Photo by Upland Creative Co.
Mirbeau, a luxury inn and spa, was included in this year’s Forbes Travel Guide ahead of its highly anticipated expansion in Dutchess County.
These days, almost everything is rated out of five stars. When we search for a solid place to eat or shop online for a new product, it’s commonplace to rely on user reviews for sage guidance, each quantified by stars (or fractions thereof). But did you know that the five-star rating system began in 1958 as a metric for excellence in the Mobil Travel Guide?
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That guide has since evolved into the Forbes Travel Guide, which identifies the most impressive hotels, restaurants, spas, and ocean cruise ships across the globe based on “up to 900 objective criteria” as assessed by anonymous, highly trained inspectors. In its most recent installment, the inspectors noted two outstanding Hudson Valley-based locations in their roundup of superlative luxury experiences.
Forbes Travel Guide Honors the Hudson Valley
The restaurant category only includes 259 establishments, making it all the more remarkable that Tarrytown’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns was granted a spot on the list. The eatery earned four stars, meaning it is “exceptional…offering high levels of service and quality of facility to match,” according to the Travel Guide. Since 2004, the Westchester restaurant has been a regional leader in farm-to-table fare, transmuting local ingredients into “multi-taste feasts featuring the best offerings from the field and market.”
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Joining Blue Hill on this year’s list of honorees is Rhinebeck’s Mirbeau Inn & Spa, a getaway destination tailored for the times. In the ’90s, owners Linda and Gary Dower noticed that hotels had become less fine than functional. Mirbeau’s first location in Skaneateles—also listed this year on the Forbes Travel Guide—challenged that notion with an experience “where guests enjoyed classic comforts and were truly cared for.” Since its inception, Mirbeau has expanded with locations in Albany, Cape Cod, and, most recently, Rhinebeck.
Expanding in Dutchess County
This recognition from Forbes comes on the heels of Mirbeau’s announcement that it will expand once more to a location in Beacon. The planned inn and spa will give new life to the storied Howland Mansion, originally built in 1861 as a residence for shipping magnate Joseph Howland and his family. Later, in 1916, it became “America’s first privately licensed psychiatric hospital” under Clarence Slocum, a Scottish doctor who specialized in “progressive mental health treatments.” There, Slocum’s patients included the likes of Zelda Fitzgerald, wife to F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Rosemary Kennedy, sister of President John F. Kennedy.
The Beacon location will comprise 85 guest rooms, a bistro and wine bar, conference spaces, the largest spa and fitness center of any Mirbeau location to date, and more on 64 acres of secluded meadows, forests, waterfalls, rivers, and ponds. Plus, the grounds are a short walk away from downtown Beacon’s burgeoning dining and shopping scene. Guests who prefer to travel by train will be pleased to learn that Mirbeau Beacon is just two miles from the nearest station (serviced by the Metro-North, Hudson Line).
The Mirbeau team anticipates an opening sometime in 2025. For more information about the expansion, head to Mirbeau Beacon’s website.