‘Tis the season for holiday happenings in the Hudson Valley.
In Orange County, no place does seasonal fun quite like Cedar Lakes Estate. To start, the 500-acre private escape in Port Jervis looks like it could be a setting for a Hallmark movie, with rustic cabins and roaring fireplaces galore. During the holiday season, the former camp, which is normally open only for private events and weddings, invites guests to visit for fall and winter escapes that can only be described as magical.
Kicking off on November 24 and running through April 4, 2022, Cedar Lakes Estates welcomes visitors for stays in its multiple residences across the grounds. The tradition is one that came about as a result of the pandemic last year – and one that proved so popular that the estate decided to bring it back this year.
“Cedar Lakes Estate normally hosts private events and weddings and, when that was no longer possible, we decided to take advantage of the wide-open space on our 500 acres and utilize the luxury cottages for all-inclusive getaways,” explains Lisa Karvellas, the venue’s co-founder. “It was wildly popular, so we decided to do it again this year.”
One look at the program for the winter getaways, and it’s not hard to see why Cedar Lakes is such a favorite. With multiple residences in which to stay, top-tier dining, and seasonal activities galore, the venue is a veritable paradise for anyone who wants to celebrate the holidays in the Hudson Valley.
“When the weather gets chilly, our 500-acre property turns into a winter wonderland cloaked in sparkling white snow, with endless opportunities to explore, escape, and cozy up,” Karvellas notes. “With complementary activities and additional layer-on experiences, each visit is completely tailorable for guests and what their dream upstate getaway looks like.”
Indeed, customization is key at Cedar Lakes Estate. For guests, it all starts with deciding where to stay. There are 18 luxury, newly renovated cottages on the grounds, and they feature amenities ranging from oversized rain head showers to Frette linens and fireplaces. For those who want the glamping experience, meanwhile, the four camp-style houses are they way to go. They’re ideal for families or groups of friends, with a communal space and cozy pine walls to set the mood.
From there, the next step is something of a “choose your own adventure” experience, thanks to the plethora of complimentary and supplementary things to do on the grounds. Anyone who loves the great outdoors will want to swing by the skating rink for ice skating or curling. There are also hiking trails on the property and around the area for anyone who wants to get moving.
“The magic starts at our chef’s garden, which transforms into an open-air ice skating and curling rink draped in thousands of twinkle lights,” Karvellas enthuses. “Hand-laid stone fire pits are peppered throughout the property – perfect for toasting s’mores and warming up with our famous spiked hot chocolate (served in a vintage Stanley camp thermos, of course).”
When it’s time to head inside, the Treehouse Lounge is a hub for activity at the estate, with board games and cocktails available, plus paint & sip nights and trivia nights scheduled for select dates. For something extra-special, the venue also hosts supplemental activities ranging from chocolate truffle making classes with local spirit pairings to movie nights in the barn, complete with movie snacks and a specialty cocktail. Cedar Lakes Estate is ideal for romantic escapes, with activity options like sunset mountain top dinners and private multi-course dinners on the ice as well.
Speaking of the dining experience, Cedar Lakes Estate specializes in farm-to-table cuisine, with many ingredients grown onsite or sourced from purveyors like Finding Home Farms or Hepworth Farm in the Hudson Valley. Chef Becky Kempter, previously the executive pastry chef at the Deer Mountain Inn in Tannersville, and Chef Janet Crandall, a French Culinary Institute graduate who worked under Pat LaFrieda, lead the way in the kitchen, crafting unique meals for the estate’s guests. All meals are included with the stays, with alcoholic beverages available to purchase.
While the winter experience at Cedar Lakes Estate is primarily for overnight guests, the venue welcomes the Hudson Valley community at large to stop by the grounds during a special weekend in December. On December 4-5, the Port Jervis estate transforms into a holiday market featuring locally made products. As visitors shop the Hudson Valley wares, they can snack on festival food or, on Saturday night, head to the tavern party for dinner and live music. Children will enjoy the storytelling area, not to mention the chance to take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus in-person. Plus, did we mention there will be bonfires, skating, and s’mores, too?
Winter stays at Cedar Lakes estate run November 24, 2021 to April 4, 2022. Rates begin at $225 per night, with a three-night minimum stay on weekends. To learn more, visit the estate’s website.