I’d been to this contemporary and cozy and fun motel once before, about three years ago, right after it opened. I was wowed by its novelty room concept, and our I Dream of Jeannie room and “genie-bottle” interior with bright Aladdin colors…there was even genie bottle wallpaper! God knows where owners Gregory Henderson and Joseph Massa found it.
This visit was meant to experience the Roxbury’s new spa area, called, Shimmer Spa and I didn’t think I’d go “gaga” over the accommodations. But I was wrong.
We saw the motel from the main road with its bright pastel lighting, a cheerful destination on a dark cold night. The four of us: my teen daughter and I; her friend; and her mom, KC, were ready for a ladies getaway and headed to room number 25, otherwise called “Amadeus’ Bride.” How can you even call a room that without smiling and shaking your head? But, upon entering the two story bedroom, with spiral staircase and musical motif, all I could do was think: “Greg and Joe did it again!”
The girls “oohed and ahhed,” (and you know how hard it is to impress 16 year old girls!) They were absolutely thrilled, and wandered around the place, playing with the lights, opening the fridge, making sure there was WiFI (there was), and opening up the pullout so they could get comfy and start watching something on their laptop. With two full bedrooms, complete with bath, each mom was equally thrilled, and soon after a few pathetic rounds of a board game, we all called it a night.
The spiral staircase had to be the hit of the room, and each floor featured stunning handpainted artwork featuring the musical theme. One wall featured a life-size painting of the bride herself, complete with 18th century fashion. The bathrooms featured tubs for two, and dual showers and sinks. The king size bed seemed to go on forever, and for once I had the remote control for the flatscreen TV on the wall. Before closing my eyes, I enjoyed a few episodes of Friends. It was heavenly.
We awoke to a bright and unseasonably warm November day. While the girls slept, KC and I went to the community kitchen and dining area for a breakfast spread that includes fresh fruit, cereal and oatmeal, muffins, coffee cake, croissants, and deli meats with high-fiber bread. Beverages included lemon water, various teas and coffee, and juices. There’s plenty, with enough left over to pack a daylunch. I remembered the motel’s gas-powered fire pit in the backyard and headed there with my coffee and munchies. Though the morning chill remained, the fire was so relaxing, a spa experience in itself. We returned with some goodies for the girls for whenever they woke up, and we headed to the spa.
The Roxbury has now expanded to its second building, and the spa is on the third floor. It features cool blue colors, and sparkling décor (hence the name, “shimmer spa.”) Nuts, raisins, rice cakes and lemon water are set out; lounging chairs are placed by the large panorama windows. Off to the side are the therapy rooms where massages and other body treatments are performed (in private, and reservations required). The sauna and steam rooms are ready and waiting to be used and enjoyed. Oh, and did I mention the plush terry cloth robes that come with the room that make you feel like a queen as you enter the spa?
To complete the spa experience, the Roxbury spares no expense, and has not overlooked a thing. Razors and pre-pasted toothbrushes are by the sink, along with various great-smelling lotions. While waiting for a treatment to begin, guests can read, or doze by the windows that face the mountains, and nosh on trail mix.
Before we headed back to the girls, we returned for one more cup of coffee (how could we not?) and overheard Colleen giving driving directions to other guests. The staffers at the Roxbury make sure everyone has their fill of breakfast, but also provides plenty of ideas for that day’s activities: from tips on the nearby ski resorts (Bellayre is one), or Howe’s Caverns and Cooperstown (a doable day trip), or where to find the best antiquing. The Roxbury has the distinction of being THE place to stay in an undiscovered part of “downstate” New York. (Upstate New York is really considered the Capitol region and places further north and west..so if you say “upstate” while at the Roxbury, you might be gently corrected.)
The drive offers one of the most scenic and unspoiled views in this part of the state. I can’t wait to return for my next visit: Colleen mentioned that a nearby building had been purchased and I’m sure there will be something new to “wow” me again. Can’t wait!
Read MJ’s other story about the Roxbury Motel, It’s Cool, It’s Hip—The Place to be in the Catskills.