Troutbeck hotel review: Literary luxury in a country manor makes for a relaxed Hudson Valley weekend escape in Amenia, New York

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At 250 years old, Troutbeck is an unlikely Instagram star. That might sound unusual for an upstate hotel that’s an ideal escape for harried New Yorkers, but if you follow the fashion set, you’ve seen their famous little red bridge all over and double tapped. 

It’s a far cry from flashy visits to the Hamptons – instead, visitors can unwind at the nearby horse farm or enjoy a casual, farm-to-table meal outside. It’s peak relaxation with a social media-friendly twist. Think Soho Farmhouse for New Yorkers needing a weekend (or even a night) away. 

I was intrigued enough by the seemingly endless supply of photos of the upstate getaway on my feed (Eva Chen is a frequent visitor). I ventured to the sweet hotel for an overnight visit, which was easy enough on the Metro-North. 

Troutbeck is often used as a convention center for world leaders (AFP/Getty Images)

The lowdown 

The hotel was originally built as a private estate in 1765 by the Benton family. They went on to host literary heroes, including Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The hotel was then purchased by the Spingarn family in 1900, who managed to maintain its place as a creative hotbed, playing host to Ernest Hemingway and President Theodore Roosevelt. 

Now, the understated hotel is back and better than ever after an extensive remodeling project taken on by the fourth and current owner, Anthony Champalimaud, and his family. They took over the home in 2016 and fully modernized the manor while keeping sweet touches: like the lovely library where you’ll want to read (or write) the great American novel and the patio that stretches out over rolling grass worthy of a Nicholas Sparks movie. 

Although the remodelling was a family affair, the Champalimauds certainly have the pedigree to back up the process. Anthony’s mother’s design firm is Champalimaud Design, famous for reimagining the Hotel Bel-Air, Bridgehampton’s luxurious Topping Rose and Manhattan’s Palace Hotel. 

It’s now a fitting member of Mr and Mrs Smith’s hand-picked collection of luxurious and unexpected boutique hotels. It feels like vacationing at an extremely elegant manor, but without the stress of being somewhere high-key. It truly is the ultimate escape, offering a bit of much-needed relaxation and reflection for harried New Yorkers. 

All of Troutbeck’s rooms are different (Mr and Mrs Smith)

The rooms 

All of the rooms are entirely different, with some boasting sunrooms and others showing off in-room tubs. There’s a writing desk at the hotel, but if inspiration for your literary masterpiece somehow doesn’t hit you can always peruse its selection of books. The rooms are equally welcoming for a romantic getaway, an extended girls’ night slumber party (cots are available) or even a weekend with kids – just pop them in the pool. The whole hotel is welcoming and guests can even bring their pups. 

All of the large, bright bathrooms are fully stocked with Malin+Goetz bath products. But hopefully, you’ll get a tub to soak in. 

The only drawback is the hotel’s restaurant, which can feel a bit stale after a while – although they recently introduced a new executive chef. Make a point to venture out to nearby restaurants and see the Gilmore Girls-looking town nearby.

The Instagram-worthy library (Mr and Mrs Smith)

Getting there

Just hop on the Metro-North and take it all the way to Amenia, New York, which takes two trains about two hours (ride both all the way to the end of the line) from Grand Central. It sits right on the border of Connecticut – Instagram might even think you’re there when choosing a location – and about half an hour from the Berkshires. Download the Metro-North app to keep track, so that you don’t wind up in Connecticut. 

It’s about a two hour drive from Manhattan, but don’t consider renting a car quite yet. The ride could be quicker via train if there’s traffic and it’s easy to hop into a cab and head to Troutbeck from the train station. 

What to Instagram 

Troutbeck’s famous red bridge over the babbling creek is the iconic Insta number, while the pool is particularly popular as well. But before you go overboard ‘gramming, listen to the creek babble. It’s not exactly a noise you hear in Manhattan, unless it’s a dripping subway system after a storm. The bridge has most recently popped up in plenty of wedding photos. The grounds are popular for luxurious wedding ceremonies with plenty of upstate charm – while I visited, a bride was taking a tour and preparing for her impending nuptials, with the entire property rented out for the big day. 

The weather upstate is famously a bit crisper than typical NYC heat, so if you’re visiting anytime other than summer it might not be ideal to dive into the pool. You can play tennis or enjoy the garden. 

The fully-stocked library also leads to a lovely photographic moment, especially if the fireplace is roaring and the music is on. But you just might get so carried away having cocktails or dinner there that you forget to take a picture at all. 

Another fabulously Insta-worthy moment takes place nearby at the Mountain Valley Farm. During my June visit, we took a quick car ride over and were met with a two hour horse ride. Post-ride, we nibbled on cheese and crackers, drank wine, relaxed by a fire and listened to a cowboy poet, who spoke about his travels, making for a Pinterest-perfect moment.

How much does it cost to stay?

Double rooms start at $275. There are 36 rooms in total, including nine suites. Visit Mr & Mrs Smith for more information.

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