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Only Two Hours to Bliss

Leave in the morning, be in the steam room before (a calorie-controlled) lunch.

Hudson Valley spas are in a state of accelerated renewal. The Emerson, which burned to the ground in 2005, just reopened with a spanking-new elegant inn and spa. Mohonk has added a sprawling 30,000-square-foot spa with killer mountaintop views. Even the quaint Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa is opening a new facility in June. Perhaps they’re revving up in anticipation of stiff competition from superdeluxe Miraval, rumored to be closing on a property in Rosendale. Whatever the reason, travelers stand to benefit the most.


YOU NEED SOME HIGH-LEVEL CREATURE COMFORTS.

The new Emerson Resort & Spa (5340 Rte. 28, Mount Tremper; 845-688-2828) has large, plush rooms with aerated tubs large enough for two, and rain showers with jets on the sides. The Phoenix restaurant has delicious if sometimes fussy dishes, like English peas with sautéed shrimp, truffle foam, and black trumpet mushrooms ($12), or seared, ahi-rubbed tuna ($29).

Cost of a three-night stay: From $1,275. Through May 24, from $495 a room per night includes meals and one spa treatment a person per day; two-night minimum.

Get the: Signature Massage: four hands rubbing you with herb-and-ginseng-infused oils, followed by a heated poultice ($295 for 80 minutes; subtract two of the hands for $150).

The catch: There’s no golf, tennis, or swimming.


YOU WANT GOLF, TENNIS, HIKING, ROCK CLIMBING, SWIMMING, HORSEBACK RIDING, AND SPA-ING.

Perched atop the Shawangunk Mountains for over 100 years, Mohonk Mountain House (1000 Mountain Rest Rd., New Paltz; 845-255-1000) has 265 rooms with high beds and antiques, 124 with working fireplaces. The new spa is fantastic, and there’s a a bubbling mineral pool with mountain views. There’s hiking at every level and a nine-hole golf course.

Cost of a three-night stay: From $1,335 per couple. Includes three meals plus afternoon tea and cookies.

Get the: Shawangunk Grit Treatment, an exfoliation with locally sourced fine quartz grains, a hydrotherapy bath, a massage, and a wrap ($155 for 80 minutes).

The catch: The food is blah at best, and the family-friendly environment means lots of kids—not everyone’s idea of relaxing.


YOU WANT TO DECOMPRESS—AND MAYBE DETOX— IN AN UNPRETENTIOUS ENVIRONMENT.

At New Age Health Spa (7491 State Rte. 55, Neversink; 845-985-7600), you stay in well-appointed but hardly cushy cabins in a very rural part of Sullivan County. The grounds are pastorally beautiful, with five miles of groomed trails and a five-story alpine tower that’s especially popular with guys. There are juice-fasting programs. The spa is clean, treatments are good, and there’s a decent selection of  yoga and meditation classes.

Cost of a three-night stay: From $612 per person.

Get the: Paradise Mountain Rain, which includes a scrub, a wrap, and a Vichy shower rinse, followed by a soothing application of pomegranate and cranberry body butter ($190 for 100 minutes).

The catch: No alcohol, and caffeine only at breakfast. Prepare for withdrawal.


YOU WANT A CUSHY ROOM AND A LOT OF MASSAGE AS WELL AS SOME LUNG-CHALLENGING HIKES.

From the road, the Copperhood Inn & Spa (Rte. 28, Shandaken; 845-688-2460) looks like nothing. Inside, it’s a lovely European-style inn and spa with beautiful rooms overlooking the Esopus. Owner Elizabeth Winograd forages for fresh fruits and vegetables that her husband, the chef, uses in the tasty spa cuisine. She’ll also kick your butt on hikes or mountain-bike rides (there are bikes and helmets available) on the property or on nearby trails. There’s a great indoor pool, sauna, and steam room, and yoga takes place in a sunny room with creek views.

Cost of a three-night stay: Off-season, $1,032 per person, which includes three meals, full use of the spa and pool, classes, and hikes.

Get the: European Body Treatment—a scrub, massage, and wrap combo ($200 for 100 minutes).

The catch: What the chef makes is what you eat.


HOLD THE OUTDOORSY STUFF, PILE ON THE CHARM. YOU WANT PEACE AND QUIET, A COUPLE MASSAGES, AND MAYBE SOME SHOPPING.

Situated right on the Hudson River, the eighteenth-century Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa (220 North Rd., Milton; 845-795-1310) is just an hour and a half from the city. The spa is nice, but there’s a much nicer one being constructed for a June opening, which will have more hydrotherapy features, a water-treatment room, and a saline pool.

Cost of a three-night stay: Starts at $725 per couple, including breakfast and a $50 gift certificate to nearby Woodbury Common (20 percent off during the week) in case the spa gets too restful.

Get the: Hot stone massage ($130 for 90 minutes).

The catch: It would be hard to get exercise if you wanted to. There’s not even a fitness room.


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