Hudson Valley Views and a History Lesson, Too: Why You Should Stay at The Thayer Hotel
This West Point property puts the natural beauty and historical significance of our region into view.
Photos Courtesy of The Thayer Hotel
Just a short drive outside of Westchester you’ll find a place where the natural beauty and historical significance of the Hudson Valley couldn't be more apparent. That place is The Thayer Hotel, and its scenic location on West Point, our country's oldest continually operating military base, creates an experience so exclusive, you need to present your ID in order to even access the property.
That hotel itself radiates an air of esteem, especially the lobby’s high-vaulted ceiling and vintage Americana décor. Spacious and inviting rooms and suites flaunt historic charm and commanding sightlines, like the MacArthur Suite which hosted the famous General Douglas MacArthur during visits to the region, or the Executive Super Suite filled with fascinating memorabilia from the Army West Point baseball team.
These accomodations make for a remarkable stay as you prepare plans to explore the property and surrounding area. Here are a few places you should look for a full taste of what The Thayer Hotel at West Point has to offer.
Overlook the Hudson from this rooftop lounge
At Zulu Time, the vastness of the Hudson River can be savored as you overlook it with shared plates and a West Point themed craft cocktail in hand. Whether painted by the foliage of fall-ready trees or vibrant and green during the spring and summer months, the scenery from The Thayer’s exclusive rooftop lounge is an unforgettable image.
Even the name of the bar itself adds depth to the experience: Zulu Time — commonly referred to as Greenwich Mean Time — is an absolute time reference used in military operations worldwide that doesn't change with the season or location. Behind the bar you'll see a host of clocks displaying the current time around the world, with the current Zulu Time displayed most prominently.
Open between April to November, Zulu Time is the place to be, especially during happy hour, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Go on a guided tour of the historical events and people that defined our country
The West Point military base is teeming with American history dating back to 1778, and only a guided tour will present the full spectrum of its importance in defining American history.
On the tour, you'll learn of West Point's strategic position during the Revolutionary War and the history that unfolded at the base, like Benedict Arnold's infamous act of treason.
At Trophy Point, a scenic overlook with jawdropping views of the Hudson, you can see how control of the river was integral to winning the war. Remnants of the "Great Chain," a 75-ton chain that was used to block British ships from traveling north, can be found here.
Statues of legendary military personnel dot the military base. Your tour guide will explain some in detail, like Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, once a notable prankster at the academy, went on to change the course of our country.
Tours operate daily and start at the West Point Visitors Center just down the road from the hotel, where the West Point Museum is located. Walk through the free exhibit for a lesson on the acadamy's cadet training program and what life is like on the journey from a plebe (the colloquial term for a freshman) to a firstie (a senior).
Dive into a seafood buffet, dining on top-notch Hudson Valley cuisine
Back at the hotel, the large dining room at MacArthur's Riverview Restaurant, with high ceilings and Gothic windows, brings grandeur to the dining experience. Sumptuous meals are offered from executive chef Chris Hettinger, which include the Friday night seafood buffet: raw bar, clam chowder, ceviche-style scallops, and pan-roasted salmon. Those who don't have an affinity for seafood would find plenty to dig into with non-seafood options: chicken marsala, tortellini alfredo, and New York sirloin.
The Sunday Champagne Brunch, with three seatings at 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1:30 p.m., is another exquisite way to experience the restaurant’s award-winning offerings. There's an omelet station, make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, filled-to-order cannolis, and more brunch selections. This experience wouldn't be complete without the bottomless champagne or mimosas offered throughout.