Beacon, NY: The Roundhouse
The Roundhouse2 East Main Street 12508 Beacon, NY 845/765-8369 roundhousebeacon.com
Cocktails at 2EM: There's a reason this new lounge is packed with locals most nights—the cocktails are fantastic.
The Waterfall: You can't miss it, but be sure to enjoy the soothing sound of rushing water and view of Beacon Falls as many ways possible—from your table at dinner, over coffee in the morning, from the window of your room in the afternoon, from the carefully groomed gardens, or the Waterfall Room event space.
- Daily Yoga Classes available
- Free wi-fi
- Complimentary morning coffee, tea, and muffins
- On-site parking
- A full-service luxury spa
At the Beacon train station we found a cowboy hat-wearing taxi driver in a crowd of day-trippers, and crossed our fingers that our last-minute room would be ready for an early check-in. Luckily it was, and as soon as I collapsed on the huge, soft bed, I didn't want to leave. From my cashmere-blanketed perch I could stare out floor-to-ceiling windows (that opened to our own private deck) past old mill buildings and waterfall to rolling tree-topped mountains and blue sky. The rushing water of the Fishkill river and the Beacon Falls provided a soothing background noise, and I instantly started to feel like the calmer version of myself again.
In a series of 19th and early 20th century red brick industrial buildings on Beacon Falls, the Roundhouse is named for the round-shaped building that houses its restaurant and main hotel. At one point, it was a gun factory. Designed by the Rockwell group, the building was renovated with all the original beams exposed, and outfitted in furniture, tiles, artwork, and stunning hand-blown glass light fixtures from local artists and artisans. There's a comfortably elegant modern vibe to the whole place, and each room is completely unique. On the top floor, the sprawling bathroom of our room was crowned by the Roundhouse's tall windowed cupola, filled with a cascading spiral of hand-blown white glass lights, which caught the natural light during the day, and glowed enchantingly at night. I kept the bathroom door open just so I could keep looking up into that cupola from bed. And past the foot of the bed was perhaps my favorite feature: a large round bathtub, just sitting there in the middle of the room where the view was best of all. After a chilly afternoon of exploring the antique and vintage shops on Main Street, we grabbed warming Old Fashioned's from the hotel's bar, 2EM, and gave that tub a whirl. I've since decided that every bedroom should have a soaking tub in it.
Dinner at Swift, encased in floor-to-ceiling windows looking over the falls, feels like you're sitting in a restaurant that just so happens to have a hotel attached, and in fact the restaurant did open several months before the Roundhouse's hotel, which just started operating in the Fall of 2012. That Saturday night the restaurant was packed, and it was clear that many of the diners were there for the restaurant alone. And with good reason: Executive Chef Brandon Collins serves an upscale New American locavore menu that changes seasonally, offering crowd-pleasing favorites artfully prepared with unexpected twists. We happened to be there during restaurant week when the menu was fixed and thus more limited than usual, but it was still a true pleasure. I particularly loved a first course of charred octopus, and my perfectly juicy roasted local chicken was just the right antidote to the cold weather that night. After dinner we swung by 2EM again, which was suddenly packed and buzzing, and (as it's said to do most nights) stayed that way well past my bedtime. —Anna Stockwell
IN THE AREA
- Dia: Beacon: The sprawling former Nabisco box printing factory building houses the permanent collection of the Dia Art Foundation from the 1960's to present, as well as visiting special exhibitions. A visit to the museum is as much about the space as the art: the large, wood-floored rooms are lit almost exclusively by natural light, and the interplay between the changing sunlight and Richard Serra's towering sheet metal sculptures or Agnes Martin's pastel minimalist paintings is mesmerizing. Be sure to allow for plenty of time to wander the whole collection when planning your visit. Museum hours change seasonally. 3 Beekman Street, Beacon; tel: 845/440-0100; diaart.org
- Main Street: Strolling Beacon's Main Street, lined with well-curated antique and vintage shops, galleries, restaurants, and more, can provide hours of entertainment, and if you happen to be in town on the second Saturday of the month, the local arts organization hosts "Second Saturdays" and everything's open later, with live music performances and other special events around. The Roundhouse is located on the far end of Main Street (further away from the river), an easy starting point for your stroll. beaconarts.org/second-saturday
- Poppy's Burgers: On the opposite end of Main Street from the Roundhouse, Poppy's serves up simple, deliciously satisfying burgers and fries made exclusively with local organic ingredients. It's the right place to stop for a finger-licking energy-fueling lunch before heading to the museum. 184 Main Street, Beacon; tel: 845/765-2121; poppyburger.com