Green MountainApril 1, 2008 By: Marianne Dougherty American Salon
The sprawling facility, which features 233 guest rooms, overlooks Lake Mohonk
Mohonk Mountain House Resort and Spa in New Paltz, NY, reflects one family's continuing commitment to the environment.
Nearly 140 years ago twin brothers Alfred and Albert Smiley pooled their resources to buy a piece of property in New York's Hudson Valley near New Paltz. A small tavern overlooked Lake Mohonk, while the Shawnagunks—a rugged mountain range with precipitous crags and overhanging quartz rock formations—rose up in the background. Just 90 minutes from New York City, it was, and still is, the perfect location for a resort hotel. Because they were Quakers, the brothers banned alcohol, dancing and card-playing at the resort, suggesting that instead guests partake of daily nature walks, boating, bowling, horseback riding, fishing and evening concerts. The emphasis was on direct contact with nature and conversation with others. It still is. For example, there are no televisions in any of the guest rooms. "We'd rather people get out of their rooms and participate in outdoor activities," says Nina Smiley, director of marketing at Mohonk Mountain, which is still owned and operated by members of the Smiley family, who have been doing their part to protect the environment since 1869.
The boat dock at Mohonk Mountain House