In the 1890s, a 14-year-old girl named Meta Lilienthal accompanied her father from New York City to Tannersville to move into their family’s newly built, 19,000-square-foot summer home. Today, the estate—unveiled in August as Hotel Lilien and named in homage to young Meta—is an 18-room boutique hotel that showcases the home’s truly stunning original details along with modern conveniences.
“We started out with a historic, eccentric building and set out to keep it eclectic and one-of-a-kind,” says Jason Marcus, co-owner and managing partner of Hotel Lilien and a Tannersville resident. The hotel was redesigned by San Francisco-based design firm Field Theory. The team spent over a year curating the hotel’s collection of vintage and antique furniture, art, and rugs, all dating from various eras and contributing to the hotel’s ethos as a well-cared-for home.
None of the 18 rooms are alike. A dozen rooms are already open for bookings, with the final six expected to be ready around Thanksgiving. Full-bed (around $250 a night), queen-bed ($300 a night), and king-bed rooms ($345/night) range from white-and-modern to wood-planked beauties that recall Adirondack Great Camp style.
Guests vacationing with their furry babies can choose to stay in the pet-friendly Deck Rooms. These Mid-century additions to the original home have been redesigned through a more modern, Scandinavian lens. There’s a King Deck Room ($310 a night) with views of Plateau Mountain; and a two-bedroom Double Deck ($350 night), with one skylit queen bedroom and a bedroom with a queen-and-twin bunk bed. Engineered European oak floors, handcrafted wood lighting, and woven wool rugs are the highlight in these pet-friendly (for an additional $50 a night) rooms. Coming soon are double rooms—two-bedroom, one-bath—and a Suite ($601 a night) with a king bed, queen sleeper, microwave, and fridge. Beds in all the rooms are outfitted in crisp Brooklinen bedding and Wright mattresses. The bathrooms are newly renovated with tumbled marble floor tiles, Carrara marble walls, rain showers, and Further amenities.
Neither the building nor the current owners are new to hospitality. The estate was home to the Washington Irving Inn bed and breakfast after years of serving guests as the Washington Irving Lodge. And the hotel is operated by Lost Boys Hospitality Group, a team of four friends who got their start on an island off the coast of Panama and came to be known as The Lost Boys for the “Neverland-like experiences” they crafted over the years. (Their other projects include Tropezón, Fox’s Lounge, and Esme Hotel.)
One of the partners, who lives in Brooklyn, found Tannersville, and when they stumbled upon the estate, they were sold on its original woodwork—from sculpted staircases to wood-paneled walls with a century’s worth of patina—and stained glass.
Now, guests can share those details throughout the hotel—and even take some home, by purchasing art created through Hotel Lilien’s artist-in-residence program. Original touches abound throughout the hotel from the curated library, which is a dream spot for reading or just ogling the wood paneling and sun-splashed, stained-glass windows, to the sprawling, burl-wood bar. Open to the public and guests alike, the bar/lounge is hopping on Friday and Saturday nights (and Sundays during holiday weekends) from 5pm to 10pm; in the winter, when the final rooms are complete, hours will expand to weeknights. It has a capacity of 200, with tons of original wood paneling, saloon doors behind the bar, and access to a side deck with mountain views. For the dancing crowd, a biweekly live Saturday night DJ series kicks off at the Hotel Lilien on Saturday, October 8.
The bar’s cocktail menu will change seasonally, but has all the classics like the Manhattan ($15, with Rittenhouse Rye, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters). Specialty cocktails for autumn are $16 and include the Mountain Thyme (42 Below vodka, lime, simple syrup, club soda, thyme) and the Hot Damn with Milagro pepper-infused tequila, cucumber, lime, and cilantro. The wine list has vintages hailing from France, Italy, and California. And local craft beers from West Kill Brewing and Catskill Brewery are on tap.
A private dining room adjoins the main dining room for small gatherings and intimate meals.
“We have a short but exceptional food menu, from our charcuterie board to fried chicken sandwich and baby gem salad,” Marcus says. “Our chef has been known to iterate—when he saw butter boards going viral, he added a seasonal butter board to the menu that week, and he recently emerged from the kitchen with a batch of complementary homemade citrus cronuts right before closing.” In the spring, Nat’s Mountain House will open as Hotel Lilien’s sister restaurant in the adjacent lot in a c.1970s former Chateau Belleview with double-story windows and mountain views. Manhattan restaurateur Natalie Freihon (The Fat Radish, Nat’s on Bank) will operate the restaurant and oversee the menu.
Outside, the hotel’s firepit is the perfect place for singalongs and s’mores. In the warmer months, the 30-person-capacity pool deck is the site for pool parties and gatherings. The hotel also plans to open its side lawn, a 250-capacity outdoor venue for parties, in the spring.
Besides the hotel and its gorgeous fittings, there are seven acres to enjoy. A weekend morning nature walk near the property is led by Hotel Lilien’s resident New York state-licensed nature guide. And you can’t beat the location: The property is four minutes from Hunter Mountain’s ski slopes, hiking trails, and summer zip-line; just steps away from downtown Tannersville; eight minutes from hiking at Kaaterskill Falls; and six minutes from the 178-acre Mountain Top Arboretum.
Of course, you could just sit on the wraparound porch with a cocktail and a good book—may we suggest Dear Remembered World, by Meta Lilienthal herself, where she describes living at that very estate. You too can, as she says in the book, “watch the sun go down behind Hunter Mountain in a red and golden blaze of glory.”