Troutbeck NY - Review

Old Aug 27, 20, 7:35 pm
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Troutbeck NY - Review

Hi all, just finished a stay at the Troutbeck hotel in Amenia NY, about two hours from Manhattan. Some NYC clients have been inquiring so I did a visit. Some highlights below, more to come when I get home.

Pro:
Great outdoors experience - outdoor heated pool, tennis courts by reservation, bikes by reservation, picnic and campfire sites by reservation - all complimentary. Outdoor ping pong table, foosball, life size chess board.
Really friendly staff, eager to help.
Dining is a great highlight. Ingredients locally sourced. Elevated farm to table experience.
Lots of history at the property.

Con:
Because of the property’s age, there is almost no soundproofing. Hardware is showing signs of age, lots of original components of the building is kept.
Nickel and diming throughout - want bread with dinner? $8. Coffee after breakfast? $6.
No minibar or fridge in room.
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Old Aug 28, 20, 4:58 am
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Originally Posted by ChateauMargaux View Post
Hi all, just finished a stay at the Troutbeck hotel in Amenia NY, about two hours from Manhattan. Some NYC clients have been inquiring so I did a visit. Some highlights below, more to come when I get home.


Con:
Because of the property’s age, there is almost no soundproofing. Hardware is showing signs of age, lots of original components of the building is kept.
Nickel and diming throughout - want bread with dinner? $8. Coffee after breakfast? $6.
No minibar or fridge in room.
I guess this property would qualify as best available during these trying times? Can't fathom a Luxury Forum property charging for coffee (at breakfast), bread and having no minibar or fridge.
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Old Aug 28, 20, 7:54 am
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Very fortuitous that you posted this. We've been exploring country inns within a 4-5 hours drive of New York (preferably more like 2-4 hr drive) for safe short trips amidst the coronavirus and Troutbeck is on our list that we're considering (see other thread on luxury country inns within driving distance of NYC). We're headed to the Mayflower in nearby Litchfield County Connecticut in September but are looking for another option for a late October or November getaway and Troutbeck was on the short-list.

Last edited by jbb; Aug 28, 20 at 10:46 am
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Old Aug 28, 20, 8:48 pm
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Here are more details; for those only interested in the shortcomings please skip to the bottom. Overall if you are looking to go to a nature place and don't want to drive up to RI/MA or far upstate, the Troutbeck is a great option. This place would be great in October once we get some fall colors in nature. If any questions let me know!

Before check in:
Troutbeck is not taking reservations using their online booking system, so you have to reach out to the hotel via email/phone/TA to book. Communications with Joy (guest relations) was responsive. You'll get a guest intake form to reserve various activities/sites for various times. I reserved an outdoor site for after dinner so I could have s'mores with campfire. I asked reception how this will be set up (where do I get the smores, who sets up the fire), and was forwarded to the restaurant folks. Did not receive a response from restaurant on the logistics of dinner to campfire transition. Nor did the restaurant respond to my request to make dinner reservations. That was eventually made by reception.

Check in:
Guests drive up to the Manor House (main building of the hotel). Front desk comes outside, takes guests' temperature, and gives guests their itinerary (what activities reserved for what time) along with their room key. Rooms may not be available until 4pm.

Covid:
Guests rooms are thoroughly cleaned - all buttons, handles, remotes, etc. All staff wore masks, and the masks covered their noses and mouths (like how masks should be worn). When we arrived, the front desk put on gloves before helping us carry our luggage upstairs. Hand sanitizer sprays and Purells at almost every room, even outdoor areas.

Property:
The property itself contains the Manor House (main building with restaurant, ball room, reception, and guest rooms), Century Lodge (guest rooms), and Garden House (guest rooms), the gym/sauna/studio were under renovation / closed when I went, and a heated outdoor pool (3ft shallowest, 8ft deepest). Grounds is not as big as I thought from the maps. You can actually see many of the campfire sites next to each other, despite them appearing to be far walks from each other.

Room:
Rooms were renovated a few years ago, but the intention was to maintain a lot of the original equipment - structural components, original flooring (VERY old), windows, etc. It is showing many signs of wear. Some double-layered windows (outside is original equipment, inside is new) have the outside glass shattered. I've seen three window panes like that. Lots of vintage books, decor, and furniture. There is next to no soundproofing. I can hear neighbors talking in their room from my suite. However, given the property is in the middle of nowhere, and that there is nothing to do on the property after dark, guests tend to stay quiet and go to sleep early. I had no issues with sound going to sleep at 10pm.

I stayed in the Spingarn Suite, which used to be the master bedroom of the property. My suite did not have a mini fridge / mini bar. No complimentary in room coffee or tea. There is a lock box to store your valuables. Lack of power/usb outlet by bed. The bathroom has heated floors and a separate thermostat from the living room. This is great given how cold evenings get, even in the summer.

Dining:
Currently only doing set menus at $75pp for dinner. The menu has 3-4 appetizers, 4-6 mains, and 2-3 desserts to choose from. A few items change on the menu everyday. Dinner was definitely the highlight of the stay - the food was flavorful. Although portion size is on the smaller side. But it would be perfect if there was bread. Speaking of which, there is no bread. I asked for bread with my dinner and was charged $8 for a basket for four slices of bread. The bread itself was very good - crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, with hints of wheat, rye, and the slightest inkling of sourdough.

Breakfast usually share common fresh and local ingredients with dinner. A few items on the menu changes everyday. I had the buckwheat pancakes, scrambled eggs with sausage, trout toast, and bluefish toast. All were very good, but the fish toasts were my favorite. Every day there is a baker's special. During my stay I had a pistachio croissant and a corn and blueberry muffin. Both were very well made.

Lunch does not seem to be a big focus. Pool/bar food is offered at the pool - these are really nibbles and appetizers. I ordered a watermelon, which was $8. This came with 3 slices of watermelons, each about 2 inches wide and 3 inches tall. People often seem to skip lunch.

Activities:
This is where the property really shines - the following outdoors activities are offered, all need reservation.
Bicycles - complimentary bike and helmet, both adult and children sizes are available. Bikes are decent - not the type of one-gear Hawaiian beach cruisers, but actual sport bikes.
Tennis - Wilson racquets available for complimentary rental. Junior size racquets available. Tennis balls are only available for purchase. There are two courts, not completely fenced, so if you hit one out, it will roll far.
Outdoor yoga / meditation - only weekends, $20pp. Property has yoga mats for rent.
Outdoor sites - there are many outdoor sites with hammocks and Adirondack chairs for guests to hang out. You can pay to order picnics. Campfires are complimentary. Smores $10pp. Smores portion size is generous.

Outside of the hotel:
Amenia is a quaint little town in the Hudson Valley. Most staff are from 'nearby' towns, which are all about 30 minutes away. There is not much to do in the surrounding areas besides some wineries and hiking (Stissing Mountain recommended).

Shortcomings:
1. No soundproof in the old building, however, given a lack of activities in and around the property, most people are quiet/asleep once it gets dark.
2. Nickel and diming throughout - the only option for set menu is $75pp, but does not come with bread. If you want bread it's $8 for 4 slices. Separately, towards the end of my breakfast, we asked if we can take our coffee to the living room/common area to enjoy while reading. The waitress said she will get new coffees for us. We got new coffees in the living room and was also given a $6 bill. I asked why this is not complimentary, as coffee is complimentary with breakfast - waitress said it becomes a new bill once we left the dining room. However, she did eventually waive the charge. But in the end really it is just nickels and dimes. Sure, Aman gives free minibar, but also charges $100+/hour for most activities.
3. No minibar in room. No complimentary in room coffee or tea.
4. Pool is almost self-service. Guests go up to the pool bar to get water, drinks, and food. Towels are very bo-ho and one of mine was ripped.
5. Restaurant communications lacking.
6. No elevator.
7. This may be a benefit depending on how you look at it - almost no signal anywhere on the property grounds, perfect for disconnecting. However, wifi signal is very strong and not just inside buildings, so if you choose to connect, you can always stay connected.

Last edited by ChateauMargaux; Sep 3, 20 at 7:28 am
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Old Sep 2, 20, 7:39 am
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Would you describe Troutbeck as a full 5-star luxury property or more of a 4.5 star premium hotel (or perhaps even a 4-star hotel)? I have never stayed at a Design Hotels property so am not sure what standard they aim for.
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Old Sep 2, 20, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by jbb View Post
Would you describe Troutbeck as a full 5-star luxury property or more of a 4.5 star premium hotel (or perhaps even a 4-star hotel)? I have never stayed at a Design Hotels property so am not sure what standard they aim for.
Without a doubt five star for food quality, service, and activities. The food quality is great, farm to table done beautifully.
Hard product for me is a 3.5 - 4 star (the narrow staircase, no soundproof, and vintage furnishing). But clients who appreciate the property's history more tend to rate it higher.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 7:17 am
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Spingarn suite bedroom - crisp sheets.







Pool


Dinner - burrata and tomatoes were delicious. The various types of tomatoes each had distinct flavors


This was day two's dinner - we loved the bass and squash so much, we had to get it again. The lamb was a little fatty, about 1/4 of one medallion was fat. I cut off the fat and commented to the wait staff. Our waitress immediately apologized and offered another portion of lamb.


Day 1's dinner - bass with mixed squash/zucchini and lobster pasta. The pasta sauce was creamy but light, pasta itself was done perfectly. Lobster portion not stingy.


Dessert - we are not big on sweets, so only had one bite of each. Our wait staff offered us some fresh fruits after seeing us not having made no progress to the dessert plates before asking for a check.


Front of property



Breakfast was probably one of the best I've had anywhere. We did not bring our phones during one of the breakfasts (which is in line with the purpose of coming here I feel), so I only have this one image from the second day. The trout toast (first day) and blue fish toast (second day) were definitely the highlights. Buckwheat pancake, according to my SO, is the best she has ever had. Chef's rotating daily pastries were great. First day we had a pistachio croissant, second day was a corn muffin. Both were wonderful. There is also fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juices.
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Last edited by ChateauMargaux; Sep 3, 20 at 7:27 am
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Old Sep 3, 20, 5:11 pm
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The rooms in Century House are also not soundproof. I am convinced Century House was really just intended for large group bookings. It really doesn't work very well for individuals.
For the most part staff at Troutbeck make a good effort but it's a 3.5 star at best, I think. Also during busy times they often appear to favor dinner guests over hotel guests.
The White Hart in nearby Salisbury does a much better job as a "country inn" although it doesn't have the same breadth of amenities as Troutbeck does.
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Old Sep 3, 20, 8:43 pm
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So would I be correct in assuming that this hotel is not luxury and not even best available in the general vicinity (and hence should not be in the luxury hotel forum)?

Speak now or forever hold your peace!

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Old Sep 4, 20, 5:15 am
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If this is a Design Hotel, is its affiliated with Marriott/Bonvoy?
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Old Sep 4, 20, 6:13 am
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
So would I be correct in assuming that this hotel is not luxury and not even best available in the general vicinity (and hence should not be in the luxury hotel forum)?

Speak now or forever hold your peace!

RichardInSF, moderator, luxury hotels and travel
If US Ritz Carltons are considered luxury hotels then so should the Troutbeck! Troutbeck is not the weakest luxury hotel here.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If this is a Design Hotel, is its affiliated with Marriott/Bonvoy?
Not as far as I am aware.
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Old Sep 22, 20, 2:56 pm
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[QUOTE=ChateauMargaux;32651532]If US Ritz Carltons are considered luxury hotels then so should the Troutbeck! Troutbeck is not the weakest luxury hotel here.

What else would you consider better that's in the area? I guess it depends on your definition of "in the area", because you have Winvian and Mayflower Inn within 45 minutes or so. But besides that, what is there within an hour of Troutbeck?
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Old Sep 23, 20, 9:39 am
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[QUOTE=journeybound;32693629]
Originally Posted by ChateauMargaux View Post
If US Ritz Carltons are considered luxury hotels then so should the Troutbeck! Troutbeck is not the weakest luxury hotel here.

What else would you consider better that's in the area? I guess it depends on your definition of "in the area", because you have Winvian and Mayflower Inn within 45 minutes or so. But besides that, what is there within an hour of Troutbeck?
Both properties you mentioned are great. Winvian is much more rustic feeling, Mayflower more Victorian. Neither is my favorite if I could travel freely, but these are desperate times.
Being a New England native, I’d recommend Rhode Island as well for an escape, although it is more than an hour away. There are more things to do in RI properties besides what is offered by the resort (like the Troutbeck).
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Old Sep 25, 20, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by ChateauMargaux View Post
If US Ritz Carltons are considered luxury hotels then so should the Troutbeck! Troutbeck is not the weakest luxury hotel here.



Not as far as I am aware.
That seems misleading, I would have thought that most Design Hotels participate in Marriott Bonvoy. That's disappointing.
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