Weekend Getaways at Repurposed Hotels: Mount Merino Manor
Mount Merino Manor sits on 100 acres in upstate New York and features views of the Hudson River.
MOUNT MERINO MANOR
4317 New York 23, Hudson, NY
mountmerinomanor.com; (518) 828-5583
Distance by car: 2 hours
The name may sound a bit pretentious, but Mount Merino Manor is anything but. Elegant? Yes. Serene? Affirmative. Perfectly attuned to overnight guests’ needs? Understatement. This high-end, luxury Victorian country house is set on 100 acres in Hudson, New York, with off-in-the-distance views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. Built in 1870 for Gustavus Sabine, doctor-on-retainer for Hudson River School notable Frederick Edwin Church (who lived next door in his mansion, Olana), Mount Merino remained a private home until it was abandoned in the early 2000s. Prior to buying the property, Rita Birmingham and her husband, Patrick, had visited other B&Bs over the course of two years, making a list of things they hated. “Clutter, clowns—we didn’t want any of that,” Patrick says. But they did yearn for land, and lots of it. They felt at home the moment they turned into the hundred-acre woods and knew it for sure when they saw the house. Shortly after it opened, Mount Merino Manor was accepted into the esteemed Select Registry as one of 400 inns and B&Bs of distinction in North America.
ROOM: Rita scrupulously sourced period piece furniture and accessories for seven spacious guestrooms, resulting in sumptuous simplicity; each is a true respite in soothing ivories and creams.
BOARD: A gourmet breakfast, including fresh baked goods, locally sourced meats (of course), and eggs or French toast is served on china and crystal. Midday, drive into town for a croque monsieur at Le Gamin Country Café, a Left Bank-style bistro set on the east bank of the Hudson. There are more than 20 restaurants in Hudson, and a number of CIA-trained chefs.
ONLY HERE: Visit Olana, former home of Frederick Edwin Church.
WHILE HERE: In the 1990s, Manhattan antiques dealers discovered this depressed Hudson River town. The town, now gentrified, has a feel of Brooklyn about it—so much so that Brooklyn-based online retailer Etsy has opened another office here. Window-shop on eclectic Warren Street, then walk to the Landmarks Visitor Center and pick up a Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail map that indentifies locations of wineries, breweries, and distilleries in the area. Also, head up to Golden Harvest Farms, which has, according to Rita, “hands-down the best cider donuts.”
JUST THE FACTS: Room rates range from $175 to $375 a night, include a three-course gourmet breakfast; free WiFi; complimentary coffee, tea, water, fruit, and cookies in guest kitchen; and artisanal chocolate on your bed at turndown.