It’s rare indeed that a new Auberge Resorts property comes along, especially one that’s just 90 minutes from New York City, up in the Catskills. The company has a memorable roster of luxury lairs, including Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley, White Barn in Kennebunkport, Malliouhana in Anguilla, The Lodge at Blue Sky in Park City, and the Hotel Jerome in Aspen.
The Catskills are clearly ready for prime time when a luxury company of Auberge Resorts’ rank moves in. That’s why there’s some excitement for the opening of Wildflower Farms, which will bring the brand’s level of five-star service and discernment to a rural destination where the Hudson River Valley meets the foothills of the Catskill mountain range. Scheduled to open in late 2022 in Gardiner, New York, the property will be within driving distance to Dia: Beacon, Storm King Art Center, Mohonk Preserve and the Culinary Institute of America, New Paltz and Hyde Park, New York. It’s an area rich in orchards and farms, especially beautiful in summer and fall. Weekenders come for the state parks, the bucolic vistas, art galleries and antique shops.
This is not the Catskills of old by any means. The design of the property more closely resembles a Napa Valley luxury getaway. The vision comes from Venice Beach, California-based architecture practice Electric Bowery and the New York-based design studio of Ward and Gray, who worked with Auberge on the project.
The setting is 140 acres, with a river and views of the Shawangunk Ridge. Expect orchards, heirloom gardens, and fields of wildflowers throughout. There will be 65 freestanding accommodations, including stand-alone bungalows, cottages, and suites. The inspiration is both Napa Valley and Scandinavian minimalism. Natural materials rule, including wooden floors and ceilings, and the use of wool fabrics. There will be window seats and fireplaces. Outside there will be decks, private patios, and fire pits.
The design cues are gardening, farming and botanicals. The lobby is built around a potting shed and will offer a fireplace and conversation pit. The color palette features sage green, burnt orange, and indigo.
Amenities will include a pavilion-style open-air fitness center. The 9,000-square-foot Thistle, An Auberge Spa, will combine age-old remedies and therapeutic bodywork with the essence of slow wellness and the healing powers of nature. The spa will offer curated wellness journeys. Facilities will include five single and one couple’s treatment rooms, outdoor hot tubs, and an indoor saltwater pool.
The restaurant will have a bar, open kitchen and farm-based cuisine. Clay is the name of the restaurant, which will serve a rustic new American menu. The culinary experience will also be interactive and guests can engage through hands-on experiences such as foraging, organic vegetable farming, and cooking classes.
The Great Porch will offer morning coffee and evening cocktails, along with memorable views of the Shawangunk Ridge. The Dew Bar is an alfresco cocktail bar.
There are miles of nearby hiking trails to explore. The resort will also offer nearby access to Mohonk Preserve, a private reserve known for hiking, biking and world-class rock climbing.
Wildflower Farms would seem to be further evidence that the Catskills are heading in the direction of the Hamptons, offering high-priced luxury getaways for discerning New Yorkers.
Visit Wildflower Farms.