pleasures at this glorious old resort in New Paltz in New York State's Hudson Valley, just under two hours' drive from New York City: activities to keep you busy all day (but only if desired) and the connection to the Smiley family, who has owned and operated the resort for over 140 years.
That connection reverberates throughout the property, which in recent years has (mostly) been dragged into the 21st century. Bought in 1869 by twins Albert and Alfred Smiley, the 10-room tavern that sat on 300 acres of lake and farmland was over the years expanded to encompass 266 rooms in connected buildings spanning a sixth of a mile, while the property now extends to 2,200 acres, all of which has recently been treated to accommodate against an uninvited guest - the dreaded coronavirus - so that their more welcome guests can feel safe and comfortable