Upstate 101: Where to Get Away from It All

  |  July 29, 2013

Another post from local realtor and writer Susan Barnett.


I am becoming convinced that getting a bit of elbow room (Okay – a lot of elbow room) and spending some time somewhere gloriously beautiful is essential for mental health in our go-go-go world. At the risk of wrecking it for myself, let me tell you about my favorite place to get away from it all.

It’s called Nehapwa.  According to innkeeper Tom Uberuaga, that’s a Native American word that roughly means “to find again.”  It’s a good name for this bed and breakfast.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that I love Tom.  I love his partner, Jeff, too. They’re now my friends and I consider myself very fortunate. We met when I wrote a magazine article about Nehapwa, the historic estate in Tannersville which they’ve now opened to the public as a B&B.  (You can read about it in the new issue of Upstate House.)

But I’ve seen Tom in action with guests at Nehapwa and I begin to believe it is possible that everyone who stays there ends up becoming a friend.  Spending time in the mountains seems to chip away at your customary reserve. Your guard goes down. You don’t need it. In fact, it’s in the way.  Next thing you know, you’re hanging around the kitchen, asking if maybe you can help get the coffee on the table.

The first time I saw Nehapwa, I pulled into the driveway and gaped at the sweeping mountain views.  Then I stumbled through the gardens into their stunning Arts and Crafts style house, a traditional Catskills summer “cottage,” and collapsed into a chair on the deck, faced again with that incredible view. I felt like I was in another world, a better world.  They gently pulled me back into the real world by describing the work that had gone into reclaiming a house that was, when Jeff found it, pretty ragged.

I’ve spent some time at Nehapwa since, and its loveliness never ceases to stun me.  There is something about being in the mountains, being in the country, being in an almost ridiculously comfortable home with charming, welcoming hosts that makes a day or two feel like a week away from the frantic pace of my daily life. It doesn’t hurt that the food there is tremendous – Tom’s a restaurant professional and it shows.

Nehapwa is wildly romantic, bracingly healthy and deeply relaxing.  If you find yourself near Tannersville, you must go.  And I think if you are madly in love with someplace to stay upstate, it would be a very generous gesture if you shared that information here.  Share the happiness. Where do you stay when you want to recharge your batteries?

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