The 5 Best Upstate New York Boutique Hotels for Fall Foliage Viewing

When it comes to scenic upstate New York, there’s something to look forward to in each of the four seasons. Still, fall is arguably the most amazing time to visit. Why? From mid-September to early November each year, the region’s lush vegetation transforms into a patchwork of rich, warm colors: red, orange, yellow and brown.

Travelers travel from near and far to experience this spectacular fall exhibit – to connect with nature, shop for antiques, visit locally owned wineries and cider houses and, perhaps most importantly, take a peek. look at the leaves. For the unindoctrinated, the act of looking at the leaves is any trip where the whole route is to see the autumn leaves as they change color, and upstate New York is easily the one of the best destinations in the country to do just that.

“There’s a reason people travel to visit upstate New York in the fall: it’s absolutely breathtaking,” says David Harmatz, managing partner of the new Lilien Hotel. “Every weekend the leaves change ever so slightly, creating a totally new landscape. Also, the weather couldn’t be more perfect: warm during the day and cool in the morning and evening. The only downside is that it’s fleeting so you really want to get there before the leaves fall.”

In recent years, the area has only grown in popularity, especially with residents of New York and surrounding areas. Part of this bump is related to the pandemic and how it has affected the way we travel, as anxious New Yorkers have been forced to seek out nearby experiences that would allow them an easy escape from the city without get in a plane.

Since then, boutique properties large and small have popped up all over the upstate, creating even more reasons to make the trip. From luxury single-cabin stays to restorations of grand historic homes and beyond, these properties open up the region to a whole new suite of premier fall travel experiences that emphasize a connection to nature. .

“Hotel Lilien organizes a nature walk right next to our property on weekends. In the fall, we like to send guests to Scribner Hollow Farm for locally grown seasonal produce, apple cider donuts at Story Farms, or a little further afield to Boehm Farm for apple picking.

As Harmatz hints, each property has its own host of unique local activities: from remarkable trails and roads to must-visit farms, restaurants and bars. So to help you plan your next trip upstate, we’ve rounded up the five best boutique hotels for fall foliage viewing.

Interior of a bedroom in Piaule

Jody Rogac

Catskill, NY

One of the most talked-about hotels in the upstate right now, it’s also potentially one of the best for leaf-watching — sitting on 50 acres of bluff that overlooks thousands of trees. Whether you’re spending time by the cafe’s double-sided zinc fireplace admiring the view or relaxing in one of their 24 private cabins, the hotel’s minimalist design emphasizes the beautiful setting. of the property with large windows and natural wood. A “landscape” hotel, there are tons of hiking trails nearby, and Hudson is a twenty minute drive away for when you’re ready to hit civilization.

Exterior of Hotel Lilien

Exterior of Hotel Lilien

Hotel Lilien

Tannersville, NY

The newly opened Hotel Lilien is located between the village of Tannersville and Hunter Mountain, in a carefully restored historic building transformed into an 18-room boutique hotel and cocktail bar. The bedrooms are all uniquely furnished in a warm, minimalist style, some with private entrances to the back deck. Surrounded by tall trees and just a 6-minute drive from the sprawling Mountain Top Arboretum, Hotel Lilien is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the fall colors. For an even more breathtaking view, stop at Kaaterskill Falls with a camera in hand – one of New York’s tallest waterfalls.

Interior of a bedroom in Eastwind

Interior of a bedroom at Eastwind Hotel Lake Placid

Laurent Brown

Lake Placid, New York

A charming retreat in the heart of the Adirondacks, Lake Placid became Eastwind’s second property (they also have one at Wyndham) when it opened in early August. Located in what was once a 1950s motorized inn, Eastwind’s luxury cabins dot 2.8 acres of land along the Chubb River. Leaf-watching here doesn’t even have to include a hike and can be done sitting by the communal outdoor fire pit with a book in hand from their vintage library. Their rooms, suites, and cabins all offer views of the tree-lined landscape, and for a real leaf-viewing adventure there’s nearby High Falls Gorge – a private nature park with trails that wind around four waterfalls, all within foot of Whiteface Mountain.

Interior of a room at Wildflower Farm

Interior of a room at Wildflower Farms

Murphy O’Brien

Gardiner, NY

A true nature getaway, this new luxury Auberge property sits on 140 acres on the banks of the Shawangunk River. From their entirely open-air lobby meant to be more like the living room of a home, to the 65 self-contained accommodations that dot the property, Wildflower Farms is an obvious choice for viewing the fall leaves. Their cabins, cottages, and suites are wrapped entirely in natural materials, like wood-panelled ceilings and reworked canvas on the walls, and feature comfy window seats to view the foliage with a coffee in hand. In addition to nearby hiking opportunities, there are also forest trails throughout the property and opportunities to take courses in foraging, growing organic vegetables and more.

The exterior of the Mohonk Mountain Hotel

The exterior of the Mohonk Mountain Hotel

Mohonk Mountain Hotel

New Paltz, NY

Nestled in the Hudson Valley and situated on a private glacial lake with views of the Catskill Mountains, you will find this Victorian castle resort. As a bonus, it’s only a two-hour drive from town. Owned and operated by the Smiley family since its founding in 1869, New Yorkers have been escaping to Mohonk Mountain House for generations. Along with its farm-to-table fare, the hotel is known for offering plenty of recreational opportunities, including outdoor adventures that are included with your stay, from guided nature tours to rock scrambling and swimming in the forest by the lake. After a long day of hiking and leaf viewing, wood-burning fireplaces can be found in most rooms for relaxation.

Joshua B. Speller