Onteora Mountain House
Growing up, I was a big fan of Trixie Belden books. She was a scrappy counterpart to perfect, Nancy Drew. She lived in a middle class family that always seemed to have just enough money and never more, and often got into trouble. She had curly hair that was always messy, freckles and felt more comfortable in jeans than in dresses. She also lived in the Hudson Valley in a fictitious town called Sleepyside on the Hudson, did her shopping in Peekskill, and talked a lot about the beauty of the Catskills.
I have been creating floral design for weddings in New York City for the past 10 years and lately, stretching my reach to extend into the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. I relocated production a little north of the city, where we can have more space and still be close enough to work in all the city venues that I love, and venture out to all the terrific spaces up north.
Onteora Mountain house is top on my list. I had the pleasure of visiting this lovely venue recently and I was blown away by the easy going hospitality of the owner, Robert, and his lovely dog,and more so by the stunning view. Every vendor that I have spoken with about Onteora has told me that their service and attention to detail is exceptional.
I have learned that people are what makes a venue great. All the venues that I have worked in where the staff is genuinely nice, and naturally accommodating, seem to attract the best couples. I made it our mission to try to work with people we think are authentic and cool. Robert, is definitely one of those folks and I know that people getting married there and their guests will have an amazing time.
Perched on the side of a mountain, the Onteora Mountain house overlooks the Esopus valley and is surrounded by forests. It was built in the 1920’s by mayonnaise mogul, Richard Hellmann. The main house is built with several gables and has a large dining area that can be used for breakfast or smaller weddings. It as five guest rooms all with private baths. There is a huge wrap around deck with majestic views. It is located about 100 miles north of New York City and is easy to get to in a couple of hours. Closer than the Hamptons, with a lot less traffic.
Onteora is a great place to make a weekend wedding, an event. Situated 8 miles from Woodstock, it is sure to please the parents, with 1960’s nostalgia, and please friends with ample bed and breakfast and some awesome airbnb options. Also nearby is Phonecia, which is a great little village with one of the best restaurants around, Phonecia Diner.
Wedding guests arrive on a Friday afternoon and are welcome to stay until noon on Sunday. It has the feeling of a rich uncles private weekend retreat and is decorated with eclectic, but tasteful finds from all over the globe.
In warmer months, the oversized pavilion serves as the reception area with 260 degree views of the stunning mountains and valley below. Pictures do no justice to the view and the wonderful architecture of the space. The pavilion deck cantilevers off the side of the mountain and you feel like you are flying when looking out.
If you want a venue that offers the charm of an historic, weekend mountain retreat combined with stunning views and lots of activities for your wedding guests to make a weekend out of your wedding, Onteora should be top on your list.
It also operates as a bed and breakfast, so if you are lucky enough to snag a room, it will be a wonderful weekend.