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New York’s Catskills were once home to sprawling resorts where NYC families headed in summer to escape the city heat. As air travel became affordable for the middle class, the Catskills’ popularity declined as families began to vacation farther from home. Some of the resorts survived, like the Victorian-era Mohonk Mountain House and Villa Roma, but most closed, became derelict, and were demolished.
Today, the Catskill region is experiencing a renaissance, thanks in part to its “discovery” by urban COVID refugees. It’s a beautiful part of New York State with tons of fun things to do and terrific restaurants, all located within an easy drive of NYC.
Here are the best resorts in the Catskills for a great stay.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Want to know what a classic Catskills vacation was like? Watch the film Dirty Dancing or We’re Going to the Catskills!, one of the most popular episodes of Amazon Prime’s Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
1040 State Rte 55
Eldred, NY 12732
I’ll begin by stating that I adore The Bradstan. I’ve been fortunate to stay here twice, once on New Year’s Eve and once for a friend’s wedding. The warm welcome you receive might initially make you think you’ve been confused with a dear friend. Nope. It’s just the way they treat their guests, at both the hotel and the property’s Homestead Restaurant, one of the best dining options in the Catskills.
The decor is rustic luxe. I’ve tried to replicate it at home, sadly without much success. The way plaid mingles with velvet with birch bark is genius. The Bradstan is located near the Bethel Woods concert venue making it a great place to overnight after a show.
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Why The Bradstan is a great resort in the Catskills:
- Contemporary rustic design feels comfortably luxe
- Rooms are large with plush bedding and floor-to-ceiling windows for enjoying the view
- Excellent on-site restaurant that hosts special events throughout the year on Sundays including cabaret evenings, murder mystery nights, and comedians
- Outdoor pool, fitness center, and 2-mile nature trail with fitness stations
- Rowboats, kayaks, and paddle boats available on Sunrise Lake
- Room rates include a hearty breakfast, featuring the housemade cinnamon roll bread (loaves are available for purchase – trust me, you’ll want that.)
Mount Tremper, NY 12457
Located near two of the Catskills’ most popular things to do (Kaaterskill Falls hike and Rail Explorers), The Emerson is a boutique resort with a full-service spa and a range of complimentary activities including guided nature walks. During my stay, I learned how to create gorgeous dyed coasters in a Japanese marbling craft workshop.
Guests at The Emerson can choose from two lodging vibes. Inn rooms are large, contemporary suites with massive bathrooms and comfy sitting areas. Lodge rooms have a rustic cabin feel; some have kitchenettes and living areas, ideal for family stays.
There are two on-site restaurants, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub sunken into a deck overlooking Esopus Creek, one of the region’s premiere fly-fishing spots. The Shops at Emerson are full of well-curated merch, reasonably priced. And the resort is home to the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope. Hotel guests can enjoy a complimentary “kaleidoshow” in the former dairy barn silo.
Read our full review of the Emerson.
Why The Emerson Resort and Spa is a great resort in the Catskills:
- 53-room boutique hotel
- On-site full-service hair and nail salon and spa with sauna, steam room, and outdoor hot tub
- Two onsite restaurants: Spa Bites and Woodnotes Grille
- World’s largest kaleidoscope, daily shows complimentary for resort guests
- Complimentary daily activities including craft workshops and nature walks
- Weekend bonfires with s’mores kits available for purchase ($5)
- New pickleball court and children’s playground
- Pet-friendly resort with a dog park
- Free Wi-Fi and parking with EV charging stations
1000 Mountain Rest Road
New Paltz, NY 12561
The granddaddy of all Catskills resorts is the 267-room Victorian-era Mohonk Mountain House. Guests have been pampered here for over 150 years. It’s a gracious stay in a stunning mountain setting.
The rooms, as you’ll find in most historic properties, are small and don’t have TVs. What they do have is timeless charm, with antique-style furnishings, wood-burning fireplaces, and rocking chairs on the balconies. The experience comes with a steep price tag so for us mere mortals it’s a special occasion stay. I treated my hubby for our anniversary one year. The hotel was hosting a fiddlers’ convention. The sound of hundreds of violins bouncing off the mountains was magical.
The resort spa, winner of the 2023 Women’s Health Award as best eco-friendly spa and #1 Resort in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic in the 2023 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, offers more than 80 services. Want something truly special? Seasonal services are offered in the outdoor Lakeview Summerhouse.
The Mohonk Mountain House is an all-inclusive Catskill resort. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in your room rate. Meals feature locally sourced ingredients and proper attire is required in the indoor dining areas.
Besides sleeping, eating, and “spaaaah,” Mohonk guests enjoy a wide range of activities. There’s lake swimming and canoeing in summer, hikes to the Sky Top Tower, and, in winter, ice skating in one of the prettiest outdoor rinks I’ve ever seen. A room-sized fireplace provides skaters with a place to warm up between laps around the rink. The daily activities schedule has plenty of activities for everyone, including families.
Why the Mohonk Mountain House is a great resort in the Catskill:
- National Historic Landmark Resort
- Gorgeous lakefront setting surrounded by mountains
- All-inclusive rate includes three meals (alcohol excluded), afternoon tea, and weekend brunch
- Award-winning on-site spa, golf course, and ice skating rink
- Summer lake beach and year-round indoor pool
- Extensive activities including archery, tomahawk throwing, disc golf, tennis, paddle boating
- Winter activities include snow tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating
555 Resorts World Dr.
Monticello, NY 12701
An indoor waterpark for the kiddos. A casino for the adults. Those are two of the highlights of The Kartrite Resort in Monticello.
Located about a half-hour drive from the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, one of the Catskills’ top things to do, The Kartrite is a “something for everyone” type of property.
While there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained, SheBuysTravel contributor Terri Marshall thinks the resort works as a couple’s getaway too, with a quality restaurant (Bixby’s Derby), a heated outdoor pool open year-round and on-property hiking trails. Read her full review here.
Why The Kartrite Resort is a great resort in the Catskills:
- 324 suites in 14 sizes, including multi-bedroom suites for families
- Game rooms, a bowling alley, a rock climbing wall, and a ropes course keep the kids entertained
- Indoor waterpark with multiple waterslides, a lazy river, an indoor pool connected to the outdoor pool, and cabana rentals
- Hiking trails of varying levels just outside the resort to spend time in nature
- Plentiful on-site restaurants range from the super casual Surfside Grill to the aptly named Buffet Eat. Eat. Eat. to Bixby’s Derby showcasing a delicious variety of elevated cuisine options
- Free Wi-Fi and parking
- In-room mini-fridges and Smart TVs
- Located in the same resort complex as Resorts World Catskills casino and recently reopened Monster golf course
- Pets are not permitted
557 Winter Clove Road
Round Top, NY 12473
Vacation destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean are known for their all-inclusive resorts. But they exist in the Catskills too. The Winter Clove Inn & Resort is one of the oldest single-family-owned hotels in the US, welcoming guests since 1838. The room rates include three complete meals each day and the on-site restaurant will happily pack a to-go lunch for guests spending the day away from the resort.
The Inn has a full activities calendar and a variety of on-site recreation facilities including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis and pickleball courts, and an antique bowling alley (additional fee). Pets are not permitted.
Why the Winter Clove Inn is a great resort in the Catskills:
- 49 rooms located in 3 buildings providing flexibility for groups
- All-inclusive resort (alcoholic beverages are not included)
- Proximate to many Catskills attractions including Windham Mountain ski resort (30 miles)
- TVs are located in public areas, not in rooms
- Complimentary wifi
- Rooms are air-conditioned
- Mini-fridges are located in the public areas in the lodging buildings
- Non-smoking property
- Children under 3 are free
- Open year-round
356 Villa Roma Rd.
Callicoon, NY 12723
Another of the Catskills’ all-inclusive family-friendly resorts, Villa Roma has been the go-to vacation destination for thousands of New York City families since the original boarding house was acquired in 1969 by Long Island native Marty Passante. The resort sprawls across over 400 acres in Callicoon, near world-famous trout fishing spots along the Delaware River. In addition to a wide range of recreational facilities, Villa Roma hosts entertainers and theme weekends throughout the season.
My daughter’s bestie has been going to Villa Roma for more than 20 years. Same week every year, so everyone knows one another (much like the families in that great episode of Marvelous Mrs. Mazel). She adores the outdoor pools (and pool bar), the cornhole tournaments, and cannoli eating contests. Her favorite thing? The iconic Villa Roma bingo offered daily at 4 p.m.
Why Villa Roma is a great resort in the Catskills:
- 300 guest rooms including one- and two-bedroom suites
- All-inclusive resort with seven different dining options
- Pets permitted
- Indoor pool, hot tub and sauna
- Seasonal outdoor pools
- Ski hill and snow tubing in winter
- Themed weekends including Murder Mystery, Oktoberfest, and Bethel Woods concert packages
- Full-service salon and spa and fitness center
- Game room highlights include arcade games, ping pong and pickleball
- The Club at Villa Roma golf course
13 Scribner Hollow Rd.
Hunter, NY 12442
Like several other resorts in the Catskills, Scribner’s is a gut-renovated boutique hotel that opened in 2016 in the Hunter Mountain ski region.
Intentionally designed to “welcome a new generation of urban explorers,” Scribner’s features rooms with terraces and Adirondack chairs, a gorgeous seasonal outdoor pool, a winter skating rink, a year-round wood sauna, and a destination restaurant.
Cozy public spaces are perfect for playing a game of cards before heading outside to roast s’mores around the firepit.
Why Scribner’s Catskill Lodge is a great resort in the Catskills:
- Boutique 38-room property near Hunter Mountain
- Outdoor amenities include swimming pool (summer), skating rink (winter), year-round sauna
- Wellness classes and educational programs are held in The Studio or on The Bluestone Patio
- Prospect, a destination restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows for incredible Catskill Mountain views and cast-iron stoves
- The Whiskey Lounge bar with a fireplace and cozy club seating
- Pets are permitted
- Complimentary wifi
More Notable Catskills Resorts
If your Catskills vacation is a group trip such as a family reunion or corporate outing, check out the Minnewaska Lodge. The resort’s intimate, with 26 guest rooms, ideal for family reunions, bachelorette groups, or corporate retreats. A continental breakfast is included in your room rate. The real draw? Ten acres of private hiking trails can be accessed from the Lodge.
New Paltz Hampton Inn
A large State University of New York campus is in New Paltz, so you’ll find budget-friendly chain hotels.
Got $$ to burn? The ultra-luxe Wildflower Farms, an Auberge Resorts Collection property, has 65 bespoke cabins and cottages in a scenic Catskills setting. Expect to pay at least $1000 per night for an experiential stay that includes a welcome beverage, farm tours, and access to property trails. That’s thousand. With a ‘th.”
You can’t get closer to Catskills trailheads than at Eastwind, a 27-room property that opened its third location in the Oliverea Valley in January 2023. The McKenley Hollow trailhead is directly across the street.
Whether you stay in one of the Lushnas, the chain’s luxury cabins, or a traditional room, you’ll enjoy stunning sunrise and sunset views. There’s a pool and outdoor sauna, restaurant and bar, and plenty of fire pits and hammocks for relaxing.