THE CASTLE HOTEL & SPA
BE TREATED LIKE ROYALTY
By Joe Meny
Only 30 minutes north of Manhattan, Castle Hotel & Spa sits majestically atop one of the highest points in Westchester County overlooking the Hudson River. The Castle, with its sprawling acres of manicured gardens and grounds, plus over 100 years of history, is a sumptuous escape to the enchanted era of America’s gilded age.
Asian Fusion had the opportunity to experience this unique hotel, restaurant, and architectural gem in late August, and we can honestly say that we were very impressed. The staff was friendly and helpful, the accommodations were luxurious, and food and service in the restaurant did not disappoint!
The story of the Castle begins shortly before the 20th century, when General Howard Carroll, a well-respected newspaperman, playwright and businessman, purchased the land as a home for his growing family. General and Mrs. Carroll were notable social figures in Westchester County and New York City society Carroll actively assisted architect Henry Kilburn in planning the Castle in a style reminiscent of Norman fortifications in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The finished castle boasted 45 rooms!
A new addition, completed in 1910, provided the Great Hall as the new dining room. Emerson and Ruth Axe bought the Castle and 64 acres of land in 1941. During WWII, the Castle’s roof and 75-foot tower served as an observation post by the Tarrytown Civil Defense to monitor air traffic in the area. The Castle was designated a historic landmark in 1981 by the town of Tarrytown. By 1996, the Castle had been transformed into a luxury hotel with a gourmet restaurant and meeting and event facilities. The restoration of the original suites, and creation of a 24-room addition, known as Carrollcliffe, was appropriate homage to its proud history.
A thorough renovation and refurbishment in 2013 saw the introduction of the luxurious THANN Sanctuary Spa, which is known throughout Asia as an oasis of peace and tranquility. Throughout the meticulous restoration, the unique architectural elements of the main Castle building were carefully preserved to showcase the cherished collectibles gathered through the years from around the globe.
We arrived for our stay on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Driving up the winding driveway and coming upon the striking architecture of the Castle, we immediately felt as if we had been transported back in time. A time of both grandeur and elegance. The valet smiled and greeted us, offering assistance with any luggage we had, proceeding to park our car.
The Hotel check-in is located right inside the front door, and was efficiently handled by the friendly staff. Our room (#7), was to the left, through the dining room, elevator to the top, and up a flight of stairs. It was well worth the trip! Our room was spacious, clean, and quiet. Every window offered amazing views in every direction of early autumnal foliage. The rather large living room space was furnished impeccably with furniture befitting the setting. Not to mention a working fireplace! The refrigerator and coffee bar were stocked with a variety of complimentary drinks. The bathroom was spotless, with soft luxurious towels and included bathrobes, slippers, and wonderfully scented toiletries. The bedroom was quite comfortable, the bed made with immaculate linens, and plenty of room to put away and organize any personal belongings. The bed was very comfortable…we slept very well!
The nearly 11-acres of grounds are beautifully landscaped and maintained. There is a couch on the outdoor patio, a chess set with almost human-sized pieces, and a built-in heated swimming pool further on down the hill.
The views of lower Hudson Valley are breath-taking and relaxing at the same time. The fresh, crisp air combined with the beautiful and elegant surroundings makes you feel so relaxed. Ah-h-h-h-h….
Dinner at the Equus restaurant, conveniently located inside the hotel with three elegant dining rooms, features menus that are inspired by local, artisanal farmers in the Hudson Valley region. The setting, the service, and the cuisine are on par with the Castle’s reputation for excellence. The wine list is extensive and definitely did not disappoint. Our server was attentive without being overbearing, and the restaurant captain checked in with us throughout the meal. A relaxing dinner with great service, delicious cuisine, in a beautiful setting.
While we didn’t have a chance to experience the THANN Sanctuary Spa, our host, Mr. Utsumi, did guide us through the spa facility and all that it has to offer. The THANN Sanctuary Spa offers steam room, whirlpool, and relaxation lounges, along with a private VIP treatment room. The architectural design of the spa gracefully emerges from the serene wooded landscape of the Castle in a simple yet sophisticated building that utilizes stone walls and minimal exterior openings to blend and enhance its peaceful setting. A massive stone wall guides you through an opening into a sheltered interior courtyard, where transparent floor-to-ceiling glass walls create a unique contrast with the solid stone wall interior. The unique holistic spa concept and ambience at THANN will awaken your senses, and give you a sense of calm and peacefulness.
The Castle is easily reachable via Metro-North railroad, by car, and is just 45 minutes from JFK airport. It is located near many Hudson Valley attractions including the Rockefeller estate at Kykuit, Philipsburg Manor, the Old Dutch Church, and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. The Castle is the perfect location for a wedding, a special event, romantic dinner, or just drinks relaxing on the patio overlooking the Hudson River.
For inquiries or information regarding holding a wedding or special event at the Castle Hotel & Spa, please contact Ken Utsumi at kutsumi@castlehotelandspa.