Travel 2021: An ‘Old-Fashioned’ Escape to the Catskills

Photos (except bottom) by Lawrence Braun

It’s a curious and fascinating thing, to watch as the good people of the Catskills have refused to let the crass New York City gentrification expansion swoop in and spoil its imitable charms. Indeed, for going on two decades, the region – just a couple of hours drive from Gotham, but a world away in every other sense – has been on the lips of the chattering creative classes…yet has impressively resisted being overtaken by over-enthusiastic urbanistas.

Which is why, as COVID travel restrictions still force us to remain domestic travel creatures, it will surely be one of the most coveted getaways from an increasingly unnerving city life. And its hippest stay is one that we discovered just last year, the uniquely chic, but remarkably welcoming Eastwind Hotel & Bar. Located just a mile-and-a-half from Windham Mountain, the allure for skiers hardly needs to be stated (the resort there boasts 52 trails). But the hotel is also a destination for wellness seekers and epicures alike.

As to the latter, the Eastwind has just struck up a perfect partnership with Philadelphia’s buzzy Hochstadter’s Slow & Low (part of the Cooper Spirits family), specifically its increasingly popular Rock And Rye. It’s actually a bottled/canned version of the classic whiskey + orange zest Old-Fashioned cocktail – but Hochstadter’s version, as the name states, is a rock and rye inspired creation (rye whiskey sweetened with citrus and rock candy), made with their Slow & Low rye, which exhibits notes of orange, grapefruit, honey and bitters, flavors that all perfectly evoke long evenings of sipping by the fireplace (or fire pit, one of which the Eastwind does indeed have on its grounds).

Best of all, after booking the special “Slow & Low” promotion, one arrives to find a Slow & Low tote/goodie bag stocked with t-shirts, koozies, bandanas…even rolling papers – as well as a comp two-pack of Slow & Low Rock And Rye.

photographs by lawrence braun

Opened in summer 2018, the Eastwind itself is a stunner of a mountain boutique hotel, blending Scandinavian mod style with rustic Catskills charm. It boasts a 26 exceedingly good-looking rooms, a pair of saunas, a convivial bar/lounge area with board games, and endlessly captivating snowy views, to linger over for hours on end.

“We’re excited to partner with Hochstadter’s Slow & Low for this pop-up experience,” says the hotel’s Co-Owner Bjorn Boyer. “Guests come to our property to discover the great outdoors and reconnect with themselves in the process, and Slow & Low perfectly embodies this ideology.”

Now you know where to find us this winter.

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