The Pioneer Spas: Mohonk Mountain House
- Published: Sunday, October 2nd 2011
- in Living Well
Owned and operated by the same family since 1869, the Mohonk Mountain House is the American resort in our celebration that has been open the longest. Since its inception, it’s been committed to recreation and renewal in its beautiful natural setting, and Mohonk’s spa, opened in 2005, has wonderfully brought that concept into the 21st century.
Just 90 minutes from Manhattan, a seven-story castle rises from the Hudson Valley, a majestic reminder of America’s Gilded Age. This is Mohonk Mountain House, the humbly named yet elegant resort owned and operated by the Smiley Family since 1869. For years, its location, surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine forest, has made it a treasured escape for serenity-seeking nature lovers and adventurists. Now with a new spa added in 2005, it is also one of the Hudson Valley’s fastest- emerging, award-winning spa destinations.
Even when it first opened in the 19th century, resort founder Albert Smiley had a clear concept for Mohonk: “From the earliest days, the vision that shaped Mohonk Mountain House was to provide opportunities for recreation and renewal of body, mind, and spirit in a beautiful natural setting,” says descendent and current hotel manager, Nina Smiley.
“Guests in the 1800s and early 1900s could choose to go hiking on 85 miles of trails, swim in a sky water lake, enjoy boating, fishing, golf, tennis, carriage rides, or simply relax in a rocking chair taking in a serene and spectacular view,” Smiley says. She continues: “Guests today do much the same [without the weighty Victorian garb, we add] and so much more, with our spa services, classes in fitness, yoga, and meditation, and an indoor heated swimming pool, rock climbing, and mountain biking added to the mix.”
From ’70s Services to a New-Century Spa
Although Mohonk officially opened their 30,000-foot spa wing in 2005, they have been providing traditional spa services, such as massage, since the 1970s. “We began offering massages in the 1970s, with a single on-staff masseur, followed by a masseuse,” says Smiley. “Guests were here for outdoor activities and relaxation and, while the concept of ‘spa’ had yet to flourish, tired muscles received attention and care.”
”Now our spa consumers come for the entire spa experience,” continues Smiley. “From arrival through treatments, conducted in our new 16 treatment rooms, to relaxing in our solarium to sipping a cup of herbal tea, spa guests today delight in the full context of spa-dom.”
The Spa at Mohonk is particularly attuned to the savvy spa lover’s need for unique treatments. “We are proud to offer Signature Elements of Nature Treatments, indigenous to our remarkable setting and unique to our history, as well as ‘Solutions for Modern Lifestyles,” which today’s spa-goers so clearly need,”says Smiley. “We also offer stress reduction meditation classes daily, providing an opportunity to learn immediately effective, life-changing techniques.” And moving forward? “Our spa will continue to develop new treatments to meet the changing needs of today’s spa-goer and to provide opportunities to explore and learn about wellness in a beautiful, supportive setting,” offers Smiley.
Our 25th Anniversary Celebration continues with more Spa Nostalgia Slideshows >