South of the Catskills (Mrs. Maisel, Dirty Dancing) on the crest of the Shawangunks, Mohonk Mountain House is a Victorian castle resort that’s one of my favorite places on Earth.
Founded in 1869, the resort features breathtaking trails through 40,000 acres of National Historic Landmark forest, a variety of outdoor sports (kayaking, golf, archery, boating), fine dining, luxury spa treatments, and evening entertainment.
But at $1400 per night to sleep over, a Mohonk Mountain House day pass is a must.
Here are some options to visit the resort for a fraction of the overnight cost:
Mohonk Spa Daycation
In April, Mohonk offered a Daycation package that in spite of its cloying name (yikes), provided full access to the grounds, spa, and indoor pool–a rarity–all of which blew my mind (especially the pool). The $295 price tag included one of three spa treatments and lunch in the Carriage Lounge restaurant.
Here’s what I chose to do on my, sigh, Daycation.
Sleep in the Relaxation Veranda
Upon arrival, I was overwhelmed by choice. So I decided to sleep. There was no one in the Relaxation Veranda, so I sat in silence and stared out the window. When I awoke, I studied the map and designed my itinerary.
Walk to the Sky Top Tower
The walk to the Sky Top Tower was steep but only about 20 minutes each way. The gravelly trail made a good crunching noise, and there were a host of gazebo stops along the way. The gazebos all seemed to be dangling off the cliff, so I admired them from a far.
There is peace and silence and this at the top.
Sit in a Rocking Chair on Lake Mohonk
After my walk, I stopped by the lake and sat in a rocking chair and rocked.
Eat Lunch at Carriage Lounge
Next was lunch at the Carriage Lounge, which was included in the package. I mistakenly went to the Main Dining Room and was politely redirected but made a note to eat there next time. Its circular shape and sweeping views of the lake felt regal. And I like feeling regal.
Lunch came with two courses. They fried the french fries separately and served my burger on a gluten free bun.
Soak in the Mineral Pool
After lunch, it was time for the mineral pool.
Watching the bubbles fizz about mesmerizes me. And blanks my mind. I also love the contrast of hot tub soaking on a cool day.
See a Porcupine in a Tree
As I emerged from the pool, I noticed three women pointing. When I asked them what they were looking at, I learned there was a porcupine in a tree.
I couldn’t believe it and went scampering through the veranda so I could see him from outside.
I never thought I’d see a porcupine, and I never knew that porcupines went in trees.
Nourishing Scalp, Hands & Feet Ritual
The Nourishing Ritual was next. I’m always a little squeamish about spa treatments, and names like Nourishing Ritual make me giggle a bit.
It was nice. But no comparison to the porcupine.
Swim in the Indoor Pool
After scrubbing the ritual oil out of my hair with a special shampoo, I headed downstairs to the indoor pool.
I’d heard that the indoor pool at Mohonk was one of the resort’s best features. It has an underwater sound system so you can listen to music while submerged.
Use of the pool is generally not included in day activity passes at Mohonk, but it was included in the Daycation. It’s the main reason why I splurged.
One of my favorite feelings in life is pushing off a pool wall as hard as I can so I go as far as I can before starting to swim a lap. The whoosh is impossibly invigorating, and I can do it over and over and over again without getting bored. I only stop when I can’t physically swim any longer.
But in this pool, the whoosh of the push is also accompanied by underwater music. I was astounded by how much I loved this feature. It alone was worth the price of admission.
After showering up and taking a spin through the spa shop, I headed back to the car. I didn’t want it to end. And generally, after a day like this, I’m ready for it to end.
You must go.
It appears the Daycation is no longer offered, but there are a variety of other day passes available for a visit to the Mountain House. Here are the current choices:
Day Spa Experience at Mohonk
Booking any spa treatment (or salon treatment) at Mohonk gets you spa access from 8am – 6pm (Relaxation Veranda, outdoor mineral pool), use of the trails, house, and evening entertainment beginning at 9pm. Basically everything I did minus the indoor pool. The cheapest option, I believe, is to book a manicure, which is $60. Not cheap for a manicure, but when you add in all of the rest, it’s a fairly affordable option.
Hiking Trails Pass
For $35 per adult and $30 per child, you can get day access to the 85 miles of hiking trails — from climbing boulders ( I did see some folks doing that) to easy walks like the one I did. This pass doesn’t give access to the house, spa, outdoor pool, and otherwise.
Summer Sports Pass
For $99 per person per day, the Summer Sports pass includes a one-hour tennis reservation, a thirty-minute use of a boat, access to the trails, house, Carriage Lounge, and 4pm tea and cookies.
Here are the golf rates:
$23 per 9 holes to walk
$39 per 9 holes (includes cart rental)
$34 per 18 holes to walk
$55 per 18 holes (includes cart rental)
Reservations are required, and there’s a dress code you can read about here.
Outdoor Activities Pass
Carriage & Hiking Pass
Here are the carriage rates:
$99 per person, based on double occupancy for 20-25 minute carriage ride
$117 per person, based on double occupancy for 40-45 minute carriage ride
This package also includes access to the house and Carriage Lounge. The ride includes a history tour and a visit to the barn museum on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Semi-Private Horseback Trail Refresher and Hiking Package
This is a 30-minute semi-private trail ride with riding and horsemanship tips. This package also includes access to the house and Carriage Lounge. The ride includes a history tour and a visit to the barn museum on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
$99 per person Monday – Friday
$117 per person Weekends, Holidays, and during the months of August & October
Boating on Lake Mohonk
$22 gets you a thirty-minute ride on your choice of rowboats, paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards. The boating fee is not a package but rather on add-on to a day pass.
Ice Skating, snow shoes, micro-spikes, and cross-country skis are also available in wintertime.
An Alternative Sleep-Over
I was chatting with a woman in the veranda who gave me this great tip. If you’d like to sleep over and make a mini-vacation out of your time at Mohonk, consider booking a room at the nearby Minnewaska Lodge for a fraction of the cost (currently about $350/night). Then purchase a day pass of your liking to gain access to Mohonk Mountain House. I’ve never been to the lodge, but she mentioned that it has a lovely secluded, private feeling.
For lunch, she suggested the nearby Mountain Brauhaus restaurant that’s been serving German fare for nearly 70 years. I’ve also never been there, but the parking lot is always packed.
Thanks for reading! Have you been to Mohonk?
If you enjoyed this post on Mohonk Mountain House Day Pass, check out this one about visiting FDR's Library.
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