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Mountain Rest B&B

October 2001

Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at the Mountain Rest B&B in New Paltz, NY.

We have been informed that The Mountain Rest is no longer a Bed and Breakfast.


Accommodations Amenities Food Bar/Lounge Service Attractions Dining Nightlife Weather Tips

Accommodations

Mountain Rest is a small B&B and offers a few rooms. A couple of the rooms have private entrances. We chose to stay in the Mohonk Room, described as the master bedroom. The Mohonk did not have a private entrance, but offered a stone fireplace in the room. The bed was a high queen poster bed with comfortable linens. There were a set of windows that looked out towards the multi-level deck and the foliage of the mountain. The room (and much of the B&B that we saw) had beautiful hardwood floors. The bathroom was large with a very spacious vanity and green tile on the countertops. The bathroom contained a single whirlpool tub/shower combination with glass doors. There was also a window in the bathroom which we cracked open during the night for some fresh air. Our room was simple, but nice, clean, and comfortable. There is no tv in the room. The doors to the rooms do not lock either from the outside or the inside. While we felt comfortable in our surroundings and with our fellow guests and were not worried about the security of our belongings, it would have been nice to be able to lock our door when we were in our room. That is probably the only thing we would change.

Inn Amenities

The B&B is a 35-year-old residence that was converted into a small inn. The main floor is actually on the second floor and is accessed by a beautiful multi-level deck. The great room is full of light and surrounded by French doors on three sides all leading to the deck. The ceiling is vaulted and wood, and the same beautiful woodwork is continued throughout the B&B, especially on the floors. There is a wood-burning stove in the great room. The decor is country casual, with sumptuous furnishings that swallowed us up. There is a tv available in the great room, and the innkeeper generally had music playing softly during the daylight hours in the room. The dining table is also located in one corner of this area. A wicker screen separated the kitchen from the great room, and there is a guest pantry with a small refrigerator where guests can store cold items (we had our trusty cooler full of ice, and there was plenty of room for it on our large bathroom vanity).

The website states that the B&B has a fully equipped gym. We did some walking that weekend, so did not check out the gym. One amenity we did enjoy was the spa out on the deck. We used it both nights we were there. The spa is kept at 80 degrees (at least in the fall, when we visited), so we had to plan ahead and turn up the temperate a few hours before we planned to use it. We knew there was an outdoor spa so we had planned ahead and brought our suits, slippers, and robes for the trip between indoors and the spa. The innkeeper requested that guests limit their use of the spa to 30 minutes at a time so other guests could enjoy it as well. The temperature was in the 30s the two evenings we were using the spa and no one else was lining up to use it, so we stayed out there awhile. It was quiet, peaceful, and relaxing. We recommend this B&B as a good value, and as a great weekend getaway for those seeking a respite from the hectic pace of everyday life.

Inn Food

Mountain Rest offers a full breakfast, served between 9 and 10 a.m. the weekend we visited. The first morning we had fruit, plain omelettes, and English muffins. Also present was an apple crisp that had just come out of the oven when we checked in. (The innkeeper leaves her fresh baked goods sitting out in the kitchen and welcomes guests to help themselves.) The second morning we had fruit and wonderful cheese blintzes. The apple crisp was also present. The food was tasty and the service gracious. We particularly enjoyed chatting with our fellow guests and on the second morning, sat at the table talking with them well after we had finished our breakfasts.

Inn Bar/Lounge

This is a small B&B and does not have a bar. There was a crystal decanter of port wine and accompanying glasses sitting out in the great room that guests were welcome to. We had thought ahead and had a cooler with champagne and Sambuca.

Inn People/Service

Our innkeeper was a pleasant and attractive Polish woman. She explained her English was somewhat limited, but was always able to communicate well enough with us and her other guests. Her in-laws lived nextdoor (which was actually far enough away down the driveway that they generally drove over). They were from Russia but were much more fluent in English and we spoke to them. Her father-in-law told us he taught language and literature at the local university. They thought we were crazy for going outside to sit in the spa when it was so cold outside and laughed as we ran in and out. They were friendly people and always made sure to turn the subdued lighting on for us outside on the deck.

Area/Attractions

This was our third time in the Hudson River valley area: the first time was on the way to Lake George in 1997, the second time was fall of 2000 when we spent four days in the region. We expressly planned the fall trip to enjoy some crisp weather and fall foliage and to visit our favorite wineries.

We actually had mapped out our route (Lori does research/analysis for a living and really gets into doing that). On Friday afternoon, we stopped at Rivendell Winery, which was only a few miles away from our inn. We sampled some wine and purchased a case, including two bottles of their own grappa, which Keith realy enjoys. We still had a little time before our 3 p.m. check-in time, so we decided to drive up to Mohonk Mountain House to look around the grounds. We passed our B&B on the way up the mountain. As we arrived at Mohonk Mountain House, there was a guardhouse with guards and we discovered it would cost us $10 each just to go in. We decided it wasn't that big of a deal, turned around, and headed back to our inn. For those who do choose to pay the entrance fee, there are apparently multiple hiking trails and beautiful scenery surrounding the old hotel on the lake.

On Saturday, we started off by visiting Brimstone Winery in Pine Bush. We sampled their wines and left with a case. They have tasty sparkling wine and some interesting reds. There is another winery in the tiny town of Pine Bush - Baldwin, which produces some of our favorites. The winery is located on the edge of town, in what appears to be a residential neighborhood. The tasting area is in a barn behind the house (this was our third visit and we knew it well). This time the winemaker and his wife were our hosts. Baldwin is a very relaxed place and they will happily tell you what you want to know, and are very generous with their pours. We already knew that we were going to buy a case of their Memories sparkling wine, and we also bought half a case of their chardonnay as well as some of their other wines. Baldwin is a surprisingly diverse winery, with a nice, dry chardonnay but they also specialize in a multitude of fruit wines.

The last winery we visited was Benmarl, in Marlboro. We had visited this winery four years earlier and had been lucky to have an hour-long tour with Mark Miller, the fascinating owner of the winery. Mr. Miller is also a gifted artist which a very rich and colorful history. The winery contains a gallery of Mr. Miller's work. Mr. Miller's son Eric Miller is the owner/winemaker at Chadds Ford Winery in Chadds Ford, PA, a winery we have visited often. When we arrived at Benmarl on this Saturday afternoon it was bustling with activity, as the winery had recently been featured in a local magazine. We tasted and purchased some wine. We were happy to see that Mr. Miller, now in his 80s, was still leading the tours of the winery. Our hostess told us he was unstoppable and they had to remind him to take a break and eat lunch occasionally.

We stayed just up the hill from New Paltz. This is a college town and as such, there is an assortment of bars and restaurants. There are also a myriad of interesting shops. There is a historic district on Huguenot Street. It is a charming town.

Dining

La Stazione - 5 Main Street, New Paltz, 845-256-9447
This was actually the original train station that had been converted into a charming Italian restaurant. The restaurant was small but charming, and it was obvious quite a bit of money had been spent on the converstion/restoration. We arrived around 5:30 without a reservation, but the hostess smilingly showed us to a corner table. Our waiter was Italian and spoke in a thick but charming accent. The bread was served hot and coated with sesame. We split an appetizer of bruschetta - the best we have ever had. It was more of the wonderful bread, heaped with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, soaked in a marinate of garlic and olive oil. Keith had a salad of walnuts and gorgonzola cheese on spinach and ate every bit of it. Lori had a shrimp entree and Keith had veal, each accompanied by a side of pasta. The service was wonderful and the food was tasty and fresh, and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience.

Gilded Otter - 3 Main Street, New Paltz, 845-256-1700
Gilded Otter's Web Site
The night before we had smelled their pizza and decided that would be dinner for us. We started with a sampler of their beer, and then chose our own personal favorites and ordered our pizza. The crust was especially tasty and the pizza hit the spot. The Gilded Otter is a very attractive brew pub, spacious, full of light and wood, and extremely pleasing to the eye. The bar is very large, as it should be at a brew put. There are also plenty of tables for dining (we chose to eat our pizza at the bar).

Nightlife

Bacchus - 4 S. Chestnut St, New Paltz, 845-255-8636
Bacchus' Web Site
For those who like to try interesting beers, Bacchus has a very extensive list (and quite a few beers available on tap as well). The atmosphere is definitely that of a college town beer hall, but they offer dining as well. We found the bartenders to be very friendly and accommodating.

Weather

New Paltz is located on the western side of the Hudson River, about 15 miles north of I-84. It is cooler than New York City by about 10 degrees F, and the further up in the mountains one goes, the cooler it becomes. We visited in late October. The days were bright and sunny and the high was in the 60s, dropping down to the 30s in the evenings. Some of the inns (ours included) actually close for the winter months, as the mountain roads can become dangerous to tourists unfamiliar with them.

Tips/Suggestions

The Hudson River Valley wineries keep getting better, and we think the quality of the wines will match that of Napa in the next decade. This is still a little-known region and with a little advance planning, you can find a nice affordable place to stay, spend a weekend in the country among gorgeous scenery, and visit some great wineries. There is also plenty of history in the region. A lot of the destinations (such as wineries) are off the beaten path, so be sure to bring along maps and directions. We find the area to be quiet and relaxing - a slower pace of life, and we will return.