Ok folks, if you haven’t heard of “glamping" yet, here is the scoop. As Urban Dictionary kindly spells out for us, glamping is “going camping, but with glamour. A combination of the two words. It's like regular camping , but with nicer things than usual…Glamping isn't done by usual outdoor types who climb mountains.”
Now I’m fine with this definition minus the last bit about not being for people who actually climb mountains, because last weekend I both glamped and climbed.
As a surprise birthday present for my boyfriend, Graham, I booked a room at a little place called The Graham & Co. (yes, I know) for some fresh air and hiking in the Catskills. I had read about the newly refurbished hotel on Design Sponge and it sounded like the perfect weekend getaway.
On Friday morning we hopped on the 9:15am Trailways bus, after missing the 7am departure, at Port Authority Bus Terminal, and we were on our way down the two and a half hour road to Phoenicia, NY.
The bus dropped us off outside of Sweet Sue’s, a pancake haven on Main Street, and we were directed by a local to walk “three and half New York City blocks” down the road.
We arrived at check in, a garage converted into a trendy hangout area, with repurposed wood furniture, cedar incense, board games, and our choice of a bottled water or Budweiser, and quickly learned a little background on the place from the staff.
The Graham & Co. was formerly a rundown 70’s motel, and was recently bought and renovated by the family of a New York City graphic designer who had spent summers in the Catskill region. The outcome? Glamping at its finest.
The hotel grounds are reminiscent of summer camp with a pool, fire pit, picnic benches, and strands of lights, and guests have access to charcoal-colored bikes to explore the town and bike to hiking destinations. The town is surrounded by hills, and this time of year the entire area is lit up by orange and red leaves. The setting felt a bit Moonrise Kingdom, in the best way.
Our single standard room was decorated minimally with cozy details like a wool blanket, Tivoli radio, and Edison light bulbs.
The two night trip consisted of hiking, biking, lounging, and good eats. Friday night we treated ourselves to a dinner at Peekamoose, a restaurant owned by the crew behind Gramercy Tavern, located about 12 miles from The Graham & Co. (we took a cab, #glamping). On Saturday we picked up a pizza at Brio's and wine from the Main Street liquor store and dined al fresco on the hotel grounds, and then ate a few too many S’mores made on the campfire.
Both mornings we enjoyed a light complimentary breakfast at the hotel of hard boiled eggs, Brazilian pastries, and fresh fruit. And of course we had to try Sweet Sue's famous pancakes (unfortunately I chose to indulge in a stack of blueberry ones right before a 6 mile hike).
We went on two different hikes, one a quick 1.6 mile loop on a nearby hill, and the other a 6 mile trek to an old fire station. Side note: we had been informed that we were in bear country, so throughout our hikes we did many bear calls to be sure the osos knew we were coming.
When Sunday morning rolled around, we felt well-rested and refreshed by the outdoors. If you’re looking for a quick break from the city, I would highly recommend this trip. Two nights was the perfect length of stay, and The Graham & Co. staff could not have been more welcoming, or well-dressed. Thanks again y’all!