Rediscovering Bear Mountain Inn
A seven-year renovation, the openings of brand new restaurants, and this historic site is refreshingly returned to its former glory.
When Bear Mountain Inn first opened its doors in 1915, its mission was “to provide a pleasant resort, for people of the metropolitan district, within easy motoring distance, comparable with what they would find in the best private resorts, and with the advantage of location amid the superb scenery of the Hudson Gorge.”
A century later, the inn is once again (finally) living up to this mission. After being closed for seven years for an extensive renovation, the Inn reopened in 2012 for overnight guests. It features 12 luxury guestrooms, three suites, boardrooms, ballrooms, and a gorgeous lobby that maintains the Inn’s rustic Adirondack-style charm. Last spring, the resort feel returned with the opening of Restaurant 1915, Blue Roof Tapas Bar, and The Spa.
Because of its close proximity to Westchester (just 30 miles from White Plains), it’s quite possible to spend just an hour or two at the Inn—for dinner, a bite at the Hiker’s Café, or a spa treatment—but we highly recommend you spend the night, and take advantage of everything the inn and Bear Mountain State Park have to offer. In fact, after dining at Restaurant 1915, which features an open-hearth fireplace, soaring ceilings, and majestic views of the park and mountain, you will be wishing you had booked a room (especially if you have a glass or two of hot buttered rum, the cocktail special served the evening we visited).
And while you could easily be romanced into forgiving mediocre fare, with Executive Chef Michael Matarazzo in the kitchen, there is no need. The award-winning chef brings to the Inn something it’s been missing for, um, 99 years: excellent food. The menu features hearty and succulent dishes such as crispy pork shank with braised red cabbage and house-made spaetzle, and grilled hanger steak with sautéed spinach and chanterelles.
Wrap up your stay with a morning visit to The Spa (get its signature Bear Mountain Shirodhara Facial), and you will feel like you’ve visited a private resort many miles away from home. And, while it’s tempting to eat, drink, sleep, and steam your stay away, you really should venture out into the park which features challenging hiking trails, ice skating (until March 2), an outdoor pool, and a zoo.
It truly is a joy to see this local treasure, which is on the National and New York State Register of Historic Places, return to its former glory.