There’s nothing quite like spending the day in the deep woods and then coming inside to the very lap of cozy chic: a fire in the hearth, inviting furniture, exquisite food. Add amenities like an organic market and art gallery steps away, and you’re getting close to the ideal one-stop weekend destination.
Nestled within its own walled village, lush with fountains and gardens, just an hour from midtown by train, the Valley Rock Inn and Mountain Club brings a new level of ease and comfort to city dwellers and travelers who want to get out and play. Tucked between Sterling Forest and Harriman State Parks, Valley Rock offers car-free access to over 70,000 acres of protected wildlands and nearly 300 miles of trails for hiking and biking.
Within the oasis that is Valley Rock, you’ll find a thoughtfully designed paradise for lovers of comfort and beauty and Hudson Valley food.
The property is comprised of 17 guest rooms and 16 full baths within four lovingly renovated historic guest houses, two restaurants—the seasonal Back Porch Cantina with an outdoor bar, grill, and woodturning oven, and another located in one of the rustic barns.
There is also an organic market, an art gallery, two bocce courts, a bike and trail shop, a 7,000-square-foot gym with circuit training, cardio equipment, spin and yoga rooms, a 75-foot swimming pool, and the historic Henry Club Meeting Hall for events and lectures. There are two large-scale fireplaces, a lounge with soaring ceilings, a dining room, dining porch, and poolside dining.
Furnished with antiques, 20th-century pieces, local art and distinctive accents found by New York City-based designer Lisa Bowles, the Valley Rock Inn and Mountain Club offers sleek, chic comfort—and certified guides to lead your wilderness exploration should you so choose. It’s all part of the vision of Michael Bruno, real estate and tech entrepreneur and founder of the online antique and vintage mart 1stdibs.com.
“This region has a vibrant athletic and health-conscious community, and as it continues to grow, we felt something was missing,” explains Bruno. “What we have created is a haven for outdoor recreation, ideal for visitors with a modern, active, and healthy lifestyle.”
Bruno is a collector’s collector, who more or less single-handedly revolutionized the world of online antique, vintage and design, bringing fine brick-and-mortar dealers into contact with a global audience. A resident of Tuxedo Park and a lifelong collector not just of fine furnishings but of fine properties; he has said that finding the ungentrified stretch of Route 17 in Sloatsburg was a wonderful opportunity for creative placemaking. (Check out our profile of Bruno’s impressive estate on our sister site Upstate House.)
“The location offers an escape for everyone—especially for city-dwellers who want to get away from it all but not that far away,” says Bruno. Set on three acres, the Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club is perfectly positioned as the first stop north, a gateway to the parks and to the Hudson Valley.
Upon arrival, guests are immersed in the compound’s serenity. In the Secret Garden-like Rose Courtyard, fragrant Dawn Roses climb the stone walls, white gravel crunches underfoot, and a tranquil fountain takes center stage. The Shade Garden offers visitors a wonderful gathering spot, and The Big Top is an open area that will serve as the backdrop for special events like fairs and shows.
The Market at Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club features bountiful produce from local farmers including organic offerings from Blooming Hill Farm in Monroe, a selection of the best Hudson Valley delicacies and prepared food to go.
Bruno has purchased Orange County farmland “to help ensure the livelihood of our next generation of farmers,” he says “and to preserve farmland. It’s exciting to know that the meals served in our restaurants will be made from fresh ingredients grown at our own farm.”
The restaurants offer modern American farm-to-table fare that is regionally sourced and internationally inspired, fusing several techniques and flavors. Bruno has worked closely with his staff to develop a menu that will appeal to a broad range of tastes, from the outdoor grill with its rustic elemental cuisine to the farmstead market with its health-focused options to the fine dining restaurant, which will offer a more refined menu.
The Bike and Trail Shop provides support for safe and enjoyable cycling, hiking, and kayaking trips with top-of-the-line equipment including a selection of mountain, road, and e-bikes. There are private changing rooms and showers available.
Bruno’s work earned him a recent Pillar of New York award from the state Preservation League and a Pinnacle Award from the Rockland Business Association, and is widely regarded as “transformative.”
Go see for yourself, Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club is located at 22 Mill Street in Sloatsburg.