Hudson Valley Fall Getaways and Vacations 2011: Waterstone Inn, Greenwood Lake, NY

Best fall vacations in the Hudson Valley: The Waterstone Inn, Greenwood Lake, NY (Orange County)

Like an unpolished gemstone, Greenwood Lake’s abundant beauty is often overlooked. Tucked away between Tuxedo and Warwick in Orange County, the village is home to its namesake lake, a nine-mile expanse surrounded by private beaches, gorgeous homes, and mountains that extend tall and far. Along the lake on Sterling Road sits the Waterstone Inn, a quiet bed-and-breakfast with five guest rooms and a separate two-bedroom cottage.

The inn is easily accessible, even without a GPS, and the drive there offers a plethora of colors for those who appreciate autumn’s palette.
The Mulcahy family purchased the building, previously Lynch’s Lakefront Inn, about four years ago. They’re a welcoming bunch who make you feel as if you are a guest in their actual home, and can offer a slew of advice and stories about the town and lake.

“It’s nice to have a big family together so that we can all share a part in running the inn,” says Lisa Mulcahy, who handles everything from taking reservations to putting together delicious three-course breakfasts in the morning. Mulcahy is also president of the Greenwood Lake Revitalization Committee and hopes to help put the village on the map as a retreat destination, as it once was in the early 1900s and again between 1950-60.

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The inn itself is full of light, with large windows looking out upon the lake across the street. The common areas and bedrooms are spacious, decorated with soothing spa-like colors (marine blue, bright white, buttery yellow, mint green) and antiques from the village’s past. “We wanted to go for a vintage-nautical-meets-regional-history theme; a lot of our décor was found through countless hours of hunting for old postcards, photos, furniture,” Mulcahy says. They even acquired an old linen cabinet used by the original Waterstone family, one of the founding families of Greenwood Lake, for whom the inn is named.

Each suite offers views of the lake and mountains, and has its own unique traits: the sunny-yellow Bradner has an adjoining room with two twin beds; the Arlington’s high, angled ceilings give an airy feel, along with two white rocking chairs that look out onto the lake through a large window; the feminine, peachy Milford suite contrasts with the blue-toned Cape Cod style of the Caldwell. Free Wi-Fi is offered for those who can’t leave work behind; for those who can, most rooms have deep Jacuzzi tubs. During the peak season — May through October — rates vary from $149-$179 midweek to $179-$209 during weekends. From November through April, it’s discounted to $135-$165 midweek or $165-$195 on weekends.

Guests share a parlor, living room, and kitchen with appliances (where, if you’re lucky, fresh-baked chocolate chip-walnut cookies will be waiting — they’re so good Mulcahy says that guests are often heard sneaking downstairs at night for a fix). Outdoors, there’s a large deck with ample seating — a perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine from the nearby Warwick Valley Winery while watching the setting sun shimmer off the water before slipping behind the trees.

The newly renovated cottage offers two bedrooms (one with a queen-sized bed, another with two twin beds), a living/dining room, and a petite kitchen. There is also a private deck with barbecue — ideal for roasting fresh-picked corn after a day of farm-stand tours. (Please call for rates.)

The inn has its own marina with boat slips to rent, but you can also borrow a kayak or small boat to take your own watery foliage tour. Hiking trails abound for those who prefer to travel by foot; a portion of the Appalachian Trail runs parallel to the lake.

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“We have many things to do on the premises, but we’re also surrounded by such a wide variety of activities for all ages,” Mulcahy says. “For kids, many farms have apple picking and hayrides. Couples looking for a romantic getaway can visit the wineries; hikers and outdoorsy people have the trails and two mountains — Mt. Peter on one side, Tuxedo Ridge on the other. For shoppers, Woodbury Common is a short drive, and the village of Warwick offers boutique shopping.”

While you might feel like you’re far away at this lakeside retreat, you’re actually at the center of everything.

Where to eat:

  • Emerald Point Restaurant & Marina, Greenwood Lake. Situated near the edge of Greenwood Lake, this waterfront eatery’s fall menu warms you up with dishes such as pumpkin soup, applejack pork, and eggplant rollatini.
  • The New Continental Hotel & Restaurant, Greenwood Lake. Perched right on the shoreline, this restaurant’s wide-open dining room has large windows which provide expansive views of the lake.
  • The Village Buzz Café, Greenwood Lake. Although they claim to have the “best coffee in Orange County,” this breakfast and lunch hot spot serves delish danish and tasty treats. Try the chicken salad sandwich with cranberries or the sweet-potato salad.
  • Breezy Point Inn Dining & Lodging, Greenwood Lake. Located on the lake, this lodge is well-known for its Austrian/German-inspired eatery — with menu items like Schnitzel Holstein or Gerbratene Ente — as well as steak, chicken, and salmon meals. They also have an extensive wine list.

What to do:

  • Yoga on the Lake, Greenwood Lake. This yoga studio in the heart of the village of Greenwood Lake is within walking distance of the lake itself.
  • Warwick Valley Winery, Warwick. Award-winning wines and spirits are crafted at this renowned winery and distillery. Try the Doc’s Draft Hard Apple Cider for a fall treat. This is also the location for the 2011 Taste of Warwick (Sept. 13, 6-9 p.m.), where you can sample fine fare from local farms prepared by Warwick Valley chefs.
  • Bellvale Farms Creamery, Warwick. During the month of October, this family-friendly farm and creamery offers pumpkin-picking and hayrides every weekend.
  • Applewood Orchards & Winery, Warwick. Bring the whole family for apple-picking, music, puppets, and fun activities; or make it a date for two at the intimate winery.

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