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2022-06-16 00:00:00 Avenue Magazine The Best Upstate Spas to Escape to This Summer

The Best Upstate Spas to Escape to This Summer

Upstate of mind

This summer, Avenue is exploring the best New York’s spa offerings. Click here to read more from this series — because if you can relax here, you can relax anywhere.

A crop of new luxury spas has replaced the summer camps of yore in New York State. Here, our editors have rounded up the best and brightest spots to unwind amongst nature.

A paradise of earth tones and linen, Piaule is a 50-acre retreat in the bosom of the Catskills. Opened last year, the resort features 24 private cabins, each a study in natural modernism, a restaurant (helmed by the extremely talented Manhattan émigré Ryan Tate) and, naturally, a spa whose cedar sauna has a mountain view, whose steam room is made with local bluestone, and whose treatments include an immersive sound bath (that is, if the sounds of the woods aren’t relaxing enough.)

With the arrival of (mostly) Brooklyn transplants, Kingston has gone from small industrial town on the Hudson River to small postindustrial town with a very nice spa and hotel. That would be Hutton Brickyards, a hotel and spa which now includes barrel saunas overlooking the water, body brushing treatments, back facials (like a facial, for your back), and a “Thirsty” flag, the raising of which summons afternoon cocktails to your private cabin.

Above Kenoza Lake, the graceful manor Kenoza Hall sits high atop a hill. Opened in 2020, the old house has turned modern inn, thanks to hipster hoteliers Foster Supply Co. Even higher up the hill, next to 10 newly opened one-and-two bedroom bungalows, is the Hemlock Spa, where treatments are inspired by 19th-century naturopath Sebastian Kneipp.

The 250-acre Hudson Valley estate once hosted poets like Thoreau and civil rights leaders like MLK Jr. (not at the same time). Now the manor house and adjoining buildings have been reborn as a luxurious hotel with a massive, airy, woodsy spa named the Barns, where you can meditate, soak, sweat, and be massaged until you find your own Thoreauvian poetic inspiration.

Taavo Somer, the mind behind Freemans Sporting Club, bellwether of mid-aughts hipsterism, recently opened this members-only club and hotel in Accord. There’s a 12-room farm house and 28 cabins and a Mediterranean restaurant. Until the spa opens in 2023, you’ll have to make do with the tennis, golf, swimming, and more.

By far the splashiest opening this year is The Chatwal Lodge, the upstate branch of the iconic luxury hotel brand, which opened in April. This one, an 11-room lodge, is done in high Adirondack-lodge style and full of summer camp amenities (kayaking, horseback riding, stargazing) and also non-summer camp amenities like en suite massages from the pros at the nearby YO1 Wellness Center.

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