There are certain places—show-stopping hotels, award-winning restaurants, local dive bars, or incomparable vintage shops—that are worth planning your whole trip around. The Eastwind Hotel & Bar in Upstate New York is one of those places.
Nestled in the backcountry of a small town called Windham lays a 1920s-era bunkhouse that was converted just last year into a boutique hotel with strong Scandinavian influences. The Eastwind Hotel & Bar has followed in the footsteps of many neighboring Catskill getaways with its well-designed rooms, cozy communal spaces, and close proximity to nature, but the pleasantly isolated Eastwind’s uniquely cool facilities and attention to detail take the experience just a little bit further—starting with their Lushna eco-cabins.
We checked into our cabin on a Monday afternoon post-hike at nearby Kaaterskill Falls. The quaint A-frame consists of a 14×14-foot cabin built to fit a queen-size bed and a couple of pared-down features like a bedside lamp and wall hooks. The triangle-shaped window pane opens up toward an exquisite view of Windham mountain with a smattering of wildflowers in the foreground. Each of the three Lushnas includes a private standalone bathroom that provides a waterfall shower, impossibly-soft towels, a hairdryer, and plenty of storage space for whatever doesn’t comfortably fit inside your cabin. If you tend to eschew anything resembling a camping experience, rest assured the property’s regular suites and studios evoke a similar spirit.
Why it’s worth the trip:
The Catskills are an amalgamation of all the things that remind you why the art of disconnecting is one worth mastering. It’s a tranquil region that boasts pristine wilderness and an opportunity to unplug and unwind. You certainly won’t need to leave the hotel itself—bask in the picturesque views from your cabin, heat up in the wood barrel sauna, or make use of the hotel’s assemble-your-own barbecue kits. But if you want to venture into Windham, you’re welcome to explore the town’s quaint restaurants and shops via bikes provided (for free) by the Eastwind.
You’ll like it here if…
The idea of starting your day off hiking to a waterfall, brunching at a local diner, and watching the sunset on a hammock sounds appealing. An appreciation for mid-century eclectic design also doesn’t hurt.
Prices fluctuate slightly depending on the time of year. High seasons are winter for ski travelers and summer. Starting rates based on accommodation are:
Standard rooms: $219
Lushna Cabins: $229
What’s the crowd like?
A quiet bunch that appreciates nature. Though it’s easy to have a solitary experience at Eastwind, there are communal areas like the outdoor fire pit on the lawn, the indoor bar, and fireplace that lend themselves to connecting with fellow lodge-dwellers. During our midweek visit, we encountered a handful of couples while roasting s’mores and playing board games.
What should you bring or wear? How do you prepare?
If you’re planning to hike, then activewear should be in your suitcase—and don’t forget a swimsuit for the sauna. Comfortable clothing to wear while back at the hotel is also smart, including layers and closed-toed shoes for the evening.
If you don’t already have a car—rent one. You can hit up local trails, head to local restaurants, and run by the grocery store to pick up supplies for an evening grill session. Also, it’s worth noting that Eastwind’s bar and breakfast are only in operation Friday through Sunday, so if you’re staying during the week you’ll need to bring your own booze and snacks.
What else should you do around the area?
Grab breakfast at Phoenicia Diner. It’s a 40-minute drive from the hotel so do it either on your way in or out—just make sure you do it. While in town, The Windham Local is another good haunt for a morning bite (we highly recommend the breakfast sandwich). Head to Kaaterskill Falls for a hike that includes—of it’s warm enough—a dip in a waterfall basin that’s magical and refreshing on a hot day. If you’re looking for a less strenuous walk, head to Windham Path, which is a scenic, easy choice for a quiet afternoon. Then grab a beer and warm pretzel at nearby Jagerberg Beer Hall & Alpine Tavern. If you’re not in the mood to barbecue at the hotel, go to Deer Mountain Inn for their delicious seven-course tasting menu comprised of locally-sourced ingredients foraged from the onsite garden.