When it comes to hidden gems in the Hudson Valley, it’s hard to ignore The Eldred Preserve. To start, the Sullivan County retreat is massive – 600 acres, to be precise. On top of that, it encompasses not one, but three local legacies: the Eldred Preserve, the Bradstan Country Hotel, and the Homestead restaurant. It’s a spot that oozes history, boasts sparkling scenery, and tempts guests in need of a reprieve to stop and stay awhile. In short, it’s precisely the sort of place that staycation dreams in the Hudson Valley are made of.
So, are you ready to peek inside?
As a resort, The Eldred Preserve offers a little something for everyone. It has a hotel, making it an ideal respite for getaways in the forest, and boasts an event space and a farm-to-table steakhouse on the grounds. And, speaking of those grounds, they’re akin to an oasis in the forest and an exemplary embodiment of the beauty of the Catskills region.
“Sullivan County has always been a special place for me and my wife, Joan, who I met in White Lake so long ago,” notes co-founder Dan Silna. “We’ve had a home here for years, and we are so grateful to finally have the opportunity to give back to the community that has brought so much love to both our lives.”
While The Eldred Preserve may be a unique project for Silna, it is far from his only entrepreneurial endeavor. Prior to commencing work on the resort, he made a name for himself in the textile industry and as the former co-owner of the American Basketball Association’s Spirit of St. Louis. Tapping into his skills as an entrepreneur and investor, he worked with Joan to bring their shared vision for the venue to life.
Today, that vision is embodied by three distinct offerings: The Bradstan Boutique Hotel, The Homestead Restaurant + Lounge, and The Preserve Weddings + Events. Together, they’re just as ideal for staycations in the Hudson Valley as they are for picture-perfect weddings in the region. They reside upon a space that was once a premier fishing resort, founded in 1967 by Robert H. Abplanalp, an inventor who hosted a myriad of outdoor activities on the grounds, including fishing, hiking, hunting, and target practice.
Founded upon the legacy of the Bradstan Country Hotel, which served as a mainstay hotel on White Lake in Bethel for close to 30 years, The Bradstan Boutique Hotel is a must for overnights in Sullivan County. It welcomes visitors with a variety of accommodations, ranging from an eight-room inn to three five-room lodges and five 700-sq-ft standalone cabins. All rooms boast nature-forward interiors, which reflect themes like Oakwood, Charcoal, Barnwood, Bluestone, and Saddle. As for the décor, it is heavily inspired by the hotel’s natural surroundings, with bleached oak plank ceilings, industrial-style fans with oak blades, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Select rooms even feature fireplaces and walk-out balconies.
Of course, the indoor amenities are only part of the appeal at The Bradstan. For outdoor adventurers, a wealth of to-dos awaits. After checking in, guests can adventure out to the lakeside pavilion or take one of the kayaks, paddleboats, or canoes out for a cruise on Sunrise Lake. For land lovers, the two-mile-long walking trail is perfect for morning strolls (as are, you know, the 600 acres of adjoining lands), while the outdoor exercise stations are a bonus for anyone looking to add strength conditioning to the mix (there’s also a 1,300-sq-ft fitness studio inside for additional workout options). As if that wasn’t enough, the preserve will also be adding an outdoor pool and hot tub to the list of attractions for overnight guests this summer. Beyond that, The Bradstan boasts electric vehicle charging stations, ADA-compliant accommodations, and firepits for socializing at night.
For foodies at The Eldred Preserve, the Homestead Restaurant + Lounge is the place to be. Open to locals and hotel guests alike, the restaurant is an ode to The Homestead, an eatery which was originally located in Monticello and closed after a fire ravaged the space in January 2015. Today, the reincarnation is a contemporary take on the classic, with a fresh focus on modern, farm-to-table steakhouse fare. Throughout the restaurant, diners can feel at ease in any of the experiential spaces, which include a private dining room, sunroom, and wine-tasting room along with outdoor terraces, firepit areas, and a mezzanine-level piano lounge. While dining on expertly crafted bites, they can simultaneously savor views of the preserve’s hillsides, ponds, and stream.
As for the menu, the offerings are perfectly in line with the farm-to-table cuisine diners crave in the Hudson Valley. Depending on the season, diners can dig into starter bites like smoked trout with capers and horseradish cream sauce, then go for mains like spring pasta with asparagus, grape tomatoes, roasted red peppers and garlic, and parmesan. There’s also a curated meat and seafood selection, with USDA Prime dry-aged steaks (anything from an 8oz filet mignon to a 16oz ribeye), tuna steaks, poached salmon, and lobster tail all available.
And don’t forget the drinks! Homestead hits a home run with its cocktail menu, which features New York beverage producers throughout. Sip on the Eldred Aerie, made with NY Pollinator vodka and peach schnapps, for a fruit-forward drink, or go light and bright with the Cucumber Basil Bliss, a perfect pairing of Lockhouse New York gin with St. Germain, cucumber, and basil. The wine and spirits list is substantial, while the beer list features familiar names like Roscoe Brewing and Mill House Brewing Co.
While the hotel and restaurant appeal to both locals and visiting guests, the Eldred Preserve’s event space is a top pick for anyone planning a wedding or celebration in the Catskills. Dubbed The Preserve Weddings + Events, this branch of the preserve is just as accommodating for intimate weddings as it is for medium-sized festivities, with space for anywhere from 50-100 people. It offers spaces both indoors and outdoors along the property, so couples and event planners can customize each occasion for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Recently, The Eldred Preserve added The Eldred Preserve Farm to its lineup of offerings to help support not just the Weddings + Events program, but the hotel and restaurant as well. As a five-acre farm near Bethel Woods, the property grows produce exclusively for the preserve for use by the restaurant, the hotel for breakfasts, and the event branch for event menus. The Eldred Preserve dubs it a “farm-to-table-to-farm” concept, since not only is the produce traveling from the farm for use at the preserve, but the food refuse from Homestead also gets collected each night to be returned to the farm for composting.
As for events, in addition to offering a space for others to plan events, The Eldred Preserve hosts happenings of its own. As a special ode to The Bradstan Country Hotel’s “Inn Cabaret Series,” which was once a popular program at the old hotel, The Bradstan hosts Scott Samuelson and Eddie Dudek welcome visitors for a cabaret revival in Eldred. The lineup is fun and full of talent, with more details available on the venue’s website.
So, are you ready to plan a visit? If a staycation (or even just a dinner out) in the forested hillsides of the Hudson Valley is calling your name, then The Eldred Preserve awaits.
The Eldred Preserve
1040 State Route 55