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Mohonk Still Timeless at 140

By Linda Tancs

In 1869, a Rhode Island schoolmaster named Albert Smiley purchased 280 acres and a ten-room inn overlooking a lovely lake atop the Shawangunk Ridge above New Paltz, New York.  Since then, that investment has metamorphosed into Mohonk Mountain House, an idyllic retreat comprising a Victorian castle with 265 rooms, five guest cottages, three spacious dining rooms, 138 fireplaces, 238 balconies, and a half-dozen parlors.  The centerpiece of a 26,000-acre natural area in the Shawangunk Mountains, the 140-year-old resort lacks for nothing in the way of amenities, like its 30,000 square-foot spa’s steam and sauna rooms.  Not surprisingly, the mountain house was named a National Historic Landmark in 1986.  From Sky Top Tower, you can survey the property’s namesake, Lake Mohonk, a 60-foot deep, freshwater beauty.  In 1882, the New York Times reported, “There is nothing in the world exactly like Lake Mohonk.”  Well, maybe seeing is believing.


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